Deep shade in Australia: adapting the verandah to public buildings

Guedes, Pedro (2016). Deep shade in Australia: adapting the verandah to public buildings. In: Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the European Architectural History Network, (EAHN). International Conference of the European Architectural History Network, (EAHN), Dublin, Ireland, (257-271). 2-4 June 2016.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Guedes, Pedro
Title of paper Deep shade in Australia: adapting the verandah to public buildings
Conference name International Conference of the European Architectural History Network, (EAHN)
Conference location Dublin, Ireland
Conference dates 2-4 June 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the European Architectural History Network, (EAHN)
Place of Publication Dublin, Ireland
Publisher UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy
Publication Year 2016
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
ISBN 9781526203762
Editor Kathleen James-Chakraborty
Start page 257
End page 271
Total pages 15
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This paper focuses on how verandahs entered formal languages of permanent architecture in the principal façades of public buildings in European colonial outposts. There, splendid buildings with Imperial pretentions required adaptations to warm climates opening the way for later compositional approaches, including the brise-soleil and other buffering devices.

Mid-to-Late 19th Century Public buildings at the peripheries of Empire represent a major and outward looking cosmopolitan phase of European colonial architecture. In the colonies they reassured whoever saw them that a permanent and bountiful future lay ahead. Celebrating confidence through the use of generously embellished durable masonry they observed the latest ideas of design and proportion derived from Metropolitan centers. However, they were fashioned with an important concession to the climate; the verandah.

Verandahs offered many pragmatic advantages, all of them long accepted and understood as beneficial to building in hot humid countries where they mitigated the harsh effects of heat and glare. At the same time verandahs provided circulation space in buildings with ever-larger collections of rooms, delivered protected areas sanctioned by medical opinion and allowed for informal gatherings during tropical downpours. They provided a recipe for conceiving of and planning all manner of buildings, a formula for clothing utility with presence and sometimes grandeur easily understood by designers ranging from public servants to exalted architects. These broad and universal strategies were tempered with nuance and detail that invested buildings with local character.

The study draws upon buildings erected in the British Empire from India to Australia, with parallels in French Indochina and Algeria. In each outpost, notions of local character were grafted onto the broadly accepted approach. As paragons of this genre, several structures in Queensland, including Brisbane’s Treasury and Lands buildings and the Rockhampton Post Office, are taken and analyzed as important exemplars with a distinctly Antipodean imprimatur.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
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Created: Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 09:44:08 EST by Anthony Yeates on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)