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Robertsons’ Cottage, Oaks Estate

Robertsons’ Cottage at Oaks Estate is on the ACT Heritage Register. It is a notable example of early 20th Century vernacular building that was constructed by its owner from locally found and recycled materials. Its construction was free from government control and building regulations, and has developed gradually over many decades in an organic fashion, depending on the needs of the occupants and what materials were available.

It is constructed from various locally sourced materials that shed light on products and raw materials available at the time, such as flattened kerosene tins, bush poles, handmade concrete bricks and offcuts from building sites in the city. The materials and construction methods employed in the house and landscaping demonstrate a lifestyle that is very different to today and shows how builders overcame housing and materials shortages during the early construction phase of the ACT.

The project involved a condition assessment and documentation for the conservation and reconstruction of significant fabric including timber floors, weatherboard walls, metal cladding and brickwork and the corrugated steel roof.