Building Highlight - Research School of Chemistry Buildings

The Research School of Chemistry comprises the Spectrometer Facility, Arthur Hambly Lecture Theatres, Arthur Birch Building, David Craig Building and Research School of Chemistry Lecture Theatre.  

The first building housing the Faculty of Chemistry was designed by Eggleston, MacDonald and Secomb and built by Kennedy and Bird between 1961 and 1963. It had been commissioned by the National Capital Authority. The building was officially opened on 7 June 1963 by Lord De L’isle. An extension was completed in 1970. The Arthur Hambly Lecture Theatres were designed and built in the early 1960s at the same time as the Chemistry Building.  

The Arthur Birch Building was designed by Eggleston, MacDonald and Secomb, with construction completed in 1967 by Civil & Civic. The building was named after Arthur Birch, widely considered one of the greatest organic chemists of the 20th century. Birch had a distinguished career in Australia and the UK, before he was invited to be Foundation Professor of Organic Chemistry at the ANU in 1960, where he worked until his retirement in 1980. He also served twice as dean of the RSC (1967-70, 1973–76) and was President of the Australian Academy of Science (1982-86).  

The Research School of Chemistry Lecture Theatre was built concurrently with the Arthur Birch Building, designed by Eggleston, Macdonald and Secomb and built by Civil and Civic. 

The David Craig Building, designed by Wagdy Hanna & Associates and constructed by GE Shaw & Associates, was completed in 1994. It was built on the site of the Turner Oval. Trees were planted on the site by Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Charles Studdy Daley. The building was named after Professor David Craig, who commenced with the ANU in the 1960s. Craig was appointed Foundation Professor of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, a role he held until his retirement in 1984. He also served as dean of the RSC (1970-73, 1978-81).

In 2003 a Spectrometer Facility, designed by GHD Pty Ltd was completed by Manteena Pty Ltd. 



Australian National University n.d., Acton Campus site inventory, <>