The Sydney Mint

April 17, 2024

Client: Museums of History
Location: Sydney NSW

Partridge has been integral to the ongoing conservation efforts for the Sydney Mint verandah, a significant piece of Sydney’s colonial history. Constructed between 1811 and 1816, the building served various purposes, including being part of the Rum Hospital and later as the Sydney Branch of the Royal Mint. As the oldest surviving public building in Sydney’s central business district, its preservation is vital.

The original design featured a two-story colonnade verandah, with the ground-floor columns constructed of sandstone and the first-floor columns, floor and roof framing constructed of timber. Over time, these elements deteriorated, necessitating comprehensive restoration.

The first stage, completed in October 2023, focused on addressing critical structural concerns. Fourteen of the original first-floor timber columns exhibited significant damage. Employing specialised techniques for column splicing, our team carefully restored the structural integrity of the columns to continue supporting the weight of the verandah roof.

Seventeen timber joists and twenty six timber beams on the first floor were replaced, meticulously chosen to match the original construction methods in size and material, ensuring optimal load-bearing capacity while maintaining historical accuracy.

Seismic strengthening works involved tying all ground floor sandstone columns into the first-floor verandah structure to provide lateral restraint.

Seven sections of the intricate chinoiserie timber lattice balustrade underwent repairs to address cracks, missing components, and restore stability while meeting modern design code requirements.

A focus was also placed on the existing drainage system, ensuring gutters and downpipes effectively directed rainwater away from the building envelope to prevent water ingress and damage.

New fascia timbers, perimeter floorboards, and soffit boards, crafted from high-quality materials adhering to heritage conservation principles, were installed to seamlessly blend with the existing structure.

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