traditional building character house that is built pre-war

What does traditional and character housing look like?

Brisbane’s Traditional and Character Housing takes many differing styles each with their own degree of distinctive architectural identity and characteristics. Distinguishing between character housing styles and identifying particular architectural characteristics potentially provides a finer scope and streamlined process for development or renovation projects. 

In some instances, a house may be mapped within the TBC overlay but not depicted in 1946 aerial imagery, which would usually imply the house is not protected. However, the house may in fact be of pre-1947 origin, meaning works conducted outside the scope of accepted development would be considered a development offense and penalties may apply. Pre-1911 houses are also protected under the planning scheme, properties that aren’t mapped within the pre-1911 overlay could potentially contain a house of pre-1911 construct. If there is any doubt Council could request the applicant to provide proof that the house was not constructed prior to 1911 or otherwise demonstrate compliance with the pre-1911 overlay code.

Due Diligence, in this case, is key to avoid non-compliance. This lesson and subsequent topics provide an overview of the housing styles and eras typical to that of Brisbane.

Our ‘What does traditional character housing look like‘ mini-course is short, and to the point. And it will help you easily identify the age of character dwellings. For example, here is an extract from the ‘Federation and Pre-war’ era lesson:

The typical worker’s cottage are pyramid or short ridge dwellings, set on timber stumps mostly of 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. With a distinct pyramid or short ridge roof form and stepped verandah roof usually capped with decorative vertical boards. Later variants of this style of housing incorporated a small projecting gable.

The Queensland bungalows styled housing began to emerge with the turn of the century as it became widely commonplace over the following decades. The bungalow which most commonly referred to as a typical Queenslander had a continuous low pitched roof form rising from the gutters to the roof’s ridge. The Bungalow style was of housing was versatile, lending itself to many different variants and styles of the coming decades. Derivates of the bungalow were found to usually incorporate gables and or porches projecting from the continuous roofline. The asymmetrical and porch and gable variants comprised of many different configurations of verandah shapes, sleepouts, and some latter instances of the bungalow featured wide gables resembling influence from the California Bungalow.

Bungalow (1900-1930s)KEY FEATURES
Continuous roof extending over verandah
Verandah under single roof at front, L-shaped, U shaped or encircling
Roof forms – pyramid, short ridge or hip

Asymmetrical Bungalow (1900-1930)KEY FEATURES
Continuous bungalow roof with one projecting gable
Core roof forms – pyramid, short ridge or hip
Gable projecting over porch or master bedroom
Central gable introduced later in 1920s

Porch and Gable Bungalow (1910-1930s)KEY FEATURES
Bungalow roof form with two projecting gables
Porch gable and secondary gable over master bedroom
Front or L-shaped verandahs
Lobby windows and sleepouts were common after 1920s
Wider adjacent gable – Californian Bungalow influence – 1920-1930s

Single and Traverse Gable (1900-1930s)KEY FEATURES
Single gable roof with no projections­­
Verandah under gable roof
Not as common in Brisbane­­
Later derivatives with multiple gables or sleepouts and hip roof verandahs were introduced in 1920s -1930s

To give you a better understanding of what these houses could look like, some more examples below.

Asymmetrical Bungalow (circa 1900-1930)
Image credit:!/photograph/6169-2999-0008
Bungalow with L-shaped balcony (circa 1900-1930)
Image credit:!/photograph/6169-1556-0018
Porch and Gable Bungalow (circa 1910-1930)
Image credit:!/photograph/6169-3211-0013
Bungalow (typical workers cottage) (circa 1900-1930)

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