Old Physics Conference Room and Gallery (Melbourne University) : 156-292 Grattan Street, CARLTON
Building ProfileName : Old Physics Conference Room and Gallery (Melbourne University)
LocationAddress: 156-292 Grattan Street
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1888 - 1923
Original use: Education
Current use: Education
Built in the Victorian period in the Neo-Gothic style
The Old Physics Conference Room and Gallery is architecturally significant as one of the buildings designed by Reed, Henderson and Smart to accommodate the new phase of science schools in the late nineteenth century. Being in the collegiate Gothic style, it relates to the original and adjacent university buildings by Francis White.
The Old Physics Conference Room and Gallery, originally the School of Natural Philosophy, is a two storey building complex formed in two wings. It was constructed in several stages, beginning with designs by architects Reed, Henderson and Smart in 1888-9. Accommodation included a lecture theatre, laboratory, workshop and apparatus room. The stone walls are buttressed, have square headed windows and turretted gable ends. The steeply pitched roof is covered with slates. The same architects prepared designs for an addition in 1891. Other stages of development took place in 1919 and 1923 to designs by the Public Works Department. There were also alterations in 1933 to the original block. In 1935 the Physics Department accommodated the Commonwealth X-ray and Radium Laboratory, under the supervision of the Professor of Physics, who was the Commonwealth Department of Healths chief adviser. In 1938 the entire block was renovated under supervision of the Public Works Department Chief Architect Percy Everett. Most of the 1891 additions were demolished in 1973 when the Department of Physics, as it was by then known, moved to a new building. Decorative remnants from the interior were placed in Deakin Court. The interiors were altered to form the University Gallery and conference centre.Architect: Reed, Henderson & Smart
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