1963 ANU COUNCIL ROOM TABLES AND CHAIRS (Mills room, 4Th floor Chancelry)

When Fred Ward retired from ANU in 1961 I had the responsibility of designing all the furniture for The Chancelry which housed the senior administrators of the ANU.

The R.C. Mills Room (Council Room) is on the top 4th floor and a table was required which could be adjusted to seat up to 44 members of Council and various sized committees with surrounding bench seating for observers and advisers.

Ash trays (for cigars, have now disappeared) were made by Les Blakebrough at Sturt, name holders, ANU Arms, audio-visual stand, armchairs on castors, electrically operated curtains, button warning system to advisers at Secretary’s seat to certain admin. rooms on floor below, the carpet design etc were all integrally designed by DFW.

A suitable ceramic by Peter Travis was purchased for bench behind VC’s seat (not shown).

The very large fixed table was designed in sections and made by Kees Westra in Fyshwick for $4600 and the chairs were made by Edward Hill in Sydney. At the time it was the largest table in the ACT (and perhaps still is). It has sand blasted brass coated steel frames with black bean trimming. It all went in without a hitch – with a sigh of relief.

The bronze ANU Arms are fixed to a moveable padded box in front of the VC’s chair which, when pulled out into the centre of the space, serves as a projection stand for the slide projector to show relevant images onto the screen on the back wall, opposite the VC and also as a base for architectural models – now virtually redundant by technology!

The carpet was a special loop Brussels pile with a special colour/pattern mix for the Chancelry designed by me in Brussels loop/cut weave 80/20 wool nylon which lasted for well over 40 years after much testing by our wear-testing machine at ANU Design Unit.


The table legs were rigidly fixed to the floor.


 This view shows the adjustable end of the Council table, the two loose tables seen at the end can be positioned anywhere down the long sides to form an appropriately committee sized group. This enables any size of meeting to remain cohesive and as small as possible although there is a sound reinforcement system installed to ensure good acoustic conditions.

The two central panels fold out to reveal the map of the ANU campus to assist location of any item under discussion. All panels are pinnable surfaces for drawings which often covered the whole viewable area.

The room is acoustically excellent, having sat through many meetings with no trouble.

The table and chairs were designed by DFW and made and installed by Kees Westra. The chairs were made by Edward Hill, Sydney on Bendix bases.