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Federation Arts and Crafts

The Architect-designed Federation Style:

Federation Arts & Crafts

Keynsham 29 Shellcove Road NEUTRAL BAY

Pictured above:  'St Ellero' 5 Appian Way Burwood, New South Wales

Federation Arts and Crafts Style

One of the key design and architecture styles of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Typical external Federation Arts and Crafts features in Australia are:

  • pale, or white, roughcast render

  • rough-cast (stone/cement stucco) or occasionaly, pebble dash (eg Glyn)

  • visible rafters under the eaves

  • stone dressed window and door openings

  • low rooflines, dominant roof​

Pictured above left:​ Keynsham 29 Shellcove Road NEUTRAL BAY

  • illustrating rough-cast (stone/cement stucco) 

  • visible rafters under the eaves

Pictured left:  'Mounterey' 318 Liverpool Road Burwood NSW

  • illustrating stone dressed window and door openings

  • low rooflines, dominant roof

Picturesque tendencies stand out:

  • asymmetric frontages

  • neo-gothic influences

  • Showcasing the beauty inherent in craft


Pictured below:  A 1903 Desbrowe-Annear house, in Eaglemont Victoria

  • illustrating asymmetric frontage

Federation Arts and Crafts style

Pictured below and left: 

Tulkiyan is of State significance as an important, intact example of a fine Arts & Crafts suburban villa, designed by eminent Edwardian architect B.J. Waterhouse


  • rustic and "cottagey" surfaces,

  • repeating designs

Below and left: Fairwater 560 New South Head Road, Double Bay, NSW by Architect John Horbury Hunt


  • rustic and "cottagey" surfaces,

  • repeating designs

  • neo-gothic arched windows

  • Illustrating: vertical and elongated forms.

Pictured left: Fairfax House, 32 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill

Below: 'Erica' 21 Appian Way Burwood NSW Australia

  • Some products were deliberately left slightly unfinished, resulting in a certain rustic and robust effect,

Arts and Crafts architects were also respnsible for internal Arts and Crafts features, an artisan ethos is evident in everything to do with Arts and Crafts.
From the choice of materials; wood, brass, leadlight, lathe plaster, stippled walls containing plastered lumps of coal, turned joinery in organic shapes, to the merest details such as brass latches, hinges and catches


Examples of Federation Arts and Crafts housing style

Examples of Federation Arts and Crafts housing style:

The Federation Arts and Craft style had its origins in England, where architects were reacting to the impersonal nature of the Industrial Revolution.

  • Crafts and handiwork were emphasised to give architecture the "human touch".

  • Australian Federation Arts and Crafts buildings were generally small-scale to medium-scale and predominantly residential.

From Sydney Architecture:

  • As its name implies this (Arts and Craft) style was concerned with the integration of art into everyday life through the medium of craftsmanship.

  • There is a strong flavour of morality, with stress on the truthful use of materials and the honest expression of function.

  • Arts and Crafts buildings are unpretentious and informal, evoking an atmosphere of comfortable familiarity.

Hollowforth, Neutral Bay, by Architect Edward Jeaffreson Jackson
Redleaf, 8 Redleaf Ave, Wahroonga NSW

Erica, Appian Way, (Hoskins Estate) Burwood, NSW

Erica, 21 the Appian Way, is the most unusual house in the Appian Way estate in Burwood NSW.

  • Also known as the Hoskins Estate, Appian Way was a model housing estate conceived by a wealthy industrialist, George J. Hoskins on 8 hectares of land that he purchased at the start of the 20th century. 

  • Built between 1903 and 1911, the estate of 36 Federation houses was created with his designer and builder William Richards to present an appropriate setting opposite the Hoskins' (Victorian Style) St Cloud mansion on Burwood Road.

Erica has all external walls finished in roughcast render except for the shingles in the gable ends.

  • The roof is slate, and the verandah roof is supported on tapered, sleekly rounded brick piers.

  • An elongated tapering chimney springs from an extraordinary stepped parapet which slices asymmetircally across the smaller of the two gables facing the street. In the windows, small rectangular panes of convex glass are set in lead cames.

  • Erica shows its Arts and Crafts flavour through the use of roughcast render, slate on the roof and Voysey-esque treatement of the chimneys. 

American Influences

American Influences

  1. The East Coast Shingle Style promoted by architect Henry Hobson Richardson

  2. The Craftsman magazine published by furniture maker Gustav Stickley, promoting small houses, gardens and furniture

  3. Californian designers Greene and Greene and Louis Easton, especially Gamble House

  4. Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright

  5. Wright's home in Oak Park, Illinois

  6. The Gamble House, Pasadena, California, by Greene and Greene

  7. Stickley Craftsman House: Shingled House Exterior view from the front.

Four Typical Federation Era Arts and Crafts Houses of NSW

From Houzz 5 Historic Arts and Crafts Homes With an Australian Spin

Five Typical Federation Arts and Crafts Houses
Ailsa House
1. Ailsa House Neutral Bay NSW


Ailsa House Neutral Bay NSW    

This home's architect, Bertrand Waterhouse, was a well-known Sydney architect who took most of his inspiration from British architects C.F.A. Voysey and Baillie Scott.

Waterhouse believed in simple, straightforward designs free of unnecessary encumbrances. 

The Ailsa House, designed in 1908, offers a typical example of Waterhouse's Federation Arts and Crafts style.

This house has a sandstone foundation. Sandstone is the bedrock for most of Sydney — it has distinctive earthy qualities and was often used in buildings of this era. 

St Ellero

2. St. Ellero, Appian Way Burwood

Left: Appian Way Federation Arts and Crafts designs


 St. Ellero, Appian Way Burwood  

At the start of the 20th century, businessman George J. Hoskins bought 80,000 square meters (almost 20 acres) of land in Sydney.

In partnership with designer and builder William Richards, Hoskins had a vision to build beautiful homes and rent them out to people with social standing.

Richards designed many of the homes on this site; two (including St. Ellero) were designed in the Federation Arts and Crafts style. 

Typical features of this period stand out, such as the white roughcast rendering, pebble dash walls, low roofline, sandstone around the windows and doors, and repeating chimneys.

Read more:

3. Craignairn, Burns Road, Wahroonga 


Craignairn, Burns Road, Wahroonga   

Architect Howard Joseland built this house in 1909. He migrated from England to Australia, with little fondness for the Victorian architecture he left behind. 

Read more:


4. Devon, Centennial Park NSW 



Devon, Centennial Park NSW     

Designed by owner-architect Arthur Leslie Bayley in 1923, the Devon house technically falls outside the Federation Arts and Crafts era, but it is still a striking example of the period in Australia. 

In 1904, 101 acres of land was subdivided in Sydney's Centennial Park — and each plot came with a caveat. To ensure a high standard of construction, no wooden structures or terraces were acceptable. Instead, only brick or stone was to be used, with only tile or slate roofs.

The Devon house shows how an architect could follow these standards with beautiful results. 

Six Typical Federation Era Arts and Crafts Houses of Victoria

From City of Stonnington Federation Houses Study Stage 3 Report, Volume 2 (2017)

Five Victorian Arts and Crafts homes
Thurla, Armadale

1. Thurla, 1 Avalon Avenue, Armadale, 1903 ((HO4))

Thurla is of State architectural significance as a house virtually intact to its original condition and retaining its original garden setting.

The house was designed by the important domestic architect Walter Butler, of Inskip & Butler, for his accountant brother Richard Butler in 1903.

Acquired by Ernest Ricardo in 1904 Thurla remained in the possession of the family until June 1992. 
(See also Avalon  below)


Thurla is also an early and uncommon instance of Art Nouveau influence on domestic architecture in Melbourne and an early example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style.

The single storey red brick house with extensive roughcast rendering and Marseilles tiled roof, has a large asymmetrically placed front gabled bay with half timbering, hooded triangular window bays and Art Nouveau-inspired cast cement detailing.



Above and left: two types of interiors at Thurla

Thurla exhibits externally traditional elements such as


These are, however, combined in a free manner with deliberate asymmetrical devices such as

  • hooded triangular plan window bays and

  • Art Nouveau inspired cast cement detailing

  • to constitute the Edwardian Freestyle.


  • lacquered joinery,

  • polished floors,

  • sympathetically coloured wallpapers and

  • a notable arboreal frieze above the dining room picture rail
    provide a period atmosphere (removed?).

Read more:

11 Tintern Avenue, Toorak

2. 11 Tintern Avenue, Toorak  (Klingender & Alsop 1915)

Formerly Watson house at 11 Tintern Avenue Toorak, this house is locally significant architecturally: for its innovative design for its construction date, 
with the main distinctive elements being

  • the balcony hood and balustrade,

  • fenestration (window design), and

  • steeply gabled roof form;

  • as an evocative example of Arts & Crafts architecture executed by one of the nation's foremost practitioners in that style, Rodney Alsop 


"This magnificent home offers the best of all worlds combining the benefits of low maintenance, easy care style & the superb space of more than 31 squares of gracious living."

"An inner Melbourne house for the busy family requiring the ultimate in lifestyle, convenience & security.

Combined with the most exacting attention to detail, state-of-the-art features of the home including

an exceptionally large storeroom/wine cellar,

secure underground garaging and lift,

very large open plan entertainment areas,

three bedrooms including an indulgent master bedroom, ensuite & dressing room plus

the benefits of a large private (all weather)courtyard."

Read more:

Avalon, Toorak


'Avalon', Power Ave Toorak m7265.jpg
Avalon 14 Power Road Toorak.jpg

3. Avalon, 4 Power Avenue, Toorak (designed by Butler & Bradshaw, 1914, occupied by Richard Butler)

is described as


Major attributes include

  • the simple yet powerful roof form, whose wide hip is extended out over wide exaggerated eaves,

  • supported on exaggerated eaves brackets

  • projecting bays.

  • The sheer walls punctuated by fenestration and

  • the use of shingling
    are especially distinctive features.​

'Avalon', Power Ave Toorak m7268.jpg
  • The original design has been extended sympathetically by the same architectural firm.

  • Avalon remained for a long period in the ownership of the Butler family, until auction and sale in the 1980's. From 1914 the listed owner was R.H. Butler, then his wife Mrs E.J. Butler until 1974.


The two-storey rendered brick house has a simple wide slate-clad hip roof which extends over wide eaves and is supported on exaggerated eaves brackets.


The building has been subject to some recent alterations after its change of ownership.

The alterations have included some changes to windows on the western elevation and modification to the entry creating a projecting porch as well as a new high masonry fence.

While the work is generally sympathetic, it resulted in the loss of some early details and its outstanding integrity.

Read more:

Walter Butler Archiect

Walter Richmond Butler (1864-1949), architect, was born on 24 March 1864 at Pensford St Thomas, Somerset, England, fourth son of Henry Butler, farmer, and his wife Mary Yeoman, née Harding.


Butler showed an early talent for sketching and at 15 was articled to Alexander Lauder of Barnstaple.

In 1885 W. R. Lethaby encouraged Butler to move to London and work with J. D. Sedding.

He was accepted into the arts and crafts and domestic revival circles centred on William Morris and R. N. Shaw, among whom his closest friend was Ernest Gimson (1864-1919).


In June 1888 Butler left Sedding's office and sailed for Australia, perhaps at the prompting of the young Melbourne architect Beverley Ussher then visiting London.

From 1889 until 1893 Butler was in partnership with Ussher. In 1896 he was joined by George C. Inskip but they parted in 1905 after a dispute with the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects over the conduct of a competition.

Butler family and friends at 'Avalon' m7

Above: Butler family and friends at ‘Avalon’; Tom Watson, Walter Butler, Harry Butler, Howard Butler, A. R. Butler, Win Butler, Marjorie Butler

In 1907-16 he partnered Ernest R. Bradshaw and after World War I he was in practice with his nephew Richard (b.1892) as W. & R. Butler, which briefly included Marcus Martin. In the late 1930s Butler was in partnership with Hugh Pettit, but he retired when Pettit enlisted for World War II.

Butler was rightly considered an architect of great talent, and many of his clients were wealthy pastoralists and businessmen.

Walter Butler and his wife lived at Studley, Toorak Rd, Toorak.

Tongaboo, Toorak
Tongaboo 1.png
Tongaboo 6 Stonnington Place.jpg

4. Tongaboo, 6 Stonnington Place, Toorak 1912​

A relatively well preserved and successful house designed by and built for the noted Arts & Crafts architect, Rodney Alsop 

This attic-storey Arts & Crafts English Domestic revival style house has

  • multiple gabled roofs clad with slate,

  • stuccoed walls,

  • tall brick (over-painted) chimneys,

  • deep eaves with exposed and shaped rafters and joists,

  • timber-framed multi-paned sash windows, and

  • half-timbered and vertical boarded (once stained?) gable ends.


Tongaboo 2.png

The overall character of the design is in the manner of noted British Arts & Crafts designer CFA Voysey.

Given the changes of the 1920s, the house is generally externally near to original as seen from the street except for minor and related changes to the attic dormer facing north (was a skillion roof dormer).

A visually related garage wing has been added in front of the house at the north-east corner of the house and another to the rear west side of the original kitchen block.

The window sills in the added north bay of 1924 have been lowered to ground level, with matching glazing infill. 

Early construction drawings show both levels: entry hall, dining and living rooms, two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen; and, on the upper level, 4 bedrooms, dressing room, open stair hall and bath room

Sold in May 2008 for $4.025 million.

Read more:

White Lodge, Armadale

5. White Lodge, 34 Huntingtower Road, Armadale is an early example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style.

It was built in 1899-1900 at the time when the Federation Arts and Crafts style was emerging in established suburbs such as Armadale and across Melbourne.


The house has not been attributed to a particular architect however the carefully considered design strongly suggests that an architect was involved. 

The western facade after the 2002 renova
The house in 1992 (Lewis & Aitken 1992,


The house after the 2002

‘White Lodge’ displays characteristics which have strong associations with the innovative Federation Arts and Crafts style and it remains highly intact to demonstrate these strong associations.

These include:

  • Symmetrical front façade with transverse hipped roof,

  • side gables and gablets to the front elevation

  • Exposed rafter ends

  • Prominent gable verges

  • Rectangular bay window.

Facade 2017.jpg
Extent of the recommended Heritage Overl

‘White Lodge’ also displays unusual characteristics within the City of Stonnington. These include:

  • Large central buttressed triple stack chimney

  • Slightly offset front entrance with adjacent small arch headed window opening

  • Shallow pitched, hipped verandah roofs flanking the central entrance with narrow, recessed central section of roof

  • Latticework frieze to verandah

  • Contrasting roughcast and smooth rendered moulding detailing to gablets and gable-ends.

Read more:

6. Chadwick House, Eaglemont, VIC
Chadwick House


Chadwick House, Eaglemont, VIC

One in a group of three homes, the Chadwick House was designed in 1904 by architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear, who built the house for himself and his extended family.

Desbrowe-Annear was instrumental in introducing open-plan living into residential projects and often incorporated modernist Australian ideas with Gothic revival principles into his work. 

The home's unpretentious exterior is covered in two different materials —

the lower section in beveled timber boards, and

the upper in roughcast panels.

The vertical wood patterns on the U-shaped balustrades on the verandah extend up to the gables, showing off the architect's Gothic-inspired ideas.

Read more: 

Mosman Heritage Federation Arts and Crafts


3,5,7 David Street Mosman NSW, Streetview


Mosman Federation Arts and Crafts heritage
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