Australian Architecture Series: Federation

By March 3, 2017 Uncategorized No Comments

Our Australian Architecture Series is focusing on the fabulous Federation style this week. ‘Federation Architecture’ is the style that became about between 1890 and 1915, and the name is most notably a reference to the Federation of Australia on January 1st 1901. Some of the influences of this architecture style include the Edwardian and Queen Anne styles from the United Kingdom. In this way, the Federation style is Australia’s own version of the Edwardian period (named after King Edward VII).


Typical Features

  • Front verandahs, with decorative timber features
  • White-painted window frames, including circular windows
  • Featuring of Australia flora and fauna
  • Complex gardens
  • Tiled patio flooring
  • Terracotta roof tiles
  • Tall chimneys
  • Decorative fretwork
  • Internal decorative work in the plasterwork
  • High ceilings
  • Filigree designs
  • Paved driveways and pathways



This architecture style put great emphasis on the many things that make Australian a unique country, due to the historical influences from the country’s Federation around the same time. Because of this, there is great emphasis on Australian flora and fauna, both in architectural design and building features. Many Federation homes were also built with complex gardens that showcased local Australian plants, ultimately showing the proudness of the inhabitants of the new Commonwealth of Australia.


Significance Today

Many buildings, both residential and non-residential, are listed as part of the Register of the National Estate, because of their many unique heritage values. Although there were twelve significant styles that characterised the period of Federation architecture, today the style commonly refers to the many cottages in the Queen Anne style.


‘Caerelon’ was the first Federation (Queen Anne style) home in Australia. Located in Bellevue Hill in News South Wales, it is listed on the Register of the National Estate. Take note of the white, circular windows, tall chimney and front verandah.

caerleon_bellevue_hill-159-1170-625-80 Photo: Weir Phillips Architects.


‘Abyia’ in Pymble, New South Wales is a great example of the complexity and sophistication of the gardens added to Federations homes.


Photo: Federation-Houses, Wikispaces


Stay tuned next week for our next blog in our Australia Architecture Series.

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