Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Federation Filigree Style

Federation Filigree style

Designed to create shade while allowing for the free flow of air.
  • balconies screened with decorative balustrading
  • cast-iron (later: timber) balustrades and brackets
  • used common verandah posts, panels, friezes and brackets,
QueenslandBuilding-filigree.jpgBefore 1901 each verandah and balcony is screened with decorative cast-iron balustrading, comprising common cast-iron panels, friezes and brackets . The cast-iron treatment gives the terrace a light filigree character. The design is representative of a style of building, in which the Victorian fashion of cast-iron balustrades and brackets were the norm.

The start of the Federation period marked a decline in the use of cast iron for structural and ornamental components of verandas (see Victorian Filigree) and a marked growth in the use of wood for these components. Cast iron did in fact survive into the early twentieth century, by which time it had come to be regarded as rather old-fashioned.

Timber posts, balustrades, brackets and valances had a chunkier quality than their counterparts in cast iron, but the ‘filigree screen’ effect could still be obtained, especially when lattice made of light wooden laths was used together with the more substantial turned or sawn components. grand_Hotel-filigree.htm- Sydney Architecture.com

A building type that maintained the popularity it had enjoyed in the Victorian periodfremantle-hotel.jpg was the two-storey verandahed pub, often strategically located on a street corner in a suburb or country town.

Many such pubs display sufficient iron or timber screening on their verandas to qualify them for the Federation Filigree style.

It is not by chance that the finest examples of Federation Filigree domestic architecture are to be found in the hot, humid, coastal areas of Queensland. The valances, balustrades and latticework which screen the verandas of so many houses are not only highly decorative but also eminently functional, providing shade while allowing for the flow of air which is so essential for comfort in this climate.

"Fairy Knoll", Ipswitch (now the Jefferis Turner Centre)

"Fairy Knoll" possesses strong aesthetic value due to its prominence as a landmark in Ipswich which has dominant visual impact on the surrounding area and for its fine detailing and composition.


The residence is characteristic of the 'Federation Filigree' style of architecture which is demonstrated by its intricate timber screen, its slender columns of timber dividing the facade into bays, a timber frieze and brackets and timber railings. Its decorative external brickwork also contributes to its aesthetic value. Its setting on a large piece of land with gardens and mature trees is also of important aesthetic significance.