What style is that? – Making sense of architectural styles

Australia’s rich history of architecture

Take a stroll amongst historic buildings today and you will notice the ornate hardware that decorates front entries everywhere. From baroque to Gothic and from Art Decor to Georgian.

Australia’s property landscape contains a rich mix of different architectural styles, having been developed over many centuries, with a diverse range of influences.

To help you gain a better idea, Zanda has put together a slide of the eleven most common architectural styles, and what key features to look out for.

What style is my handle?

Also included are examples of handles that match the same style. Many of the first buildings in Australia were constructions associated with the immediate needs of the colonies. Port Arthur settlement and Point Puer (juvenile prison) were designed by the convict architect Henry Laing. The Round House in Fremantle, built in 1831 as a gaol, was the first permanent building in the colony of Western Australia.

Early public buildings were constructed around the importance of influencing community and civic identity. There was a sentimental attachment to the idea of public space with a city square ringed by great civic buildings ‘to the glory of god and humanity’.

In the founding of the first buildings in Australia, a duality of approaches existed: those which dominated the landscape and those designed to blend in.

The following slide show explains 11 common architectural styles with pictorial examples of houses and handles.

One of the greatest designs in the world is in our very own country

One of the greatest designs in the world is in our very own country – the Sydney Opera House! To quote from the ABC program – the public good; “With a moment of genius an architect can express the soul of a city. Jorn Utzon changed Sydney forever with a single building… and inspired Ric Leplastrier, who worked with him”.

“I think the wonder of Utzon’s design is that what he’s actually made for us there over and above two theatres in which performances can be held, is that he’s made us the quintessential public place because it’s as important or even more important what happens outside that building and around that building than what happens actually inside the theatres itself.

He knew when he made that building that that platform would be the place for the greatest of public rituals and performance, he knew that. Not only that, what he’s done in the way he’s set the theatres inside and connected them by these great flights of stairs and the spaces go up and around those theatres and come back out, essentially that is a public street”

And so it is with architectural styles, those moments of genius continue and it is upon us to recognise and appreciate that luster when we see it.

If you Haven’t already viewed it, this slide show explains 11 common architectural styles with pictorial examples of houses and handles.

Bill Wallis is the author of The Architecture of Door Handles – an Australian Perspective’ This is a comprehensive Ebook on the influence of Australian architecture on door handles. It includes an extensive catalogue of illustrated door handles and their architectural styles. It Even has a free online quiz to test your knowledge!