12 Aralık 2008 Cuma

SİMPSON HOTELS-Boutique Hotel Sydney

Located one mile from the Sydney CBD, the building was erected in 1892 and is very relevant to the English Queen Anne style and Arts and Crafts Movement of that period, typified by its many nooks and crannies, and use of red brick and moulded timber as distinct features. It was designed by renowned Victorian Architect John Bede Barlow, who also designed similar houses, ‘Keadue’ in nearby Elizabeth Bay Road and ‘St Kevins’ in Queen Street, Woollahra at the same time, as well as "St Canice's" Catholic Church in Elizabeth Bay. The other Barlow houses are still standing in excellent condition.Simpsons was originally known as ‘Killountan’ and actually consists of two adjoining buildings – the main house at the front and a servants’ wing at the rear. The rear wing originally had kitchens and service areas on the ground floor and staff rooms on the first floor above with an internal servants staircase, no longer in existence. Photos of the original owners can be seen in the front sitting room, together with pictures of the property taken about 1900.
During the 1920’s the property was divided into six apartments. The internal grand staircase was removed and access to the first floor obtained by an external concrete staircase crammed onto one side of the building. Many internal hallway arches were bricked in, and many of the original mouldings destroyed. The original entrance porch was removed and replaced by a bathroom. Fortunately most of the original stained glass windows survived intact and undamaged.

The Restoration
1987 saw the start of a new era for the property, as a year's restoration was commenced with the approval of the State Heritage Council. The unsympathetic additions of the 1920’s and a 1950’s garage were demolished. The wooden columns of the original entrance were located and the entrance porch was recreated as it was originally, using contemporary photos. A new internal staircase in heritage style was installed. Missing mouldings were replaced, and a whole new floor was constructed in the attic in an identical manner to that of its sister property at Woollahra. New features such as the en-suite bathrooms were added without spoiling the style of the original building, and the décor is a reflection of Australian motifs of the 1890’s. The rooms and halls feature paintings of Australian flora painted by noted artist Ellis Rowan during the late 1800’s.
The conservatory at the rear of the building was erected from the former rear garden. The property is listed by the National Trust of Australia as a Heritage building, and is the one of the very few privately owned, free-standing mansions of its era in the Potts Point area .

John Bede Barlow was an important turn of the century Australian architect. In 1893 his name appeared internationally in the “Annual Architectural Review”, along with an illustration of “Killountan” (now "Simpsons of Potts Point"). The first mention of the property can be found in the June 1893 edition of "Australian Builders and Contractors News" and it features in the contemporary publication "Beautiful Homes of Australia in the Edwardian Age".Design and construction techniques employed by Barlow, including cavity wall construction and an open plan interior, are now recognised as being avant-garde for that period. Barlow was noted for his revolt against Victorian ornamentation. Barlow pleaded for intelligent use of colour and light in architecture, pointing out that natural materials are colourful and interesting. Victorian suburbia gave him “…indigestion, with it’s interminable rows of terraces with their hideous iron balconies and preposterous parapets … pitiful in their vulgarity, dispiriting, dyspeptic, hopeless”.
“Killountan” proved Barlow’s belief that beauty and grace can be accomplished in a building through intelligent use of natural materials and light without having to resort to gaudy ornamentation. Barlow designed the house for his cousin, The Hon John Lane Mullins MA MLC, solicitor, and treasurer of the Roman Catholic Church, and patron of the burgeoning arts and crafts movement at the time. The interior of the building was influenced by this movement which stressed the beauty of native flora and fauna, and the present owners have restored the interior in the same spirit.

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