The University of Melbourne Old Quad is one of the oldest and most significant buildings on the Parkville campus. Built between 1854 to 1875, it originally served as a teaching space for law and arts students and the building’s three earliest wings housed the University’s first professorial residences. Old Quad has been modified over the years to support the University’s growth, with the last major addition constructed in 1970.
Kane Constructions was appointed in late 2017 to undertake the extensive restoration project which will see the north and areas of east wings largely returned to their original design, and reaffirm Old Quad’s place as the key cultural, civic, engagement and ceremonial heart of the University of Melbourne.
Works at Old Quad included reinstating teaching spaces along the ground floor of the east wing, as well as the relocation of the south-end stair well to the centre of the wing, its original built position. The north annexe works included reinstatement of the central hall which will operate as either a standalone small function space or as the reception point for entry from the north. A new grand staircase and lift built between the North Wing and annexe will draw visitors to the light-filled University Hall and restored University Library. Conservation works on the external façade and windows was undertaken under the guidance of a Heritage Victoria permit.
The Old Quad Restoration project represents the first application in Australia of the adaptive reuse model Passive House EnerPHit to a building of state and national significance. To achieve Passive House standards, major upgrades of building services were required as well as extensive works around the building envelope to achieve air tightness.
Works on the Old Quad Restoration were completed in April 2019.
Video: © University of Melbourne and the Old Quad