John Bede Barlow was an important turn of the century Australian architect. In 1893
his name appeared internationally in the “Annual Architectural Review”, along with
an illustration of “Killountan” (now "Simpsons of Potts Point" Boutique Hotel). The first mention
of the property can be found in the June 1893 edition of "Australian Builders and
Contractors News" and it features in the contemporary publication "Beautiful Homes
of Australia in the Edwardian Age".
Design and construction techniques employed by Barlow, including cavity wall construction
and an open plan interior, are now recognised as being avant-garde for that period.
Barlow was noted for his revolt against Victorian ornamentation. Barlow pleaded
for intelligent use of colour and light in architecture, pointing out that natural
materials are colourful and interesting. Victorian suburbia gave him “…indigestion,
with it’s interminable rows of terraces with their hideous iron balconies and preposterous
parapets … pitiful in their vulgarity, dispiriting, dyspeptic, hopeless”.