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Transcript of Australian Architecture
The earliest buildings in Australia that were not of Aboriginal influence were by the First Fleet, in 1788. When the first European settlers arrived in Australia they camped in tents and huts. Throughout their exploration, they built simple houses with materials such as clay, bush timber, and stone, and whatever materials they could find. These houses were influenced by the Georgian architecture in the settlers’ native land.
The evolution of designs of buildings and houses in Australia can observed through the different periods. Today, we still have many unique architectures, however, architects are now more careful of how they use materials. This is because the world is more aware of the environmental issues we are currently facing.
Victorian Period: The Queenslander
The Queenslander is an original Australian design that was introduced in the 1840s, during the Victorian Period. It is a practical and durable type of house that is still used today. This housing was built to endure the wet climate, particularly in the state of Queensland.
The Queenslander is built with timber and usually two storeys high. The house is elevated off the ground by vertical stumps. This is especially effective when areas are prone to flooding.
Australian Architecture was heavily influenced by the Western culture architecture. The designs of the architectures have been elaborated through different periods.
The houses in this period had verandahs and thatched or shingled roofs. The verandahs made access to bedrooms from the outside easier. The design of the houses were very symmetrical. These designs were used throughout the 19th century.
The earliest constructions of settlements in Australia were from the Indigenous population. There were different types of constructions and it varied from dome frameworks, to triangular shelters, and to egg-shaped structures. The materials used to build these structures were dependent in the availability and supply of these resources. Most Indigenous shelters were located near bodies of water such as a river or creek.
The dome frameworks were the most common shelter, as it extended across Australia. This type of structure was built with grass. Mud and grass were used to make their shelters resistant to water, in South Australia. Also, the frameworks were structured with whale bones. Stone huts were built in the cold regions of south-eastern Australia.
The Regency, Grecian and Gothic were also associated with the Colonial period architecture in Australia.
style used stone and brick work which were subsequently covered with stucco. Painting the exterior of the building became common. As the use for verandahs increased, cantilevered balconies were introduced.
Towards the end of the Colonial Period in 1840, the
design was introduced. The Grecian architecture was interpreted as a classical style. This type of architecture was inspired to have characteristics of Ancient Greece.
architecture ended the Colonial Period in 1840. Medieval ruins became an inspiration for this type of architecture. The Gothic architecture was mostly used for churches.
Former Horbury Terrace
The Australian Museum
The Garrison Church
During the reign of Queen Victoria, Australia became a significant colony for the British empire as it became the source of supplies for raw materials for England. In this period, Australian houses has developed to become bigger. At the start, there was not much change but later, two storeys terraces were introduced. Corner square towers at front doors was in trend for a while during this period. The widow's walks during this period has become unfashionable during this period because of its waterproofing problems. Furthermore, dry press bricks were introduced. The Victorian Period design featured symmetrical layouts and front doors that were placed on the centre.
Georgian, Regency, Egyptian, Academic Classical, Free Classical, Filligree, Mannerist, Second Empire, Italianate, Romanesque, Academic Gothic, Free Gothic, Tudor, Rustic Gothic and Carpenter Gothic are all styles associated with the Victorian Period.
Bowral Town Hall - Mannerist Style
Mayfield, New South Wales - Filligree/Italianate style
Former General Post Office - Free Classical Style
In the early 1900s and late 1880s, nationalism amongst Australians have increased. Thus, Australia was federated and was proclaimed as a Commonwealth.
The Federation period in Australia was influenced by the Edwardian Style from England. Turrets, towers, parapeted gables, symmetry and assymetry, vertical scale to windows and doors, steep roofs, roof trims, and the Australian verandah were all features of this style.
The filligree architecture was also a style that was used in the Federation period. Unlike in the Victorian period, instead of wrought iron, wooden fretwork were used for screens. This style was particularly popular in Queensland as it provided shade and easy air circulation.
Queen Victoria Building
Mansion in Melbourne
At the early part of this period, Australia, along with the rest of the world had an economic boom. New technology and faster communication were developed in the 1920s. However, in the late 1920s, the world, including Australia, suffered with depression.
The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge provided employment for many of the citizens during the Depression-era.It was inspired by the New York Hell Gate Bridge. It is the tallest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge in the world.
Styles that are associated with this period include:
- Californian Bungalow
- Spanish Mission
- Old English
- Early Moderne
A California Bungalow styled house in Sydney
the construction of the Harbour Bridge
Following the events of World War II, Australia had lacked the materials for building. The Austere design had reflected this.
During this period the construction of the infamous Australian landmark, the Sydney Opera House, was planned. The design for the theater was held in a competition and Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, was chosen by the judges to design the Opera House. The construction started in the late 1950s and finished in the early 1970s. It took 16 years to build. The Opera House is one of the most unique constructions in the world. The roof of the Opera House is made of shells.
Late Twentieth Century Period
Mud bricks, earth floors, pole structures, recycled bricks and timber and windows, prototype solar collectors and solar hot water heaters, shingle roofs, corrugated metal roofing and walling, and experimented with earth filled tires, glass walls, and single lining to walls were alternative housing natural materials in the late twentieth century. This is because architects have since been aware of the impacts in the environment.