Domestic House Plans
Librarian Mary Lewis shows us three different houseplans for suburban Melbourne houses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
This is a design for a Terrace house in North Melbourne for a James Cumming. It’s a contract drawing and it’s dated 16th day of May 1894 and it’s signed by the Contractor McDonald and Chalmers. Melbourne’s famous for its Terrace houses and it’s very interesting to see the way the site is used and the use of the various rooms.
This is the Ground Floor plan. You have a Parlour, a Breakfast Room, a Staircase going up to the Upper Floor, then a Dining Room, a Kitchen, a Scullery for washing pots and pans and it’s interesting to note the drains are marked in. This is the cut back which allows light in to the Breakfast Room…and the grey area is probably asphalted. We come back down to the back of the site where we’ve got a Stable and a Coach House on the Ground Floor and stairs going up to an Upper Floor with a Man’s Room and a Loft. So this was a fairly well-to-do-family who were able to keep a carriage, or a buggy, or something and a horse and a groom. Just coming back a little bit further, we find a Dung Pit and next door to that, two Earth Closets. Earth Closets were a patent form of sewerage which used earth not water and there are two of them in the back yard, they’re not inside the house at all. In the Upper Floor you’ve got a Balcony, a Drawing Room, which is probably a more informal room, a Bed Room, three Bedrooms, a Bath Room, you can see the bath and probably a little basin next to it. And then we’ve got a section going through the house, showing the extent of the building from the front to the back and then a detail of the elevation, which shows the ornamental cast iron and the elaborate façade and then we have a few sections which show the staircase and doors. It’s an interesting example of how people fitted an awful lot of rooms onto one fairly small site.
This is a drawing, ink on linen, Elevations of quite a sizable house for a well-to-do family in Albany Rd, Toorak. It’s for E. H. Shackell and it’s by the Architects Walter and Richard Butler. The date is October 1919. And what’s interesting here, is the plan and the use of the room. The Ground Floor plan has a Living Room, a Study, Cloak Room, a very large Pantry Kitchen, Servants Hall, a Work Room, a School Room, a Sun Room and at the back, Coke and Coal, a Boiler and what looks like a room for cleaning boots. On the First Floor you’ve got the Landing, a Children’s Room and what looks like, one, two, three Maid’s Room and a Maid’s Bath Room. So this was a well-to-do-family who could afford to have three Maids’, a number of Bed Rooms and a Dressing Room and a Bath Room between the two main Bed Rooms at the front of the house, and a Balcony on the Upper Floor.
This is a design for a Brick Residence for Peter Roger at Williamstown. The Architects stamp is visible. The Architects are Laver, Fick and Vance and it’s about 1896-97. There’s lots of interesting detail on this drawing. There’s the plan for the Ground Floor and the First Floor….a Pantry, Kitchen, Scullery…the First Floor, two Bed Rooms at the front and the best Bed Room at the back, a Bath Room with a bath and basin and a Linen Cupboard. This section through the house is interesting because it shows the panelling under the Staircase and the Baluster and the Newel post at the end of the Baluster and there are details for the Baluster and the Newel post, up here. Other details for wooden arches inside the house and a small detail here for the Arch in the Drawing Room and then a very enlarged detail of one part of that arch.