The Quadrangle

Building the Quadrangle

Stage 4: the 1920s

The main phases of the Quadrangle's construction were between 1854 and 1966. This webpage covers stage 4 - the 1920s:


Photos below are courtesy of the University Archives unless otherwise indicated. Click on most images for enlargement.


Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre (now General Lecture Theatre 1), 1920 - 1922

Architect: Professor Leslie Wilkinson, University Architect
Style: The building incorporated a different style of architecture on each side of the building:
— the south side was in classically detailed sandstone like the rest of the Quadrangle, with classical stone detailing and a stone parapet (a low retaining wall at the edge of the roof) to be more in keeping with the proposed Western Tower.
— the north side of the building (facing Science Road) was of white stuccoed brick with stone detailing and small paned windows in Mediterranean style, creating a neoclassical frontage to Science Road.


Leslie Wilkinson was authorised to proceed with the construction of the Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre (now General Lecture Theatre 1), to his own design, in August 1920. It was completed in 1922.

It was a narrow single storey building that formed the southern side of the Vice-Chancellor’s courtyard extending to form part of the Quadrangle to the east. It provided a lecture theatre to seat 300, a laboratory and research rooms.

Read about Professor Wilkinson.

The Organic Chemistry Theatre
1922  

The entrance to the south side of the Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre
in 1922, viewed from Science Road,
photo, Construction and Local Government Journal, 10 May 1922

 

 The mediterranean facade of the Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre in 1925.

View of the sandstone facade of the Organic Chemistry 

A view of the south side of the
Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre,
with its Mediterranean facade, in 1925.

 

Cladding of the entrance to the
Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre
during construction of the Vice-Chancellor's wing,
photo G3_224_MF374_0302, University Archives.

 

 The sandstone facade today

The mediterranean facade today 

 The south side of GLT1 today
with its sandstone facade,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat. 

The north side of GLT1 today with its
Mediterranean facade, facing the
Vice-Chancellor's garden and Science Road,
 photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

 



Organic Chemistry Building - initial changes, 1921

At the time the Organic Chemistry Theatre was being built, Wilkinson had demolished the temporary timber stair at the west end of the Government Architect’s Organic Chemistry building and constructed a permanent stair tower and professor’s offices and labs in the form of a defining end to the building.

Organic Chemistry

Side view of the Organic Chemistry Building

The Organic Chemistry building 

Side view of the Organic Chemistry
building from Science Road with Wilkinson's
 remodelled front section on the right,
photo, Construction & Local Government Journal,
3 October 1923, National Library of Australia.

 

View of the front of the Organic Chemistry
building as remodelled by Wilkinson
viewed from Science Road
with the Great Hall in the distance
on the left of the photo.

 



The North, North-West and South-west ranges, 1921 - 1926

Architect: Professor Leslie Wilkinson, University Architect, in association with the firm of Wilson, Neave and Berry
Style: As with the Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre, two styles were adopted:
— the wings were in harmony with the existing stonework in the Tudor Gothic style, but modestly decorated.
— the surfaces facing away from the Quadrangle were finished in white stucco in the Mediterranean style.


The North and North-west ranges were built and work carried out on the South-west range between 1921 and 1926 as part of the 1920 program of capital works funded by the Government to meet increased University enrolments after World War I.

One of Wilkinson's principal commissions was the completion of the Quadrangle on its northern and western sides.

The work carried out included:

  • construction of the North-west corner, between the proposed Western Tower and the west end (back) of the Great Hall - for Arts and administration, including the Vice-Chancellor’s office
  • construction of the Western Tower - only the west face was completed due to insufficient funds - view images and information about the Western Tower.
  • filling the gap between the Fisher Library book stack and the Western Tower - for book stacks and accommodation for the Faculty of Architecture.
  • remodelling the recently completed Organic Chemistry building. The roof level was cut down to match the adjacent Quadrangle extension, a second storey was added at the front and changes in window placement and design were made at the north-east corner. The building was also stuccoed.
  • joining the North-west corner to the remodelled Organic Chemistry Laboratory.


Wilkinson prepared several designs for the continuation of the cloisters around this part of the Quadrangle but these were all deferred for lack of finance.


stage 4
— Commencement of North, North-West and South-west ranges
Construction of the western side of the Quadrangle, c1925  Rear of the Organic Chemistry building

The view from Science Road of the early construction
work on the north and north-west sides of the
Quadrangle, c1921 -  the Organic Chemistry building
is on the right and the Great Hall (out of shot) is
on the left.

Rear of the Organic Chemistry Building
with the area in the foreground
under construction. Science Road
and the Botany building are to the right,
photo G3_224_MF374_0244_a, University Archives


— Wilkinson's work viewed from Science Road:
 Construction of the Administration wing in 1923.  View of the completed building from Science Road

The view from Science Road of
the north wing (for Administration)
of the Quadrangle under construction,
with the Great Hall on the left and
linking with the Organic Chemistry building,
which was being remodelled, on the right.

View of the completed building
from Science Road in 1924,
photo G3_224_MF374_0142, University Archives.

  The view up Science Road in c1924.  View down Science Road in 1924.

 The view up Science Road in c1924,
with the north-west range on the right,
photo G3_224_MF374_0100, University Archives.

The view down Science Road in June 1924,
with the north-west range on the left,
photo G3_224_MF374_0123, University Archives.

 The view today of the North range  Organic Chemistry

A view today of the North range from
Science Road looking towards
the Great Hall,
 photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

The Organic Chemistry sign on the rear entrance to
the Quadrangle from Science Road -
a reminder that this wing housed Organic Chemistry
until the late 1950s when it was remodelled
for Administration,
  photo, courtesy University Secretariat.


— Wilkinson's work viewed from inside the Quadrangle
  Construction of the north-western and north ranges of the Quadrangle in 1924.   Construction of the north-western and north ranges in 1924.

Construction of the north-western and
north ranges of the Quadrangle in 1924,
photo G3_224_MF374_0131,
University Archives.

 1924 photo G3_224_MF374_0129,
University Archives.

 
Construction of the north-western and north ranges in 1924.
  Construction of the north-western and north ranges in 1924,

  1924 photo G3_224_MF374_0128,
University Archives.

  1924 photo G3_224_MF374_0130,
University Archives.


 View today of Wilkinson's south-west and north-west ranges and the completed Western Tower which he began. View today of the north-western and north ranges joining the rear of the Great Hall. 

The view today of Wilkinson's south-west and
north-west ranges and the completed Western
Tower in the centre, which he began,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

The view today of the north-western and north
ranges joining the rear of the Great Hall,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

 View of the dormer windows on the north-west and north ranges.  View of the entrance to the north range from War Memorial Archway, with the date "1924" above.

View of the dormer windows on the north-west
and north ranges,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.

View of the entrance to the north range
from the War Memorial Archway,
with the date "1924" above,
photo, courtesy University Secretariat.



The Vice-Chancellor's courtyard, 1927

Architect: Professor Leslie Wilkinson, University Architect, in association with Professor Eben Gowrie Waterhouse
Style: The walls enclosing the Courtyard were finished in plain cream stucco in the Mediterranean style.


The Vice-Chancellor’s courtyard was completed in 1927 after the North and West wings were constructed. The space created by Leslie Wilkinson was landscaped by Professor Eben Gowrie Waterhouse.

View images and information about the Vice-Chancellor's courtyard.
Read about Professor Waterhouse.

The Vice-Chancellor's Courtyard before work was carried out 

Early 1920s view of what was to become
the Vice-Chancellor's Courtyard -
between the Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre
(on far left) and the Organic Chemistry building (right)
- just a space with a shed and trees -
as work was being carried out
constructing the North-west range.



The grounds inside the Quadrangle, c1928

Architect: Professor Leslie Wilkinson, University Architect, in association with Professor Eben Gowrie Waterhouse

By 1928 the Quadrangle had been levelled, the four lawns laid down to turf and the central pathways laid with flagstones. The work was carried out under the guidance of Professor Waterhouse who was also responsible for planting the jacaranda tree in the south-west corner of the Quadrangle.

Much of this work was prompted by the poor state of University grounds and by the proposed visit of the Duke of York in 1927. Funding came from the 75th anniversary appeal.

View images and description of University grounds before this work was carried out.
View images and information about the jacarandah tree.


The War Memorial Carillon, 1928

Designed by: Dr J J C Bradfield and architect B J Waterhouse

In the 1920s an appeal had been launched for a War Memorial Carillon. The War Memorial Carillon was installed in the Clock Tower and inaugurated on Anzac Day 1928.

View more images and information about the Carillon.

Bell at door 

 The bells were raised into the Tower
with human power.



View the other stages


View Stage 1: 1854 - 1862
View Stage 2: 1901 - 1909
View Stage 3: 1913 - c1920
View Stage 5: 1950s
View Stage 6: 1960s