By Phoenix Naman

Focus On Newtown: Sam Crawford Architects


In episode two, we sit down with Sam Crawford

Sam leads an award-winning architecture practice on Wilson Street, a passionate group that deeply cares about enriching the culture and beauty of Newtown. 

When speaking to Sam, we were lucky enough to hear how his love for architecture formed at a young age. His father, reeling from an intense year practising law, opted for a stint travelling across Europe alongside his family, consisting of seven children.  

After ticking off the continent’s most notable museums and monuments, including visiting the Pantheon in Rome, Sam realised that architecture is a beautiful craft and something that he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life. Amazingly, Sam has replicated similar awe-inspiring work back home in Australia and across the globe that will no doubt inspire other young minds to make architecture their life’s passion. 

No example is more impressive than his team's work in Malawi. Operating as Sam describes “effectively a pro-bono project,” his business unselfishly committed five years and thousands of dollars to what ultimately became an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved. 

The result is the FOCHTA Vocational Training Centre, a safe haven for children orphaned by AIDS. Like Sam’s original inspiration the Pantheon, this building will serve its community for generations to follow. Not shy to the fact that this experience also fortuned his practice through recognition and new work, Sam then took great pride in reflecting on his recent achievements in Newtown. 

Described as requiring “radical surgery,” Hidden Garden House was a proud accomplishment by the practice in the early 2020s and a fantastic example of elevating a struggling home beyond anything anyone else could have imagined. 

Entering the project, Sam and his team identified the home's untapped potential and the unwavering need to connect, in particular, the main living space to the endless beauty of the sky above. 

The solution was to create a roof that opened above, producing a stunning garden oasis for the main bedroom and bathroom one floor up. This design went on to be recognised by AIA NSW Residential Architecture and featured by many respected architecture journalists. It is currently shortlisted for the 2024 NSW Architecture Awards

This work, as well as so many other spectacular creations by Sam Crawford Architects, is a credit to Sam’s aforementioned pursuit to further reveal Newtown’s beauty and importance in Sydney.  

His deep love for the vibrancy of the area and the opportunities to work and learn from so many different and talented architects is an obvious driver to why so many want to be a part of his practice. 

Ask any local Newtown builder that Sam has worked alongside, not just those in his field. You’ll likely hear from someone who felt valued and reciprocated the passion. 

Have an ambitious home renovation, or are you looking to create your dream space from scratch? Get in touch with Sam and his team by contacting them here

To look at Sam Crawford Architects’ extensive body of work, visit their website


This feature is part of a year-long short film series called 'Focus On' where we highlight local heroes of our vibrant inner-west community. If you're an artist, a maker, an entrepreneur, an artisan, or a small business operating in the creative space and would like a feature such as this, get in touch.


Focus On: Newtown featuring Sam Crawford Architects

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