Capturing Precious Heritage in Architecture Watercolour Paintings

Wilmar Schütz is a unique architecture painting Melbourne based studio that has built a reputation on years of professional architectural experience and the specialist watercolour skills of our watercolour artists.

We’re renowned for producing stunning architecture watercolour portraits for period and historic buildings. Inspired by nature and the world around us, our watercolour architecture artists ensure that every project is divinely unique.

Wilmar Schütz works across Australia and operates internationally. We warmly welcome your enquiry wherever you may be. Please view our services page to learn more, or use our online form to request a quote for an architecture painting by a skilled watercolour artist.



Watercolour Architecture Painting of Cestria – Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia

Wilmar Schütz was honoured to complete a watercolour architecture painting of Cestria – one of Melbourne’s most illustrious residences. This grand Victorian built in 1891 represents a never to be repeated opportunity in position of premium appeal at the summit of Scotch Hill in Hawthorn. The allotment of 2851sqm features a 46m frontage to Glenferrie Road and surrounds evocative spaces. Previously configured as a rooming house, the present mansion house has once again returned to owner-occupation. The original 4m ceilings and rich authentic period detailing remain intact and inspire a restoration project of un-paralleled scope. Brought to life by Wilmar Schütz in watercolour painting, Cestria is a true architectural masterpiece.

Property History

Designed by architect Edward George Kilburn of Ellerker and Kilburn, Cestria was originally built for the wealthy biscuit manufacturer Thomas B Guest in 1891. The design of Cestria was influenced by Kilburn’s visit to America. The buildings he saw during his stay undoubtedly influenced the final design of Kilburn’s new interest in American Romanesque style. This style became popularly known as the ‘American Romanesque’ style and would later become identified with some of Kilburn’s other most distinctive architectural designs.

Architectural Features

As you can see from our watercolour architecture painting of Cestria, the grand three-storey mansion house features a striking four-storey tower over the main entrance. It is constructed from tuck-pointed face red brick relieved with cement rendered window and door dressings. A broad veranda on cast iron columns shades the ground floor on the north and west. The roof is of Welsh slate and dressed with terracotta crestings and finials. The main entrance is through a characteristically American Romanesque semi-circular archway. Semi-circular headed openings are evident on windows and the second stage arcades of the tower. Flat arch windows group together on each side of the towers fourth stage.

The perforated waffle balustrade on the main facade is repeated as a motif in openings to the north elevation. Internally, the impressive hall and staircase are constructed from mahogany and walnut, adding to the distinctively American feel. The stairwell is lit by three large windows with centrally placed stained glass panels depicting rural scenes, surrounded by leaded and coloured geometric glass.

Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect

Cestria is described by the Victorian Heritage Register as ‘the greatest domestic example of the American Romanesque style of architecture in Victoria’. The American Romanesque style readily lent itself to picturesque effects and a style suited to the Australian climate. Cestria is particularly significant as a reaction against the prevailing popularity of the Italianate style, which was characterised by cement rendered walls, parapets dressed with urns and other decorative cast iron elements. Cestria is significant for the part it played in the debate about an appropriate national style of architecture. The emergence of the American Romanesque and other red brick styles was central to the question of adapting an existing style to Australian requirements rather than creating a new one.

If you’ve enjoyed our watercolour painting of Cestria, you may wish to view other architectural properties in the portfolio section of our website. You can also contact us for more information.


Kings Planes Castle

Kings Plains Castle, Inverell NSW Australia

The beauty of Kings Plains at Inverell NSW is not just the large majestic three-storey baronial castle set in a spectacular backdrop of Eucalypts, but also, the historic timber woolsheds, the largest in the New England Tablelands. The woolsheds are clearly visible from the castle and nest-in beautifully against a silhouetted forest of Eucalypts. Typically, the timber woolsheds are of early colonial vernacular with timbers morticed and tenoned and not nailed. Most of these structures date back to 1832 during William Vivers time.

Property History

Kings Plains was first settled in 1832 by William Vivers, an immigrant from Dumfries in Scotland. He settled in Kings Plains with 61,440 acres of promising pastoral land between Glen Innes and Inverell on the New England Tablelands of New South Wales. In 1908 his great-nephew George Vivers began construction of what would become one of the most stunning family homes in the country. Using locally quarried bluestone, he created a 28 room, 4-level castle with 14 fireplaces, 12 bedrooms plus battlements known as Kings Plains. It is said, that George built his castle as a reminder of his Scottish heritage which made him feel at home.

Architectural Features

Built by Dr George Vivers in 1912 the large heritage-listed baronial castle was designed by Sydney based architects Rowe & Luchily. A copy of their plans still hang on the walls of the basement billiard room. It is remarkable how faithfully the house was constructed from these. The castle is simple and restrained in its detailing and has perfect scale and presence on the landscape. Its internal plan has interesting and varied spaces which so many country houses built around that period lack. It is typical of New England architecture in basic concept as it does not have verandahs but reduced to a series of large porches and enclosed arcades.

The house is approached by a broad flight of stairs to the front terrace, from where distant hills and the horizon can be seen. The rooms are beautifully proportioned and offer seemingly endless views of the countryside and surrounding gardens. The drawing room, the dining room, library, kitchen, pantry etc, were built for an age when servants were abundant. The tower rooms at Kings Plains are most interesting. These are approached by a cast iron staircase at the first-floor landing and lead to a Gothic-style passageway and tower room. The composition of tight spaces leading to the tower room is interesting and leaves you with a medieval Gothic experience.

Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect

The gardens at Kings Plains are substantially reduced from their original size and layout. However, from the tower room, views stretch far to the picturesque horizon. In 2001 Michael & Kathryn Vivers sold Kings Plains and their new owners currently offer quality bed and breakfast during the summer months and raise beef cattle and English long-horn in the house paddocks.

It’s easy for present generations to like architecture from this period, because it is not too ornamental and simply restrained. The abundance of detail in Victorian architecture has vanished here and a certain austerity has taken its place. Kings Plains is a property of immense appeal and character to all generations because of its baronial nature and its statement on the landscape.

Look at other architectural properties in the Portfolio section of the website.




Longerenong, Horsham Victoria Australia

Longerenong Homestead near Horsham, is a jewel-like exception among country houses in Victoria. Both its location and style come as a complete surprise and pure delight. It sits on rocky banks of the Yarriambiac Creek which flow gently through the flat plains of the Wimmera, a sparse wheat growing region in north-western Victoria. At the time the house was built in 1862 this area was a remote sheep grazing frontier well, beyond the limits where such a polished architectural design might be expected. The appearance of a spectacular example of the picturesque Gothic villa style in a somewhat desolate Australian environment could be described as surreal. Certainly, finding this two-storey triple-brick Gothic revival house in the midst of the flat, brown sparsely-treed bush is a surprise. Among the pastoral pioneers of mid-century Victoria, the Gothic style was of course rare in Australian country houses.

Property History

Sir Samuel Wilson came to Australia from Ireland in 1852 and in 1856 he established his vast grazing run and pastoral lease of about 153,000 acres. On the 30th June 1862 he laid the foundation stone of his new villa residence. Melbourne architects Crouch and Wilson designed this axially planned, two storey triple-brick residence with balcony verandah as a picturesque and complete Gothic villa derived from early American pattern book designs.

Longerenong is possibly the finest picturesque Gothic style villa in western Victoria and perhaps the exemplar of this style in the State and displays uncharacteristic, but scholarly work of Melbourne architects Crouch and Wilson. Sir Samuel, was the sixth son of a Northern Ireland farmer, was a distinguished Victorian pioneer whose career as a successful politician, pastoralist and philanthropist culminated in his election to the British House of Commons in 1886.

Architectural Features

Longernong remains one of the finest intact Picturesque Gothic style villas in Australia. While the homestead is formally designed around an axis, many of its features, such as the central oriel window on the first floor, decorative Gothic bargeboards and groups of label-mould windows, produce a lively and picturesque composition. All of the elements, stand against a framed backdrop of soft red bricks which set the overall character of the house. All rooms are of grand proportions including formal living, drawing room, dining room, library, office, large kitchen and powder room. The upper floor includes a spectacular dome ceiling ballroom, reception room, two grand principal bedrooms, four additional bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Understandably, the quality of design and workmanship is outstanding and boasts a sweeping divided cedar staircase, Belgian stained-glass entrance panels and skylight. Internal features include Italian marble floors and fireplaces and ornate trefoil carved cedar doors and architraves which add to the homestead’s grandeur. The intricate stained glass around the double front doors, showcase the earliest example of decorative secular stained glass in Australia. The advance Australia Coat of Arms in the centre of the spectacular stained-glass skylight above the stairs is the earliest known motif in stained glass in a private residence in Australia.

Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect

What makes Longerenong unique, that it stands as the districts only remaining tribute to the pioneers of the Wimmera settlement. This magnificent two storey heritage listed mansion overlooks the Yarriamblack Creek and is surrounded by expansive gardens including original Morton Bay Fig and Schotia trees, Bunya Bunya, Stone and Norfolk Island Pines. Another unique feature of Longerenong is it’s architectural history can be traced back to the complete gothic villa derived from American pattern book designs Downing published in his 1850 book. This makes it a rare and surviving example of pattern-book design.

Look at other architectural properties in the Portfolio section of the website.

Maryborough Station

Maryborough Station, Maryborough, Victoria, Australia

The magnificently restored Maryborough Station is a tribute to the Victorian Railways, Architectural Works Department and completed in 1890. It is an outstanding example to the school of Victorian railway architecture developing a regional rather than national or international modern style and one of the finest examples in the country of a building that belongs in its setting.

Property History

After receiving recent State funding from Heritage Victoria in 2010 the magnificent station underwent a three‐year three-stage restoration of the façade, the slate roof and clock tower and the glazed lantern covering the main carriageway platform completed in 2012.

It was intended that the station should have an official foundation stone but this was never laid because the government at the time, the Gillies Government was removed from office after the 1890 election, hence the stone at the front of the building covering a brief history of the railways was laid instead. After receiving funds, the clock was installed in the tower in 1914 and illuminated in 1917. Today, Maryborough Station operates an antiques emporium, a fully licensed restaurant in the grand dining hall and VLine post and freight services for passenger and goods trains.

Architectural Features

The Station displays many hallmarks of the Anglo‐Dutch style which is most distinctive at the roofline and is enlivened by an asymmetrically placed clock tower. The outside roof consists of different styles of Dutch gable of various scales with tall faceted partly rendered chimneys. Durring the 1970’s much of the original facade ornamentation, the orbs, pedestals and ball-caps were sadly removed. Although the chimneys had been truncated by the removal of the rendered crowns these were carefully re-cast and reinstated as part of Heritage Victoria restoration programme.

The decorative elements to the facade and gables were recast and reinstated to match what had been removed. Fluted columns in the Tuscan order support a simply profiled lintel to the main entrance foyer. The walls have pressed red, tuck-pointed brickwork. The window and door facings and string-courses were re-rendered using Adelaide Brightonlite yellow-ocher oxide cement render. Many locals were unhappy with its look, however, for the elderly who could remember how the station looked originally, applauded it’s face-lift and remarked “this is how it was meant to be”

An outstanding feature of Maryborough Station is the very long platform covered by a hipped roof verandah supporting a glazed lantern at the apex. This is said to be the longest single platform outside the Melbourne region and measures 1010 meters including the rail motor sidings. The verandah ridge has segmented glass panels which form the glazed lantern. The entire assembly was removed and carefully refurbished. The cantilevered wrought-iron verandah roof structure has cast‐iron ribbed columns as concealed down pipes.

Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect

As part of compulsory ongoing professional development CPD Maryborough Station was chosen as a fascinating non-commission based project to document and donate as a “research visit” In this case, to record it’s progress, required 9 site visits over it’s 3-year restoration. Each time, staying at the Albion Hotel on main street Maryborough held added attraction of a pub dinner, live music and a time to remember. Each morning or later that afternoon was ideal for taking photographs or measurements or talking with specialist heritage contractors. On one occasion, early in the morning, just as you thought you had the entire station to yourself, out of the blue, came an elderly gentleman who politely approached and introduced himself as the “Station Master” He pointing somewhere over there near the base of the clock tower where he resided. He went on to share his knowledge and experiences from his early twenties as station master at Maryborough Station. It was an honour and privilege to have met him, but more importantly, that he had met someone who also shared his passion in preserving our Victorian Railway history. He later offered a visit to the clock tower, however, the offer was sadly declined on the condition that it be done on the next visit to Maryborough.

Look at other architectural properties in the Portfolio section of the website.


Maryborough Station   POA, Our commission includes a 5% donation to the National Trust of Victoria.Terms & conditions apply.

Description                      Watercolour – Maryborough Station 67 x 100 cm 310gsm landscape, 1:125 Elevation & Plan (unframed)


Norwood Estate, Wareek, Victoria, Australia

Norwood Estate at Wareek is in the picturesque farming district of north-west Victoria. A hand-painted cream can on the roadside that says Norwood Estate is easily missed as you enter the long driveway. A distant glimpse of Norwood circa 1862 and Mount Hooghly to the north as you approach a large turning area with implement sheds, petrol bowsers, dog kennels, grain silos and old farm buildings.

Property History

The original owner and pastoralist Alfred Joyce employed one of the finest and most assured Melbourne-based architects Leonard Terry (1825-84) to design the two-storey grey basalt mansion.  The property was virtually derelict when new owners, Rick and Beverly James purchased the property in 1996 and embarked on a painstaking restoration of the entire house and gardens.

Architectural Features

Leonard Terry’s architectural practice was large and responsible for many buildings in Victoria but also in New Zealand and Tasmania, notably, the Melbourne Club of 1858 and the Bank of New Zealand in Auckland of 1865. Norwood is one of Leonard Terry’s most important works and exhibits a range of sources uncommon in Victorian, Tudor, Elizabethan and Gothic architecture which makes it a rare surviving example of its style.

Norwood is built of locally sourced and quarried grey basalt in a combination of dressed ashlar and coursed rusticated stone with picked window and door quoins. Gothic revival if it was to be properly done was expensive, especially with its stone detailing which had to be fully realised, but mostly, it needed to be done truthfully.

Norwood is one of the most distinctive Gothic revival buildings in Victoria and Listed by Heritage Victoria and by the National Trust. It’s steep pitched parapeted gables, picked stone quoining, label hood-moulds, crenellated and crested parapets and corbelled oriel windows make it an outstanding example of a Gothic revival manor house as you will find in Australia. However, we need to remind ourselves that we are in Australia so Norwood has verandahs, two bays to the left of the porch, three bays to the right both with richly detailed timber quatrefoils.

Special Comments from Chris Wilmar, Architect

The new owners have embarked on the challenging task of bringing back and replacing lost content, intent on making Norwood a family home once again and putting it back on its feet. The new work of the owner has inevitably added additional architectural quality to an exemplary standard. They have saved, maintained and restored the grand Gothic revival mansion with old stables and gardens which contain a very old classified Olive Tree and rare Osage Orange tree.

Look at other architectural properties in the Portfolio section of the website.


We use our watercolour skills to capture our precious heritage

Wilmar Schütz is a unique Melbourne based studio that has built its reputation on years of professional architectural experience and specialist watercolour skills to produce stunning architectural watercolour portraits for period and historic buildings. We are inspired by nature and the world around us, which ensures every project is divinely unique. Wilmar Schütz work across Australia and operate internationally. We warmly welcome your inquiry where ever you may be. Please view our Services to request a quote


View Our Portfolio of Watercolour Paintings

Wilmar Schütz is a Melbourne based studio that works across Australia and operates internationally.

On this page, you’ll find a selection of past watercolour paintings we’ve completed, giving you a look at what we can achieve. We are privileged to have created fabulous watercolour portraits for owners of the most magnificent heritage properties. We combine our professional architecture and painting experience with specialist watercolour skills to produce stunning watercolour paintings that are divinely unique. Your watercolour house painting will carry the Wilmar Schütz hallmark of exceptional attention to detail and artistry.

If you would like to commission a watercolour painting in Australia or overseas, we warmly welcome your enquiry. As one of the finest watercolour artists, we can produce an architecture watercolour painting that perfectly captures the character of your property.

Kind regards,
Chris Wilmar