Nostalgia and Architecture

Global architecture trade demands a certain degree of nostalgia on the part of its creative thinkers. In particular for Sydney, the dense terrace housing of the inner suburbs and rich histories of its build environments means that designing within a heritage frameworks is inevitable during a career.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing some of the projects that Roth Architecture has completed within heritage contexts.

Sydney & Nostalgia

With its 200-year history, the oldest city in Australia has nurtured layers of architectural history which are rich with the influences of their times. Individual buildings and the city as a whole, show the mixture of past and present. Of an overwhelmingly British influence, the terraces of Sydney display an eclectic mix of features, adored with imported ornamental styles. Architecture quietly observes the changing of fashions and, in its features and decorative attire, chronicles the passing of time.

Artist : Henri Mallard (Australia, b.1884, d.1967)


As a result, throughout time, the city provided a large amount of natural materials to work with. As such, sandstone are a material is linked with the built environment of many inner-city suburbs. The studios and its designs are often directed by a single feature. This could be a heritage sandstone wall or a parapet wall joining to its neighbour.

Moreover, the role of architects is to smooth the line between what is old and what it new. Allowing each to maintain their persona while coexisting. Sometimes this influence is shown in material choices, other times in the use of glass or light can allow layers to float, connect, yet independent of each other.

Roth & Nostalgia

At Roth Architecture, we strive on the challenges and opportunities presented by projects within heritage contexts. It is when we think most creatively and can collaborate to solve complex puzzles together. Existing architecture encourages us to think about how we can create a unique design to celebrate the builders character.

The clients we work with, love the history of their homes, the past they have inherited with the physical building. They challenge us to create spaces which encompass their modern lifestyles and personalities within the envelope of the buildings heritage.

Occasionally the needs and desires of a clients will communicate a design which is entirely disparate internally to its facade. This challenges us to reconcile the two, tying external materials and features into the modernity of the interior. We can create an imperceptible threshold between old and new. Users can appreciate both spaces of modern and history.

Finally, as sydney’s urban landscape evolves, it is the role of the architect to allow the past to uphold within a developing terrain.


Greenbank Terrace Staircase, Centennial Park