Architect John Horbury Hunt

NSW Architect John Horbury Hunt (1838 – December 30, 1904)

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John Horbury Hunt (1838 – December 30, 1904) was a Canadian-born architect who worked in Sydney, Australia and rural New South Wales from 1863.
external image jh.jpg

  • Museum of Sydney: – Radical architect: John Horbury Hunt‘Hunt brought about a revolution in Australian architecture and was responsible for some of its most powerful and austere landmarks, including the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Rose Bay, St Peter’s Cathedral and the well-known Booloominbah, both at Armidale, and Tivoli at Rose Bay. This ‘marine villa’ is still credited with the best gable in Australia. Hunt designEd and built cathedrals, churches, chapels, houses, homesteads, stables and schools’, said exhibition curator Joy Hughes
  • Hunt’s architecture was twenty years in advance of his peers, some of it unequalled in the world at that time, and sowed the seeds of modern architecture in Australia. Large or small, his buildings have a dramatic presence with their siting, asymmetrical balance, excellent brickwork and quality craftsmanship. Hunt was at the forefront of a worldwide movement where every brick and board was placed for a structural purpose, not for ornamentation.
  • One person who saw Hunt’s talent was a remarkable Belgian nun, the Reverend Mother Febronie Vercruysse, who brought the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart to Australia in 1881. She commissioned him to design their convent at Rose Bay. Its chapel is widely recognised as a masterpiece. The interior is structurally breathtaking. The stone vaulted roof was the first of its kind in Australia and has not been surpassed’, said Joy Hughes. – Radical architect: John Horbury Hunt
Superintendent’s Residence at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick

Probably his first building designed in Australia was the Superintendent’s Residence at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, designed in 1863.

St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Grafton NSW

A few years later he designed the Catherine Hayes Hospital, which was also built at the Prince of Wales Hospital, with the design modified by Thomas Rowe.

“(The) most accomplished Australian nineteenth century exponent of brickwork was John Horbury Hunt (1838 – 1904). His skill was exercised in small unpretentious churches like the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd at Kangaroo Valley (his first building in 1872) to large cathedrals like St. Peter’s at Armidale (1871 – 1897)”. – Australian Brickwork and Horbury Hunt.

Hunt’s distinctive, radical architecture was considered to be twenty years in advance of his peers, some of it unequalled in the world at that time, and sowed the seeds of some aspects of modern architecture in Australia.

  • It has been said that “Undoubtedly men such as Hunt… have, through their buildings and their ideas, stiffened the intellectual backbone of Australian architecture.”[2]
    The Highlands was completed in the 1890s as a private residence for Alfred Hordern.
    The Highlands was completed in the 1890s as a private residence for Alfred Hordern.
  • He was instrumental in bringing the North American Shingle Style to Australia.
  • The outstanding example of this style was Highlands, a two-storey home designed by Hunt and built for Alfred Hordern in 1891. Situated in Highlands Avenue, Wahroonga, Sydney, Highlands is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[3]
  • Another notable example is Pibrac, designed by Hunt for Frederick Ecclestone du Faur. Pibrac is also on the Register of the National Estate.[4]

    John Horbury Hunt From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

Notable buildings

from Wikipedia’s list of Australian Architects

Houses of John Horbury Hunt
“Tivoli” – Kambala, Rose Bay


Tivoli” – Kambala, Rose Bay

William Damaresq House, Rose Bay.jpg
“Tivoli” of the original Tivoli Estate was built in 1841, now occupied by Kambala school

  • The school was established in 1887 by Louisa Gurney, the daughter of an English clergyman. Gurney conducted her first classes with twelve girls at a terrace house in Woolahra called ‘Fernbank’.
  • In 1891, Mlle Augustine Soubeiran, who had assisted in the running of the school and taught French, became Co-Principal and to accommodate increasing enrolments, the School was moved to a larger property in Bellevue Hill called Kambala, of which the school took its new name.
  • In 1913, with an enrolment of nearly fifty, the School moved again, to its present site in New South Head RoadRose Bay.
  • The property was known as “Tivoli” of the original Tivoli Estate, and was previously occupied by Captain William Dumaresq and later by merchant external image 220px-Kambala%2C_794_New_South_Head_Road%2C_Rose_Bay%2C_New_South_Wales_%282011-01-05%29_02.jpgJames Robinson Love.
  • The spacious new building, was built in 1841, and the notable architect John Horbury Huntwas commissioned to extend Tivoli and today this building houses Kambala’s boarders in Years 7 to 10.



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