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Modern Architecture in Australia - Essay Example

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Professor Date Modern Architecture in Australia Generally, Australian architecture has shown consistency with architectural trends in the wider western world. However, there are some special adaptations and distinctive features that compensate for Australian climatic and cultural factors…
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Download file to see previous pages However, Australia’s distinctive and unique climate necessitated adaptations in the architectural designs. Notable Australian adaptations include the Queenslander and Federation styles of residential architecture. Over the years, Australia has developed some iconic designs which include: the UNESCO, Sydney Opera House, and the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. Early buildings in Australia had European fashions such as the Georgian style. This is a style that is exhibited in early government buildings and homes of the affluent. Francis Greenway, the architect who appears on the Australian ten dollar note designed early buildings in Georgian style with examples such as, the Hyde Park Barracks and St. James’ church. Further, another European style that gained fame and favour in the early 19th century in Australia was the Gothic Revival architecture which was particularly used in churches. It had its distinctive features which included pointed arches, turrets, and battlements and gothic ornaments. One of the best examples that exhibits this style can be seen at the lower end of Collins Street in Melbourne.1 The Australian gold rush of the mid-19th century saw major buildings especially in Sydney and Melbourne and to a minor extent in regional capitals being built in the style of Victorian architecture. Italian architecture also found favour from the period of about 1850-1893 as it allowed greater displays of prosperity through its rich and complex features such as slate roofs and cast iron work.2 A significant leap in architectural movements in Australia was the development of the Federation architecture style of the 20th century where Australia began to develop a sense of personal identity that was not related to the previous European designs. Technically, they began developing a style of their own. One of the most important local introductions to Australian architecture was the veranda which was introduced by pastoralists who took up land and built single storey houses with the addition of the veranda which provided shade and looked attractive. Like almost everywhere around the world, the movement in Australian architecture have been influenced by socio-political factors. For example, during the early 20th century, cities across Australia had placed height limits to buildings at typically 150 feet (45 metres) hence hindering the development of very tall buildings (skyscrapers) in the American style until the limits were lifted in the late 1950s3. Similarly, the Australian families sought to own their own free standing houses with space in the backyard which hence meant that high density houses were rare in Australia until the end of the 20th century. However, significant concerns were raised during the 1960s with the skyscraper boom which had led to the destruction of earlier historic buildings. A green ban was thus set in place to protect historic 18th – century buildings in The Rocks from being demolished to pave way for office towers and also prevented the Royal Botanic gardens from being transformed into a car park for the Sydney Opera House.4 In the city of Melbourne the battle to preserve history was the one fought to preserve the Carlton from slum reclamation for setting up public housing. In the 21st century Australian architects have taken a more innovative approach to designs. Many buildings have emerged that truly reflect the unique Australian culture and values. As a result, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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