Approaching the Development

Founded in 1946, The Australian National University this year celebrates it's 70th birthday as one of the world's pre-eminent centres of teaching, learning and research.

Revitalising Union Court and University Avenue is an ambitious project that reflects bold, next generation thinking. The project is being approached in phases, with pauses to allow for reflection and community consultation. Five phases of work have been completed to date:  

Phase 1 Identified Key Drivers for change and provided early direction with respect to the desired environment and experience. By the end of this phase it was clear that there is strong enthusiasm for a major revitalisation of the area. 

Phase 2 Established a Business Case including the identification of elements that may be attractive to private sector capital investment.  

Phase 3 Confirmed the Value Proposition, Placemaking Strategy, Master Planning Brief. This phase included detailed analysis of the size of each element, the relationship with other elements, their estimated cost, their financial viability and investment potential and a round of further stakeholder consultation to ensure the evolving concept continued to be supported.

Phase 4 Defined the Urban Design Framework and documented Functional User Briefs. This phase saw the development of the Urban Design Framework and Functional Briefs. Costs and commerce were advanced and financial strategies were defined.

Phase 5 Developed Strategies for costs, funding, staging options and precinct transition. Major work focused on programming of proposed spaces and facilities, cost reduction, staging options, financial engineering, ‘Pop-up Village’ planning and other transitional requirements, as well as development of precinct technology strategies. This resulted in the scope of the current project. 

  What has happened so far 

In December 2014 the University Council endorsed the concept of the revitalisation and a proposal to proceed to the planning phase, ‘Establishing the Urban Design Framework’, which developed an urban design framework within the context of the campus master plan, identifying the optimal locations, facility brief and experience of each proposed element.   

Following an international tender process, CIVITAS from Canada, in partnership with Oculus from Sydney, were selected as the preferred urban design team. Through a process of workshops, charettes and other planning and design sessions, involving University representatives and specialist consultants, an Urban Design Framework, Illustrative Masterplan and Urban Design Guidelines were developed and released for consultation. 

An extensive program of cross-campus engagement was central to this design phase, involving 1400 members of the ANU community. Around 23,500 comments were received during the engagement exercise and key themes have been represented in a short film. A set of Guiding Principles that reflect ‘what matters most’ to the university’s community were also developed as a result.

  Where we are at 

In April 2016, the University Council approved in principle the revitalisation of Union Court and University Avenue. This approval was for a project concentrated in Union Court extending to University Avenue (to Childers Street).

With this approval, the project has now entered Phase 6 - which requires development of an Investment Proposal for the project.  This Phase will enable the project team to focus on further design refinement; development of the ‘Pop-up Village’; detailed project budgets and investment plans, construction approach, and finalising the selection of signature projects for the precinct.

The project team are currently selecting the architectural team who will begin the design documentation.

ANU Design Working Groups comprised of ANU community representatives are working towards the completion of design briefs for the architects.

  Development Timeline

Upcoming Events