The Roundhouse, as one of UNSW Sydney's earliest buildings, was constructed in 1961. It was designed by the office of the NSW Government Architect, with Joseph W. van der Steen as Project Architect; and Edwards, Madigan, Torzillo, Briggs Architects. It was considered a cutting-edge architectural statement as Sydney’s first-ever circular building, and one of the only buildings solely dedicated to student recreation on a university campus in NSW.
Since its opening, nearly 60 years ago, the Roundhouse has hosted a diverse range of events including wedding receptions, comedy nights, theatre sports, formal dinners and more. With a capacity of 2,200 patrons, it remains one of the few venues in Sydney suitable for international live music performances.
Today, the Roundhouse provides a venue for concerts, events, conferences, seminars, box office, merchandise, and food services. It is a focal point in UNSW Sydney's social and cultural experience with a permanent bar and beer garden, and a secondary private bar area.
After more than 50 years of use, the vision was to refurbish the entertainment venue to prepare it for the next 50 years. The refurbishment involved installing new engineering services, new energy-efficient exterior lighting, and a refurbishment to the interiors that would respect the heritage of the building while adding new functionality.
As the Roundhouse is a key landmark within the lower campus of the University, the surrounding landscape was also improved with the addition of several fresh, new, green connections to Anzac Parade, the L3 Kingsford light rail stop, and the broader campus.