On Friday I went into town in order to sketch a few James Barnet buildings. Since coming home I’ve started reading two books all about his work. The more I research, the more I’m realising his significance and the more I’m becoming a fan! His most important building is the Sydney General Post Office (GPO) in Martin Place so that is where I started.
But first I had a coffee at RegimentCBD and struggled to sketch in the very limited space of the tiny table and bench. It was also a cool morning (after the coldest day in 30 years the day before!) and I was sitting outside so that I could have a view of the GPO.
Then I found a spot in the sun where I could sketch a corner of the building. This was a fun view and much more complex than any JimmyB I sketched on my recent road trip.
In my research, I’ve discovered that the top 2 storeys of the GPO were added to the building later, so I only dotted an outline of that part. And instead, I drew the original balustrade so that I could get a feeling for what the building was like according to JimmyB’s design.
Next up was the Old Police Station on George St, in The Rocks area. This is one of my favourite Sydney buildings to sketch and I used to teach workshops in the back rooms that were originally prison cells. It was fun to sketch it again with more knowledge of the architect. It was a little after 11am when I arrived and the sun was no longer on the facade, so I did a fun experimental version.
So I couldn’t resist sketching one half of the Customs House. This is another JimmyB that was extended and I wasn’t sure of what part of the old building was added on, so I drew all floors including the modern addition on the rooftop.
And then I wandered back up to Town Hall, stopping to look at the Lands Department Building…
It was a super productive and inspiring visit to the City. I have a lot of new thoughts about how JimmyB’s buildings fit into the design of Sydney and look forward to exploring these further and working out ways to sketch them. This map shows how the buildings relate to each other (and the other things I did that day!)
Last time I went into the City (see here) I didn’t know what to sketch. But with my new interest in James Barnet, my sketching outings have a real focus and that is very exciting and motivating.
Here are all the full spreads from my morning in town!