The Royal Australasian College of Physicians

A significant historical building, 145 Macquarie Street is the last surviving grand terrace house from Colonial Sydney. Designed in 1848 by John Bibb and built by Jacob Inde for the infamous John Fairfax (who ran the Sydney Herald newspaper); at the time it was built, Macquarie Street was amongst the prime residential streets in Sydney.

It is now the home of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

The Challenges

The heritage listed building is built of stone with a slate roof, and one of its most important features is its exceptional façade. JHA’s specialist lighting team was engaged to breathe new life and vibrancy into the building fabric while respecting its historic character.

One of the challenges of this brief was the building’s location in the centre of the Sydney CBD, and the multitude of visual stimuli competing for attention. The lighting strategy involved establishing a balance of brightness over surrounding facades to ensure visual hierarchy, without succumbing to the temptation of over-lighting.

Making the building visible against the context of the bustling city streets enables the average person to connect with and appreciate the [otherwise lost] historic, artistic and social value of the building period

Tara Lee-Brennan


Royal Australian College of Physicians Roof Top
Royal Australian College of Physicians - 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Significant historical building - Royal Australian College of Physicians

The quantity and quality of light was carefully considered. A soft amber colour temperature was tested to best render the hues of the natural sandstone, and the important contrast between light and shadow was balanced to reveal the columns in dramatic silhouette.

The heritage nature of the building offered its own challenges; extreme care and caution was exercised to avoid unnecessary penetrations and fixings, and to conceal cable reticulation paths from view without affecting the integrity of the heritage fabric.

The final solution was incredibly simple, requires little to no maintenance and was delivered on a very small budget.

Tara-Lee Brennan