Henry Hardie Kemp

Place of Birth
Broughton, Salford
Manchester Melbourne

  • Birth: 10 March 1859, Broughton, Salford
  • Death: 22 April 1946, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Henry Hardie Kemp was born on 10 March 1859 at  Great Cheetham Street, Broughton, Salford, the son of Alexander Kemp, woollen merchant, and his wife Mary, née Hardie, both from Scotland. He was educated privately at Bowden, at the Academy Fairfield and the Victoria University, Manchester, and the Royal Academy, London. From an early age he aimed to be an artist. In 1875 he was articled in the office of Manchester architects Corsen and Aitken, then in London with R. W. Edis and, just before his migration to Melbourne in 1886, with Paull & Bonella. Drawings from his student days show the development of his later architectural style - his interest in the half-timbered vernacular of Cheshire and Manchester, in Gothic work, and in that of the contemporary English architects E. Nesfield and R. N. Shaw. He gained many prizes, and after becoming travelling student and medallist of the Architectural Association, London, in 1881, made the first of a number of sketching tours of France.

In Melbourne he was chief assistant with the firm of Terry & Oakden, and in 1887 became a partner in the firm, restyled Oakden, Addison & Kemp. Before the financial collapse of 1892 greatly reduced the practice, Kemp was associated with a number of substantial projects.  In 1895-97 Kemp is believed to have been in Sydney, but he returned to Melbourne where in 1899 he entered into a brilliant partnership with Beverley Ussher (1868-1908). The practice specialized in domestic work and their houses epitomize the Marseilles tiled Queen Anne (or Federation style) houses characteristic of Melbourne, and considered now to be a truly distinctive Australian genre. At the time of their creation they were a break with the use of cement render, applied stucco ornament, cast iron, slates, and double hung windows. Their designs use red bricks, terracotta tiles and casement windows, avoid applied ornamentation and develop substantial timber details. The picturesque character of the houses results from a conscious attempt to express externally with gables, dormers, bays, roof axes, and chimneys, the functional variety of rooms within. Dalswraith for William Gibson, 99 Studley Park Road, Kew (1906) and a house for A. Norman, 7 Adeney Avenue, Kew (1908) are superb examples of his designs.

Henry Hardie died at Kew, Melbourne on 22 April 1946, survived by his wife, four daughters and son. [Australian Dictionary of Biography ‑ Online Edition]

1861 : Great Cheetham Street, Broughton Salford
1863 : Highfield Bowdon
1871 : Altrincham
1876 : Heald Lawn Bowdon
1881 : Kilburn Square, Hendon
1887 : Melbourne Australia

Reference : Australian Dictionary of Biography ‑ Online Edition