Development of the Campus - The 1960s

With additional Commonwealth funding, the University expanded rapidly throughout the 1960s. Denis Winston released a new plan in 1961, which embraced the need for the new university to cater for research as well as both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.  

In this period many of the university’s major buildings were constructed, including much of the Kingsley Arts and Economics Precinct, the RG Menzies and General Studies (later JB Chifley) Libraries, part of the Daley Science Precinct and several student residences.  

The University also established a second observatory, Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran, NSW, in 1965.  

Roy Simpson took on the role of site planner in 1968, a role that he held until 1971. This was largely an appointment based on the suggestion of the Building & Grounds Committee for the need for fresh ideas. Simpson was a principal architect at the Melbourne-based architectural firm Yuncken Freeman. David Dexter, who had previously served with the Universities Commission, brought strong negotiation and organizational skills to the role of Registrar Property.  

Simpson amended some of Winston’s design, primarily due to issues relating to access, orientation and maintenance. His aim was to “harmonise the disparate architectural precincts while also pedestrianisng the interior of the campus and accommodating escalating carparking requirements” (Godden Mackay Logan Heritage Consultants 2012, p.91). His 1969 plan proposed locating common use facilities such as the library, student union and concessions, to the centre of the campus, moving traffic to the outer edges and converting University Avenue from a traffic artery to a pedestrian thoroughfare with a series of grand pedestrian courts. His reimagining also acknowledged the expansion of Canberra to the north, resulting in the University’s centre of gravity shifting north away from Lake Burley Griffin, and realised the need to connect the campus more with the growing city, an approach coined the “town and gown interface” (Godden Mackay Logan Heritage Consultants 2012, p.93).    

 

References

Godden Mackay Logan Heritage Consultants 2012, ANU Heritage Study: Acton Campus. Volume 1: Heritage Study,

Dexter, D 1991, The ANU Campus, Australian National University Press, Canberra. 

Banks, J & Gaardboe, M 1996, Building and Landscapes: the Australian National University, Canberra, ANU Divisions of Facilities and Services and Public Affairs, Canberra.   

 

 

Aerial View of Canberra and the Acton Campus, 1963 (ANUA15-117-8). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Aerial View of Canberra and the Acton Campus, 1963 (ANUA15-117-8). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II speaking at the opening of the RG Menzies Library, 13 March 1963 (ANUA15-14-13).

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II speaking at the opening of the RG Menzies Library, 13 March 1963 (ANUA15-14-13).

Concept sketch of Arts Building II (also known as the John Dedman Building), c. 1968 (ANUA226-579).

Concept sketch of Arts Building II (also known as the John Dedman Building), c. 1968 (ANUA226-579).

Siding Spring Observatory, 1960 (ANUA16-181). Photographer: ANU Photographic Services.

Siding Spring Observatory, 1960 (ANUA16-181). Photographer: ANU Photographic Services.

General Studies Library (later JB Chifley Library), c. 1965 (ANUA16-408). Photographer: ANU Photographic Services.

General Studies Library (later JB Chifley Library), c. 1965 (ANUA16-408). Photographer: ANU Photographic Services.

Construction of the Mathematics Building, Institute of Advanced Studies, April 1962 (ANUA15-109). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Construction of the Mathematics Building, Institute of Advanced Studies, April 1962 (ANUA15-109). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Physics Building Workshop, October 1961 (ANUA15-92-14). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Physics Building Workshop, October 1961 (ANUA15-92-14). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Australian National University site plan by Denis Winston, September 1961 (ANUA16-340).

Australian National University site plan by Denis Winston, September 1961 (ANUA16-340).

Staff seated in the foyer of the Chemistry Building, July 1968 (ANUA15-140). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.

Staff seated in the foyer of the Chemistry Building, July 1968 (ANUA15-140). Photographer: Commonwealth News and Information Bureau.