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Architecture in South Australia: Dwellings

This State Library of South Australia guide explores the architecture of SA, characterised by six chronological styles, starting with Old Colonial to 1840, Victorian to 1890, Federation to 1915, Interwar, Postwar and the Late Twentieth Century from 1960

State Library resources

Choose from the Library's selections below for images and brief histories.


"...South Australia's domestic architecture is not that different from the eastern capitals, except that less pressure for land meant that there are few terrace houses in Adelaide."
Wakefield companion to South Australian history, p. 46

The first dwellings in South Australia consisted of tents, huts made out of bush timber, prefabricated buildings and crude wattle and daub structures with earth floors.

The injection of wealth that the copper boom in the 1860s created allowed the opportunity to build and in some cases rebuild permanent structures with a great deal more elaboration and detail.

As the prosperity of individuals and the colony took hold of the opportunity to build permanent structures of stone or brick emerged. Most of South Australia's domestic architecture is not that different from the eastern capitals.

Style, like fashion is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. Today South Australian suburban housing is a diverse mix of modern, traditional and new historically and culturally derived styles.