Florey Building Official Opening

Image: Stuart Hay, ANU Opening ceremony Image: Stuart Hay, ANU School banners
21 July 2016

The University has celebrated the official opening of the refurbished Florey Building which has a strong history in medical research and now houses the Medical School.

The renovated building was opened by Mick Gentleman MLA, Minister in the ACT Government, and Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt who acknowledged the importance of the heritage building and its benefit to staff and students.  Also in attendance was Jeremy Hanson MLA, Leader of the Opposition in the ACT.

"The design of the new building means it can be many things to many people - state of the art medical laboratories, modern office accommodation, student teaching and learning spaces, breakout spaces and private spaces," said Professor Schmidt.

The building has been named after Sir Howard Florey, a Nobel Laureate, commemorating his significant contribution to the ANU, and renowned for his success in the conversion of penicillin into an antibiotic.

"The establishment of a National Institute for Medical Research was the brainchild of Nobel Laureate Florey and he was very prescriptive in his ideas about the design of the building."

The heritage building provides an eclectic old versus new aesthetic. Hundreds of pieces of original Fred Ward and ANU Design Unit furniture custom designed for the building sit neatly beside modern functional pieces. It even has the original bells, whistles, gauges and switches within the building.

Original images of the building throughout its almost 60 year history adorn glazed panels and act as functional privacy screens for the different areas.

The new-look Florey Building has already won two architecture awards - the National Trust (ACT) Award for a Significant Contribution to Heritage Conservation, and the Australian Institute of Architects (ACT) J.S Murdoch Heritage Award.

The Florey building is also used by the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health & Wellbeing in the Research School of Population Health and the Research School of Earth Sciences.

The official opening included a Smoking Ceremony & Welcome to Country, along with tours of the Medical School labs and the new Earth Sciences Coral Reef Laboratory.