ANU opens new student accommodation building

Posted 23 Feb 2017

Story by Australian National University

Canberra has thousands of students from all over Australia and the world studying in its many institutions, across all sectors of education.

As Australia’s most educated city, every year Canberra welcomes returning and new students, knowing they will make a positive and real contribution to our city and community, and both their own and the ACT’s future success.

With the student community booming in Canberra, the Australian National University has officially opened its newest student accommodation.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt has officially opened the University’s new state-of-the-art student accommodation block, which is home to 500 students.


The $53 million SA5 building was designed in part by students and will be home to the Bruce Hall community for the next two years while their new residence is built.

The building will open to the wider student community in 2019.common areas throughout, and a rooftop courtyard with breathtaking views. Its unusual horseshoe shape is designed to encourage student interaction and make the most of the location.

“We’re standing on what is the new home for the Bruce community, while we work on the new permanent home for Bruce,” Professor Schmidt said.

“Each of these new residences help us deliver on our promise to provide all students who want to live on campus, the chance to do so.

“We also want our students to be living in accommodation that is both comfortable and state-of-the-art.

“And with some 500 students calling this new building home, we’re sure all of our new Bruce students will feel welcome and included as part of the ANU family.”

The opening was followed by an official signing of the Bruce Hall registry to commemorate the relocation of the Bruce community.


Executive Director of Planning and Administration, Chris Grange, said hundreds of people – including students and the student associations ANUSA and PARSA – worked to make the project a success.

He said students helped design the SA5 building and had input into the size and look of the rooms.

Bruce Hall Common Room Committee President Matthew Bowes said students were glad to take over the new building.

“I think even after only a few weeks we are starting to get a sense of this place – its intricacies, its peculiar features,” he said.

“I think we’re starting to make it ours, as it should be.”

The new students had already taken to the new building, filling it with their energy and stories, Matthew said.

“While the older residents… hung back, unsure of what these new corridors and shiny windows mean to them,” he said.

“Living in an unfamiliar space – seemingly a world away from that which we knew so well – takes its toll.

“In time I hope that we too will feel the welcoming embrace that I think many of our first-years have already felt. But if I have learnt anything from this experience, it’s that this takes time.”

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