Coombs Building Refurbishment Project

01 May 2018

The Coombs Building Refurbishment Project is a major infrastructure project designed to transform teaching and working spaces at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Project Information


The Project will commence in July 2018 and is expected to take between two and three years to complete. It will be conducted in stages with the South Hexagon first, followed by the Centre and North Hexagons.

Key Changes

The Project has been designed to maintain the heritage of the Coombs Building while ensuring critical changes are made to teaching and working spaces. These include:

  • Upgraded Student Centre
  • Upgraded entrance and foyer
  • Upgraded tearoom with catering kitchen
  • New common facilities including kitchens
  • Upgraded and co-located teaching spaces 
  • Increased shared working spaces including meeting rooms and breakout areas
  • Improved temperature management including new insulation, double glazed windows and ceiling fans
  • Enhanced exterior including new shutters and some balcony refurbishment
  • Improved internal and external accessibility
  • Improved signage and wayfinding.
  • New prayer room
  • New family room
  • New maps storage facility

A number of changes are not possible as part of the Project, including:

  • Upgrades to Coombs Lecture Theatre as critical teaching spaces are required to remain unchanged while the Union Court redevelopment is underway
  • Upgrades to shared spaces outside Coombs Building as this would impact access to Coombs Lecture Theatre 
  • Air conditioning in offices as there is insufficient electrical supply to the Coombs Building
  • Upgrades to bathrooms as most were recently refurbished.
  • Wet lab in CHL due to new labs being built in CASS

Staff Relocation

It is expected there will be some disruption to working spaces across the College and most staff will be required to relocate to alternative space at least once throughout the life of the Project.

Staff in the South Hexagon of the Coombs Building will be required to relocate first in June 2018. This is expected to include staff in:

  • Education Services team
  • Facilities Services team
  • Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
  • Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • Department of Pacific Affairs
  • School of Culture, History and Language.

Staff will be relocated to both single offices and shared working spaces and it is expected that most staff will be relocated for a period of 10 – 12 months.

Due to changes happening across the Coombs Building as part of the Project, it has not yet been determined where staff will be permanently located upon completion of the refurbishment. Staff should not assume that they will return to their original working spaces.

Project Management

The Project is being managed by ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Facilities and Services Team in partnership with the contracted architect and builder and ANU Facilities and Services Division.


We will continue to update the website as the Project progresses. Stay tuned for updates including photos of the transformation as it happens

For more information about the Project contact ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Facilities and Services Team at

Your patience, goodwill and understanding whilst this Project unfolds is so appreciated.





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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team