View above the National Trust home renovation and additions to a circa 1880s home by Brisbane architects dion seminara architecture.
There can be few parts of the world that so closely identify with a particular style of home architecture as Queensland. Saying ‘Queenslander’ immediately conjures up a certain image in the minds of Australians and probably also in a fair few people beyond these shores. These homes, which have defined style and practicality in our State for much more than a century, can still be seen all across Queensland with the style still going strong. When you stop to think about it, there is so much to like about Queenslander Homes, including:
- Raised living spaces allowing for comfortable living in the State’s various tropical climatic conditions
- Stylish and cool verandahs providing unique spaces for socialising and entertaining
- High ceilings
- A strong focus on channelling and assisting cooling airflows
- Extra space underneath the house for storage or parking
- Queenslanders are somewhat more flood-resistant than ‘normal’ homes due to the main living areas being raised.
All of the above is not to say that the Queenslander was always universally loved across the state and the type actually went into something of a decline in the 1950s to 1970s. There are many reasons behind this, including:
- The increased availability of high powered earth moving equipment (since Queenslanders are raised off the ground they required less heavy site preparation and they were therefore often the ‘easiest’ type of house to build)
- The growth of Brisbane and other cities placed a huge amount of pressure on land availability. ‘Home and land’ packages using standardised designs (without ‘space hungry’ wide verandas) became the norm
- Queenslanders traditionally require a great deal of maintenance and many people opted for lower maintenance types.
- Lifestyle requirements also caused some people to abandon their Queenslanders (e.g. older people who could not cope with stairs anymore and wanted to move to ‘flatter’ homes).