COFFEE @ Hungry Bull Co. – Balmain 2041.
The Hungry Bull Co is a short distance from the main shopping strip of Balmain, but in close proximity to the Balmain Fire Station and historic civic buildings. This separation contributes to its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere.
As soon as you enter the café, you immediately feel the friendly happy vibe of the staff. Inside, the high pressed metal ceilings, exposed brick walls, timber floors, homely mismatched furniture and crates of colourful fresh produce combine to create a café that is cozy and comfortable.
The tiny courtyard is super cute and the ‘outback dunny’ is the smallest I have ever seen (no big bottoms getting in there).
I felt like I could have stayed a lot longer at the Hungry Bull Co; drinking coffee and listening to music. After a stroll around the Balmain shops make sure you head over to the Hungry Bull Co for a coffee. You won’t regret this one.
NOW & THEN around Balmain, Sydney
Balmain was part of a 550 acre land grant made to surgeon Dr William Balmain in 1800. The area changed hands several times before it was rapidly sub-divided and developed in the 1840s.
Balmain became one of the leading industrial centres of Sydney with a metal foundry, shipbuilding, engineering and boiler making companies operating in the area.
Amid the increasing industrialisation of Balmain came a demand for cheap housing. Small blocks of land were subsequently sold to entrepreneurs who built cottages and rented them to workers. By the 1920s, Balmain had gained a reputation as a rough working-class area.
A large influx of World War II European migrants boosted Balmain’s population as they found the area to be convenient and affordable. By the 1960s, industry began to decline and the gentrification of Balmain began; its waterfront location and proximity to Sydney’s CBD made the suburb very popular and today the houses command high prices.
A photographic record of my visit to Balmain
Much of Balmain is a heritage conservation area and creative design is required to adapt and modernise the mostly Victorian and Edwardian housing stock. The following images showcase how some architects have approached this opportunity.
The following images showcase just some of the infill developments that have been constructed within Balmain heritage conservation areas.
Buildings with Structural Issues
The following three properties provide examples of projects that gained approval for work to significant building fabric however, due to structural issues only apparent after work had commenced, new development applications had to be submitted and the buildings had to be rebuilt.
In 1921 William Colgate established a branch of his American soap and candle business in King Street, Sydney. By 1923 Colgate-Palmolive had moved to Balmain where it acquired additional buildings over the coming years.
In the late 1900s, two of the Colgate-Palmolive buildings were converted into residential apartment buildings. The balconies and top two floors were added structures.
Balmain falls within the local government area of Leichhardt Municipal Council. Information regarding the various heritage conservation areas can be found on the Leichhardt Municipal Council website.
Leichhardt Council website, Dictionary of Sydney, Office of Environment & Heritage – State Heritage Inventory, Pictorial History Balmain To Glebe by Joan Lawrence & Catherine Warne. Historical images courtesy Flickr Commons & the State Library of New South Wales.