The Queenslander

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The Queenslander
Chapter 4
The Verandah/Screens

The Queenslander - Verandahs


Somewhat stark verandah facades were also broken by trees and ornamental shrubs grown close to the balustrade. Deciduous vegetation was particularly welcome as it allowed the sun to penetrate during the winter and acted as a cool green shaded screen during the hot summers.

Some of the charm of the traditional house derives from vegetation which surrounds the building, often penetrating the verandah area.

verandah shutters

In most cases this form of shading was insufficient, so the builders added a metre-high balustrade of open slats or crossed trellis, and the space between the top rail and the eaves was encased in a variety of shutters and screens which could be adjusted to suit the climate.

decorative stable door"

When used for sleeping, the verandahs were enclosed with roll-up wooden shutters or canvas blinds for privacy. The more vulnerable aspects towards the east and west had full-height fixed trellis or wire screens (which allowed a lush overlay of leafy vines).

The stable door proved a vehicle for further decorative treatment.  The rising sun motif (left) reveals the influence of Chinese carpenters.

latticed screen

Latticed screen envelops the entire length of the verandah and is incorporated into the doors at the entrance of this northern Australian house. Supplemented by lush tropical vegetation, it provides welcome shade, mellows the intense tropical light and ensures a continuous flow of cool air.

Text from: Balwant Saini and Ray Joyce, The Australian House. Homes of the Tropical North

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