B. J. Waterhouse

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B. J. Waterhouse – Architect
(1) Nutcote9.jpg
Born (1876-02-08)8 February 1876
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died 21 December 1965(1965-12-21) (aged 89)
Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality English-born Australian
Occupation Architect
Practice Waterhouse and Lake
Buildings Listed under the NSW Heritage Act
Nutcote, 5 Wallaringa Avenue, Kurraba Point, New South Wales[1]
Tulkiyan, 707 Pacific Highway, Gordon, New South Wales, Ku-ring-gai, NSW[1]

Bertrand James Waterhouse (8 February 1876 – 2 December 1965) was an English-born Australian architect and artist.

Early life[edit]

B. J. Waterhouse, as he was commonly known, was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, and was the son of James Waterhouse, a grocer, and his wife Sarah, née Turner. Waterhouse reached Sydney from the Gulf of Mexico with his mother and two sisters in March 1885 and was educated in Burwood.[2] He studied architecture at Sydney Technical College while articled to John Spencer and on 6 July 1898 married 19-year-old Lilian Woodcock (d.1955) at Christ Church St Laurence. Joining the professional relieving staff of the Department of Public Works in NSW in March 1900, he worked in the Harbours and Rivers branch and became a relieving architectural draftsman.[2]


He was in partnership with J. W. H. Lake from 1908. Waterhouse built up a substantial practice, particularly in the Cremorne-Neutral Bay area. Until the mid-1920s his domestic architecture drew on the Arts and Crafts Movement, with steeply gabled roofs, extensive use of sandstone in the basements, shingle tiles and roughcast exterior wall surfaces. Thereafter his style showed a strong Mediterranean influence, a notable example being May Gibbs's house, Nutcote, with textured stucco walls and symmetrical, twelve-paned, shuttered windows.[2] Waterhouse had a gift for composing shapes, textures, solids and voids into seemingly casual, informal architecture; he was particularly aware of the needs to build in scale and sympathy with people. Thus his houses have a comfortable and warm character, without fuss or strain, free of unnecessary detail.[3] Waterhouse in his early architecture followed the precepts of the English Arts and Crafts movement and his work has a close affinity to that of Charles Voysey, Baillie Scott and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.[3] A typical Waterhouse residence featured asymmetrical, picturesque massing, strongly expressed roofs, usually with dominant gables; porches, balconies and verandahs; and at least one facetted oriel or bay external wall finish, together with areas of timber shingling or tile-hanging. Inside, the main rooms displayed timber wainscoting on the walls and heavy timber beams below the ceilings.[3] He continued to design in this manner until the early 1920s. In his later years Waterhouse designed residences in the Spanish Mission Style.


An excellent pencil draughtsman, Waterhouse exhibited drawings at annual exhibitions of the (Royal) Art Society of New South Wales from 1902. He travelled through Europe in 1926 with Lionel Lindsay and Will Ashton, and in 1932 exhibited his drawings at the Macquarie Galleries, Sydney. A trustee of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1922, Waterhouse was president in 1939–58; he was also State president of the Society of Arts and Crafts.[2][4] Twenty one pencil drawings by B.J. Waterhouse are held in the collection at the Art Gallery of NSW.[5]


Notable works[edit]

Tulkiyan, Gordon NSW
Brent Knowle, Neutral Bay NSW
Ailsa, Neutral Bay NSW
Nutcote, Neutral Bay NSW

Listed buildings[edit]

(Either designed by B J Waterhouse himself, or by Waterhouse & Lake Partnership, or as Government Architect)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Heritage Branch Website – Online Database". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Waterhouse, Michael. "Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adb.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  3. ^ a b c "Heritage Branch Website – Listing Heritage Items – State Heritage Register – Item View". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Centenary of the Society of Arts and Crafts of New South Wales". Artsandcraftsnsw.com.au. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Works by B.J. Waterhouse (1876–21 Dec 1965) :: The Collection". Art Gallery NSW. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  6. ^ "2008 Candidate Abstracts, PhD Thesis "From Arts and Crafts to the Mediterranean – The Life and Works of Waterhouse and Lake"" (PDF). School of Architecture & Design, RMIT, VIC. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  7. ^ "Heritage Branch Website – Online Database". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  8. ^ a b "Waterhouse, Bertrand". Dictionaryofsydney.org. 21 December 1965. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  9. ^ "Rowerdennan". Dictionaryofsydney.org. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Ku-ring-gai Historical Society – Local history – Warrawee". Khs.org.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  11. ^ "Heritage Branch Website – Online Database". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  12. ^ a b "'Gem of the Harbour: A Walking tour of Kurraba Point', North Sydney Heritage Leaflet Series No 35, available at" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  13. ^ http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/resources/documents/C6_ShellCove_MilsonsPoint.pdf
  14. ^ Strathfield Heritage — Somerset
  15. ^ "History of Silvermere Holiday Home – Cox's Road". Silvermere.com.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  16. ^ "Heritage Branch Website – Online Database". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  17. ^ "Heritage Branch Website – Online Database". Heritage.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 

External links[edit]