Friends of University House

Priority area: 

The Friends of University House Fund supports the twin qualities that define University House - our distinctive Heritage-listed mid-century design, and our role as a hub and home of vibrant academic and social life.

University House Great Hall

University House has been central to life on the ANU campus since its opening as Building No.1 in 1954. The original design excellence of Brian Lewis and Fred Ward has since been enriched by a remarkable collection of Australian art, much of it funded by members and friends over the years. University House has become an institution loved and supported by successive generations of ANU staff, graduate students and academic visitors, members and guests.

In late 2019, the University approved a refurbishment of University House, planned by CCJ Architects, which would renew the building and respect its heritage. However, on 20 January 2020 Canberra was hit with a severe hailstorm that caused significant damage to University House, including to original tiles and glass in many parts of the building. Soon after, on 9 February, the otherwise welcome drought-breaking rain caused further damage. Water entered the building and damaged electrical infrastructure. The damage necessarily put a hold on planned refurbishments.  

The University House Great Hall, scaffolded for repair
Removing the Hall mural for safe-keeping

For the first time in its history, University House was closed completely. Art, books, furniture, glassware, silverware, kitchen equipment and other treasures, are now safely in storage offsite. The building is a scaffolded and storm-sealed shell, awaiting careful repair and refurbishment.

The University’s insurance and University House reserves will fund the essential repairs and initial refurbishment works. We ask you to consider making a gift to support the restoration of University House and, in time, to undertake programs to better connect with members and guests, and foster its unique sense of community. With your support, we can renew the heart of academic and social life of ANU.

Page owner: Philanthropy