Client: Castlereagh Hotel

Project: Castlereagh Hotel Redevelopment, Dubbo NSW

Barnson’s Role: Comprehensive architectural design, structural design, civil engineering, and town planning

Time frame: 12 months for design, 6 months for construction, fully operational in April 2014

The Castlereagh Hotel has experienced significant disruption throughout its 130-year history. It was established in 1882 on the corner of Talbragar and Brisbane Streets in the heart of Dubbo’s CBD. The hotel burnt down in 1890, and again in 1922. The current hotel was built in 1923.

The new owners were keen to update this historic hotel and started a $600,000 18-month design and construction project. While the exterior façade was appealing, the dated finishes and confusing layout meant that the hotel was in serious need of modernisation. The existing bar, dining room, amenities, function, and gaming areas were all redeveloped. Barnson’s Building and Industrial Design team worked to reconfigure the existing space whilst maintaining the heritage features to create an open, modern bar to attract new clientele.

The work had to be scheduled so that the pub could continue to operate during construction. The continued trading during the six-month redevelopment meant that the building work ensured a continuous income stream for the owners. It also allowed locals see the changes to the historic hotel take place around them.

Due to the hotel remaining operational during construction and the challenges that meant to all involved the redevelopment was undertaken in stages.

Stage 1 involved:

  • relocating the offices
  • joining the space between the dining and function areas
  • creating a multi-function dining room that could cater for larger functions


Stage 2 involved:

  • reconfiguring the rest of the downstairs areas
  • removing most of the walls
  • major structural works to open up the space and provide more useable floor area to the bar
  • new compliant gaming and TAB areas
  • new modern bar
  • upgrading the amenities
  • upgrading the outdated finishes
  • new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint throughout