Darlington Centre, Sydney University


The University of Sydney


The University of Sydney, Darlington



Project Description

The core of this project is an intact 1880s house, formerly the Director’s Residence for the adjacent former Blind Institute. The Darlington Centre accommodates new conference, function and dining facilities for the University of Sydney

The house itself has been conserved and adapted as lounge areas, office and small meeting rooms. The major spaces of the Centre are accommodated in a new addition, designed as two wings on a single-level. The clear separation of the three main building forms, articulated with landscaped courts, is in accordance with the conservation plan and provides a sense of openness and light.

One wing, a masonry structure, has twin adaptable meeting rooms, a catering kitchen and bar. The other, designed as a lightweight, steel-framed garden pavilion, is a 150 seat dining room. Defined by an integral floating curved timber canopy, the dining room opens to the northern verandah and gardens beyond. The simple steel and glass architecture of this new pavilion contrasts with the enclosed masonry of the old house.

The existing garden areas have been reworked to provide suitable exterior spaces for functions, and twelve 19th century stone gateposts, excavated from the site, define the generous lawns.


Peter Tonkin, Scott Falvey, Heidi Pronk, Roger O'Sullivan. Photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall.