The US $20 million Academic Building 2 at RMIT Vietnam's Saigon South campus was officially opened at a ceremony last week.
The ceremony welcomed the presence of Mr. Do Quoc Anh, Director General of the Representative Office of the Ministry of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City and Mr. Truong Van Lam, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Home Affairs.
The building has effectively doubled the teaching space at the campus, with its 14,400 square metres over six levels able to accommodate up to 1,100 students at any one time. The design incorporates the latest in teaching and learning technology and allows for a range of flexible learning spaces.
Speaking at the opening, RMIT Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said Academic Building 2 was designed to the same standards and reflected the same ethos as the University's other landmark buildings in Australia.
"The building has been designed in line with Australian five-star 'Green Building' standards, which the University's other recent new buildings in Melbourne, Australia – the award winning Swanston Academic Building and the award winning Design Hub – also comply with.
"As a global university of technology and design, RMIT University is renowned for its architecture and design programs, as well as its outstanding and cutting-edge architecture on our campuses," Professor Gardner said.
Designed by Australian architectural firm Pentago Spowers International, construction on Academic Building 2 began in October 2010 and saw students taking the first classes in the building just over two years later in November 2012. It is estimated more than a million man-hours went into the design, engineering and construction of the building.
Mr Do Quoc Anh, Director General of the Representative Office of the Ministry of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City, said the government appreciated the university's contribution as well as the effort of its staff.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank RMIT International University on behalf of the Minister of Education and Training for providing Vietnam with highly qualified human resources in the age of industrialisation, modernisation, changing and global integration."
The striking interior design of Academic Building 2 was carried out by international firm AEDAS, while the many artworks are all from local artists.
President of RMIT Vietnam Professor Joyce Kirk said the building represented the deep commitment RMIT had made in Vietnam.
"It has been a great pleasure for me to see the staff and students moving through its halls and teaching spaces, and taking advantage of the wonderful facility the University has created," she said.
"This vibrant campus is alive with dedicated and eager students and staff, and it is a tremendous example of how a global educational institution can impart so many benefits to individuals, families and communities."