A major redevelopment of the leading institution in the country for physics research and its applications.

The new ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering will combine administrative and teaching spaces, a 250 seats auditorium, boardroom and seminar areas, with critical laboratory spaces including stable labs, specialist equipment rooms, clean rooms, and microscope rooms. The building will also incorporate seismic restraints and vibration protection technology to maintain the integrity of the building and the critical work of its occupants.


Featuring high-performance lab space, the purpose-built facility will support world-leading research into physics, including stable labs of high vibration and acoustic and EMF isolation. As the ground floor labs have the highest vibration level, the isolation rating targets VC-F and level 3 labs VC-C. Other features include:

  • Isolation cores with electron microscopes on suspended structures
  • Ballroom Cleanroom of ISO 5 and ISO 6 level of clean complete with adjoining Sub-Fab below and a suite of ISO 7 cleanrooms

The vibration requirements for the project needed a collaborative approach between TTW, Acoustic studio and the Geotechnical engineer. TTW provides vibration analysis using vibration sources as diverse as Parkes Way vehicle traffic, lifts in adjacent buildings, mechanical plant and footfall on building slabs. The final solution will balance structural damping, isolation from the source and isolation at the source where possible.


The workspace atrium circulation is provided by double cantilevered Cross Laminated Timber stairs. All fixings and structural steel were required to be non-ferric austenitic stainless steels to meet EMF requirements.

The coordination and fine-tuning of multiple façade types and materials with the rest of the highly functional and architecturally challenging spaces building was the main challenge from a design perspective for our Façade team.

Accordingly, our Façade engineers incorporated unique and challenging features in this project, including:

  • 3D self-supporting wave-shaped perforated aluminium screens.
  • Slim and tall individually unique double skin aluminium fins, integrated with the curtain walls.
  • High performance unitized curtain walls with Insulated glass panels.
  • 12m high single span facades.
  • Thermally broken window walls.
  • Internal timber facades.

Client: Australian National University

Architect: Hassell

Builder: Hindmarsh

Value: $193M (stage 1)

Completion: 2023

Images: © John Gollings

Sector: Universities, Research

Services: Timber, Structural, Civil, Facade