The major aesthetic terminal to the western end of University Avenue is Bruce Hall and a potential meeting place for students.
Daley Rd. ran at right angles to University Ave (just above the water wall) but was disconnected from Univ. Ave. during the Simpson re-plan in the 1960s and it was felt that an appropriate visual terminal to the avenue of trees was needed; one that did not compete with Bruce Hall and its forecourt sculpture. The Black ducks love it.
University Ave was an important axis of the Griffin plan for Canberra and has been retained as a major pedestrian plaza for the ANU ever since. It emphasises the natural aspects of the area and quietly terminates the view.
It was designed by Derek Wrigley as University Architect sometime in the early 1970s.
The water is recycled of course but the pumps don’t run all the time – they should have had a solar array to provide the energy but funds couldn’t stretch to it – it would have paid for itself many times over by now. Accountants however, seem to be more concerned with initial capital cost and tend to forget running costs or leave the worry to their successors.
While falling water is the main attraction in this piece of landscape design it was designed to be attractive as a sculptural element when dry, serving as a quiet base on which Bruce Hall can ‘sit’ comfortably without being too much of an attraction.