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    8 REMARKABLE STYLES IN AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE

    8 REMARKABLE STYLES IN AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE
    • sagadmin
    • May 15 2021

    Have you ever wondered where in the spectrum of numerous architectural styles your residential property stands? If you are an Australian property owner, or perhaps you are soon to become one, you may want to pay attention to this article.

    Although, throughout the years, many styles have been borrowed from abroad, there is a series of styles that are unique to the Australian market. To know where your real estate fits in this design range, continue reading as we will give you a brief lesson on the history of Australian architecture.

    Note: If your property was severely modified over the course of time, it may contain elements of numerous styles.

    THE VICTORIAN STYLE

    The Victorian Style was most commonly used from the beginning of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. It can be divided into three major stages: early (1804-1860), mid (1861 to 1875) and late (1876 to 1901).

    There are a number of key elements that are distinctive to the early Victorian style. These include: brickwork, a front veranda, pitched roof and minimal decorations. The design of these houses is fairly similar to those of worker’s cottages.

    Intricate and elaborate ornaments become more commonly accepted as we move toward the mid-Victorian era. Features such as ornamental brick facades, lacework made of cast iron, ceiling embellishments and purely decorative cast mouldings are predominant feature in Victorian architecture from 1861 to 1875.

    In the final period, Victorian properties came with sophisticated laces made of cast iron, fireplaces, decorative timberwork mouldings, plaster ceiling mouldings, narrow and steep staircases. Living and dining rooms became places of gathering and socializing and they were planned towards the front of the house, while the kitchen was planned to the back. Bedrooms were located either on the upper floor (if the house had more than just a ground floor), or off the foyer.

    THE FEDERATION STYLE

    Also commonly known as the Edwardian style, the Federation style across Australia got its name in honour of King Edward the VII (1901-1910). The Federation style is a local Australian adaptation of Edwardian style of architecture.

    The Federation style is rather distinctive and easy to recognize. Façades of these buildings were covered with red bricks, roofs were either made of terracotta tiles or slate. Throughout the interior, lavishly decorative press-metal ceilings, timber mouldings on the walls, decorative staircases and lace-like ornaments are just a few of many elements that are typical of the Federation style of Australian architecture.

    ART DECO

    The Art Deco movement first appeared in France during the second decade of the 20th century — just before World War I. This style was described as a “total work of art”. What this means is that its influence penetrated not only architectural circles, but also films, theatre and fashion.

    The style reached its peak in the ‘20s and ‘30s of the 20th century. It is then, when it became widely adopted in Australia as well. The main characteristics of Art Deco are clean, bold lines and geometric shapes. Design was influenced by industry and industrial design. Symmetry and simplicity were essential aspects of this style.

    Decorative masonry, geometric elements and patterns and windows with metal frames are just some of the most recognizable elements of the Art Deco style. In the interiors, wooden parquetry flooring, veneer wall panels, mottled tiles (also known as shell tiles) and a great diversity in colours were some of the most emblematic style features.

    Pink, pale blue or lime colour were frequently paired with black to create impressive contrast.

    THE CALIFORNIAN BUNGALOW

    Europe wasn’t the only continent to influence Australian architecture. Influence also came from the USA. American culture first started influencing Aussie society via music and films. It was not long after that architectural trends from the USA gained their popularity in Down Under as well.

    The popularity of Californian Bungalows reached the peak of its popularity between 1910 and 1930. But why was this architectural style so widely adopted in Australia? These homes were originally designed to provide protection from the heat on the North American continent. Knowing that the climate in Australia is fairly similar to the one in California, these houses became a great success.

    A front veranda is probably one of the most emblematic elements of this style of architecture. The front porch was usually supported with columns, which were originally made of wood. However, the main building material was replaced by brick in Australia to better fit the building norms.

    POST-WAR ARCHITECTURE

    After the Second World War ended in 1945, Australia had to face numerous social, political and economic changes and challenges. Australia received a great number of European war refugees which eventually resulted in housing shortage. The circumstance created a great opportunity for new beginnings and construction of new houses.

    New residential properties were built in a large spectrum of styles. California bungalows, fibro and timber cottages and L-shaped homes are just some of the most common styles of construction in the early post war era. We have already covered the main characteristics of the California bungalow style, so let’s focus on the latter two.

    L-shape homes were first built in the second half of 1940s. The traditional layout was rejected, and a modern approach to floor planning was adopted. Windows were made of steel or timber and terracotta tiles were used throughout homes.

    Fibro cottages are more common throughout coastal areas. They were widely built between the ’30s and ’50s. The authentic cottages were pretty inexpensive to purchase, thus their popularity. However, as they were usually clad with asbestos, which is today considered to be a toxic material, remodelling of these properties is highly recommended.

    Australian homes that were built in the second half of the 20th century, especially those built in the 1970s were based on previous architectural styles. Features such as natural materials and untreated surfaces were common for this period.

    Wall paneling, timber paneling, unpainted bricks, and plasterboard ceilings painted in red, yellow and blue are just some of the main aspects of this style. Additionally, an increase in ownership of personal vehicles led to mass the construction of garages.

    Fibro fisherman’s cottage-type houses, together with pavilion dwellings, and triple-fronted brick veneer homes started appearing in this period as well. The popularity of these types of homes is due to their relatively inexpensive cost of construction.

    MID-CENTURY MODERN

    As an architectural style, Mid-century Modern was perhaps the most warmly welcomed style in Australia. In the years that followed the Second World War and expansion of construction in the ‘50s and ‘60s, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of homes were built across the whole country.

    Some key features of this architectural style are enormous floor-to-ceiling apertures. Roofs were mainly flat, and interiors were done design in a sleek and straight line. Bold colours such as blue, yellow and red, and combinations of each were introduced in the forms of details and accents. Many of these homes enjoy heritage status today.

    CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE

    When it comes to modern Australian residential architecture, we can detect some common elements, including open-floor plans that connect the living-room, kitchen and dining room, entertainment areas, home offices or studies, grand-spa and hotel-style bathrooms, multiple stories, one or multiple garages and a pool area.

    When it comes to modern Australian residential architecture, we can detect some common elements, including open-floor plans that connect the living-room, kitchen and dining room, entertainment areas, home offices or studies, grand-spa and hotel-style bathrooms, multiple stories, one or multiple garages and a pool area.

    Throughout the interior, natural stone (or imitations) are used for countertops in kitchens. Additionally, suspended ceilings with built-in LED lights, tiled floors and floors with carpeting in the bedrooms are some elements of modern-day Australian architecture.

    As the time passes, homes are also getting bigger and grander to accommodate all of the commodities of modern life.