Architecture and design: Australian architecture – Part 1

Australian country house style

We’re fortunate in Australia to have a great mix of architectural styles, and having lived in over 40 homes myself (long story!) and visited countless others, I’ve learnt a lot.

Here’s a quick overview and pictorial look at some of the different types of residential buildings which you would find in Australia cities, suburbs, and country and coastal towns, as well as some links for exploring more about Australian architecture

Early Australian settlers living in tents

A quick overview

Since European settlement in 1788, we’ve gone from fabric tents and wattle-and-daub huts of the early settlers, to “more British than the British” Georgian and Victorian styles, to the “amended Australian” styles of Californian bungalows and Federations homes and “uniquely Australian” modern beach houses, “Queenslanders” and outback homesteads.

Over time, many of our buildings have been concerned with the weather, adjusting traditional British styles to the extremes of heat and cold found across the country, although it’s the hot sun that has given rise to our love of wide verandahs, filigree shading detail, and love of backyard swimming pools.


Australian architecture - Victorian Federation housing


Types of residential architecture in Australia:

Read more here.

Architecture in Australian - Art Deco apartments in Melbourne


Various incarnations of Chez Luscious…

Some of the apartment- and house-styles I’ve lived in include: 1960 flat roofed, brick veneer, timber and fibro cottage, triple front brick, warehouse conversion, Victorian terrace, weatherboard cottage, Old colonial, Federation, California bungalow, 1970s modern, farm homestead, steel framed, and Art Deco/Early Moderne. It’s taught me the value of bringing sunlight into a building, with large windows and doors which bring the outside in, but still protected from the elements.

Currently, we rent a typical suburban-coastal, two-storey, double brick, free-standing house with pool in Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, but I dream about building a black-and-white Bauhaus-inspired, modern-with-some-traditional-elements home, on a large piece of land in Red Hill, just down the road, and also on the Peninsula, equipped with pool and tennis court.

Red Hill combines both rural and coastal, by being full of farmland, vineyards and orchards, with views to two coastlines, just a few minutes down the hill, on both sides. The soil is rich and luscious, and we had a very happy couple of years living there in a previous rental home.


Federation-House in Australia.jpgTerrace house exterior design ideas.jpgaustralian country house-kingsford-homestead.jpgandrew-maynard-australia-hill-house.jpg6 williams street brighton victoria.jpgUndercroft Beach House NSW by Neeson Murcutt Architects.jpgaustralian heritage house - barwon-park.jpgGreg Natale Design.jpgaustralian heritage house-historic-houses.jpgaustralian house style.jpgAustralian-Interior-Design-Awards-2012_Avoca-Beach-House-Architecture-Saville-Isaacs.jpgaward winning australian residential interiors_poolside.jpgluxury home interiors in australia.jpgnew_hampshire_in_prestige_portsea.jpgRomsey houses - early Australian architecture.jpgAirlie-Mansion-Australia.jpgSmall single story terrace house in Australia.jpg64_lefevre_terrace_north_adelaide_sa.jpgaustralian beach house - An-indoor-outdoor-wet-area-is-solid-base-for-the-platform.jpg17-cromwell-street-battery-point hobart.jpg1895 heritage Australian style weatherboard home.jpg39 Market Street Randwick.jpg4a_jerningham_street_north_adelaide.jpgadelaide-residential-property.jpg6 henry street richmond tasmania.jpgArchitecture - australian style architecture heritage.jpgaustralian heritage house - narryna tasmania.jpgAustralian suburban home.jpg20 Gugeri Street Claremont.jpg52_cole_street_brighton_vic_3186.jpg2013 Australian Interior Design Awards - contemporary.jpgadelaide-glenleg-north.jpg74_centre_road_brighton_east_vic_3187.jpg2013 Australian Interior Design Awards - kids room.jpg2013 Australian Interior Design Awards warehouse.jpgAustralian colonial style architecture - interior of Chiritta - 1890s Perth.jpgaustralian country houses.jpgaustralian heritage house - adelaide-tarcoola.jpgaustralian residential interior awards kitchen.jpgaustralian style architecture coastal living.pngAustralian waterfront homes - maritimo.jpgbelle-coco-republic-interior-design-awards-2013-finalists.jpgAustralian-Interior-Design-Awards-2012_Treehouse-Susi-Leeton.jpgaward winning australian residential interiors - living.jpgayers court stirling australian heritage house.jpgbattery-point - hobart workers cottage.jpgBatteryPoint home interior.jpgbayma australian style architecture.jpgbaynton-house-wa-rural-retreat-australian architecture.jpgbeach-house-Bouddi-Peninsula-australian beach house.jpgbeach-house-doherty-lynch-1.jpgbeachhouse st andrews beach mornington peninsula - australian beach house.jpgbelle design awards 2013.pngChiritta verandah Perth.jpgContemporary-Timber-House - australian style architecture.jpgdepo-australian style architecture.pngida award winner residential decoration 2011.jpgEarth-House-by-Jolson-Architecture-australian style architecture.jpgEast_Melbourne_Hotham_Street_1963 - terraces in Australia.jpgeureka - australian country house.jpgfamily_home_in_sought_after_north_brighton.jpgHeritage Australian dwellings - australian style architecture.jpgJohn-Wardle-Architects-Shearers-Quarters.jpgHill-Home-australian style architecture.jpgHobart workers cottages.jpgHouse in Mt Martha - living dining room.jpghouse_awards_karen_akers_australian residential interior awards - bedroom.jpghouse_awards_karen_akers_man cavejpg.jpghouse-at-wategos-beach-by-mackay-partners-australian beach house.jpginnovation-in housing - Mt Martha Victoria.jpgInside an Australian terrace house.jpgInterior design - award winning australian residential interiors.jpgLachlan Murdoch Sarah Murdoch buy Bellevue Hill property.jpgLI-art-wd-display-home-award winning australian residential interiors.jpgLlandillo - Federation style architecture.pngluxury_white kitchen in brisbane australia - Australian design inspiration.jpgman cave - house_awards_karen_akers_australian residential interior awards.jpgmanly-beach-house - australian style architecture.jpgmelbourne_from_southbank_australian heritage architecture.jpgmelbourne-terrace.pngMelding-Modern-Style-Ingenious-Residence-swimming-pool-australian style architecture.jpgMelrose_Kingston_australian style architecture.jpgpark_house_2013 Australian Interior Design Awards.jpgPatchway house 4.95million Southern Highlands Australia.pngnewtown - award winning australian residential interiors.jpgPaul Bangay sandstone_harbour_side_estate__water_city_views.jpgPeppermint - Perth-chiritta-mansion.jpgsydney waterfront property.jpgPercy Street Richmond Tasmania house.jpgPool_australian beach house - the priory.jpgPortsea holiday house with pool.jpgPrestige property in Sydney Australia - point-piper-home.jpgrare_riverside_contemporary_house design with pool - Australian style.jpgsydney house modern interior.jpgrichmond tasmania heritage cottage.jpgrolvenden_circa_1888_one_of_the_finest_estates_in_brighton.jpgRupertswood Mansion in Sunbury - example of Australian architecture houses.jpgSorrento - australian beach house .jpgsorrento house_pbennetts house.jpgstannix park australia.jpgSydney property - Point Piper Sydney harbour house.jpgsydney property - point-piper-home.jpgTerrace houses in Australian - architectural styles.jpg60 Queens Road Melbourne Vic 3004 apartments.jpgterrace-house-in-sydney.jpgThe Gables Malvern - Australian residential architecture.jpgThe Studio - 2013 Australian Interior Design Awards.jpgThe-Shearers-Quarters-Tasmania-australian style architecture.jpgtimber-and-glass-house-1.jpgToorak white house property - prestige houses.jpgTwo-Level-Beach-House-Architecture-in-Australia.jpgWeatherboard house designs meets Australian Queenslander style.jpgWestMalingSydney - australian edwardian house federation style.jpg15 Beach Avenue Elwood flats.jpg15 Diamond Road Pearl Beach NSW.jpg188 Glenmore Road Paddington.jpg2 Wimbledon Avenue Elwood flats.jpg2013 Australian Interior Design Awards - The Studio NSW.jpg2013 Australian Interior Design Awards entry courtyard.jpg206T Alison Road Randwick.jpg23a Grosvenor Street brighton victoria.jpg26-36 High Street Northcote.jpg28 Moreton St_Brisbane - Australian architectural heritage.jpg394 Collins Street Melbourne apartments.jpg480 Punt Rd consulate house.jpgArchitects-EAT-Elm-Willow-House-australian heritage house.jpg485 St Kilda Road Melbourne Vic 3004.jpg6-Alton-Avenue-Brighton-VIC-3186.jpg76-St-Georges-Road-Toorak-VIC - Edzell house.jpg8 Bligh Place Melbourne city apartment.jpg80-Canberra-Grove-Brighton-East-VIC-3187.jpgA solid-brick home in Malvern East.jpgadelaide-bridge-house-australian style architecture.jpgAlteration and Addition by Drew Heath Architects.jpgAltona Estate Sydney waterfront home.jpegaustralian style architecture exteriors.jpgart deco residential style.jpgAustralian architectural styles - Terrace house exterior.jpgAustralian country homestead farm.jpgaustralian country house style.jpgaustralian country house.jpgaustralian edwardian house Alma-Road Caulfield-North.jpgaustralian heritage house - boyd-foundation.jpgaustralian heritage house - dumas property.jpgaustralian heritage house - Fair Light Acreage.jpgaustralian outback home.jpgAustralian pictorial heritage architecture houses.jpgaustralian style architecture - heritage style.jpgart deco waterfall house melbourne.jpgaustralian style architecture - heritage styles.JPGAustralian style buildings - Little-House-in-the-Outback.jpgAward winning Bisley Place House by James Russell Architect - Australian style.jpgBrick style in Australian residential building designs.jpgbeach-house-doherty-lynch-2.jpgChiritta in Perth - Peppermint Bay.jpgBeach-retreat-Broken-Head.jpgBeachHouse - australian beach house.jpgbelle design awards 2013.jpgBelle-Interior-Designer-of-the-Year-Finalist-Ian-Halliday-for-BKH-IkonApartment.jpgBest-Beach-retreats-Susans-Beach-House-Broken-Head.jpgBisley Place House by James Russell Architect.jpgblack-beach-house-side-walk - australian beach house.jpgBoston Street House Qld by James Russell Architect - Australian 2013 architecure design awards.jpgBurra-Homestead-SA-Ken-Duncan.jpgCalifornia-Bungalow style in Australia.jpgCalifornian bungalow - brick homes in Australia.jpgCaloundra interior design.jpgCassell-House-australian style architecture.jpgChiritta a house in Perth which dates back to the 1890s.jpgClarke_Payne_House_Greg_Natale_bedroom.jpgcliff-house-architecture-sydney holman.jpgcool-exterior-of-australian-house-design.jpgCorinella House - australian beach houses.jpgcremorne-point house australia.jpgcustom-contemporary-home-in Noosa Heads Australian architecture.jpgDalfruin-BallyVista australian heritage house.jpgdining-area-106-Carpenter-Street.jpgDubbo country homestead - Australian architectural styles.jpgElizabeth House - A terrace house in Parkville Melbourne - Australian architectural styles.jpgFern Tree House 1969.jpgFlipped-House-award winning australian residential interiors.jpeggattonside home.jpgLeftbank Praella - australian style architecture.jpgGovernment House Sydney.jpgHolcombe house in glenlyon.jpgJacaranda-Homestead-Toodyay-WA-0170.jpgJackie-o-Kangaroo-Valley-interior.pngKelvin Grove Prahran.jpgmelbourne art deco home exterior.jpgNew House under 200m - Keperra House by A-CH.jpgNoosa Heads in Queensland Australia contemporary house.jpgPin Oak Crescent Flemington house.jpgPretty-Beach-House-australian beach house.jpgrecord_breaker_Toorak_house.jpgredbrick-property-south-australia.jpgRipponlea house in Elsternwick Melbourne - example of Australian houses throughout history.jpgSJB Mornington Peninsula home interior.jpgSpicer - australian style architecture.jpgSt Lucia House Qld by Owen and Vokes and Peters.jpgSt_vincent_garden_french_styled_terrace_house_albert_park.jpgStewart House NSW by Chenchow Little Architects with Spirit Level Designers.jpgStonewall-Cottages-Barossa-Valley-SA-australian country house.jpgStonington in Malvern - grand Australian houses.jpgStudio-9-melbourne-for-sale.jpgsummer-hill cottage.jpgSydney views late 1700s-early 1800s - Architectural heritage houses.jpgThe 19th century Corio Villa in Geelong..jpgThe Deepdene home of Andrew and Donna Goulsbra.jpgtoorak house photos.jpgtowers_garden - Australian architectural images.jpg




People who have influenced the development of Australian style, across public, commercial and residential spaces:


Modern Australian architectural style


To see what’s currently being designed for residential and commercial projects as well as public buildings, check out these architectural firms:


See PART 2 here:



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Cheers, Natasha






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  1. Joan Belle Nemeth May 10, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    Just stopped by to visit and will return to see the rest of your offerings on another day! It is quite lovely to see the diversity, though I recognize some of the styles as being also present in North American architecture. It’s a beautiful thing how styles cross the globe to be found all around. Lovely clear pictures and presentation! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Inna April 16, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    I love the house in the main photo for this article! Where is this?

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