Federation House

How to house a new nation

Beginning with the ‘Father of Federation’, and Australia’s second Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin’s Federation Bungalow “Ballara”, Episode Five tells the story of the optimism and confidence that powered the movement to make Australia an independent nation. This national idealism was reflected in the assured, even showy architecture of the Federation house.

While the Federation style created its own genres, such as Arts & Crafts, Queen Anne and Spanish Mission, it also coloured the landscape of urban Australia as it spread, with affluence and the growth of population, into the suburbs. Once reserved for the wealthy wishing to escape the bustle of the city (as represented in the ostentatious Chadwick House in Victoria’s Eaglemont) the suburbs were opening up to the working class.

In Australia’s first planned suburb, Dacey Gardens in New South Wales, we visit the modest Federation Californian Bungalows built to house returning servicemen after the First World War. Here Federation can be seen as a style that took from different movements around the world and turned them into something unique and uniquely Australian.