Perth Building Styles Through the Ages

Drive through any established Perth suburb and you’re likely to see a variety of architectural styles – from Art Deco apartments to the freestanding modernist homes that rose in popularity during the 1970’s.

Each of these architectural styles has a rich history, usually rooted in the trends of Europe and America, and in many cases, adapted to suit WA’s unique climate.

Today, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to discover more about the styles of Perth buildings, through the ages.

Perth Building Styles - Modernist Home
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Federation Bungalow

The Federation Bungalow style of architecture was popular between 1890 and 1915. You’ll see many Federation Bungalow buildings in Mount Lawley, Highgate and Inglewood. Here’s what else you should know about this architectural style:

  • Federation Bungalow is a halfway point between the Californian Bungalow and the decorative Federation Queen Anne architecture of earlier years.
  • The style was inspired by the idea of the ‘simple life’, which had risen in popularity in the West Coast of the US in the latter years of the 19th
  • As a result of this simplicity, this style of architecture was easy to construct, which made it well suited to Australia’s harsh conditions.

Head to Bishop Gibney’s House on 50 Vincent Street Highgate and see the Federation Bungalow style first-hand.

Art Deco

The rise of the Art Deco home happened roughly between 1914 and 1940 in Western Australia. The style is rooted in Gothic architecture and influenced by modernist architecture, which can be easily seen in the simplicity of many art deco homes in Perth.

The term ‘Art Deco’ is used to describe art, jewellery, furniture and many other forms of art. It came to the peak of its popularity in Paris, France during the 1920’s and is a symbol of the fun and frivolity of the ‘Roaring 20’s’.

Art Deco typically includes the following features:

  • A series of straight lines, often running in parallel and positioned vertically, horizontally or diagonally with circles, triangles, curves and other geometric shapes.
  • Corners tend to be curved.
  • Commercial buildings, such as shop fronts, were often chromium-plated.
  • Parquetry brickwork was often used in domestic homes.

The Grand Cygnet Cinema in Como is a beautiful example of Art Deco design.

Modernist Home

The modernist architectural style rose in popularity during the 1950’s and 1960’s. You may have noticed a revival in love for the style lately, with many choosing to decorate their homes using the furniture of this era. (Think Mad Men!)

Modernist homes received a kick during the sixties and seventies, on the back of an influx of unit building in Perth, and other states in Australia. Probably because the freestanding, simple brick style of the Modernist Home was easy to replicate and affordable to build.

The 1970’s modernist home also made way for open plan living, which hadn’t really been used widely in Australian homes before. The modernist home heavily influences the properties we see built in Perth, even today.

The Modern Two-Storey Home

When population density increases in a region, it’s usual for people to start building up in order to capitalize on space. This has certainly happened in Perth in recent years, with more two-storey homes and high-rise apartments being built than ever before.

The modern two-storey home tends to take from modernist design principles, with simple lines and open plan living areas, which leverage the space inside each level. In many cases, the goal of this style of two-storey home is to create ‘zones’ where family members can enjoy specific activities, while still being connected with other members of the household.

Head here to check out modern 2 storey home designs in Perth.

Want to know more about building an affordable two-storey home in Perth? Please explore our blog, or contact us to speak with a building consultant.