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Ornate Federation Ceilings

  • Federation homes had 11ft plus ceilings - high ornate ceilings

  • Fittings were still in brass but not as ornate as the Victorian era.

  • Pressed metal ceilings, which were first manufactured in Australia in 1890, became very popular during this period.

  • Decorative plasterwork and ornamental plaster ceiling roses - Australiana influence on ceiling roses and leadlight.

These two pictures show heritage pressed metal ceilings, one in an otherwise renovated home:


Gallery of ornate plaster work in ceilings:


  1. 1 Middle Harbour Road, Lindfield

  2. 29 Grandview Street, Pymble, NSW

  3. 32 Provincial Road Lindfield NSW

  4. 29 Grandview Street, Pymble, NSW

  5. 41 Victoria Street, Roseville

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings may look complex, yet they are considered fairly easy to construct since they use ceiling beams which support the structure of the building.

Above: Babworth House Darling Point NSW​

The symmetry or uniformity in the panels of the coffered ceiling is to ensure that they are evenly distributed in a pleasing pattern.​


"Coffered ceilings are made up of recessed, or hollow-centered, panels with decorative trim.

  • The effect of a coffered ceiling is often waffle-like if the panels are square in shape.

  • Many different straight-sided, or polygonal, shapes may be used for these ceilings, although squares are the most common.

  • The use of coffered ceilings dates back to ancient Roman and Greek architecture when the panel technique created a lighter alternative to marble and stone ceilings." -


Gallery of Coffered Ceilings

The following picture show cornices, superb decoration -  notice the floral motifs:

Below: 11 Balfour Street Lindfield

The following pictures show renovated cornices


Wunderlich Ceilings

The Wunderlich company, founded by Ernest Wunderlich in 1885, created a significant impact on the nature and style of private pressed metal ceiling modern and public buildings in Australia.

The first decorative panels sold in Sydney and were imported from Germany and designed by Mr. F. Peters of Berlin. The initial success of installations in such buildings as the Colonial Secretary's Building in Macquarie Street and the Beale's and Paling's piano showrooms in George Street, Sydney, encouraged Wunderlich to patent this new form of ceiling and look for further contracts.

Ernest Wunderlich, now joined by his brother Alfred in the business, was intensely musical and this made them aware of the acoustic advantages of their metal ceilings. They convinced the Sydney City Council to use their product for the projected "Centennial Hall".

Ernest wrote: "The present Town Hall, at first named the Centennial Hall, was completed about 1889. It was never designed as a concert hall, and the immense organ must have been an afterthought, because the architects had specified an elaborate plaster ceiling with console and pendentives, that certainly would have fallen on the audiences as soon as the 64ft lower C pipe sounded."

"After a long canvass of mayor and aldermen, I induced the City Council to substitute stamped zinc for the ceiling and all its decorations."

The Wunderlich company's work on the Sydney Town Hall was an enormous success and by the time their 1899 Catalogue was produced, it credited the company with an enormous list of achievements.15 hospitals and asylums, 14 law courts, 11 public offices and buildings, 5 schools, 8 theaters, 27 insurance offices and other commercial buildings, 35 warehouses and showrooms, 11 municipal buildings, 11 museums and libraries, 10 miscellaneous public buildings and railway stations, 9 churches, 20 banks, 41 hotels and over 150 private residences!


Gallery of Art Nouveau Pressed Metal Ceiling Designs

from the Art Nouveau Photostream by raaen99

Details of the Art Nouveau Pressed Metal Ceiling in the Restaurant of the Korumburra Railway Station - Station Street, Korumburra

Federation-House Information

Details about renovating Australia's Own Housing Style - latest: Federation Gardens
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