Hot summers in the arid outback, the steamy north and along the subtropical coastline have made the borrowed Queenslander design a true blue Aussie icon.
With wide timber verandas, high ceilings with an iron roof, and raised off the ground on stumps to boost air flow and protect against pests, the “Queenslander” originally came on in sailing ships — a learned response to the British Empire’s expansion into hot tropical colonies like India and the West Indies.
Its beauty and longevity comes off the fact that the design was highly adaptable, transportable and well suited to the Queensland climate.
According to the Queensland Museum, while Australia’s conservation movement truly kicked off in the 1970s, “the reuse and recycling of Queenslander houses is a much older tradition”.
“The construction of Queenslander houses on stumps made them highly adaptable. The same structural advantage that allows them to be constructed on uneven and very steep land, also meant that houses could be removed from the stumps in tact. Queenslanders can therefore be raised or lowered, reoriented or even completely relocated and reused.”
“This adaptive reuse of Queenslander houses is epitomised in historic towns that suffered cycles of economic prosperity and loss. As populations dwindled in one place and people moved to new sites of expansion, large numbers of houses were transported to the growing towns. This ability to reuse entire houses is unique to Queensland and is the ultimate example of sustainable and recyclable housing.”
Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev has long been a proponent of the Queenslander type of design given their use of sustainable measures like verandas, eaves and stumps so well suited to the climate.
Verandas were considered a necessity in most Aussie homes right up to 50 years ago, he said, because they kept the sun from overheating internal living zones.
“This was particularly the case with homes designed and built for the hotter parts of Australia where verandas often extended around the entire house, such as with homesteads in rural areas.”
“Many of the homes now called ‘Queenslanders’ not only had large verandas but were built on top of stilts to encourage circulation of air.”
He said even “the simple use of eaves at once provides sun control to windows and walls. This minimises sun penetration into living spaces and has the added benefit of delivering rain water away from external walls”.
There are several stunning Queenslanders currently on the market, some of which are looking for refurbishment while others have been kept immaculate by their owners.
11 Eblin Drive, Hamilton
This five bedroom, three bathroom, four car space Queensland is located in blue chip Hamilton in Brisbane’s inner north.
Called ‘Shalimar’, it has been described as “the epitome of Queensland living on a grand scale”.
This Queenslander has been reworked across three levels, with additions including an office and temperature controlled wine cellar, pool, library, home theatre, wet bar and built-in barbecue.
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2 Grattan Street, Woolloongabba
A four bedroom, two bathroom, double car garage home on a 559sq m block of land in inner-city Woolloongabba. It’s set to go under the hammer on Saturday February 23 at 9am.
Called Rosemary Place’, the home is a 1920s Queenslander with the lower level turned into an expansive living zone, with traditional features retained throughout the upstairs original home including hardwood floors, VJ walls and soaring ceilings. It also retains its wide wraparound veranda.
32 Cottman Street, Buderim
This renovated Queenslander with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a double garage goes under the hammer on Saturday February 23 at 11am.
“It has a very special component that most homes lack — real character,” is how it is being marketed.
The large home allowed the renovation to include multiple living zones creating better opportunity for dual living if needed. The property also has solar power and water and views across Buderim.
41 Winston Road, Palmwoods
It’s becoming increasingly rare to find Queenslanders in their original condition, which this one in Palmwoods apparently is. Located less than five minutes off the M1 highway and almost two hours north of Brisbane, the four bedroom, two bathroom, two car space home is on a massive 5.95 hectares of land.
Period features like leadlight windows, French doors, polished floorboards and high ceilings are all still there, plus the property is mostly cleared and has a large dam.
317 Bingham Road, Booral
Also with room to breathe around it is a Queenslander in Booral, close to Hervey Bay and about three and a half hours from Brisbane City. the five bedroom, two bathroom, nine car space property has 1.42 hectares of land and is priced at offers over $465,000.
The 498sq m Queenslander is large with the classic wraparound veranda plus it has a 3kw solar system and 5kw inverter, a termite protection barrier, water tanks, dams and pump.
49 Glenpark Street, North Mackay
One of the lowest entry prices for a Queenslander comes out of Mackay where a three bedroom, single bathroom, single car space home on a large 852sq block is going for $269,000.
It’s being marketed as a “grand old Queenslander” with “tongue and groove walls, high ceilings and timber floorboards ready for restoration”.
“All it needs it a little bit of polish to restore this little beauty to the charm and dignity of yesteryear.”
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