Emmett Residence 2017

The townhouse at 22 Lower Fort Street is one of several properties owned by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation and leased to the client in 2011 as part of the NSW Government’s divestment of properties in Millers Point.

The original house consisted of a three-storey stone front section with an additional attic storey, and a two-storey brick rear section containing the kitchen and servants’ quarters. These were originally connected with a single storey link (probably a breezeway), which was replaced by a two-storey timber clad link in the late 19th century. Orwell & Peter Phillips was engaged to provide heritage and architectural services.

The client’s brief was to conserve the property and restore its original use as a single residence in accordance with the conservation management plan. The client sought to retain the original uses and built fabric of as many of the rooms as possible, while reconstructing missing details and providing additional bathroom facilities within the house. The main alteration to the exterior of the house was the removal and rebuilding of the link, as recommended in the conservation management plan. The design objectives were to reveal and interpret the original building, and to touch it as lightly as possible with new structure and services.

The house has been the subject of tours organised by Sydney Living Museums (for Sydney Open) and the National Trust of Australia (NSW). It was awarded a Commendation at the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) awards in 2018. The jury commented:

This project is a joyful combination of careful restoration, creating a number of exquisite spaces full of original features with rare Greek Revival influences, preservation of early decorative finishes including wall papers, interpretation of original colour schemes and whimsical modern interventions.

Photos provided by Chris Bennett Photography.

  • Peter Phillips
  • Suite 1504, 109 Pitt Street
    Sydney, NSW 2000
  • Tel 02 9221 8882
    Fax 02 9221 8887
    Email peter@opp.net.au