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Right: Built in 1906, the Federation Free-style Pyrmont Fire Station at 145 Pyrmont Street was designed by NSW government architect Walter Liberty Vernon – one of more than 50 of his projects between 1890 and 1911. [3]

Pictorial Guide to ID Aust Architecture ISBN 9780207185625

Federation Free Style [c1890-c1915]

 

Turn-of-the-century architects had problems designing commercial premises using the domestic styles of Federation, and Federation Arts and Crafts.

  • Thus the adoption of 'Federation Free' styles, allowing the architecture of domestic styles to apply to larger buildings as well.

This style is remarkably only defined by the book "A Pictorial Guide to Identifying Australian Architecture" by Richard Apperly, Robert Irving and Peter Reynolds.

(Buy this book secondhand from Biblio or from Abebooks, was $49.95)

 

They write that:

"Federation Architects were not unduly concerned with advanced technology;

  • they sought to design honestly with traditional materials while avoiding being shackled by stylistic dogmas from the past...

  • In Australia, the greatest volume of Federation Free Style work came from the office of the NSW Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon" [1]

 

"By definition, a 'free style' is not unduly constrained by rules, and Federation Free Style is no exception.

  • Designers did not hesitate to use asymmetrical planning and massing,

  • Classical elements, if used at all, were frequently distorted, incomplete or placed in an unusual context.

  • Touches of Art Nouveau were often introduced, especially in the lettering applied to the facades of buildings." [2]

 

Gallery of Federation Free Style

York Post Office
York Post Office

York, Western Australia

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Government Printing Office Perth
Government Printing Office Perth

A new three-storey building, designed by architect George Temple Poole, was erected in 1894 to cater for the growing needs of the department.

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Dimmeys on Swan Street
Dimmeys on Swan Street

Dimmey's. Cremorne, Victoria.

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York Post Office
York Post Office

York, Western Australia

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“Throughout the Victorian and Federation periods, Academic Classical and Free Classical styles co-existed, which is to say that some buildings were more correctly classical than others."

 

Federation Free Style was a flow-on from the Victorian period.

  • This style includes modern simplicity without a full panoply of columns, pilasters, entablatures and pediments

  • This style also includes distorted or unfamiliar uses of classical elements and proportions.

 
Provincial Hotel Ballarat VIC
Provincial Hotel Ballarat VIC

Provincial Hotel Ballarat VIC

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City Baths Melbourne
City Baths Melbourne

City Baths Melbourne

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Prahran mechanics institute
Prahran mechanics institute

Prahran mechanics institute

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Dimmeys on Swan Street
Dimmeys on Swan Street

Dimmeys on Swan Street

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Pyrmont Fire Station
Pyrmont Fire Station
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Johnsons Building
Johnsons Building

Johnsons Building

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Burwood Post Office
Burwood Post Office

Burwood Post Office

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Annandale Post Office
Annandale Post Office

Annandale Post Office

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Police Courts Sydney
Police Courts Sydney

Police Courts Sydney

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Randwick Post Office
Randwick Post Office

Randwick Post Office

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Parkes Post Office
Parkes Post Office

Parkes Post Office

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Malabar Long Bay Gaol
Malabar Long Bay Gaol

Malabar Long Bay Gaol (from Randwick Lib)

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Pyrmont Fire Station
Pyrmont Fire Station

Pyrmont Fire Station

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References
Govt Print Office c1900
Govt Print Office c1900

Govt Print Office c1900

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Government Printing Office Perth
Government Printing Office Perth

Government Printing Office Perth

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Government Printing Office Perth
Government Printing Office Perth

Government Printing Office Perth

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151-165 Beaufort Street parapet
151-165 Beaufort Street parapet

151-165 Beaufort Street Perth

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Chung Wah Hall Perth
Chung Wah Hall Perth

Chung Wah Hall Perth

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Chung Wah Association Hall
Chung Wah Association Hall

Chung Wah Association Hall, Perth

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Bairds Building Perth
Bairds Building Perth

Bairds Building Perth

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