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





[Previous page: Darling Point NSW Heritage Next page: Federation Architects of Sydney]

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
Prince_of_Wales_Hospital_-_Superintendent's_Residence_TN.png
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.
Grafton_church_IMG_1102.JPG
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
Armidale Cathedral
Armidale Cathedral

Armidale Cathedral
Armidale Cathedral

Armidale Cathedral 3
Armidale Cathedral 3

This remarkable building shows Hunt's love and virtuosic mastery of brickwork. To quote Freeland's (1970) high praise:"
  • "The Armidale Cathedral is an excellent example of Hunt's skill with bricks. Using dozens, even hundreds, of different specially moulded bricks he created a blue-brown pile which probably has never been surpassed in Australia. Advancing series of piers and buttresses, arched wall panels receding in three or four planes, course upon course of boldly dentilled arches, indented gables, bands of projecting diagonally laid bricks, and plain horizontal weather moulds are thrown into heightened relief by the bright New England sunlight. Complex jointing, like nineteenth century tatting, is consciously and successfully used to heighten and emphasize the grouping of wall openings and to suggest groupings of oversized separated openings. The warm subdued interior of the building is superb in design, workmanship and atmosphere. It is an orchestration in a full range of moulded brickwork. Intricate and bold piers, arches, openings and jointing, a pyrotechnic display of brickwork, are designed with the utmost facility and executed with the highest skill."

"Unlike other architects of the period, Hunt's drawings and specifications were detailed and exact and the standard of work that he expected was exacting. Much of his work was in the country with bricks and bricklayers of uncertain quality and he required samples of work to be built for his approval, anticipating a current practice seen in the case studies. Again, unlike many other architects of the period, he personally supervised the work by regular visits to the site. The consistently high quality of Hunt's designs in brickwork stemmed from his intimate understanding of the material, his insistence on good building practice and thorough knowledge of building, qualities which are still needed to achieve good design in brickwork." - 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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Horbury_Hunt


Notable buildings

from Wikipedia's list of Australian Architects

Houses of John Horbury Hunt

nla.map-lfsp2429-v.jpg
"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 Road, Rose 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 Hunt was commissioned to extend Tivoli and today this building houses Kambala's boarders in Years 7 to 10.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kambala_Girls_School


Cloncorrick,

Cloncorrick is an historic house of Victorian Free Gothic style in Darling Point, Sydney, Australia.


Booloominbah

Booloominbah is a late Victorian mansion situated at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, and is listed on the Register of the National Estate
File:Booloominbah Northern Elevation
File:Booloominbah Northern Elevation

Booloominbah Southern Elevation.jpg
Booloominbah Southern Elevation.jpg

File:Booloominbah Staircase-1.jpg
File:Booloominbah Staircase-1.jpg

Booloominbah Northerly facing elevation
Booloominbah Southerly facing elevation
Main staircase with part of the Gordon Window visible

Camelot, Kirkham Lane, Kirkham

external image images_003.jpg

  • See also Camelot, Camden

  • Camelot is listed on the Register of the National Estate"and stands on the site of explorer John Oxley's Kirkham Mill. The original grant was made in 1810 and extended in 1815.
  • "Camelot" is constructed from brick and has a romantic silhouette of turrets, chimney stacks, gables, arched verandas and projecting bays.
  • "Camelot" was reportedly built with the winnings from "Chester", a racehorse which won the Melbourne Cup in 1877, owned by James White.
  • The house was owned later on by the Faithfull-Anderson family. Camelot also has a fine brick stable with arched wooden ribbing, a brick smokehouse and an octagonal aviary. - http://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/page/historic_properties.html

Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue, Warrawee

Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue Warrawee
Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue Warrawee


Fairwater

Fairwater, 560 New South Head Rd, Point Piper NSW, is a large domestic residence designed by John Horbury Hunt, constructed in 1882 with additions made in c.1901 and 1910, with former stable (c.1900s) and garage (1930),
Fairwater, Point Piper, Sydney
Fairwater, Point Piper, Sydney

  • "Powerful yet restrained composition in brick and timber, large complex, manages to successfully modulate its scale so that it appears disarmingly domestic. Buildings and grounds are amongst the last of the great suburban estates remaining intact. Grounds provide an important scenic addition to the shoreline of Seven Shillings Beach. Estate is historically important, having been connected with the Whites of Cranbrook and the Fairfax family, who still retain ownership."
  • The residence is a double storey structure of brick construction with a timber-framed roof. The exterior appearance is characterised by the use of a brick, which is pale yellow in colour. The roof is covered in slate tiles. Additions made c.1910/11 often include the use of sandstone (i.e. in the verandah and carriage porch) which is very reddish in colour.
  • The property is of rare historic, aesthetic, social and scientific significance in consideration of its continuing association with the Fairfax family, and as a large late-nineteenth century residence (with Edwardian era additions), of high integrity, designed by John Horbury Hunt. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty Ltd, 1999, amended Read, S., 6/2006)

Baroona

Baroona (Range Rd, Whittingham via Singleton, NSW) is a striking High Victorian residence at Whittingham, and is a 26-room house with observation tower. It is an indicative place on the Register of the National Estate.
Baroona_Stables.png
Baroona Stables


Tudor house School
Tudor House School photo by Deane, Robert, 1937-
Tudor House School photo by Deane, Robert, 1937-

Tudor house School is a private, day and boarding, preparatory school for boys, located in Moss Vale, New South Wales, Australia.
  • The school is Australia's only preparatory boarding school, marketing itself as "a school that understands boys and where the joy of boyhood experiences is celebrated".
  • Established in 1897, Tudor House moved from Sydney to its present rural site in Moss Vale in 1902. The founder, Mr Inman, wanted a school that educated the whole boy.[3]
  • The current Enrichment Centre was originally the library. It was presented to the school by Henry and Herbert Horden.

Trevenna

Trevenna is the residence of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of New England, in Armidale, New South Wales,

Trevenna, UNE, Designed by Canadian-born, Boston-trained architect, John Horbury Hunt
Trevenna, UNE, Designed by Canadian-born, Boston-trained architect, John Horbury Hunt

Australia.
  • Trevenna house was built in 1892 and is located off Trevenna Road on the western side of the main campus in Armidale
  • Trevenna is listed on the Register of the National Estate
  • Trevenna was originally the home of the Wrights, a prominent New England family of graziers. It was originally built for Mrs Eliza Jane Wright.
  • The homestead and its grounds were bequeathed to UNE as the Vice-Chancellor’s residence in 1960 by Mrs Florence May Wilson -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevenna


The Highlands

The Highlands is one of the last houses John Horbury Hunt ever built.
  • John Horbury Hunt 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.
    The Highlands Wahroonga
    The Highlands Wahroonga
  • Situated in Highlands Avenue, Wahroonga, Sydney, Highlands is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
  • Highlands is regarded as one of the finest examples (and, by some, as THE finest example) of his original shingled style. He was certainly at the height of his powers when he designed it.
  • 9 Highlands Avenue, Wahroonga: $3 million+
  • Built 1891-1893; Renovated 1980s and 2003 Land 3585 sq m
  • Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hunt had extensive experience in the building crafts and personally oversaw all aspects of construction. His meticulous approach to workmanship is apparent in every structural detail of the house.
    http://9highlandsavenue.com/


Glen Alpine

See also
Glen Alpine. Werris Creek

Glen Alpine is large home, with productive country farmland, 4 hours from Sydney, 55km from Tamworth.
fe612b0f-c0d2-4744-8a3e-6af7d0e70e70_FS.JPG
Glen Alpine, Homestead designed by the renowned architect John Horbury Hunt

  • Homestead designed by the renowned architect John Horbury Hunt; the stunning 6 bedroom home was built in 1886. The home is in two sections, built together.
  • The main, two story part with entertainment areas such as drawing, dining, sitting rooms, large breakfast room currently the kitchen, large hallway.
  • Upstairs are four double bedrooms and a smaller chamber, bathroom and sunroom. The sixth bedroom (the second chamber) is downstairs.
  • The top verandahs are accessed via two doorways from the upstairs hall. The 4 metre ceilings make the house airy and cool in the summer.
  • All fireplaces are in working oder. Some are of marble construction.
  • Adjoining this section is the original kitchen, billiard room storage rooms and another bathroom. This wing has not yet been renovated, but is in good order.
  • A tennis court is located to the side of the home.

Historic $4.5 million mansion sells, then burns down


Lucy Macken October 17, 2014

The historic 1886-era homestead Glen Alpine near Tamworth has burnt down in suspicious circumstances. Photo: Toby Johnstone
The historic 1886-era homestead Glen Alpine near Tamworth has burnt down in suspicious circumstances. Photo: Toby Johnstone


The historic 1886 homestead Glen Alpine near Tamworth has burnt down, two days before its sale for $4.5 million was due to settle.

All that remains of the heritage-listed homestead that was designed by architect John Horbury Hunt are five chimney pots and the original cellar.

  • "We are absolutely devastated by this," said Cremorne-based buyer, landscaper-builder Antony Tisch, who with his wife Wendy exchanged on the 1335 hectare property in June and was expected to take possession of it late last week.
  • "Restoring this old house to its former glory was part of our retirement plan. Now it's just a nice block of land."
  • Rural crime investigator Detective Senior Constable Scott Kellahan said police at Werris Creek noticed the blaze just after midnight on Wednesday October 8. It took fire crews several hours to bring the fire under control and no-one was in the property at the time.




Partial List of Works

From John Horbury Hunt - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The following Hunt buildings are listed on the Register of the National Estate.[5]
  • Camelot, Narellan (1888)
  • Highlands, Wahroonga, Sydney (1891)
  • All Saints Church, Hunters Hill, Sydney (1885)
  • Pibrac, Warrawee, Sydney (1888)
  • Public School, Rozelle, Sydney (1877)
  • Catherine Hayes Building (completed by Thomas Rowe), Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney (1867)
  • Superintendent's Cottage, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Sydney (1863)
  • Sir John Robertson Memorial, South Head Cemetery, Sydney
  • Additions to Cranbrook School, Bellevue Hill, Sydney (1874–75)
  • Cloncorrick, Darling Point, Sydney (1884)
  • Fairwater, Point Piper, Sydney (1881)
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Vaucluse, Sydney (1888)
  • Church of the Good Shepherd and Rectory, Kangaroo Valley (church 1870, rectory 1879)
  • Osborne Memorial Church of St Luke, Dapto (1882)
  • St Matthias Church, Denman (1871)
  • St Paul's Church of England, Murrurundi (1872)
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle (1869)
  • Belltrees, Scone (shearing shed) (1907)
  • Church of St James, Jerrys Plains (1875)
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton (1881)
  • Christ Church Cathedral Church Hall, Grafton (1890)
  • Public School and Headmaster's Residence, Frederickton (1880)
  • Booloominbah, University of New England, Armidale (1883)
  • Saint Bartholomew's Church of England, Ollera Station, Guyra (1876)
  • Extensions to Havilah Property, Mudgee Area (1890)
Other buildings by Hunt:
  • St Peter's Anglican Cathedral Church, Armidale, NSW (1871)[6]
  • St James's Church, Morpeth (partly designed by Hunt), has Local Government Heritage listing.[7]

>
  • Charles F Sleeper
  • Edward Clarke Cabot
  • Edmund Blacket (1863–69)
  • John Horbury Hunt (1869–1904)
  • Boston and New South Wales

References



Books


John Horbury Hunt: Radical Architect 1838 1904
Authors Peter Reynolds | Lesley Muir | Joy Hughes.
Book_John_Horbury_Hunt_a4ea3d850b2e0e18.jpg
John Horbury Hunt: Radical Architect 1838-1904, was published to accompany an exhibition at the Museum of Sydney on the site of first Government House celebrating the life and work of architect John Horbury Hunt.

It is the most comprehensive publication on the architect in the last 30 years and confirms Hunt's place in history as an architect of enduring significance and originality. Canadian-born, Boston-trained architect John Horbury Hunt rightfully deserves to be recognised for his outstanding contribution to the development of modern architecture in Australia. He arrived in Sydney in 1863 and for the next 40 years was renowned for the distinctive and radical architecture he introduced to the fledgling city and rural New South Wales.

237mm x 300mm | Paper back | 176 pages


Architect extraordinary : the life and work of John Horbury Hunt, 1838-1904
Book_Architect_Extraordinary_tn_15387.jpg
Architect extraordinary : the life and work of John Horbury Hunt, 1838-1904
Author: Freeland, J. M. (John Maxwell), 1920-1983


[Melbourne] : Cassell Australia, [1970]
246 p., [52] p. of plates ; 25 cm.

Subjects

  • Hunt, John Horbury, 1838-1904.
  • Convent of the Sisters of Good Shepherd (Balmain, N.S.W.)
  • Hospital For Sick Children (Glebe, N.S.W.)
  • Architecture -- Australia -- History.

Contents:
Index., Notes
Includes bibliographical reference

From National Centre of Biography Australian National University

Hunt, John Horbury (1838–1904)

by J. M. Freeland
John Horbury Hunt (1838-1904), architect, was born in October 1838 at St John, New Brunswick, the eldest son of William Hunt and his wife Frances, née Horbury. His father, a sixth-generation North American, was a carpenter and builder in Waltham, near Boston, before moving to Canada in 1853. In 1856 Hunt began training as an architect under Charles F. Sleeper of Roxbury, near Boston. He soon transferred to Edward Clarke Cabot who closed his office when the American civil war broke out.

Hunt decided to migrate to India. He sailed in the Tropic and arrived on 5 January 1863 at Sydney. He met the acting colonial architect, James Barnet, who persuaded him to settle. Hunt joined the staff of Edmund Blacket, the colony's leading architect. His sound training and knowledge of construction were important acquisitions to the office and by 1865 he was Blacket's chief assistant, supervising and designing many country commissions. His unusual ideas and forceful personality so influenced the character of work emerging from Blacket's office that his seven years there became known as Blacket's 'queer period'.

In May 1869 Hunt left Blacket and went into partnership with John Frederick Hilly. Ten weeks later it was dissolved and Hunt set up his own practice. The buildings that began to flow from his office had freshness, vitality and originality. For thirty years he produced highly-individual buildings, mostly ahead of their time. His architecture was marked by power, character and the use of revealed 'natural' materials. His skill with timber and brickwork was particularly outstanding and he was a master of complexity of form and asymmetrical balance. He also found wealthy clients who were interested in quality regardless of cost.

  • Among the best ecclesiastical buildings Hunt designed were St Matthias's Church, Denman (1871), St John's, Branxton (1873), St Luke's Osborne Memorial Church, Dapto (1882), the Anglican Cathedrals at Armidale (1871) and Grafton (1880) and the Chapel of the Sacred Heart Convent at Rose Bay (1896).

  • His best domestic work included Cloncorrick at Darling Point (1884), Booloominbah at Armidale (1888), Camelot at Narellan (1888), Pibrac at Warrawee (1888) and Highlands at Wahroonga and Tudor House at Moss Vale (1891).

Quick-tempered, energetic and constantly embroiled in public and private arguments, Hunt was a renowned eccentric. His lack of love for his fellows was balanced by an inordinate love of animals and he was an active member and vice-president of the Animals Protection Society. From 1895 his fortunes deteriorated: his practice collapsed in the depression and never revived. His wife Elizabeth, née Kidd, whom he had married on 4 September 1867 at St James's Church, Sydney, died on 10 March 1895.

His enthusiasm was replaced by lethargy from the onset of Bright's disease and he became a recluse. Insolvent in 1897 he sold his home, Cranbrook Cottage, Rose Bay, in 1902 to pay his debts. He died in a charity ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, on 27 December 1904. He was saved from a pauper's funeral by two old friends and with Presbyterian rites was buried beside his wife in the Anglican section of South Head cemetery.