Lawson Apartments, corner view Sherwood Court and The Esplanade
|Former names||Lawson Flats|
|Architectural style||Art deco|
|Address||2–4 Sherwood Court, Perth|
|Construction started||November 1936|
|Structural system||Reinforced concrete|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Hennessy, Hennessy & Co
|Structural engineer||Hennessy, Hennessy & Co|
|Main contractor||Concrete Construction (W.A.) Ltd|
|Architect||Oldham Boas Ednie-Brown Architects|
The building, originally known as Lawson Flats, is an eleven storey art deco apartment block, constructed in 1937, by the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society. It included a restaurant and a private club, the Perth Club, at the lower three floors and apartments above. The building was designed by Sydney architects Hennessy, Hennessy & Co in association with local architect, Reginald Summerhayes for rental purposes as a companion piece to the neighbouring Colonial Mutal Life building (1936–1980) on St Georges Terrace. When constructed, the two Colonial Mutual Life buildings were amongst the tallest in Perth. Its landmark status and prestigious location catered for an exclusive market in multi-residential building stock not known in Western Australia prior to the Inter-War years. The design features Spanish Mission and Art Deco styled ornamentation, evoking some of the allure of Hollywood. Internally, the H-shaped plan form provides for four apartments per floor, arranged in pairs in the twin palazzi form towers. During World War Two, the headquarters of the State Cabinet were located in the building.
The apartments were refurbished in 1986, following their sale by Colonial Mutual and they were subsequently strata titled and sold off individually in 1987. The Karrakatta Club currently occupies the former premises of the Perth Club on the first and second floors and shares part of the ground floor with Balthazar, a fine-dining restaurant. The club relocated to the Lawson Apartments in 1984, following the sale of its former club premises on St Georges Terrace.
It was classified by the National Trust on 4 May 1981 and included on the City of Perth's Municipal Heritage Inventory on 20 December 1985. The Building was placed on the permanent Register of the National Estate on 25 March 1986 and was permanently listed on the State Register of Heritage Places by the Heritage Council of Western Australia on 1 December 1995.
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- The lofty stature of the double palazzi, rising from the three storey base, is a city landmark. The massive, grand form of the building also makes an important contribution to the streetscape of Sherwood Court. The place is a rare example in Perth of a late 1930s, multi-storey, innercity residential development – from http://register.heritage.wa.gov.au/viewplace.html?place_seq=2092&offset=0&view=description.
- Lawson Flats – brief history of the building including names of some former residents, media statement from the Minister for Heritage Placed on the State Register of Heritage Places. Media statement (Minister for Heritage), 3/7/1995
- Lawson Apartments, Perth. Details of history and conservation and restoration work on the building. Trust news (National Trust of Australia (W.A.)), March 1999, p. 2-3,
- "Big City Buildings". The West Australian. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 11 December 1935. p. 20. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Proposed 12 Storey Offices and New Street in Perth". The West Australian. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 27 June 1935. p. 9. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Perth's Highest Building". Western Mail. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 29 October 1936. p. 2 Supplement: The Western Mail. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Skeleton of Steel". The West Australian. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 8 August 1939. p. 12 Section: Industrial Expansion in WA. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Lawson Flats – sold for $2.5m The West Australian, 6 Feb 1985, p.37
- Lawson Flats – sold as strata title for more than $7m, The Sunday Times (Western Australia), 9 Aug 1987, p.7
- "Lawson Flats – Other Heritage Listings". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- "Lawson Flats – Register Listings". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 June 2012.