Level 2 & 3, John Medley Building Refurbishment

Level 2 & 3, John Medley Building Refurbishment

Designed by Roy Grounds in 1969, the University of Melbourne’s John Medley building is well known for its twin seven storey wings and distinctive arched link, together with its role as the home to the Faculty of Arts over many years. While sitting firmly in the hearts and minds of many staff and students, it’s interiors were run down, the lack of air-conditioning was no longer tolerable and the faculty desired to shift away from closed singular cellular offices to a more flowing and transparent workplace arrangement.

In close consultation with the University, Architectus created a masterplan for a series of staged refurbishments and the first stage has delivered the School of Culture and Communication an open plan work area that supports small group teaching, two single person offices, reception, and library/meeting room. The new works on Level 2 consist of a new open reception area, some minor office refurbishments and a complete reimagining of the Level 2 bridge link connecting the east and west wings.

The challenge for these works has been how to retain and enhance the original architectural character of the building while developing contemporary work and study spaces that reflect the School’s status as a thriving research centre for critical thinking in the humanities. The new design thus builds upon the Sir Roy Grounds palette whilst injecting a sense of contemporary vibrancy and delight. In 2018 a student led research activity posted on Unimelb Adventures, the linkway was voted the University’s ‘most scientifically optimal’ study space with an approval rating of 86%.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

University of Melbourne
Parkville, Victoria
Floor area
120 m² (Stage 1) 410m² (Stage 2)
March 2015 (Stage 1) February 2016 (Stage 2)
Original value
$274,000 (Stage 1) $720,000 (Stage 2)
Ruth Wilson

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