Australian Heritage Specialists (AHS) has been in demand to provide expert commentary on what it would it take to bring Brisbane’s historic mansion, Lamb House, back to its former glory.
ABC TV interviewed AHS Managing Director Benjamin Gall, pictured above, on the potential for restoration and redevelopment of what is one of Queensland’s most significant heritage homes, following the closure of tenders for its sale.
The tenders are now being reviewed by the Public Trustee, which is acting for the owner of the property.
As one of Queensland’s leading heritage specialists, we’ve had the good fortune to be able to assist the sale process for this once-grand home and view up close the incredible detail in its construction, which represented the pinnacle of Federation-style architecture when it was constructed in 1902.
Positioned atop the Kangaroo Point cliffs with sweeping views of the Brisbane CBD from the Story Bridge to South Bank and beyond, this is the first time in almost 120 years that the landmark building has been offered for sale.
A peek inside
While today’s designer homes feature lap pools and media rooms, Lamb House was the home that had everything at the turn of the last century.
Designed by renowned Queensland architect Alexander (A.B) Wilson for successful Brisbane draper John Lamb, the two-storey residence features six bedrooms, an ornate, grand timber staircase, drawing rooms, morning rooms and a former maid and butler’s quarters.
With highly detailed verandas wrapping around the house showcase spectacular views over the Brisbane River, while a tower on the second level affords a birds-eye view of the local surroundings. The interior also reveals incredible detailing in the pressed metal ceilings and timber panelling throughout, noting the rooms themselves are of a very generous size.
Sitting on a prime 3,146 square metres spanning eight blocks of land at Leopard Street, the once-stately grounds contain a formal front driveway as well as separate driveway at the back for delivery of supplies to the kitchen.
Potential for development
As a State heritage-listed place, entered on the Queensland Heritage Register, Lamb House is protected under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 and any proposed alterations and changes, including building works, will require State Government approval.
Assisting owners develop masterplans for such sites is a regular occurrence for the team at AHS.
The heritage significance of Lamb House as a home will figure in any future discussions. “It would be ideal for a continuation of some residential use to ensure the legacy of the Lamb family is passed to the new owners, however there are certainly other permissible uses” Mr Gall said.
The expansive grounds feature ample room for swimming pools and a range of other structures to be built appropriate for that use, assuming the proposal is suitably informed by heritage experts.
There’s certainly some difficulty with high density development on the site but not impossible.