Soma | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Soma
Other name/s: Former Kirribilli Private Hospital
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 126 Kirribilli Avenue, Kirribilli, NSW 2061
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
126 Kirribilli AvenueKirribilliNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

A well-balanced Federation residence of substantial size and restrained detailing. Good representative of its type and an interesting contrast to some of the more elaborately detailed buildings of the same period nearby.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include information on landscape significance, interiors or the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are updated by Council as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conversation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: John H. Kirkpatrick
Physical description: o This building is designed in the Federation Arts and Crafts style.

Two storey brick residence with hipped slate roof, includes elements of the Arts & Crafts style, and used as private hospital from the 1950s till 1993. Windows have semi-circular arched fanlights infilled with stucco, and stone sills and lintols in part; terracotta shingles to chimney copings and eyelid dormer ventilators are other features.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Minor Alteration. Sympathetic and Unsympathetic.
Date condition updated:02 Oct 98
Modifications and dates: Sympathetic brick extension to rear (north) undertaken, and conversion to flats completed in 1995.
Current use: Residence


Historical notes: Land part of property of Kirribilli House until 1909, when the land was subdivided as the Kirribilli Estate, and Plunkett Street formed (named after Mrs. Plunkett, one of the former owners of Kirribilli House). Lots 9-11 of the Kirribilli Estate were purchased by Mr. Alexander Amos, Grazier. Mr. Amos employed the architect Mr. John H. Kirkpatrick to design his house. The name 'Soma' is 'Amos' spelt backward. The house passed through several owners until purchased and subdivided in 1950, when the high-rise home units east of 'Soma' were constructed, and 'Soma' left on its existing block. The house operated as a guesthouse during the 1950s, then as Kirribilli Private hospital from 1957-1992. Refurbished & extended in 1994 for use as flats.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Associative Local. Representative Local.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Associative Local. Representative Local.
SHR Criteria f)
Local significance
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as historically representative locally. This item is assessed as aesthetically representative locally.
Integrity/Intactness: Unsympathetic
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I026502 Aug 13   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19930106Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB 17/3/92 Yes
North Sydney Heritage Review2002 John Oultram  No

References, internet links & images


Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2180106

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