2017 Buildings


St Lucia / Toowong / Paddington UQ Forgan Smith Building



Forgan Smith (Building 1) University of Queensland, St Lucia


SUNDAY // 10am to 3pm Guided tours


Hennessy Hennessy & Co: 1938 // BVN: 2016

Year Built

1938-1952: Original building // 2016: Refurbishment

Image credits: Christopher Frederick Jones

For over 70 years, the Forgan Smith building has been the visual centrepiece of the University of Queensland. Presiding over the Great Court, there are few 1930s-era buildings of its equal in Australia, and none at any other Australian university.

Not just a pretty face, the Forgan Smith building had an interesting beginning when World War II intervened in its completion in 1939. Requisitioned in 1942 by the Australian Army, it served as an Advanced Land Headquarters for Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander in Chief of the Australian Military Forces and Commander of Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.

The Forgan Smith building was finally completed and officially opened in 1949 as home to UQ's TC Beirne School of Law, where it has nurtured some of Australia's most influential legal professionals, politicians and international business leaders.

In recent years, its interior has struggled to meet the evolving needs of a law school ranked among the top 50 in the world. With modern teaching moving away from books, blackboards and stilted classroom environments to a more connected and interactive experience, it was time for a re-imagination to ensure UQ's law students continue to receive a world-class education.

Work on the dramatic re-modelling of the internal space, which was supported by University capital works funding and philanthropic donations, was completed in January 2017 and has not affected the beautiful and historic sandstone facade.

The building now houses all the Law School, including all staff, and the Law Library, with spaces designed for contemporary legal teaching and collaboration.


  • 2017 AIA Regional Architecture Awards - Commendation Educational Architecture

  • 2017 AIA Regional Architecture Awards - Commendation Interior Architecture

  • 2017 QLD Architecture Awards - Interior Architecture

  • 2017 QLD Architecture Awards - Educational Architecture


On weekends, public holidays, and special university holidays (such as between Christmas and New Year) parking is free in all casual and permit parking areas. 

Check out this link which shows availability of parking in real time for visitors.

There is also an app to navigate around campus called UQ Nav which may help.

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Sunday Tour Times

Guided tours hourly from 10am

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