university of nsw part 1

University of NSW was officially founded in 1949, but can trace its origins back to the Sydney Mechanics Institute in 1843 and the Sydney Technical College. It was originally known as NSW University of Technology.

Its main campus is in Kensington, where it takes up the entire block between Anzac Parade and the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.

UNSW archives tell me that when the university was founded, classes were still being held at the Sydney Technical College buildings in Ultimo. The administration moved to the Kensington site in 1952 and some teaching commenced there in 1953, but it continued at Ultimo until the late 1960s.

From what I’ve read, it sounds like a lot of the early buildings have now been replaced, and the campus has been expanded considerably. But there was still a lot of the mid-20th Century architecture that I’m fond of to explore.

Here’s some random buildings that caught my eye.

New College, Anzac Parade
University Terraces
Warrane College, Anzac Parade
Morven Brown Building (opened 1966)
UNSW Global, Anzac Parade
School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications
UNSW Library
UNSW Library
Brick detail near Central Lecture Block
Morven Brown Car Park
Basser Steps

The Fig Tree Theatre (below) is one of the oldest buildings on the campus. It’s located on the lower part of the campus, which was originally the Kensington Racecourse. The site housed a military camp during the Boer War and World Wars I and II and later, a migrant hostel.

The theatre was built in 1948 as a recreation hall for the migrant hostel. NIDA used it as a theatre between 1963 and 1987, and it’s now a performance space for the university and the wider community.

Fig Tree Theatre (1948)

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