tri-generation chimneys Sustainable Sydney 2030

Lymesmith works between colour, architecture and art, creating inventive and architectural sensitive colour concepts and painted interventions for buildings, infrastructure, walls, street scapes, public places, landscapes and interiors.  Colour (understood as a property of every material in the built environment), assumes atmospheric, constructive, destructive, dynamic, decorative, contextualising and camouflaging functions in her work. 
Lymesmith specialises in working with colour to;
  • Develop site specific colour and material palettes which express and enhance our understanding of place,
  • Amplify or camouflage built form,
  • Signify cultural and historical connections,
  • Reinforce wayfinding strategies,
  • Create new identities and regenerate places in transition.
This specialisation and approach to colour in the built environment has resulted in ongoing relationships with some of Sydney’s leading architecture and design firms, and to multiple awards.


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. 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 public projects
The Runnel, 150m long road painting and colour palette for Elysium project Byron Bay;
Bird Screen, 230m coloured steel façade screen concept for Blacktown Council’s Animal Holding Facility;
Colour Design, for Public Amenities at North Bondi and Mark’s Park with Sam Crawford Architects;
Building Blocks Street Activation Project, Circular Quay for AMP Capital
Facade Colour Designer for UTS Thomas St Science Building, with Durbach Block Jaggers + BVNDonovan Hill
Darcy Street Activation Project (refurbishment of 7 buildings) in Parramatta CBD for Parramatta City Council
Shades of Green, Tri-generation chimneys, public art project for Prince Alfred Park Pool
Parramatta Transport Interchange Art Wall, collaboration with McGregor Westlake Architecture 
Lighting/ art installation works for Westfield Cinema Complex, Parramatta
Jacaranda Square Canopy and Kiosk, Homebush Olympic Site, with McGregor Westlake Architecture 
private commissions
Hanging Garden, glazed terracotta tile mural for private pool in Bronte, with Neeson Murcutt Architects;
Gunnamatta Bay Aerial, interior wall murals for private house in Cronulla.
other – small architecture and domestic colour projects
Pickers Shed, Deviot CBD Vineyard, West Tamar River, TAS
Cronulla House Colour with Amber Road, NSW
Bronte House interiors, NSW
Kiama farm house DA and CC, NSW
Dual occupancy house DA, Wollongong, NSW
Ollie and Me, retail shop fit-out, Kiama, NSW
West Hobart House colour project, TAS
Paddington Terrace colour consultancy, NSW
Minnamurra Cafe and General Store fit-out and facade, NSW
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
2017 Dulux Colour Award Grand Prix, North Bondi Amenities with Sam Crawford Architects
2017 Dulux Colour Award for Commercial Exterior, North Bondi Amenities with Sam Crawford Architects
2016 AIA NSW Public Architecture Award – Mark’s Park Amenities Upgrade with Sam Crawford Architects
2016 AIA NSW Small Architecture Award – Mark’s Park Amenities Upgrade with Sam Crawford Architects
2015 Resene Total Colour Awards – Winner for ‘Cronulla House’ for Best Neutral Colour Scheme of 2015
2015 Gold Sydney Design Awards, Mixed Use Category for UTS Science Building with Durbach Block Jaggers
2015 City of Sydney Lord Mayors Award for UTS Science Building with Durbach Block Jaggers

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, Emerging Artists’ Residency with Arthur Boyd at the Bundanon Trust, NSW


Copyright © 2018 Lymesmith