$80 million upgrade puts ANU’s art school on the map

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ANU School of Art and Design heritage building. Photo: Lannon Harley, ANU.

THE Australian National University has announced $80 million upgrade for School of Art and Design to make it into “an exciting new space for 21st century art and design”.

The project will revolutionise the way the two disciplines— art and design — are taught  at ANU as it will involve the refurbishment of the heritage-listed art deco building in which it now lives, as well as the construction of a new two-storey building adjacent to the city.

Prof Denise Ferris

The new building and facelift of the former Canberra High School will create an internationally competitive facility and feature large multi-purpose spaces for artists.

Head of the School of Art and Design, Prof Denise Ferris says the new building will put ANU on a par with major national and international competitors.

“The ANU School of Art and Design collaborates in research and education across the university… it is the only school in Australia with all traditional disciplines as well as those in new technologies,” she says.

ANU vice-chancellor Prof Brian Schmidt says: “The original building is a favourite of many Canberrans… Through a careful design process we will be ensuring that its heritage is maintained at the same time as creating state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces, work spaces and galleries.”

He described the purpose of the venture as creating “a significant cultural gateway between ANU and the local Canberra community which will inspire, delight and draw the community.”

Planning for the project will begin in 2019, with construction to commence in 2023 and finish by 2025.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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