Esteemed Brisbane Architect E.P. Trewern: the Man Behind Notable Homes in Ascot and Nearby Suburbs

14 Kitchener Road, Ascot | Photo Credit: UQ Library

Get to know Eric Percival “Percy” Trewern, professionally known as E.P. Trewern, architect extraordinaire. He is the man behind the name that people in the real estate and housing industry equate with well-designed homes found in suburbs like Ascot, Hamilton, and Clayfield, where they command a premium for style, function, and the distinctive Trewern aesthetic. 

Eric Percival Trewern rose to prominence in Queensland as a domestic architect during the interwar period. Prior to that time, he had already designed commercial and industrial buildings.

Mr Trewern grew up in a Cornish mining community in Bendigo. His parents instilled values of handwork and endurance in their sons, Eric being the eldest of three. 

As a young man, Mr Trewern loved to sketch and paint with watercolours. He became an art student of Arthur Thomas Woodward, a British painter, and an apprentice of John Beebe, a Bendigo architect.

At that time, formal training in architecture was not accessible in Bendigo but that didn’t dampen Mr Trewer’s enthusiasm to learn. He studied relevant courses at the School of Mines. Whilst under Beebe, he worked on building hotels, shops, and warehouse projects, as well as the Bendigo Hospital. 

Around 1914, the Trewern family decided to move to Queensland for better opportunities. His parents also thought he could establish a successful career as an architect in Brisbane.

EP Trewern
Photo Credit: Digital Archive of Queensland Architecture

After working as a draftsman at both the e Department of Agriculture and the Department of Public Works, Mr Trewern also earned his architecture qualifications at 21 years old and was elected into the Queensland Institute of Architects.

Queensland Architects
Photo Credit: Digital Archive of Queensland Architecture

One of the First Trewern Residences in Ascot

After years of working for the Government, Mr Trewern decided to become an independent designer and set up his private practice. From 1920 to 1922, he worked on two brick houses in Ascot and Hamilton. He become an advocate for brick houses than timber homes because they were cheaper, sturdier, and could provide either coolness or warmth to the house, depending on the weather.

In 1922, he designed a house for the wealthy Arthur H. Perry, a hardware retailer, along 14 Kitchener Road in Ascot. This had a living room flowing into the dining room, which included a brick fireplace. The house last went on the market in 2020 for $3.6 million and still has details of Trewern’s California Bungalow designs with brick piers and concrete beams. 

Ascot EP Trewern
Photo Credit: UQ Library
Ascot 14 Kitchener
Photo Credit:

Other Homes in Ascot

The architect also designed the remodelled the home on 21 Towers Street for Mr Thomas Brown (circa 1926) before it was demolished many years later. 

In 1928, Mr Trewern built another house on 6 Bale Street in Ascot for the family of Mr Norman A.D. Harris. The house still remains standing today and has been off the market since the 1980s. 

6 Bale St Ascot
Photo Credit: UQ Library

Another Trewern-designed residence can be found along 22 Yabba Street and was originally built for Mr John F. Church. It was last sold in 1999 for $1.22 million.

The house on 12 Ascot St was built for Dr Graham Sutton in 1931 and was called the Hampton Wick. The Tudor-style house had its own waiting room for the doctor’s patients, which has been restored as a multipurpose room. The house has been updated with glass panels and skylights when it sold for $3.4 million in 2021.

Ascot St
Photo Credit: UQ Library
Ascot St Current
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Along 42 Kitchener Road is Daneshill, the brick house built for Ms Agnes E. Noble. The property exudes timeless elegance and is considered one of the landmark residences in Ascot. It went on the market for the first time after 40 years in 2020 and sold for $1.9 million. 

42 Kitchener Ascot
Photo Credit: Google Maps