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A Climate of Confusion: The Significance of Climatic Adaptation in 19th Century Queensland Architecture


King, SA, A Climate of Confusion: The Significance of Climatic Adaptation in 19th Century Queensland Architecture, Panorama to paradise: Scopic Regimes in Architectural and Urban History and Theory, 21- 24 September 2007, Adelaide, pp. 25. ISBN 1-920927-55-7 (2007) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2007 Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand


The written histories of Queensland architecture build a case for a Climatically responsive architecture oriented to the exigencies of place. Predominantly derived from the consideration of domestic and vernacular traditions this ideal of climatic responsiveness is often positioned as a romantic expression of Queensland identity. However, climate rarely bears upon the determination of heritage significance in Queensland's nineteenth century architecture. Even beyond the legislated criteria , for assessment, climatic responsiveness does not appear within an extensive range of thematic categories nominated by the Queensland Department of Cultural Heritage for the groupings of registered buildings. In the nineteenth century, climatic conditions were frequently invoked as a source for the planning and arrangement of buildings, stylistic choice, the composition of masses, choice of materials, colour, and the modelling of surface ornament. Yet responses to the exigencies of tropical climates were also seen as having the potential to undermine the nineteenth century ideal of 'appropriateness', particularly in the design of civic buildings. This paper uses empirical research to examine the consideration of climate in mid to late nineteenth century Queensland architecture. It queries the basis of the romantic ideal of a tradition of climatic Queensland architecture, as well as a potential oversight in the processes of heritage assessment, where innovative responses to climate are not being considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Urban and regional planning
Research Field:History and theory of the built environment (excl. architecture)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Heritage
Objective Field:Conserving the historic environment
UTAS Author:King, SA (Dr Stuart King)
ID Code:49084
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2012-02-15
Downloads:23 View Download Statistics

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