Boutique Hotel Potts Point

Simpsons Hotel Potts Point - The Architect - John Bede Barlow

John Bede Barlow was an important turn of the century Australian architect. In 1893 his name appeared internationally in the “Annual Architectural Review”, along with an illustration of “Killountan” (now "Simpsons of Potts Point" Boutique Hotel). The first mention of the property can be found in the June 1893 edition of "Australian Builders and Contractors News" and it features in the contemporary publication "Beautiful Homes of Australia in the Edwardian Age".

Design and construction techniques employed by Barlow, including cavity wall construction and an open plan interior, are now recognised as being avant-garde for that period.

Barlow was noted for his revolt against Victorian ornamentation. Barlow pleaded for intelligent use of colour and light in architecture, pointing out that natural materials are colourful and interesting. Victorian suburbia gave him “…indigestion, with it’s interminable rows of terraces with their hideous iron balconies and preposterous parapets … pitiful in their vulgarity, dispiriting, dyspeptic, hopeless”.

“Killountan” proved Barlow’s belief that beauty and grace can be accomplished in a building through intelligent use of natural materials and light without having to resort to gaudy ornamentation. Barlow designed the house for his cousin, The Hon John Lane Mullins MA MLC, solicitor, and treasurer of the Roman Catholic Church, and patron of the burgeoning arts and crafts movement at the time. The interior of the building was influenced by this movement which stressed the beauty of native flora and fauna, and the present owners have restored the interior in the same spirit.

8 Challis Avenue Potts Point NSW 2011 - Phone +61 (2) 9356 2199 - Fax +61 (2) 9356 4476