The nearly two-decade long creation of the medical/health research precinct at the University of Melbourne in the 1950s and 1960s transformed a previously unused part of the Parkville campus into a showpiece of modernist planning and architecture. This paper outlines the strategic colocation of a series of high-rise slabs containing laboratories and teaching spaces that marched along Royal Parade directly across the road from Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Dental Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. In a program that was as much about updating old facilities as it was about positioning the university as a leading research institution – led by a group of ambitious and politically powerful medical academics and researchers - the design and planning of these buildings by a brace of Melbourne’s leading architecture firms signalled the University’s complete reshaping of its campus: away from an inward, cloistered park-like estate to one that exuded modernity, efficiency and direct engagement with the city.
The author 2018
Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2018