Australia ICOMOS > 2009 (Un)Loved Modern > Papers > The Single House under Threat

The Single House under Threat

The simple, small houses of the 20th Century are under threat in Australia. As our thirst for larger houses, larger cars and more and more commodities consumes us, suburban family homes are razed to make way for ever-bigger homes covering most of the lot. The modest dimensions of most postwar housing make it particularly vulnerable. Even the highly acclaimed developer-built homes of the 1960s and 1970s that were designed by some of the leading architects of the period are making way for the new monsters.

The ecological sustainability of the McMansion phenomenon is increasingly called into question. Furthermore, population growth and change towards greater numbers of one and two-person households signal that there is a pressing need for changes in housing, as the lifestyles we lead are also changing. The need to accommodate an increasing population, and urban development policies pursuing higher densities mean that today, apartments and urban consolidation strategies are at the centre of controversy over the future size, social composition and urban character of our cities. Australia’s massive cultural and financial investment in the single house is being challenged, and with it, the future of the places and the houses, both individual examples and the significant places and suburbs, which illustrate much of Australia’s achievements in domestic architecture.

What is to be their future?

The papers listed below were presented in this stream.


Danielle Pacaud
At Risk or Adaptable? The Young House J Esmond Dorney Architect 1959

Full Paper
Presentation Slides
Author Biography

Alexandra Teague
Balancing Heritage Values: A Case Study of New Zealand’s First State House

Author Biography

Helen Grant Ross
Cambodian Taliesin

Full Paper
Author Biography

Hannah Lewi
Going Public: The Modern Heritage House on Display

Full Paper
Presentation Slides
Author Biography

Peter Lovell
Heritage Conservation and Postwar Modernist Houses

Fulll Paper
Presentation Slides
Author Biography

Richard Shilink
“History goes full semi-circle to save Pommy Town – The conservation and adaptive re-use of a Nissen hut by the historic Houses Trust of NSW through the Endangered Houses Fund program”

Full Paper
Presentation Slides
Author Biography

George Wilkie & Bob Broughton
Porter Hill Battery, Hobart

Authors Biographies