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Old Quad

Architect: F.M White 1857, Reed and Barnes 1875, Gawler and Drummond 1930, Rae Featherstone 1970, Lovell Chen 2019

University of Melbourne Parkville Campus | UoMP03

Building Description

PRINT PROGRAM AMENDMENT: Since the program launch Old Quad will not be able to provide guided tours as advised. All other details remain the same and visitors are welcome for self-guided tours.

With iconic archways and a bold architectural presence, Old Quad is the oldest building on the Parkville campus and the strongest connection to the University's fledgling years. A key architectural figure in Melbourne's history, Old Quad is also the first university building in Australia; its foundation stone laid on the same day as the State Library of Victoria. It has been recently restored to reaffirm its place as the cultural, civic, engagement and ceremonial heart of the University.

Originally built in classic Tudor style, the building has supported and sustained the University's growth over the past 160 years. It has a rich history as the first site for Arts and Law teaching, the University library, Council Chambers, and professorial residence.

The Old Quad's new chapter is a recently completed extensive restoration project of the North Wing and Annexe. The north accommodates a stunning new point for entry with large-scale stained-glass installation, Towards a glass monument, by artist Tom Nicholson. The new ground floor Treasury exhibition space showcases Ancestral Memory, which tells the story of water on the lands of the Kulin Nation. Diving into the history of Old Quad's location, the Kulin Nation, cultural advisor Jefa Greenaway says, ‘[w]hat transpired from this research was that the story of water has always been and continues to be very important to this place. It is a story that traverses the campus.' A powerful demonstration of resilience, Maree Clarke's Ancestral Memory launches the Old Quad into the next chapter while keeping a firm grasp on the past.

Building 150 – Old Quad (North Wing), off Wilson Ave, Parkville Campus 3052

Please see building website for detailed map and directions.

What's On

Visit the Old Quad and explore its newly renovated interiors based on original 1854 designs. Inaugural exhibition from artist Maree Clarke, Ancestral Memory, on show in Treasury explores the history of the lands on which the Old Quad was built – the lands of the Kulin Nation. In addition, visitors may take in splendid, large-scale stained glass window installation, Towards a Glass Monument, by artist Tom Nicholson and stained glass artisan Geoffrey Wallace. Also on view is the original council furniture, recently restored to its Colonial Gothic grandeur.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 July 10am–4pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided

  • Tour Details: Open for self-guided tours

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop 1: Melbourne University/Swanston St on routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72

  • Photo Credit: Photography by Christian Capurro. Image copyright with the artists. Images courtesy of Old Quad, University of Melbourne.


Old Quad, Wilson Ave, Parkville Campus 3052, Parkville VIC


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