Front exterior of The Mint. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums

The Mint

Sunday 4 November

10 Macquarie Street, Sydney

See on map

Built

1811–16

Architect

‘Rum Hospital’ architect unknown

Additional architects

1854–55 Captain Edward W Ward and Joseph Tricket – redevelopment

2001–04 Richard Francis-Jones, FJMT; Clive Lucas (conservation architect), Stapleton & Partners; Godden Mackay Logan (archaeologists) – heritage conservation and adaptive re-use

How do you pay for a new civic building when your fledgling colony is cash-strapped? The very Sydney answer, of course, is to sell 45,000 gallons of rum! Constructed in 1811–16, Governor Macquarie’s three-wing General Hospital was built in return for the granting of a monopoly on the importation of rum, hence its nickname, the ‘Rum Hospital’.

Known today as The Mint, the hospital’s historic south wing at the front of the site is one of central Sydney’s oldest surviving buildings. Its first resident was assistant surgeon and former convict William Redfern (after whom the Sydney suburb was named), who treated convicts in the central building and conducted surgical procedures in the south wing. In a small room (now demolished) at the rear of the site, surgeons conducted post-mortems, and dissected convict corpses for study.

From 1842, the building accommodated the Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary, where some of the first anaesthetics ever used in Australia were administered; but the discovery of gold in the colony in 1851 changed everything. In 1854, the site was converted into the first overseas branch of London’s Royal Mint. The coining factory’s cast-iron frame was shipped in prefabricated pieces from England. The factory contained the most up-to-date technology in the colony, and eventually produced 150 million gold sovereigns.

Today the Mint site integrates heritage buildings, historic structures and archaeological elements with new buildings designed by architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT). When the adaptation was completed in 2005, the renewed Mint – now a favourite of architecture and design students – received a string of awards for its conservation and contemporary design, including the Sir John Sulman Award for Public Architecture.

The Mint now houses the offices of Sydney Living Museums, No.10 Bistro and Store, and a series of venue spaces for hire. It is also home to the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, which holds the only public research collection in Australia dedicated to the history of the home and garden. The Mint’s central courtyard is a tranquil oasis in the midst of bustling Macquarie Street.

Awards

Public Architecture Award – AIA (NSW)

Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture (Conservation) – AIA (NSW

2005 Heritage Architecture Award – AIA (National)

On Sunday 4 November


What’s open?

The Rum Hospital building on Macquarie Street; No.10 Bistro (open 12pm–3pm) & No.10 Store (open 8am–3pm); courtyard; grounds; former coining factory, head office of Sydney Living Museums.


Talks, tours & more

10am

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

10.30am

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

11am

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

11.30am

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

12pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

12.30pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

1pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

1.30pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

2pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

2.30pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

3pm

Tours hosted by Sydney Living Museums interpretation staff giving insight into the history of the site, focusing on the industrial Mint facility and its architectural adaptation into the head office of Sydney Living Museums. Make sure you add your name to the tour list as places are limited.

30 mins

Member Offer: 

Exclusive Member area: Recharge with complimentary tea & coffee at your very own Members & VIP area located at The Mint. Open 8.30am – 4pm.

Café discounts: Enjoy a 10% discount at No.10 Store (open 8am – 3pm) and No. 10 Bistro (open 12pm – 3pm), located at The Mint.


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Ticket pickup location

On Sunday 4 November, wristbands for Sydney Open can be picked up from The Mint wristband collection and ticket booth. Sydney Open Tickets can also be purchased from the booth via credit card only (Mastercard & Visa). No cash facilities are available at The Mint.

Wristband collection and ticket booth hours on Sunday: 9am–1pm


Need
to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Lines expected

  • Toilets available

  • Food & drink available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible


Opening hours

10am – 4pm

Last entry

3.30pm

Address

10 Macquarie Street, Sydney


Acknowledgements

The Mint’s involvement in Sydney Open has been made possible by Sydney Living Museums.