Architecture - Sydney - Travel | Monocle


Sydney Town Hall, CBD

If you are meeting someone in town, the steps of the Sydney Town Hall are a good place to rendezvous. Inspired by the baroque revival-style Hôtel de Ville in Paris, Sydney’s Town Hall was started by Tasmanian architect JH Willson in 1868 and constructed over a 21-year period from sandstone quarried in nearby Pyrmont. The building still houses the city council. In recent years the basement spaces have been transformed into pop-up bars and rooms to serve various Sydney festivals.

483 George Street, 2000
+61 (0)2 9265 9189

Rose Seidler House, Wahroonga

One of the first tasks that Austrian-born modernist architect Harry Seidler took to after arriving in Australia in 1950 was building a house for his mother in Wahroonga, 25km north of the city. Its location – in the centre of the plot of land rather than at the front – was the antithesis of suburban architecture. So too was the design: the structure features a terrace and a two-storey well that lets in light. The furnishings are reason enough to side with those who say it’s the finest postwar residential building in public ownership in Australia. The house is open on Sundays from 10.00 to 16.00.

71 Clissold Road, 2076
+61 (0)2 9989 8020

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks

Perched prettily next to a park on Circular Quay, the former Marine Services Bureau building is today better known as the MCA. The five-storey structure, clad in sandstone quarried from Maroubra, was designed by architects WH Withers and WDH Baxter in the 1940s but war delayed its opening until 1952. When the University of Sydney acquired the building in 1989, two floors were opened as galleries to form the cultural powerhouse it is today. 

In the years since, the site has undergone extensive renovations by Sydney-based architect Sam Marshall, including the addition of a wing and striking public spaces. Grand hospitality rooms, such as Foundation Hall with its marble columns and art deco finishes, are dotted throughout.

140 George Street, 2000
+61 (0)2 9245 2400

Images: Katie Kaars

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