Government Architecture Sydney: Many architectural works of merit throughout New South Wales are created and designed by the New South Wales government architect.
The New South Wales Government Architect, an appointed officer of the Government of New South Wales, serves as the General Manager of the Government Architect’s Office (GAO), a multi-disciplinary consultancy operating on commercial principles providing architecture, design, and engineering services, that is an agency of the government within NSW Public Works.
Historically, the government architect was in charge of the government’s public building projects across the state of New South Wales, Australia. Since the 1990s, when the consultancy service began operating on commercial principles, the Government Architect has reported separately in a second capacity, as an advisor to the government, and serves on various committees and boards in relation to heritage protection, architecture, and design.
The first appointed officer to the role, styled Colonial Architect, was Francis Greenway, appointed in 1816.Francis Greenway was the first official architect for the Colony of New South Wales in a role that was called Colonial Architect. He was appointed in 1816 by Governor Macquarie to be Acting Civil Architect and Assistant Engineer responsible to Captain J M Gill, Inspector of Public Works. Greenway was a convict who had been sentenced to transportation for forgery. Greenway’s works included the Macquarie Lighthouse on South Head, the Fort on Bennelong Point and the Stables for Government House. Greenway’s other major buildings include the Obelisk in Macquarie Place, the Church of St James, St Mathews Church at Windsor and the Hyde Park Barracks.