Australian Architecture Trends in 2024

We were curious about the architecture trends and the popularity of timber in Australia, so we asked our down under partner, McCormacks Australia, to tell us more about it.

Australia is an important market for Thermory. McCormacks Australia has been selling Thermory’s products since the end of 2022, but in this short time, Aussies have shown their appreciation for the range.

Let’s take a closer look at some recent architecture trends in Australia.


Creating saunas and indoor retreats to unwind and relax at home

Sauna by Thermory

There’s a massive trend towards saunas and creating indoor retreats to give people a way to take time out without leaving home, says Julia Hall, the CEO of McCormacks Australia.

When it comes to saunas, this trend is mainly for outdoor saunas. “So, people are wanting that Swedish sauna kind of thing, and they want to have that in the corner of the backyard. And obviously in Australia we have quite big backyards, so we usually have the space for this,” she explains.

But besides the outdoor saunas, people also want to have a steam room or a sauna in higher end apartments.

Julia says hundreds of small sauna building companies have been popping up around Australia and people are coming from overseas as well to create these saunas. “But obviously Aussies don’t necessarily have the expertise in sauna building, so we at McCormacks get a lot of questions: What timber can I use? Can I use normal timber? What Cedar alternatives are there?”

Aussies are very hard workers, they spend a lot of time at work. That’s where the indoor retreat trend comes into play — people want to have this quiet space where they can escape to.

“They’re realizing that being around nature, and around timber, makes them feel good and they’re trying to recreate that. What we’re seeing is that people will put the timber lining on their wall or as a feature so that they’re bringing mother nature into their home,” says Julia.

She clarifies that it might just be a room where you can sit and quietly read a book. “Maybe you have some comfy cushions and a nice squishy couch, but you have some timber, and you might have some plants. Indoor plants are huge at the moment, everybody’s got them everywhere!” she emphasizes.


Timber cladding as feature to lift the profile of the house

thermo-ash cladding

Many home builders in Australia are creating entrance ways to homes that use timber cladding or battens. “Timber is a product that lifts the value of your house,” Julia explains.

“Timber building and weatherboards were common in the 1920s and 1930s, but as brick and render became cheaper, homes moved this way. Timber is back on trend, giving a lift to any facade. The Hamptons style with weatherboards is also the current luxury look and makes any home appear prestigious.”

She says that home builders in Australia add timber facades, timber in porticos, at entrance ways, and in al frescos to lift the home’s value.

“Otherwise, a lot of these homes are so boring — a rendered brick or just brick. So, the timber really gives it a lift and makes it look more modern, but also more affluent,” Julia adds.

And timber doesn’t only look beautiful, it also gives you a warm feeling. As humans we are drawn to it as a material.


Carbon sequestration as a key component in builds

Carbon sequestration is the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in another form that cannot immediately be released, like wood.

Besides the fact that timber acts as a carbon sink meaning it stores carbon for life and thus it’s already good for the environment, many architects both in Australia and over the globe want to include sustainably sourced timber for their projects.

“The reason why we want to choose timber is its sustainability — that’s because you can regrow it. At McCormacks, we make sure that we choose timber that is FSC or PEFC certified, so that we know every tree is being replanted and sustainably managed,” Julia explains.

At the end of the day, timber is the ultimate renewable resource, she adds. “You just keep planting more and regrowing those trees. A managed forest is a healthy forest.”


The fifth room as a key feature in many homes

shou sugi ban

The fifth room remains a key feature in many Aussie homes and decking that lasts the test of time will continue to be sought out. Every Aussie wants to have an outdoor cooking and entertainment space to make entertaining in summer easy.

“In Australia, this is huge. Everybody either has a fifth room or a deck or they want one. So, this is your al fresco or your decking area, your outdoor entertainment area. We have great weather here, so we obviously want to entertain outside,” Julia explains, adding that this is a big part of Aussie culture.

She says there’s two big spikes in deck building — in December and March or April, because obviously the family are coming for Christmas and Easter, and everybody wants to get the deck ready for the visitors.

One of the gripes of decking is having to oil it every year. “So that’s one of the positives with the Thermory decking is that you can just let it go grey. You don’t actually have to coat it,” she adds.

Most of the time the deck will be attached to the house — they’ll have a barbecue on one side and a table and chairs for entertaining, so you cook the barbecue and serve everything up there and then take all the mess inside back to the kitchen.

Summer is served!

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