The Florey Building is a refurbishment of the existing original Heritage listed John Curtin School of Medical Research Building (Building 54) to house the ANU Medical school, Centre for Research Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, and Research School of Earth Sciences. It includes new research laboratories, teaching laboratories and rooms, Dean of the ANU Medical School, HDR Student areas, offices and new reception. The refurbishment incorporates the latest training facilities with refurbished building spaces and furniture (Fred Ward designed furniture). It is a sensitive adaption of an existing building and includes interpretive graphics (film and lenticular images) on the history of the building and the medical school. It also includes selected artwork from the historical period curated from the ANU collection in collaboration with the Drill Hall Gallery.
The project presented an opportunity to conserve, interpret and celebrate a significant part of the University’s scientific research and teaching heritage and we strived to celebrate this in innovative and creative ways well beyond the brief. The sensitive re-working of this significant campus building was awarded the Australian Institute of Architect’s J S Murdoch Award for Heritage and the National Trust Award for a Significant Contribution to Heritage Conservation.
The judging panels comments included:
‘Difficulties in readapting a 1960’s building to meet modern educational, servicing and accessibility requirements are cleverly overcome with a deftness that belies the rigour required to achieve the sensitive result… Through sensitively working new details into the original and taking great care not to discard anything still useable – even to a door leaf – its old life has not only been cherished but resonates throughout in a manner that is vibrant and respectful.’ (2016 ACT Architecture Awards – Catalogue, p.37)