Sydney Architecture Images- Sydney University

Edward Ford Building

architect

Leslie Wilkinson with Public Works

location

Fisher Road

date

1930

style

Georgian style square headed windows that exemplify the typical Wilkinson Inter-War Mediterranean

construction

stuccoed brick

type

lecture rooms, offices
 
 
  Above- the Animal House
The establishment of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was an example of the Commonwealth government's increasing interest in using state universities for projects of interest at the national level. The building was a continuation of the style established in this area of the campus by Leslie Wilkinson with the physics building. Indicating the expansion of medical teaching at the University. Indicating on a global level, the spread of medical research facilities.

Following a recommendation in November 1925 by the Federal Royal Commission on Health that the Commonwealth provide a training school in health administration, a Conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers of Health recommended the establishment of a School of Preventive Medicine and Tropical Hygiene. On 15 November 1927 an agreement was made with the Commonwealth for such a facility to be located within the University, constructed and maintained by the Commonwealth with the University retaining control of all academic matters and ownership of the building. Details of the building, plans for which were prepared by the Commonwealth Department of Works in collaboration with the Department of Health from sketches drawn by the University's representative Professor Leslie Wilkinson, were presented to the Standing Committee on Public Works in 1928 and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was opened on 4 March 1930. The T-shaped building of rendered brick with stone detailing and a tower "to harmonise" was in the same style as Wilkinson's physics building. A plan for a three-stage extension of the School was drawn up in 1950 but the building was eventually substantially enlarged in one stage in 1952 by a new wing along Physics Road and enclosing the north side of the original building. An associated animal house (A27A) was built as a separate contract and was also enlarged in 1952. The School was renamed the Commonwealth Institute of Health in 1980. When the Institute was dismantled in 1987 the public health section joined the Medical Faculty's Department of Public Health. Photographs held in the Mitchell Library would indicate that Samuel Lipman was also involved in the design of the building.

Two storey eight bay rendered facade to Fisher Road with picturesquely displaced stone portico, portal and lantern; ie. 4 bays left and 3 right due to extension. 1957 additions as indicated on plan, more or less in the style of Wilkinson but detracting from it by excessive extension of the facade and mechanical and unrelieved repetition of simpler elements from Wilkinson's design. The original western terrace and pergola now much truncated to facilitate vehicle entry to new courtyard. Curtilage to be bounded by Fisher Road, Physics Road, the bottom of the embankment on the south side and a line coinciding with the east side of the Physics building on the west side. Interiors not inspected. The pergola at the rear appears to be part of the original building. It was intended to link this building with the Physics Building but has either been modified or was not built this way due to the change in level.

 

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