Project homes have long been a staple for us and what was a long marginalised subset of the Australian Modernist story – the pre-designed experiment by renowned Australian architects each attempting their own variety of better home design, better suburb planning and an optimistic new way of living – is now clawing back the esteem it deserves. None more so than the output of 1960s into 1970s firm Pettit and Sevitt, who not only now have a fan club of dedicated owners/restorers but is back in business recapturing this spirit of high Modern design with grounded attitude for a new generation (can we now just all pretend the 1980s and 1990s volume building didn’t happen?).
But let’s get down to it, this particularly beautiful building and a more stunning Pettit & Sevitt home we can heartily claim we have never seen. Those familiar will spot the usual P&S hallmarks; cedar beams, painted white brick and passage-less flow of living spaces however the ‘Mark V’ is the design opus, a P&S offering by way of revered architect Ken Woolley presented to any lucky purchaser as the highest-end option on their books; the most rooms, the most expensive and pure boldness in its 2-storey floor plan. As a result only few were so brave and of the limited figure ever actually built it is suggested that a mere 15 examples of varying quality and originality remain standing throughout the country. This listing, dear Modernist Australian, is what they call a unicorn. Rare, intact, hiding in plain sight on in its glorious bushland address as if it was still 1967, the year of it’s construction. As Home Beautiful stated at the time:
“‘If this house was designed as a “one-off” custom built house as an architect’s private commission it would take its place among Australia’s best”
Superseding the throwaway tag of ‘project home’ this expansive and singularly gorgeous residence stands today as a sentinel in architectural expression, daring optimism and collective experimentation – concepts which we still need as desperately today as we did back then. All goodwill and envy to the eventual new owner, what an astounding place for anyone to call home.
All images courtesy of Modern House real estate.