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Chemistry Building, University of Melbourne facts for kids

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Chemistry Building
University of Melbourne Chemistry School Building - Entrance View (from North).jpg
Chemistry Building, entrance viewed from the north, May 2013
Alternative names
  • School of Chemistry Building
  • Building 134
General information
Status Complete
Type Academic administration
Architectural style
  • Collegiate Gothic style
  • Victorian Academic Gothic
Location Masson Road, The University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Country Australia
Coordinates 37°47′53″S 144°57′43″E / 37.79806°S 144.96194°E / -37.79806; 144.96194
Completed 1938
Owner The University of Melbourne
Technical details
Material Cream brickwork
Floor count 2
Design and construction
Architect Percy Edgar Everett
Official name: Chemistry Building - University Of Melbourne
Type State heritage (built)
Designated 5 August 1996
Reference no. 65073
Significance National Trust

The Chemistry Building is a university teaching facility used by the University's School of Chemistry, located at Masson Road, The University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The building was designed by Percy Edgar Everett, who at the time was employed by the Victorian Public Works Department. It was built in 1938 at a time of major expansion at the University through the 1920s and 1930s.

The building is best described as a modernist, inter-war, gothic architecture, and due to this it has been deemed to be of state historical and architectural significance on the National Trust register.


The Chemistry Building is a distinctive modern interpretation of a Collegiate Gothic style. Its most notable features, which are stylistic of the inter-war period, are the cream brickwork, bold massing and highly detailed tower decoration. In recent years the Chemistry Building had interior redevelopments to bring the outdated technology and amenities up to the standard required for modern chemistry research.

Key influence and design approach

During the 1930s when the building was constructed, Melbourne University placed a lot of importance on the opinions of experts such as chemists. For this reason, Ernst Johannes Hartung, a professor of chemistry at the time, designed most of the interior of the building to suit the specific requirements of chemistry research.

The Masson Theatre in the chemistry school has a heritage listing despite losing its impressive two-storey high rolling blackboards and theatre-wide front rostrum in the late 1980s. It has undergone a recent renovation addressing safety concerns but preserving the remaining character.


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