The Mint / FJMT

© John Gollings

Architects: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
Location: Sydney,
Quantity Surveyor: Page Kirkland Partnership Pty Ltd
Archaeology: Godden Mackay Logan
Landscape Architects: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
Contractor: St Hilliers
Heritage Architects: Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners Pty Ltd
Structural Consultant: Taylor Thomson Whitting
Mechanical / Environmental Consultant: Steensen Varming
Electrical / Communications Consultant: Steensen Varming
Hydraulic Consultant: Warren Smith & Partners
Acoustic Consultant: Arup Acoustics
Project Area: 3,381 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: John Gollings

The Mint Project is the transformation of one of Sydney’s oldest and most precious historical sites on Macquarie Street into a new meaningful public place formed and characterised as much by the carefully inserted contemporary buildings as the conserved and adapted heritage structures. It is a project that seeks to set a new and important benchmark for:

© John Gollings

• Contemporary architectural design
• Conservation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.
• The integration of authentic contemporary architecture within sensitive heritage sites.
• The creation of meaningful public open space and public places within heritage environments.
• The integration of sustainable environmental design into sensitive heritage sites.
• The integration and interpretation of archaeological remains

exploded axo

The vacant and almost ruinous Mint Coining Factory and associated buildings has been transformed into the campus-like headquarters of the Historic Houses Trust. Contemporary architectural forms have been carefully inserted to accommodate a major public auditorium, exhibition areas, foyer and bar, while existing buildings have been adaptively reused to create a significant new resource centre for the public and new work environments for the staff.

ground floor plan

These clearly defined public rooms and facilities are gathered around a central courtyard that is given new life and form as a significant public space of the city.

© John Gollings

While the contemporary architectural forms have been carefully designed to form direct and clear relations with the existing buildings in terms of scale and proportion, they are uncompromisingly new. They have sought to create a new architectural layer on the site designed in the innovative and ‘forward looking’ spirit that underpinned the original 1850’s constructions.

© John Gollings

This ‘layered’ approach of placing new and old in a bold transforming relationship is apparent in the general organisation of the project and in design of the new courtyard. The strict symmetry of Trickett’s original plan with central pavilion and identical wings has been transformed into an asymmetrical axis about a pair of related, pavilions of ‘opposite/dialectical’ character, new and old, light and heavy, stone and glass. The outcome is a rich and complex assembly of form and spaces through which the layers and events of the site can be read and interpreted.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Mint / FJMT" 11 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Chris

    This is my favorite space in Sydney… it is right in the CBD but it is almost secretly tucked behind another heritage building so most sydney residents dont even know it exists. The library is open to the public and the courtyard is open to the public also. Ive enjoyed many a quiet lunch and a read here.

    The need for this project to be treated with respect and delicacy was imperitave and FJMT pulled it off fantasticly.

    • Banc

      Completely agree. The detailing, attention to materiality and the sensitivity of the insertions are really noteworthy.

  • Kevin

    Gorgeous Space!

  • the7in

    I don’t like this style.

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  • 45N73W

    Very high quality realisation: volumetry, scale, materials, textures, movement, contrasts and integration, etc.. A++

  • alex

    attractive interior spaces here. interesting blend of materials and really welcoming, naturally lit spaces. surely a must-see for any architects working on similar projects.

  • inbuildhomes

    fantastic, great ambience and flows really well. Juxtoposition of old and new materials is beautiful and successfully adapted for contemporary use. One of my favourite places.

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  • shetu

    an outstanding refurbishment….really, the interrelation between the old and new elements, specially regarding the materials, are amazing.a successful symbiotic approach.

  • arconserve

    Sydney Australia's Mint Coining Factory transformed into headquarters of the Historic Houses Trust #archdaily

  • Banc

    Sydney is at it’s most inventive with regenerated architecture… This along with Carriage Works are the most interesting spaces in Sydney because of a sensitive approach, attention and care to materiality, and the quality of light in every single space is incredible. I think the courtyard is a lovely space and if I worked in the area, I’d definitely make use of it more often.