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Lawson Apartments
Lawson Gnangarra (47 of 71).jpg
Lawson Apartments, corner view Sherwood Court and The Esplanade
Former names Lawson Flats
General information
Architectural style Art deco
Location Perth, Western Australia
Address 2–4 Sherwood Court, Perth
Coordinates 31°57′24″S 115°51′30″E / 31.9566°S 115.8582°E / -31.9566; 115.8582
Construction started November 1936
Completed 1937
Renovated 1987
Technical details
Structural system Reinforced concrete
Floor count 11
Design and construction
Architect Hennessy, Hennessy & Co
Reginald Summerhayes
Structural engineer Hennessy, Hennessy & Co
Main contractor Concrete Construction (W.A.) Ltd
Renovating team
Architect Oldham Boas Ednie-Brown Architects
Type State Registered Place
Designated 1 December 1995
Reference no. 2092

Lawson Apartments are located at 2–4 Sherwood Court near the corner with The Esplanade, in Perth, Western Australia. They are situated across the road from the Esplanade Reserve and adjacent to the Weld Club.


The building, originally known as Lawson Flats, is an eleven storey art deco apartment block, constructed in 1937, by the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society. It included a restaurant and a private club, the Perth Club, at the lower three floors and apartments above. The building was designed by Sydney architects Hennessy, Hennessy & Co in association with local architect, Reginald Summerhayes for rental purposes as a companion piece to the neighbouring Colonial Mutual Life building (1936–1980) on St Georges Terrace. When constructed, the two Colonial Mutual Life buildings were amongst the tallest in Perth. Its landmark status and prestigious location catered for an exclusive market in multi-residential building stock not known in Western Australia prior to the Inter-War years. The design features Spanish Mission and Art Deco styled ornamentation, evoking some of the allure of Hollywood. Internally, the H-shaped plan form provides for four apartments per floor, arranged in pairs in the twin palazzi form towers. During World War II, the headquarters of the State Cabinet were located in the building.

Current use

The apartments were refurbished in 1986, following their sale by Colonial Mutual and they were subsequently strata titled and sold off individually in 1987. The Karrakatta Club currently occupies the former premises of the Perth Club on the first and second floors and shares part of the ground floor with Balthazar, a fine-dining restaurant. The club relocated to the Lawson Apartments in 1984, following the sale of its former club premises on St Georges Terrace.

Heritage value

It was classified by the National Trust on 4 May 1981 and included on the City of Perth's Municipal Heritage Inventory on 20 December 1985. The Building was placed on the permanent Register of the National Estate on 25 March 1986 and was permanently listed on the State Register of Heritage Places by the Heritage Council of Western Australia on 1 December 1995.

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