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The Australian National University

Pauline Griffin Building

Preserving the Past, Building the Future

Bush week 1972 at the Student Union (courtesy of Greg Dickins)
Student Union viewd from Chifley Library 1960s (ANU Archives)
Pauline Griffin building

Constructed in 1963, the Pauline Griffin Building was the campus's original Student Union and was later converted to administrative space. The current condition of the building makes it unsuitable for redevelopment, with respect to its overall size, structural configuration and the capacity for alteration. Therefore, the University proposes to remove the Pauline Griffin Building to make way for the new home for RSSS.

Considering the building's heritage significance, ANU have proposed innovative ways to commemorate and celebrate this history of, and associations with, the building. These activities were outlined in the documentation submitted to the Minister for Environment and Energy, and included:

  • Archival Recording (in line with NSW Heritage Office Guidelines)
  • 3D Scanning of the building, as an additional layer of recording
  • Retention and reuse of key elements of building fabric
  • Interpretation of heritage values (in line with the Interpretation Framework)
  • Interpretation through landscape design
  • Interpretation through the design of the new building (in line with Design Principles).

In addition, ANU has committed the following measures to celebrate the history of the Pauline Griffin Building:

  • Following the 3D scanning of the building, ANU Heritage will provide an online virtual experience of the new RSSS building. Using 360 photospheres, users will be able to explore the interior and exterior of the building from their smart device or PC. Historic images will be 'stitched' into photospheres to place historic events into a modern setting and contextualise the history of the place.
  • ANU Heritage will undertake oral history interviews with people who had strong relationships with the Pauline Griffin Building, particularly during its time as a Student Union. These oral histories will be held in the ANU Archives and will form an integral part of onsite interpretation.
  • In collaboration with the ANU School of Art, Art Collection Manager and ANU Public Art Committee, ANU will explore options for interpretive artwork at the site and in its surrounding landscape linked to the heritage values and history of the site. Artwork may include historic imagery, salvaged materials and may be a student led project.

Updated:  14 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Facilities & Services Division/Page Contact:  Systems & Information Technology