UNSW shines with refurbished Clancy Auditorium foyer

The Sir John Clancy Auditorium entrance foyer has been transformed with an extension, an upgrade, a refurbishment and the introduction of new shingles. 


The shining feature of the new space is the new entrance canopy with golden copper shingles lining the north, east and west sides of the foyer.

The shingles reflect the sun during the day and warm lighting in the evening providing an inviting glow that activates the upper campus.  

The main entrance foyer has been extended and upgraded with a new polished concrete bar, box office, plush new carpet and soft furnishings.


To the west, an expanded green room will give a better experience to performers and special guests preparing for events.

The refurbishment also included improving amenities including the addition of three new accessible toilets and new hearing loops. 

The Mona Hessing artwork is key feature of the foyer; the 21-metre colourful tapestry hanging aloft when you walk in is woven with a range of hand-weaving and knotting techniques.


The piece, which has been displayed in the foyer since 1971, was carefully restored and cleaned during its time off. 

Architect Annabel Lahz used rich blues, greens and pinks in the carpet and soft furnishings to complement the warm yellow, oranges and purples which hark bark to the colours in the Hessing artwork above. 

Executive Director (Acting) of Estate Management, Sancha Cromie said: “This refurbishment, managed by Estate Management, has created a place fit to congratulate our graduates and welcome visitors to UNSW for our fantastic events.

"The Clancy Auditorium makes an incredible centrepiece for the upper campus arrival experience,” she said.  


UNSW Centre for Ideas host numerous thought-provoking program of events and digital content from the globe's leading thinkers and many of these events are held in the Clancy Auditorium. 

In 2019, the Centre for Ideas has welcomed international guests to the stage including Daniel Dennett, Jelani Cobb and William Dalrymple. 

Director of UNSW Centre for Ideas, Ann Mossop said: “I am so pleased that the University has a new front door."

"Architects Lahz Nimmo have done a fantastic job of bringing the Clancy building back to life and making it a wonderful public space. I look forward to using it whenever we can for big events,” she said.