Australian style evolving

CREATIVE: Varying the sizes of available blocks allow architects to design a home uniquely yours, and not a carbon copy of your neighbours.

CREATIVE: Varying the sizes of available blocks allow architects to design a home uniquely yours, and not a carbon copy of your neighbours.

Australia is a young country architecturally and in comparison to the rest of the world, we're still in our infancy.

Aussie style has been a conglomeration of borrowed European design and is still finding its way. - Paula Ross

We had nothing structural before colonisation by the British a scant 200 plus years ago.

As a result of this, we’ve historically adopted British architectural style and design. 

The typical Aussie homestead was red brick, bluestone or sandstone with high ceilings, small windows and deep verandahs to all sides and basically cold and dark.

Although we've certainly evolved since that time, Aussie style has been a conglomeration of borrowed European design and is still finding its way. 

Had Australia been colonised by the Spaniards, I wonder how our landscape would look today?

The typical hacienda would be a very suitable style for our climate, long and low and protected from the summer sun with loggias and courtyards, it's a style adapted to the harsh Spanish climate and by default their colonies, that has stood the test of time. 

So how much has Aussie style evolved? There doesn’t seem to be enough thought put into the orientation of future homes, or how that suburb will look in 15 or 20 years time.

Home design has had to work within the confines of the small rectangular blocks available, with very little room to be creative.

I believe we can still have affordable land without a compromise in style. 

We can start with the grass roots of council planning – the approval of subdivisions and land development, to incorporate blocks with maximum northern orientation, communal green spaces, variable setbacks to allow creativity in design, and gardens as a buffer to the street.

Varying the sizes of available blocks allows architects to design a home uniquely yours, and not a carbon copy of your neighbours. 

The benefits would be suburbs that get better with age, that increase in land value, and are sought after and desirable to live in. 

Paula Ross is an interior decorator and colour consultant, contact her on paula-ross@hotmail.com.

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