A shining jewel in the bedazzling Melbourne MCM crown that is Studley Park. A noted and cherished work (C.our Olympic year 1956) from crowd fav Anatol Kagan this cruise liner of a residence sits astride a sweeping corner, soaking up the northern views of urban bushland, river valley and hills dotted with similarly valued Modernist homes of note and pedigree. Spotless on the outside it has been somewhat colonised on the inside, in the 80s we suspect (oh that kitchen and stained glass has got to go!) however unlike the heart draining vandalism which has infected other homes (such as Danne’s 1954 residence at 5 Yarra St turning natural, sleek simplicity into Liberace fever dreams, which BTW do not sell very well at all) this home has endured changes which could easily be reversed, bringing this worthy home back to the original vision.
A breadcrumb trail history of the home has been dug up on an old favourite blog, Walking Melbourne. First – from the original owner’s son Peter;
“I can confirm that the house was designed by Anatol Kagan around 1956 for my father, James Lyall who was a “designer and modeller of Architectural decor” mainly creating interiors of theatres in plaster decor (including the re-modelling of the Regent Theatre in the 1940’s). I was the architecture student referred to and lived in the house whilst studying Architecture at the RMIT. I was also fortunate to work in Anatol’s office both prior to commencing studies as work experience over the school holidays and also later on a full time basis when completing the course.
The house was fully completed when sold, including the establishment of the beautiful garden. The upper level consisted of Laundry, Kitchen, Dining and Playroom (at the pointy end) with associated balconies, the intermediate (entry) level had a small guest room a hall and powder room, the lower level comprised three bedrooms and the main bathroom as well as the double garage. The “basement” level was a small self-contained flat that we used also as a “home theatre” and a covered loggia used for BBQ’s etc.
The surrounding area was often referred to as “Kaganville” as there were many houses designed by Kagan in the vicinity.”
…and then the second owner’s son ‘Alan’;
“I was fortunate to have lived there from 1961 to 1972. My late parents bought the house from the original owners .The house was only 2 years old (near new) and the interior was barely finished. It was missing floor coverings in many areas;was missing a laundry and was not heated or cooled apart from a fire place. My father established a garden and had an indoor pool built by the Grollo brothers.(One of their first major projects) I have early photographs if any one is interested ? The houses and gardens in studley park were manicured when first planted and everyone took pride in their property…….”
This is one is certainly for the dreamers and the gamblers and we’d love to see a member of the rising class of monied up, clued-in ‘influencers’ ( sigh if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em) in Melbourne town take over the wheel and steer this wonder into another 6 decades of exquisite Modernist Melbourne life.