Designed by John Andrews in 1977, the Toad Hall student residences are located within the Australian National University campus off Kingsley Street, Acton. They are an important early Canberra example of student residences designed by an internationally acclaimed architect.
Toad Hall is a four storey building of simple face brick and concrete construction with a flat roof. An irregular, interlocking plan of bedrooms grouped around common rooms with separate access provides external aspects to all rooms and a clear delineation of public and private spaces.
The plan achieves horizontal circulation at each level without the use of long corridors. The layout can be compared to the University of Canberra student residences, also designed by John Andrews.
Toad Hall is one of the few examples of Andrews’ additive style of architecture, in which the basic building block (the student room) is grouped around shared facilities like petals around the stamen of a flower. In turn, these groupings are attached to stair towers like branches to the trunk of a tree and clustered together vertically over four floors and laterally along the banks of Sullivan’s Creek.
Toad Hall is listed on the ACT Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Register of Significant Twentieth Century Architecture. It is a good example of the late twentieth century late modern style, designed by an internationally acclaimed architect.
Sources and further reading
- Royal Australian Institute of Architects RSTCA Citation No. R65
- Andrew Metcalf, Canberra Architecture, Watermark Press, 2003
- Profile of John Andrews