Point of Interest

The Shine Dome

Australia / The Pacific

The Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome and its custom-designed furniture were created to reflect the inquiring and innovative nature of science.  The dome and its walls are perched on 16 supports and dive down below its moat, giving the impression that it is floating.  It came about because the Australian Academy of Science needed a home.  The Dome was completed in 1959 and named Becker House after Sir Jack Ellerton Becker (1904-79), a major donor.  The foundation stone was laid by (Sir) Robert Menzies in 1958, and the finished building by the Governor-General, Sir William Slim, in 1959.  It was completely restored in 2000.

It was the first Canberra building to be added to the National Heritage List for its historical and architectural significance (in 2005). A Canberra landmark since its construction, the Shine Dome has received numerous awards and is one of seven projects the Royal Australian Institute of Architects has nominated to the World Register of Significant Twentieth Century Architecture.  While the exterior of this iconic building is easily accessible, currently the only way to experience the Shine Dome interior is to attend one of the talks in the Australian Academy of Science’s Public Speaker Series.  The Shine Dome can be hired out for events.

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