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Federation Roofs


Above: Cragside mansion, (Northumberland, 1869) the earliest 'Queen Anne' building designed by Richard Norman Shaw, which began the style called Queen Anne style.

Below: Grim's Dyke, Harrow, London, 1870, showing Tudor influence, and also clearly in the new red-brick Queen Anne style.


 The Queen Anne style was named and popularised in England by the architect Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912) and his followers.


The term "Queen Anne" inaccurately implies aesthetic ideas from the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714)

which was popularised in the movie 'The Favourite'.


However, the Queen Anne architectural language was actually based on much earlier English buildings, mainly those constructed during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras (Elizabeth I reigned 1558–1603; James I, 1603–1625). -Source

Richard Norman Shaw's eclectic style was a revival of earlier styles, in excess.

1. Federation Queen Anne Roofs are complex


Steeply pitched and complex, Queen Anne (Revival) roofs provided visual interest and variety with gables, hips, attic windows (dormers), and turrets or towers,  all in one roof.

This was a marked change from Victorian times, when  (slate) roofing was not featured. Chimneys, walls and windows were important then. Whenever you read 'Queen Anne', we actually mean 'Queen Anne Revival', and although some were built in the 1870's, if the brickwork was red, they are classed as "Federation" period.

'Queen Anne Revival' is a combination of these trends:

  • Eclecticism taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

  • Asymmetry when the two halves of something don't match or are unequal.

  • contrast being strikingly different from something else

  • excess,  more than necessary, permitted, or desirable.
    were the hallmarks of the Queen Anne style.

    Queen Anne style assaulted the viewer with eclectic, large, detailed, and excessive style. Red brick with white trimming shows the style.


Every Queen Anne home had complex variations in Roofing, 
("Look at ME,  Look at ME, Look at ME",  (to quote from the movie);
the owner wants you to notice the picturesque roof design of the house

Remember that when Federation style was brand new,

Australia was a new Country, a Federation,
Britain was the wealthiest country in the world, and in Australia, our own city of Melbourne was the richest city in the world.

Hence, the term 'boom style' for Melbourne architecture, plenty of 'excess'. This desire for ostentation continued into Federation style.


Examples of complex roofing of Queen Anne houses:

Above: Federation Queen Anne style mansion in Toorak Road, South Yarra, Victoria

Below: Queen Anne Camelot at Kirkham, Camden NSW designed by John Horbury Hunt

QueenAnne style Federation.jpg

Above: Federation Queen Anne house with hipped roof, crossed gables and combined hips and gables.

Right: Camelot and Kirkham, NSW, with crossed gables and turret (RHS), centre hipped complex of gables (crossed?) and large tower (LHS). 


Roof Materials

  • Slate: Welsh slate was the universal roofing material for all built structures in Victorian times. Camelot at Kirkham (illustrated above) is roofed in slate, in recognisable grey colour (obviously re-roofed in recent times).

    • Natural slate roofing was the first choice for many architects and builders because it always looked good and its installation, maintenance and life cycle costs make it an extremely cost-effective roofing material. ​

    • Durability – 100 years+ useful productive life
      Colour-fast, non fading
      Aesthetically pleasing

  • Thatch: Traditional English cottages had thatched roofing, but it was built by specialists who were in short supply. and was not nearly grand enough for Victorian architects and builders.

    Industrialisation made uniform brick and tile the easiest choice for building materials.

    • thatch require a steep pitch in order to be waterproof and durable

    • thatch roofing can cause chimney fires to spread quickly​

  • Wooden Shingles gained popularity in late Victorian times, and were used in America for most Queen Anne buildings, which were also made of timber then.

  • Then shingles became popular with architects here until Australian tile factories made terracotta tiles easily obtainable.

    • Shingles on a roof are a fire risk, need repair more often​

    • Storms can lead to shingle blow-offs and water leaks

  • Terracotta tiles from Marseilles, France, became the fashion in our early building boom, and so became the norm in Federation times, although now made in Australia.

    • Terracotta is an ancient building material that translates from Latin as "baked earth". It can be unglazed, painted, slip glazed, or glazed. ​

    • Early terracotta tiles were un-glazed.


Modern gabled roof, and traditional US Queen Anne style roofing.

Parts of a Federation Roof

Federation Queen Anne buildings have deeply-pitched roofs with irregular shapes, often with one or more front-facing gables. The style is ostentatious and regarded as feminine.

The gable is a roof section with two sloping sides that meet at a ridge line, creating a triangular vertical wall section below them. 

Queen Anne architecture often features towers and turrets, usually found on a building's front corner. 

Queen Anne Roof Styles

George Tibbits when writing about Federation style has classified some Melbourne Federation Queen Anne houses into two genres and four styles:

A. Hipped style - dominant roof with second floor enveloped by the roof to the top of the ground floor

B.-D. Gabled styles - dominant gables, with the roof less important.

Davies House 5 Willsmere Rd Kew
A. Federation Hipped Style


As illustrated above, this style shows the second floor only by gables through the hipped roof.

A bird's eye view from above shows all the eaves reaching to the top of the ground floor. The roof dominates the walls.

  1. These are single-storey houses with attic rooms above.

  2. The surface of the roof is continuous with the roofs of any verandahs or porches.

  3. The walls rise no higher than the ground-floor eaves.

  4. The dominance is the terracotta roof, with its fineals and cresting, that attracts the viewer.

  5. There is a larger area of house on the ground floor, to allow the roof to spread out. The first floor rooms must be of smaller area than the ground floor

  6. The roof is more decorative than the gables.

  7. The chimneys are very decorative.

  8. The character of these designs is softer, more decorative, and intimate, allowing the resemblance of the first floor gables to 'lace' and so somewhat 'feminine'.

  9. The tower roofs have eaves as a continuation of the dominant roof.

Three Federation Gable styles


George Tibbits outlines three types of Gabled genre architecture:

B. Old English style (symmetrical or balanced style)


A symmetrical two-storey house with pavilion ends which terminate in gables. 

In some examples it is described as the old English style;

  1. Examples are Woodlands, Essendon, and Dalswaith, Kew, (pictured above)

  2. In the gable genre especially in a two storey design such as DaIswraith (Campion Hall), the walls were dominant elements
    the walls were carefully treated as a visually important aspect of the design.

Read more about Woodlands (North Park) Mansion.

Above: Dalswraith, now Campion Hall
99 Studley Park Road,KEW

Left: Woodlands (North Park Mansion), 69 Woodland Street , Essendon  

- designed by Architects Ussher and Kemp


"The creation of asymmetrical compositions in which the external elements reflect the internal spaces required great skill in planning and massing."

"In this group of designs the intention is that every element in the elevation relates to or expresses some special aspect of the plan."

"(Dalswraith):This Melbourne example is not a copy of a design but rather, ít is one of a class of (Masterpiece) designs, and an outstanding example in the Melbourne scene."

George Tibbits      

C. Hipped Dominant Gable style (an asymmetric style)


An asymmetrical two-storey house in which a dominant gable envelopes the first floor as an attic and sweeps down to form a ground floor eaves line.

Subsidiary gables project from the dominant gable;

  • Unlike the model of the Old English Style’ which exhibits a two storey wall surface, such. as at Dalswraith (above), these examples have a sublime sweep of roof running down to form a ground floor eaves, so that in parts, only a single storey of wall at ground level is revealed. to the eye.
    They share this characteristic with the hip genre shortly to be discussed below.
    However, unlike the ‘hip genre’ at the gable ends the walls majestically rise through the ground and the first floor right up to the apex of the gable.

  • In the hipped genre a dominant hip roof envelopes the whole house out of which subsidiary gables or hips and turrets emerge. The surface of the hip roof is continuous with the roofs of any verandahs and porches associated with the house.
    In many of thése houses, the roof sweeps down to the single storey perimeter walls with the first floor enveloped within the roof, its rooms expressed by the protruding gables.

  • It is the sweep of the roof, the subsidiary gables, the finials and cresting, and, above all, the colour and texture of the original Marseilles tiles, which dominates the eye.
    In order to accommodate the upper floor rooms within the hip roof, it was necessary to have a fine spread of rooms on the ground floor.

Above: Henry Kemp’s own house, Heald Lawn, 5 Adeney Avenue, Kew  VIC

Below:  31 Canterbury Rd, Camberwell VIC

D. Diverse Gabled eaves style


An asymmetrical two storey house with the diverse array of gables kept to the first floor eaves line.


e.g. Tay Creggan – Hawthorn (pictured right)

  • those houses with a diverse array of gables kept to the first floor eaves line of an assymmetrical house,

  • a very nice example is at Hamilton in Western Victoria:

    • Residence and Surgery for Mrs D F Laidlow (1904)
      (Napier Club, 34 Thompson Street Hamilton, Southern Grampians Shire) (pictured below right)


e.g. The Gables – Malvern East (pictured below)

“All examples partake of the pre-renaissance vocabulary of half timbering, jettied storeys, gabled roofs, lead lighting and strongly expressed chimneys.”

Above: Tay Creggan, 30 Yarra Street Hawthorn

Below left: The Gables, 15 Finch St, Malvern East

Below right: The Napier Club, 34 Thompson Street, Hamilton


The house below has a hipped roof (narrow at the top) and at least one gable in each hip, too (complex roof design).

Remember that each gable is a roof on a room beneath.

So five gables and a tower mean six rooms underneath.

Roofing Terms about the Shape of the roof

  1. Hip - a sloping roof meets a short ridge, like the waist of a wide skirt.

  2. Gable - a triangular shaped opening in the side of the roof (the skirt)

  3. Gablet - a small gable, usually over a corner, or right at the top of a hip.

  4. Roof Cresting - also called castellation -  a gothic  ornament for the ridge

  5. Roof Finial - a short rounded or pointed gothic decoration at a juncture of the roofing
    eg at the top of a gable (rather like a tiny lightning rod),
         or at the end of the roof ridge, a 'rams horn' (pictured left) or sometimes a      gothic design such as a dragon.


  6. Eaves - the visible overhang of the roof which prevents rainwater from flowing down the walls and causing rot or mould.
    In most Federation houses the rafter ends are visible under the eaves.


  7. Chimney stack - an extremely solid structure (usually in brick) holding the flue from one or more fireplaces and usually topped with a chimney pot to stop rain getting into the fireplace.
    When Federation homes were built, plentiful wood was burned for heating. 
    Federation chimneys can pierce the roof, or are built through the hip.

image4  160 Mt Barker Rd Aldgate
1 napier club thompson street hamilton f
North Park a Queen Anne Mansion
House kh_03
60 Tooronga Road Malvern Vic 3144 image9
Manse,_21 Highbury_Grove,_Kew
Image1 7-adeney-avenue-kew-vic-3101-real
69 Broadway Camberwell roofscape
Gable Decoration styles:

(In no particular order)

  1. Ornate Victorian Scalloped

  2. Tudor style vertical straps

  3. Simple decorative fretwork

  4. Elaborate Art Nouveau flourish

  5. Stucco, rough-cast, or pebble-dashed

  6. Tile-clad or Shingle-clad

  7. Recessed panel, or stepped panels 

  8. Panel with elaborate decoration

  9. Strap-work decoration

  10. Stucco above decorated stonework

To be added: Page on Federation Gables

Gallery of Gable decoration

Below: a cross-gabled roof on a 'mock-Tudor' usually has four gables, and no 'hip'. 

The chimney is exactly centred in the roof.

Hipped Gables

The Federation bungalow on the right has a complex hipped roof with two large gables intersecting the hips on the front and side.


The hip along the southern fence-line is unbroken, but the hip over the rear of the house has a smaller projecting hip which is copied to the north-western corner of the same hip, although the chimneys at the rear pierce the hip slightly differently and the corner hip projects very slightly.

Facing the street is a flying gable over a bay window, this gable intersects with the front hip of the house.

On the side is another flying gable over a bay window, which gable intersects the main plane of the roof in a T-shape. 

Two polygonal, turreted pavilions cover the front and side entrances to the house, via porch or via verandah.


Above: This vintage Catslide roof is lower than the roof on the other side, so low it almost touches the car roof.

  • That 16th century style external chimney rises above a huge tile-clad gable, with a 'hood' or 'clipped' gablet above that.

  • Built in (hand-made) red brick, this is a very old house now an inn.

    • Red brick, white windows, it looks like a 'real' Queen Anne  14th or 15th Century construction. (Probably updated in the last 100 years!)  - Queen's Head Inn at Sedlescombe, East Sussex, Great Britain.

Unusual roofing terms
  1. Catslide - a continuation of the roof almost to the ground.

  2. Cross Gable - a bird's eye view will show an X shape with at least four gables

  3. Combined hips and gables - Queen Anne-style roofs are complex and have either cross gables or combine hips and gables.  The complexity of the roof reflects the complexity of the floor plan below - Each gable shows a separate room beneath it.

  4. Dutch Gable - means different things in Europe or in America, because of confusion over the 'Dutch Hip', here called a 'hooded' gable. 

    The English dutch gable is a continuation of the front wall up past the roof, ending in an elaborate triangular front (below left) and is a feature of original Queen Anne architecture, due to Dutch William of Orange bringing his architects to England.

    In Australia and the United States the Dutch gable is a smaller gable in a hipped roof, which earlier architects called a 'gablet'.
    How different could two Dutch Gables be??
    The "Dutch hip" is a tiny hip in the roof over a gable (pictured at left).

  5. Eye-Brow window - below there is an attic room with a strip of windows facing East, and there is an eyebrow under a 'skillion' (sloping flat) roof. 

  6. False Gables - Technically, since a gable indicates a room beneath, a false gable indicates a real room in the house, but is projected forward from a hip, and it is not 'over' its room;  it is a decorative 'gablet', a false gable usually on a corner.

  7. Flying Gable - The roof line around the gable extends well past the gable;
    either the gable has a step back , or the roof has an extension over the gable.


  8. Hooded Gable,  or "Clipped" Gable- The gable does not have a point because the roof is bent over the gable (what US builders call a 'clipped' gable) known also as a "Dutch Hip". See the Catslide illustration above left where the top of the gable is 'hooded' by a little hip in the top of the roof. 

Read more:

Below from left: Gablets in a hipped roof, Queen Anne Dutch gable, and a heritage Mosman Federation Queen Anne house with tower, eyebrow windows and gabled hips.

Below left: Hooded gables, below: Flying Gables; below right: False gables.  Almost all of these houses are in Haberfield, a Federation suburb.


Other Federation Roofing types

2. Federation Arts and Crafts

This is a completely different roof style, an enveloping, protective roof which dominates the house. 

The rafters of the roof which finish under the eaves are clearly visible as 'exposed rafter ends', a feature of Arts and Crafts honest construction.

Rowardennan, Warrawee NSW, 1913
Thurla, 1 Avalon Avenue, Armadale, 1903​

Above left: Rowardennan, Warrawee NSW, by architect B J Waterhouse, Above: 11 Tintern Ave Toorak VIC by architect Walter Butler,  
Above right: Edrington, Berwick VIC (1908) by architect Rodney Alsop

Arts and Crafts was to reform architecture through

  • traditional building crafts,

  • the use of local materials, and

  • to be free of any imposed style.


The solution lay in

  • the medieval past and medieval architecture with its rich variety of ornament,

  • embodying those individual craft skills being lost through the copying of standard forms,

  • by reviving medieval standards and methods of making artefacts,

  • being true to materials,

  • using traditional constructional methods and

  • making function the essence of design.

The form of an Arts & Crafts-style home must be made up of elements, or bays, with traditional proportions if it is to look right.


For example:

  • Pitched roof spans of each bay should be no greater than 4.5-6m

  • Roof pitches should be of 47.5-55°

  • The eaves should be low, typically reaching down to first floor level in many parts, often using a catslide roof to at least one elevation, adding to the asymmetry that is characteristic of the style


The first floor is likely to be at least partially within the roof space,

  • often with attic (dormer) windows to some elevations,

  • and there may well be a further attic storey, with another row of attic (dormer) windows.

  • This means Arts & Crafts houses typically appear to be one and a half storeys.

Mawallock Homestead
Trevenna, Armidale NSW.jpg
slate roof repair.jpg
Slate Roof Maintenance

It is important to know the service life of different components of your roof so that you can budget properly. Being proactive about your roof is the best way to save money. You always want to make a repair before it leaks. Why spend the extra money on interior repairs too?

The most basic repair is the slate itself. You are bound to have broken and slipped slates from time to time, especially if you have large trees around your home or there has been a strong storm.

A trained slater can repair individual slates easily.

Small, chipped corners on slate may look ugly but will not cause a leak.

Instead, keep an eye out for missing or badly broken slates.

The next type of repair is the flashings. Flashings are the metal you see around the base of the chimney, at the ridge, on hips and in the valleys of your roof. These are commonly copper or galvanized steel on a slate roof. 

Copper flashings have a service life of about 70 years and are maintenance free.

Copper will patina naturally in the elements and turn a dark brown, then a rich green.

The green color lets you know that it is getting older but still has service life left in it. When copper turns black, you know that time is ticking.  [1]



3. Bungalow Roofs

The 20th century bungalow was originally an 'Arts and Crafts' building, so it featured stone foundations and excellent interior woodwork and also the bungalow should sit naturally in its location. 

After two world wars, every modest house came to be called a bungalow, because it had a (cheaper) LOW roof.

(origin: Bangla(deshi) - low roof 'four-square' home).

Bungalow roofs are simple flattened A-frame roofs, usually with gables at each end and are usually a T-shape or L-shape in plan.

At left is a wonderful example in Haberfield.


Notice that the ends of the rafters are usually visible under the eaves of the roof, a nod to the honesty of Arts and Crafts philosophy.



Bungalow at 11 Rogers Ave Haberfield.

Although only an L-shaped roof is visible, there is a mirror wing on the right as well, making it T-shaped. Notice the west-facing gable over the porch, defining it perfectly as an outdoor living space.

Below: Three Australian bungalow designs using the simple "low" A-frame.

  1. Below left: Rectangular hungalow Purulia built in Warrawee in 1913 as his own home by Sydney architect William Hardy Wilson (1881-1955), with a hipped roof, its simplicity causing "consternation (to fill) the souls of neighbours (who were) dwelling in multi-angular villas". Heritage Listed

  2. Below: VIC State Bank Housing Scheme House Type no. 20, showing the bungalow roof with end gables and a cross-gable over the entrance.

  3. Below right: 'Highbury', an up-market A-frame bungalow design at 20 Martin Road, Centennial Park NSW 2021, the home of famous author Patrick White, built in 1913. Heritage Listed

Above: a typical California bungalow design with a low-pitched roof and wide, wide gables. One gable defines the verandah, a new living area not available in older homes.

VIC State Bank Housing Scheme House Type
11 Rogers Avenue Haberfield Image1.jpg

Above: Milross, classic bungalow at 11 Rogers Avenue Haberfield NSW front view and corresponding floor plan (built 1910 or 1928). Notice that the ends of the main roof are hipped, not ending in gables, so this is a Federation Bungalow.

Above and below: two Federation Bungalows, still with a hipped roof and the enclosure of the verandah under the continuous roof.

Notice the tiny gablet in the roof marking the position of a hallway.

The Bungalow era 1910 - 1930


Bungalows are supposed to have LOW roofs. But not always in Federation style.

Compare the two rooflines of the Federation Bungalows illustrated at left.

The most common bungalow design was the Californian style; with lower roofs and two very wide gables, these cosy looking houses combined Arts and Crafts concepts with the ideal of the simple house in a natural setting.

More rustic than preceding styles, they featured an increased use of natural materials. Most were single storey with a simple floor plan centred on the hallway, and were set well back from the street.


The Federation Bungalow

The Federation Bungalow includes a verandah under the wide roof, continuous roofing from the ridge at the top of the house to the overhang over the verandah columns. 

At left: two Federation Bungalows built in the Appian Way Estate of Burwood, NSW.

The roof is still 'hipped' with a narrow 'waist' and a wide roof at the eaves. 

This is NOT the style of the  bungalow roof of the Gamble House by Greene and Greene below, which has a T-shape crossed gable, and inner gables over the verandahs.

The Californian bungalow goes back to the 'crossed gable' style.


Embraced by speculative builders, Californian Bungalows dominated building in the emerging Melbourne suburbs for the two decades leading up to the Depression.

An increasingly relaxed lifestyle led to greater use of verandahs and the beginnings of open planning.


Below is the most famous American bungalow, the Arts and Crafts Gamble House by architect brothers Greene and Greene:


Look for the 'cross gable' design, and note the very sunken gables, almost not there.

The Gamble House of Pasadena: the ultimate bungalow


James and Mary Gamble didn't want a mansion on South Orange Grove, then the Millionaires Row of the new Los Angeles suburb.

Instead, they thought not-so-big.

They commissioned an 8,100-square-foot, four-bedroom home built for comfort, with

  • broad, sheltered sleeping porches,

  • terraces and

  • deep overhanging eaves.


Instead of a formal parlor, it featured a new concept at the time: living room.

Its rear terrace overlooks a canyon that now cradles the city's most iconic attraction: the Rose Bowl. 

- Read more

The Gamble Arts and Crafts Bungalow

The 1908 Gamble House in Pasadena, is generally considered one of the finest examples of residential architecture in the United States. - Wikipedia

The essence of the bungalow roof is the long unbroken ridge line over a shallow A-shaped roof, visible across the top of the house. It is a T-shaped roof frame, with extra coverage by parallel roofs.

Huge beams were needed to support this long roof, so the length is made of parallel roofs in shallow 'steps' - the bottom video talks about these long teak beams.

The top bungalow roof is echoed by bungalow roofs extending the roof lenghts over the bottom (far-right) verandah ('porch') and again an echo beneath the upper roof to form an elaborate T-shape with the crossed ridge line showing an end gable  at left.

Notice the exposed beams left and right, echoing the exposed rafters under the eaves. This is a a completely novel design.

The Greene brothers had visited Japan, and these designs are supposed to be influenced by traditional Japanese house design.

Left: Gamble house, gable view, showing minimal structure in the gables.

Right: Gamble House, bungalow roof-line view, showing four bungalow roofs of the T-shape.

Gamble House Bungalow
Gamble house roof design.jpg

The architectural historian Reyner Banham, noted the Gamble House as a particularly good structural solution to the problems posed by the Southern California climate.

That solution is shade.


In The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment (1969), Reyner Banham hails the architects of the Prairie and California schools as the first, and almost the last architects to design a structural (as opposed to services-based) solution to making a thin-walled house habitable in the heat of summer.


The Gamble House is called upon as a chief example of this approach

–produced by widely projecting roofs over most gables

“joined by an elaborate system of

external roofed sleeping galleries on the upper floor and

terraces at ground floor level,

until external covered floor-space is almost equal to the floor-space inside the walls,”

creating an architecture that seems at times to be all roof.


This roof-oriented design takes advantage of Southern California’s light breezes and protects the walls from direct solar heating.

Wood. If one word comes to mind when considering the houses of brothers Charles and Henry Greene, it is “wood.” They used lots of it, from the structure (beams and columns) to surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors) and even the furniture they designed. - Source

Yet their use of wood is as much about quality as quantity, for they exploited the wood’s potential through craft and raised the beauty of their architecture inside and out.

Their manipulation and expression of wood broke from the applied decoration of the prevailing VictorianQueen Anne and mission styles of the day, and in this light their architecture can be seen as 'modern'.


Gamble House at a Glance
Year built: 1908
Architect: Greene and Greene
Location: Pasadena, California
Visiting info: Docent guided tours available

Size: 8,000 square feet enclosed, plus 2,000 square feet of porches and terraces

Gamble House, Pasadeno CA

Above: Houzz TV: Meet the Gamble House, a ‘Symphony in Wood


4. Gothic Queen Anne style


Below: Perspective drawing of the homestead Dalvui, designed in the Queen Anne Revivial style, with half timbering to the gable ends, multi-paned windows and gothic arches on the ground floor verandah.

Signed and dated 1908 by Ussher & Kemp, architects.

Gothic elements in the roof line  below are: A turret, a spire and finials, buttressed chimney, tall slim chimneys piercing the roof, multi paned windows in a dominant jettied gable, and gothic arches built in stone.

Towers flèches and Turrets

  1. A flèche (from the French for arrow) is used in French architecture to refer to a spire and in English to refer to a lead-covered timber spire, or spirelet. These are placed on the ridges.

  2. A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, similar to a steep tented roof.
    Etymologically, the word is derived from the Old English word spir, meaning a sprout, shoot, or stalk of grass.[

  3. A ridge turret is a turret or small tower constructed over the ridge or apex between two or more sloping roofs of a building. It is usually built either as an architectural ornament for purely decorative purposes or else for the practical housing of a clock, a bell or an observation platform. 

  4. In architecture, a turret (from Italian: torretta, little tower; Latin: turris, tower) is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle.
    Turrets were used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification. 

  5. A tower is a tall structure, taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers project from the ground floor up. 

Domestic Gothic 702206019.jpg

"Kemp's thorough training in the gothic revival; while not so strongly evident in Dalswaith, is evident in the decorative treatment of one of his designs for a country residence (which has a stairhall similar to Dalswraith) the Mount Noorat Homestead (1908)".

Gothic elements used in Queen Anne style:
  1. Spires

  2. Finials

  3. Ridge decoration

  4. Arches

  5. Turrets and Towers

  6. Buttressed chimney stacks (see illustration above, LHS)

  7. Intricate decoration of gables

  8. Leadlight and coloured glass panes

  9. Tiny panes of glass in windows (compared to sash window design)

  10. Strong vertical emphasis in grouping of design elements



Right: This Queen Anne style mansion in Toorak has finials, ridge decoration, and a tower with a spire.

The arched windows show a Romanesque inspiration, and the sunrise decoration of the tower arches looks toward the dawning of a new century.

Below: This Ivanhoe house has a finial on each gable, but no tower or turret.




5. Queenslander style

 The “Queenslander” is an important part of Australia’s cultural heritage. Many of these houses were built during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but they seem to have survived remarkably well.

The quintessential Queenslander is a single detached house made of timber with a corrugated iron roof located on a separate block of land.  


They are all high-set, single-storey dwellings with a characteristic verandah that extends around the house to varying, extents but never entirely surrounds it.


In later years, many have been renovated to enclose part or all of these verandahs to create extra bedrooms. The under-house area is often also enclosed to provide extra living area to these houses, which leads to the common misconception of an authentic Queensland with two storeys.

The most typical early twentieth century Queensland house is characterised by:

  • timber construction with corrugated-iron roof;

  • highset on timber stumps;

  • single-skin cladding for partitions and sometimes external walls;

  • verandahs front and/or back, and sometimes the sides;

  • decorative features to screen the sun or ventilate the interior; and

  • a garden setting with a picket fence, palm trees and tropical fruit trees.

Styles of Queenslander



Above left: Victorian era Queenslander style, with hipped roof, small gables left and right with vents

Above right: Queen Anne style Queenslander, with pyramidal hipped roof, gable over the entrance. Towers on left and right corners with tiled roof while the main roof is corrugated iron.

Below left: Queenslander in California Bungalow style, very large gables under an A-line bungalow roof, and gablet (false gable) over the entrance.

The gables are decorated in strapwork with a shingled decorative band beneath.

Below right: Interwar Porch and Gable Ashgrovian style Queenslander with ornamental crossed gables in a hipped pyramidal roof.

These are the four Federation Residential Styles corresponding to the ‘Queenslander’ styles illustrated above and below:

Victorian to Edwardian Periods:

  • Federation Filigree (with wrap-around verandahs, symmetrical frontage, and square hipped roof)

  • Queen Anne (Victorian Boom period, asymmetrical frontage, hipped roof, verandah roof discontinuous, tower window awnings)

Edwardian to Inter-War Periods:

Renovating a Queenslander


When renovating Queenslander - whether a small portion such as the roof or the entire home - loyalty to the home’s original design is usually employed.

For example, when replacing a rusted corrugated roof of a Queenslander, a popular replacement option these days is steel roofing.


Aesthetically it can look almost identical, but it is more durable, reflects heat to make the home cooler and has far less chance of ever rusting.

Queensland Homes: May 17, 2017 - Building + RenovatingHome + Living

A renovator’s guide to the Queenslander

For all its glory, the Queenslander architectural style does have some pitfalls – but the Queenslander home holds buckets of potential, too.

With the right experts and guidance, you can create a remarkable home that honours its heritage while embracing our modern lifestyle needs. 

Whether you look to extend the indoor space by making the layout more open plan or utilise the dead space under the house, thereby creating a multi-level dwelling, there’s plenty of clever ways to bring the classic Queenslander into the now.

  1.  There are many architects and builders who specialise in Queenslander home renovations. Their ability to understand the pros, cons, and potentials mean that you can trust that your new home will be in the very best of hands.

  2. Looking for your own talented architect or builder to help you with your dream home? Discover them here

  3. Dion Seminara is a local Brisbane architect who, among his many contemporary projects for dion seminara architecture, also specialises in the re-design of Queenslanders.

    He says it’s potentially better to separate the main living area away from the kitchen – which is where the Queenslander shines.

    Related article: Classic Queenslander renovated into a sleek family home

    Read more:


Federation-House Information

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