University of Sydney: Fisher Library terrace to reopen after more than 30 years

For the first time in more than 30 years, the University of Sydney will reopen the Fisher Library rooftop terrace to students, staff and other library users.

The terrace, which offers sweeping views across campus and the city, was an integral feature of the original design when Fisher Library opened in 1963. Access was later restricted because the rooftop space was no longer compliant with Australian building and safety regulations.

Earlier this year, a campaign led by student newspaper Honi Soit revived interest in reopening the terrace. The campaign prompted the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott, to visit the rooftop with University Librarian Philip Kent.

The Vice-Chancellor lent his support to the library’s proposed redevelopment of the terrace. Construction work to make it safe and accessible to everyone is scheduled to begin later this year.

A black-and-white photograph of people sitting on a rooftop terrace with views of a sandstone clocktower.
Fisher Library terrace in the 1960s.

“I remember the Fisher Library terrace from my student days,” said Professor Scott. “It was a great place to take a break from study, read or catch up with friends. I thank Honi for reintroducing me to this special place on campus. I’m delighted that we’ll be reopening it for today’s students.

“We all know that university life is about so much more than what you learn in a classroom. The Fisher Library terrace will be a place to socialise, think and relax. It will make an important contribution to our community.

“Our first priority is to get the terrace in shape for students to be able to use it again. Down the track, it would be wonderful to be able to use it as an event space for our University community from time to time.”


The design of the redeveloped terrace is yet to be finalised but refurbishment will likely involve repairs to the roof and changes to meet current building codes, as well as the installation of ramp access, shade, outdoor furniture and plants. The refurbished terrace will be accessed from the fifth floor of the library.

“We can’t wait to welcome staff and students back to the rooftop terrace,” said University Librarian Philip Kent. “The timing is yet to be finalised but we are working towards a plan to reopen in 2023.

“The library is such an important part of the University experience. We are here to help students with their studies, but we also want to enhance student life and wellbeing by providing inspirational communal spaces and amenities.”

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