Australian Colonial Architecture

Professional Associations


The Colonial Period of architecture in Australia came  at the tail end of the fashionable Georgian style of building in England and America. The style was typified by symmetrical facades with the main entry at the centre flanked by either two, three or four sets of subordinate openings arranged on both sides.  Many of the colonial farm houses reveal the symmetry and influence of the Georgian Style.


A prominent feature of the early Australian farm houses is the verandah which usually wrapped itself around the whole house to make access into the bedrooms possible from the outside. Window openings were mainly vertical in the Golden Section (Broadbent,1997) proportion and the use of glazed sash windows is common throughout.  Later, as prosperity prevailed, Regency style decoration was

The verandah is an essential element of the Australian Colonial house circa 1788 to 1840.

added – mainly to the front door entries which often made use of elliptical forms as opposed to regular arches over the main entry.  This was facilitated by adding a side light on each side of the entry.  Generally, Georgian architecture paid close attention to the human scale.  It preferred simplicity and control as opposed to elaboration and decoration which came in with the Regency Style influences.

Paul Rappoport – Heritage 21 – 13 April 2011

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