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Victorian Georgian c. 1840—c. 1890
|The Georgian style (see
Old Colonial Georgian) was the basis for most architecture in
Australia from the time of the first European settlements until at least the
middle of the nineteenth century. The style was adopted by the designers of
public buildings, of houses for all classes of society, and of utilitarian
structures. In New South Wales and Tasmania the style had become entrenched
by the start of the Victorian period, and even the economic depression of
the early 18405 did not bring about its demise.
Brisbane was founded in 1825, Perth in 1829, Melbourne in 1835 and Adelaide in 1836. Early buildings in these cities made use of the Georgian and Regency styles, but, with no long-standing local tradition, more up-to-date idioms soon took over.
The Victorian Georgian style was an extension of Old Colonial Georgian, and it continued to emphasise unforced symmetry, a gentle sense of harmony and ‘reasonable’ proportions. While these general characteristics flowed through into the second half of the nineteenth century, changes also appeared as a result of the development of more sophisticated materials and techniques. Bricks were of better quality and were laid more accurately. The roofing slate replaced the less durable and more flammable timber shingle. Corrugated iron rapidly won acceptance as a roofing material on buildings of every class, especially in localities where transportability and ease of erection were important. Although it had no ‘respectable’ stylistic ancestry, the corrugated-iron bull- nosed veranda roof became a feature of many Victorian Georgian buildings: it was often painted in wide stripes of alternating colours, this motif being derived from the canvas awnings used in Britain at the turn of the eighteenth century. The introduction of machine tools for the shaping of timber joinery components led to the production of turned posts, balusters and decorative features which nevertheless retained a classical feeling. Glass was now available in larger panes, and the twelve-pane window of the Old Colonial period gradually gave way to the window in which each sash was either divided into two panes or was glazed with a single sheet of glass.
Even when Georgian as a contrived style was supplanted by more ornate styles in the later decades of the Victorian period, the idiom continued to provide a background influence on many vernacular buildings.
"A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Austrlian Architecture; Styles and Terms from 1788 to the Present"
RICHARD APPERLY, ROBERT IRVING, PETER REYNOLDS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SOLOMON MITCHELL.
Angus & Robertson Sydney 1995 ISBN 0207 18562 X
Copyright © 1989 by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.
|Fremantle Prison built 1850-57|