Discovering Australian Architecture: Australian House Styles


Believe it or not, Australia has only been an industrialized country for a little over 200 years. And with Australia’s unique history and climate, it’s understandable that it would have a range of distinct housing styles.

But did you know that homes in Australia have reflected the country’s history through architectural evolution?

There are remarkable Australian house styles that you can’t find anywhere else. Check out how the country’s history can be seen in the unique characteristics of Australia’s homes. 

The Original Architecture

For many years, the indigenous people of Australia created basic shelters made from cane, plants, and sandstone.

When British settlers arrived in the late 1700s, they used natural resources such as clay, stones, and wood to build small cottages. They also often included thatched roofs like those found in aboriginal homes. 

As they settled into their new environment, colonists began to build more complex homes. Using bricks, stone, and glass, they reflected the Georgian architecture popular in England at the time. As time went on, materials for these homes became sturdier, allowing many of these beautiful colonial homes to stand strong today. Aboriginal homes are deeply connected to the culture and the art that indigenous Aboriginal Australian cultivated and created in the past. Read our article, Australian Aboriginal Art: Understanding The History and Styles, for more information.

Building Up

When mining became popular in Australia in the 1830s, metal became key in housing. During this time, roofs transitioned to iron sheets and shingles.

Homes were again built to reflect what was popular in Britain. And by this time, Victorian-style homes began to show up in bigger cities. 

As Queensland became more populated, Australians began to build a unique style of homes to suit the needs of the land. With flooding and extreme heat common in the area, homes were raised off the ground and roofs were pitched higher to provide better airflow. Thus, the Queenslander style was born. 

More Australian House Styles Are Born

With more people and resources entering Australia, several new styles of homes appeared. Inspired by Queen Anne architecture, Federation homes brought in a wave of extravagance.

In the early 1900s, American architecture was in, as evident in the popular Californian bungalow style of homes. At the same time, modern styles of homes such as art deco and contemporary homes were on the rise. These art-centric homes continued to grow in popularity until the late 1980s. 

Settling In 

By the 1990s, the art wave began to slow down. But, the use of newer building materials in Australian house styles did not. Brick veneer, tiled concrete, and aluminum were used in developing affordable single-family housing.

Now, the many styles of architecture born into Australia continue to be used throughout the country as more homes are being built. As we learn more about the property market, we can make predictions about what Australian homes and locations may be the next big thing. 

The Styles Continue 

The mix of international inspiration and Australian land necessity brings a unique sense of charm to every community. From simple elegances to extreme craft, there are Australian house styles right for everyone. 

Interested in learning more about the amazing homes in Australia? Start your hunt today by browsing the rest of this site for inspiration. 

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