tri-generation chimneys Sustainable Sydney 2030Lymesmith:

  • creates inventive and sensitive architectural colour concepts for buildings, infrastructure, walls, street scapes, public places, landscapes and interiors
  • works at all scales – from multi storey facades to colour selection and wall paintings for single rooms
  • projects include public art commissions, commercial fit-outs, public infrastructure and private houses
  • loves to collaborate with architects, builders, developers, artists, designers, government agencies and individuals
  • helps clients discover beautiful paths through the multicoloured world.

The name Lymesmith was coined to describe one who works with lime, and whose practice makes essential connections across the disciplines of architecture, painting and urban design. Lime is a ubiquitous substance in building and painting. It is a key ingredient in mortar, cement, plaster and paint forming an essential link between built form and ‘decoration’. In Australia, the shell middens created by Aboriginal people all around Sydney harbour were gathered up and burnt in kilns to create shell lime for the construction of many early buildings in Australia. For this reason, the sydney rock oyster has been adopted for Lymesmith’s logo.

Sonia van de Haar – Creative Director and Founder

Sonia van de Haar founded Lymesmith in 2004 and has undertaken a broad range of projects from architecture and colour consultancies, to large scale public art and infrastructure projects. Her most recent public art project, in collaboration with Neeson Murcutt Architects and The City of Sydney, is for the Prince Alfred Park Pool Upgrade, due for completion in 2012. Sonia was born in Wollongong, NSW and studied painting at the Canberra Institute of the Arts, ANU and architecture at the University of NSW. She studied fresco painting at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. She has worked as an artist, architect and colour consultant in Australia and the UK.

selected projects
“Building Blocks” Street Activation Project, Circular Quay for AMP Capital
Colour Designer for UTS Thomas St Science Building, with Durbach Block Jaggers and BVNDonovan Hill
Colour Street Upgrade (refurbishment of 7 buildings) in Parramatta CBD for Parramatta City Council
Tri-generation chimneys, public art project for Prince Alfred Park Pool
Ollie and Me retail shop fitout, Gerringong
West Hobart House colour project
Paddington House colour consultancy
Minnamurra Cafe and General Store fitout and facade
Kiama farm house DA and CC
Dual occupancy house DA, Wollongong
Short listed competition entry for ACT Health Building light installation for Arts
design critic, 4th year architecture projects at Sydney University (for tutor: Nicholas Murcutt)
collaborations with McGregor Westlake Architecture for Parramatta Transport Interchange Art Wall
lighting/ art installation works for Westfield Cinema Complex, Parramatta
lane way renewal proposals for Parramatta City Council
Jacaranda Square, Homebush Olympic Site, Sydney

Grit & Pearl LLP, UK 
architectural consultant to public art + urban design consultancy
art / architectural proposals for urban regeneration projects across Tyne and Wear and West Cumbria
critical design review of buildings funded through West Lakes Renaissance, the regeneration body for West Cumbria 
Major art and ecology gateways proposal and report ‘Green Ribbons’ for the City of Sunderland
University Of Newcastle, UK
design studio tutor for art/architectural projects at English Heritage site, Belsay Hall, Northumberland

Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects 
14 apartments on Bondi Road, Bondi
Rockdale Development Control Plan
Parramatta Rail Link Urban Design Guidelines
Parramatta Transport Precinct and Interchange Master Plan
winning competition entry for upgrade of Macquarie St Mall, Liverpool, NSW with JILA and MWA

2014 Resene Total Colour Award Winner for “Building Blocks” at Quay Quarter, for AMP Capital, Sydney 
2008 RAIA Urban Design Architecture Award for Parramatta Interchange Wall, with MWA 
2007 National Concrete Association Award For Category Wall for Parramatta Interchange Wall, with MWA 
2003 winning competition entry for the upgrading of Macquarie St Mall, Liverpool, with MWA and JILA 
2003 short listed for public art commission – ACT Health Building Project – ACT Government 
2000 UNSW Spirit of Reconciliation award, for “Ngurrurkutjarra – the In-Between Place”, Warburton Ranges, WA 
1995 Australia Day Council award of artists’ residency with Arthur Boyd at the Bundanon Trust, NSW


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