1940-60s typical layout and form

Though layout and form varied, common themes included fairly small size, efficient layout, orientation for sun, small windows and a roof with a 30˚ pitch.

Aside from architecturally designed houses, most 1940s-60s homes – whether built for the state or private owners – shared similar form and general layout.


State house developments were filled primarily with single storey, detached units, but these could be interspersed with two-storey semi-detached or multi-unit houses. For stand-alone houses, sections were generally ¼ acre or 1000 m2.

Houses were located nearer the front boundary, generally a distance of 25–60’ (7.6 –18.3 m), to provide a larger back yard. The house and fencing provided the separation between the front and rear areas. The side yard boundaries were a minimum of 5’ (1.5 m) on one side and 9’ (2.7 m) on the other to allow for car access.

Street frontages of state houses built during the 1940s were often left unfenced in order to create a more unified street effect, and to maintain a sense of a large community garden.

Private houses were generally positioned to provide a generous front yard.

The main point of difference between state and private housing was orientation on site. Private housing tended to be orientated towards the street, regardless of sun and views, whereas state house were often located and orientated to take advantage of sun and views.

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A wide range of state house plans was available. Typically, internal spaces were arranged so that all rooms got some sun. Other features included recessed porches, minimal space devoted to hallways, and service areas grouped together. Read more.

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Building form

Most houses of this era were fairly small, with a roof pitch of about 30˚, and small casement windows. But greater variety appeared from the  late 1960s. Read more.