The University of Melbourne’s Old Quadrangle building has come to life once again following a two-year reconstruction of the north wing. It was opened by the Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau.
The oldest building on the Parkville campus, the Old Quad has sustained the University’s growth over more than 160 years and adapted throughout this time as a place for both students and professors.
It has been restored to its former glory once again to affirm its place as the key cultural, civic and ceremonial heart of the University.
A stunning stained-glass work comprising of two screens measuring over four metres in length and five metres in height, created by artist Tom Nicholson and stained-glass artisan Geoffrey Wallace, will welcome guests who enter through the new northern entrance.
The Old Quad will provide a vibrant and welcoming campus experience and will be home to a plethora of events, including public lectures, seminars, performances and ceremonies, as well as contemporary art exhibitions and displays celebrating the University’s Cultural Collections.
The inaugural exhibition, Ancestral Memory from Indigenous artist and curator Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti, Wemba Wemba, Yorta Yorta and Boon Wurrung), uses a contemporary lens to examine the history of the lands of the Kulin Nation on which the Old Quad was built and through the metaphor of the eel, reflects on the resilience of Indigenous culture.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said the Old Quad will once again take its place as the beating heart of the University.
“The Old Quad is a beautiful building and a significant heritage landmark within our great university. Its foundation stone was laid on the same day as that of the State Library, and its reopening represents an important cultural moment for the University but also for the city, and perhaps for Australia,” Professor Maskell said.
“The Old Quad has a long history at the heart of the university as a central place for ceremonial activities, public lectures and cultural engagement, being open to students, staff and the community. Through this redevelopment we are celebrating this history and look forward to the next chapter in the future of the Old Quad and the University.”
The Old Quad will be open to the public from Monday 6 May 2019, 10am to 4pm weekdays.