John Wallis of Noel T. Leach Builders has prefabricated the south dome’s frame at ground level for an understanding of Greenway’s unusual design. The domes were constructed of curved timber ribs (cut out of solid pieces of Eucalyptus sp hardwood) braced with substantial circular plates and vertical studs and covered with Forest oak (Casuarina torulosa) shingles overlaid on narrow battens.

Greenway designed his domes as self-conciously stripped back elemental forms, a ‘primitive’ tendency favoured by Regency architects such as Sir John Soane which was possibly ultimately inspired by the writings of the philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The drum, largely hidden behind the parapet, lifted the dome above the surrounding sandstone roof, giving it a floating quality.

Photo: Scott Carlin