Orwell & Peter Phillips Architects
Orwell & Peter Phillips has been active in the conservation of historic buildings and sites in New South Wales since the 1950s. The practice has over 50 years of experience in the conservation of some of the best known places in Sydney including the Justice & Police Museum and the Sydney Customs House at Circular Quay, the Great Synagogue in Elizabeth Street, and the historic houses of Millers Point.
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Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, 2005
The project involved the design of a coordinated suite of furniture and building services to provide facilities for reception, merchandise and brochure display, sales, temporary cloaking, and essential fire and security services, all within the entrance porch of Edmund Blacket’s Police Court building, completed in 1856. The client, the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, required the new elements to be of recognisably modern design while respecting their historic setting. The project successfully integrates new elements into a significant interior without diminishing the visual qualities of the original space or damaging its fabric, and has greatly improved the appearance and functionality of the Museum entrance within a very limited budget. Photographs by Chris Bennett Photography.
Great Synagogue conservation
The Great Synagogue, Sydney, consecrated in 1878, is the earliest synagogue in New South Wales still in use. It is also one of the best examples of High Victorian architecture in Sydney, with the remarkable richness and originality of its decoration in carved sandstone and timber, moulded plaster, metalwork, glass and tiling, Orwell & Peter Phillips have directed a series of conservation projects at the Synagogue since the 1980s, including two campaigns of sandstone conservation (1987 and 2000), internal redecoration (2005), conservation of gasoliers (2007) and conservation of tiled floors (2010). Photograph of ceiling part of archival record by Chris Bennett Photography.
Conservation of timber platform building
Homebush Railway Station, 2008
Homebush Railway Station, once the western terminus of the inner suburban system, contains an important group of railway structures from the late 19th century. The timber building on Platform 5/6 is one of the most intact surviving elements of the 1982 station. Originally designed as an office and waiting room, later adated as a signals room and now disused and badly damaged by termites, it was to be converted for use by train crews as part of the Rail Clearways program. The brief required archival recording of the existing building, followed by documentation and oversight of the conservation works. The finished building, apparently little changed despite the extent of work, exemplifies the Burra Charter principle “as much as necessary, as little as possible”.