New RSSS building

Visualisation of the completed building
An architect representation of the completed RSSS building

Welcome to the website containing information on the new building for the Research School of Social Sciences.  Click on the links below to be taken to each section, and scroll to the bottom of the page to view images and relevant attachments.

Monthly update

New building background

The site and design of the new building

March update

Due to hail damage sustained to the roof during the January 2020 storm event, significant repair works need to be undertaken prior to staff relocating into the new building.

While completion of the interior is on track for April 2020, the builder, Construction Control, will continue to operate on site until the roof, the plant on top of the roof, and shade fins are replaced.  This work will be completed in time for a relocation period during the mid-semester break of semester 2 2020.

Ellery Crescent will remain reduced to a single lane with traffic lights in place.  The Baldessin Precinct Parking Station is not accessible from Ellery Crescent (but remains accessible off Childers Street), and level 5 of the station is reserved parking for the construction contractors.  

The new RSSS building is in the final stages of internal fit-out activities, with services now installed, and landscaping underway.

Artwork designs have been selected for a heritage piece honouring the previous building on site, the Pauline Griffin Building.  While the designs are under wraps for now, they will be sure to impress!

A design has also been selected for Indigenous artwork to be incorporated as frosting onto glass panels inside the building.  This artwork has been created by local Aboriginal artists and reference local flora and fauna, and as a faculty we are honoured to have involvement with such a noteworthy project.

New building background

Currently spread across almost a dozen buildings on campus, RSSS will soon be located together for the first time since 1964.  The new RSSS building is beside the new Kambri precinct, at the gateway between the CBD and the University, and at the heart of the proposed Humanities and Social Sciences precinct.

During 2015 we engaged with staff to come up with a functional design for the building: what we needed from our new space on campus, how we would use it, and where we needed it to be to fit with our use of the campus facilities.  This process led to the selection of the site of the Pauline Griffin Building. The Pauline Griffin Building with its rich heritage and history, will be commemorated and celebrated with an interpretive sculpture in the lobby of the new building.

The School of Demography, Centre for Social Research and Methods, School of Sociology, School of Politics and International Relations, School of Philosophy, School of History, and the Centre for European Studies will be relocating to the new building. The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research and the Centre of Arab and Islamic Studies will remain in their current locations nearby.

Here, in the heart of the campus, RSSS will be able to bring together students and researchers from across the globe and across a variety of disciplines, to better interpret our past and understand our future.

The site and design of the new building

The site was previously home to the Pauline Griffin Building which was originally constructed in 1963 to house the ANU Student Union until 1972, however was unable to be renovated to comply with modern building, workplace, and safety standards. 

The International Style of the Pauline Griffin Building informed the architects’ design of the new RSSS Building incorporating a refined materials palette and strong horizontal features. This style reflects a significant period of expansion and building on the Acton campus.

The finishes inside the new building extensively reference features of the Coombs Building where RSSS was originally homed in 1964 (and where the Schools of Demography, History and Philosophy currently reside). 

Designed as a ‘building in the park,’ utilising materials such as timber, glass and concrete to exude a timeless quality while being able to adapt to future workplace, teaching and learning advancements, our new home will provide over 500 staff, students and academic visitors with the room they need to teach, research and study, in a modern 11,700 sqm building.

Image gallery

Updated:  30 March 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications