“And so to build” chronicling construction at ANU

Marnie Hughes Warrington is the Pepys of ANU (but without plague or prurience) chronicling the rebuilding of the campus in her blog of university life. The project is now at the sharp end where the gentle elegance of design is replaced by the brute force of demolition. And DVC HW revels in the prose of the weekly guide to what is coming down; “think Northern Territory News without the crocodiles,” she writes.

So that’s four buildings to go, with asbestos safely removed and useful materials recycled so that six new ones are created – of a quality and condition some at ANU have never known. “Some people may think that university campuses flow with rivers of gold, but the shabby truth is that many staff and students try to work and to study at their best in buildings that weren’t even chic in the 1970s,” she writes.

But her message is a bigger one; when talking to staff call a spade “a 600 kg front loader.” “If you have a simple, blunt account of what to expect, chances are that it won’t be quite as bad as you imagined it to be without that information,” she suggests. Now there’s a message to convey via sedan chair to HR directors across the country with restructures to announce.