The Pettit + Sevitt Courtyard House

Iconic Australian Houses Focus Tours

The Pettit + Sevitt Courtyard House was designed in 1965, when Sydney began to move towards medium-density living, as a compact house for a small site, or to be arranged with others in clusters, as a group of townhouses. It was designed in an ‘L’ shape around a courtyard, and either wing of the home could be extended, or the courtyard made into a terrace.

The simplicity of its design was a large part of its aesthetic appeal and its economical construction with cross ventilation, high ceilings and timber windows anticipated many aspects of today’s sustainability and affordability ideas.
Ken Woolley AM

On this tour we will be joined by architect Ken Woolley as he takes us on a personal tour of the first ever courtyard house built as part of the Pettit + Sevitt exhibition centre, which opened in St Ives in 1966. Ken will discuss the key design principles of the home and share with us his 60 years’ experience as an architect, including his time working with Pettit + Sevitt, market leaders in the design of project homes in the 1960s and 70s.

Date built, architect: 1965, Ken Woolley AM


Additional information: Photography permitted | Not accessible by wheelchair

Tour leader: Ken Woolley AM

Ken Woolley was born in Sydney in 1933, and studied architecture at the University of Sydney, where he graduated with 1st Class Honours and the University Medal in 1955. He was a founding member of the special design team in Harry Rembert's Design office of the NSW Government Architects Branch and soon became involved in major projects such as Fisher Library, which received the Sulman Award in 1962.  His own house at Mosman, 1962, won the Wilkinson Award and set private practice in train with project housing for Pettit and Sevitt.  He went into the partnership Ancher Mortlock Murray & Woolley in 1964.

He was a visiting professor at the University of NSW and the University of Sydney where he is an Adjunct Professor of Architecture and has been chairman or member of numerous award, review and competition juries.  He was made a Member of the Order of Australia 1988, was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1993, and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2001.He received the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to structural engineering. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science in Architecture, by the University of Sydney and is an Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Architecture Design and Planning.

Iconic Australian Houses

Exterior of Buhrich house showing distinctive curved roof
Buhrich House II, architect Hugh Buhrich. Photo © Michael Wee

Kicking off a new season of exciting exhibitions and events on April 12 will be Iconic Australian Houses, at the Museum of Sydney, exploring 29 iconic architect-designed 20th century houses from the 1950s to the 1990s, and presented in partnership with the Architecture Foundation of Australia.

Bookings Essential

Individual Tours

General $30
Concession/Member $25


For 3 or more tours
General $25 per tour
Concession/Member $20

When & where

Saturday 10 May 2014 10AM–10.45AMSold out
Saturday 10 May 2014 11AM–11.45AMSold out
Saturday 10 May 2014 1PM–1.45PM – SOLD OUT

St Ives

Exact location to be confirmed at time of booking