Drill Hall Gallery refurbishment

ClientAustralian National University (ANU)

LocationANU Campus, Acton

The Drill Hall Gallery is a Heritage listed building located on the eastern side of the ANU Campus. It has for a number of years functioned as an Art Gallery, although it was originally set up as a training centre for soldiers prior to their active deployment to WW2 campaign theatres. Following the cessation of hostilities, the Drill Hall served as a general purpose space including as a Food Cooperative.

The Gallery has its own collection of art works, but also features exhibits loaned by other Galleries, particularly the Australian National Gallery. Concern that the environmental conditions in the Drill Hall Gallery did not meet the exacting standards required to preserve high value artworks, the ANU commissioned refurbishment works to upgrade the air conditioning system and address deficiencies in the building fabric. The refurbishment also upgraded the display spaces within the Gallery including the construction of a curved hanging wall located in Gallery 2 for the display of Sydney Nolan’s ‘River Bend’.

The new Mechanical Services were designed to provide high standard environmental conditioning (specifically temperature and humidity) to all four galleries, within the tight tolerances necessary to meet exacting gallery standards. Changes to the building fabric, which was extremely porous, were undertaken so as to encapsulate the Galleries and create vapour and thermal barriers designed to maintain the stability of the environment in the galleries.


  • Australian Institute of Building [ACT]  |  2017  |  Interior Construction category  |  Winner
  • Australian Institute of Building [National]  |  2017  |  Interior Construction category  |  High Commendation