Vernacular architecture in Queensland, Australia : current planning issues and opportunities

Bajracharya, Bhishna N, Kumarasuriyar, Anoma C., & Demirbilek, Nur (2003) Vernacular architecture in Queensland, Australia : current planning issues and opportunities. In International Conference on Quality of Urban Life: Policy versus Practice, Istanbul Technical University Urban and Environmental Planning and Research Center, 3-5 December 2003, Istanbul.


The distinctive timber and iron house of Queensland, has evolved over time reflecting the culture of the local people and the climate of the region. These houses are currently facing major pressures due to gentrification and development in the older inner city suburbs of Brisbane.

The key objective of the paper is to examine the major planning issues and opportunities for the continuation of vernacular traditions. This paper first discusses the historical development of ‘Queenslander’ house focussing on some of its key architectural features and their suitability for the local climate. It then reviews policy documents of the Brisbane City Council (BCC) to identify the key planning issues relating to vernacular architecture. Lastly, it identifies the key opportunities to enhance the vernacular architecture in Brisbane.

While there is generally a good community and council support for protection of vernacular architecture, there are issues relating to perceiving them as a hindrance to development. There are also concerns about social equity, as renovating old Queenslanders may be a cost burden to long-term owners with limited income. With proper maintenance and remodelling ‘Queenslanders’, owners have significantly enhanced the value of their property. This has often benefited the relatively wealthy in the community.

The initiatives taken by BCC have provided unique opportunities for maintaining and enhancing the vernacular architecture of Queensland. Furthermore, it has given a distinctive character to the city and provided an opportunity to promote local architecture as part of the marketing of the city.

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ID Code: 4364
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 23:05

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