Mortimer Lewis, Colonial Architect (1843, Australia’s first Legislative Chamber)
Andrew Andersons, NSW Government Architect’s Office (1974 & 1985)
1986 AIA (NSW)- Public Architecture Award (for later additions)
Australia’s first and oldest parliament, the Parliament of New South Wales is one of the state’s most important historic buildings and continues to serve as the home of the state’s legislature.
The restored historic frontage on Macquarie Street dates back to 1816, when it was the northern wing of Governor Macquarie’s ‘Rum Hospital’, housing Principal Surgeon D’Arcy Wentworth. Today it is one of central Sydney’s oldest surviving buildings.
In 1843, Australia’s first Legislative Chamber was built, designed by NSW Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis. It forms part of the current Legislative Assembly Chamber. In 1856, with the establishment of a two-house Parliament, a second chamber was needed, so a prefabricated iron building was shipped from Scotland (via Melbourne) and erected at the southern end of the former surgeon’s quarters to house the Legislative Council.
Other historic rooms of note include the Parkes Room; the Wentworth Room (1816), in which Parliament first met on this site (in the former Principal Surgeon’s Quarters); and the Jubilee Room (1905), originally the parliamentary library.
Having survived numerous plans for demolition, the relics of the Rum Hospital saw their last major site improvements between 1974 and 1985, when a jumble of parliamentary chamber buildings was replaced with a 12-storey building by Andrew Andersons of the NSW Government Architect’s Office. This was linked to the original parliament house building by a grand Fountain Court, with marble floors and a central water feature by the architect Robert Woodward, who also designed the El Alamein Fountain in Kings Cross.
Fountain Court, the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly chambers, Macquarie, Jubilee, Parkes and Wentworth Rooms. This year, the Parliament will also showcase its new Education Centre designed by NBRS ARCHITECTURE Interior Design Studio.
Talks, tours & more
The Parliament of NSW’s public café will be open with gifts also available for purchase.
Food & drink available
Please be aware visitors must go through security screening and inspection of personal possessions.