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University of Melbourne, Newman College

Architect: Walter Burley Griffin

City of Melbourne | C27

In 1911, Walter Burley Griffin won the international competition for the design of Canberra. Two years later, he arrived from the USA to begin the work and was soon invited to become the architect of a new Melbourne University college, to be erected on land granted by the State Government to the Catholic Church in 1882. The Gothic Revival style building of Newman College features a top lit dining hall with long low cloisters and corridors. The straight planes of the student residential wings connect with the rounded rotunda. The battered base, two-storey band of windows and parapet strip exaggerate the horizontal lines of the building. The college expresses Griffin’s own architectural style, and his ability to design every aspect of a building down to the finest detail including the furniture. Newman College was to consist of four wings with the chapel in between. Funds were lacking to complete this plan following the Great War, and in later years, financial considerations forced a departure from Griffin’s original design. The chapel, designed by architects Messrs Connelly, Dale and Payne, was consecrated in 1942. The Kenny (1958) and Donovan (1961) wings were designed by T. Payne.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 10am-3:30pm - Booking required for this building

  • Heritage Listed: Yes

    Photography Restricted: Yes

  • What's Open: Chapel, Oratory, Dining Room, SCR and Grounds

  • Tour Type: C27

  • Tour Details: First release Friday 13 July 8:30 am until booked out, second release Friday 20 July 8:30 am until booked out, small booking fee applies. Tours at 10.00am, 11.30am, 1.00pm & 2.30pm, running for 60minutes, in groups of 20

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Building Type: Education

  • Special Programming: Dr Jeffrey Turnbull conducting tours of the College

  • Year Built: 1918

  • Transport: Stop 1: University of Melbourne and Swanston Street on routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72


887 Swanston St, Parkville 3052, VIC


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