The Shine Dome

Australian Academy of Science
15 Gordon Street
Acton Canberra


Aerial view of the Shine Dome


The Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome and its custom-designed furniture were created to reflect the inquiring and innovative nature of science. It was the first Canberra building to be added to the National Heritage List, for its historical and architectural significance.

A Canberra landmark since its construction in 1959, 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.

Over the decades, the Dome has captured imaginations and inspired the authorship of a number of memoirs. The book, ‘A big bold simple concept’, was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Dome's construction. It documents the design and construction of the Academy’s dome-shaped building in Canberra. In 1999, the Academy's first executive secretary, Jack Deeble, spoke with the late Professor Frank Fenner in 1999 about the design and construction of the Dome.

Sir Otto Frankel, who was on both the design and building committees for the Dome, wrote a personal memoir in 1970. The Dome also features in Sir Otto's biographical memoir about the Dome's architect, Sir Roy Grounds.

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Aerial view of the Shine Dome

Venue Guidelines 

  • Two disabled parking spaces are available within the Academy car park. Access can be can be granted by pressing the buzzer at the boom gate between the Ian Potter House and Shine Dome. For enquiries please contact the Shine Dome Events Manager at / T (02) 6201 9462
  • Wheelchair access is best through the main front doors
  • The disabled toilet is located where the ladies toilets are located (on the kitchen side of the Dome)
  • The best place within the theatre for a wheelchair to be located is stage right (enter on the side of the kitchen and toilets) 
  • Absolutely no food or drink (except bottled water) in the theatre
  • To exit the Dome through the doors near the kitchen/ladies toilets, guests need to press the large green button to the left of the door
  • Caution is to be used around the edges of the moat to avoid incidents
  • In the case of an emergency, all guests are to proceed to the nearest exit and assemble in the Academy car park


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