Something of an Irish singalong theme to this retro fabulous cottage which, although in ok nick, could also do with a teeny freshen up – perhaps (without wanting to derail the peace accord) we could replace the orange with a lovely Mid-Century mint in honour of O’Connor? And Batman photo angles aside, it’s warming our cockles (see what we did there?) to witness such a jaunty home complete with butterfly roof, stonework foundations, burgeoning native garden and windows a go-go being sold for it’s joyfully unapologetic MCM credentials. Modernist Australians of the capital – be on yer way witch yer and make this lass your own!
Gah! We are kicking ourselves we’ve let this one slide for too long and now it’s under offer. Though not wanting to puff our chests too much it’s endangered rippers like this one we have the most chance of saving from the dozer or horrific on-trend-for-6-months do over because though still expensive, it may have been within reach of one of you – someone the nous and style to see this c.1965, Nino Sydney ‘Quarterdeck’ project home (the follow on from his Pan Pacific design)* of washed dun tones and timber ceiling stunner for it’s immense inherent beauty and tease it out just a tiny bit more with a light freshen up. Who knows? Maybe that has indeed happened. We cross our fingers and hope for the best.
*With thanks to Steven Coverdale at MCDA for the info and the brochure image.
Those native to the area will know this darling as it greets all on the winding drive into Queenscliff proper. A Mid-Century signpost reassuring all who swing past that they are in a town of old-timey vibes, an unhurried village amazingly still not blighted by rampant development nor suffocating crowds, even in peak summer. The slower pace, lack of commercial ferocity and genuine peace of the town filters throughout this ultimate Australian statement in post war holiday making, its form and floor plan a version of so many lost multitudes once found in our summer places.: proudly simple and humble, a rejection of stifling British centric designs for a Modern Australian one which has become our common vernacular. It would be quietly devastating to see this one knocked down and we’d implore anyone with the inclination to get down there and continue on the story of this little, local icon.
Woah! Aside from the occasional Iwanoff, we’ve never encountered such MCM love in a West Australian sales spiel before and rightly so, this all original slice of bush suburb Modernism (c.1963) has all the trademarks of pragmatic and considered design; an excellent example of progressive minds and accomplished craftsmanship from the mid-twentieth century. This is due to those behind it: the partnership of legendary Perth architect, Peter Overman and Corser homes a relationship akin to Ken Woolley with Pettit & Sevitt on the East Coast. Though a little tired and the pressure of development is unceasing, t’would be so nice to see this little one saved and repaired for we know the trajectory of this home’s aesthetic, environmental, financial and architectural value is all skyward.
There’s no school like the ol’ Sydney School and anyone partial to this particular form of late stage Modernism, those who love a touch of the hand hewn and texture are in for some joy. An earlier work of one of this country’s pre-eminent architects Philip Cox, this c.1972 elegant residence with it’s painted brick, timber and tiled surfaces laid out in a plan where shared living and northern orientation is paramount, expresses an almost rural-flavoured simplicity. A refuge of the essential, smack bang in a city which, like most, is obsessed with the dogged pursuit of show and status. And there is no better example of this prevailing Modernist attitude than the street frontage – a single garage door surrounded by trees, not for us the bloated porticos, counterfeit fairytale gates and bombastic driveways which signpost the empty grandeur of new breed mansions, nup, this home is not ‘trendy’ but rather expertly and beautifully embraces privacy, simplicity and integrity.
The mass appeal of a fully renovated and gorgeously presented MCM home, as the last few posts have shown, is undeniable. That said we at MA have to admit that it’s homes like today’s which really rocket our personal adrenaline. And maybe it’s just foolish optimism which sees the potential in this freakin’ amazing, original construction of feature brickwork and open design, floating on windows at every turn of more value than the land it occupies. Maybe not. But don’t tell us this place couldn’t be a veritable compound of unbridled joy anchored by a magnificent Mid-Century design – celebrated, preserved and sympathetically enhanced with some astute hands, creative minds and hearts of integrity.
Weee! Melbourne Design Week is almost here and with it comes a brain singeing list of events, tours and talks – all ready to provoke and please the soul. We could spend hours combing over the joy catalogued in the daily calendar, from chats about begining an architecture practice, to word nerds and Marimekko in Bendigo (now there is two words you never thought you’d see together) but getting back to our Mid-Century Modernist form we’d like to advise there is but one show left of a sell out series of Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst’s comedy and architectural fanboy shenanigans Man About The House, and this time it’s in the illustrious ICI Building, indeed a venerable place of worship in the Australian Modernist sphere. With reportedly a bunch of extra extras including installations of film and furniture, this particular round of Rosso is a dead-set love-in of the MCM kind, to enjoy with like minded peeps.
The cavalcade of resplendent sympathetic renovations rolls on with this fresh-as-a-daisy do-up in Canberra. According to the owners they bought it as a rather tired little home, marketed as a knock down, even though it is actually the work of the regions beloved MCM architects, Neville Ward (c.1965). As you can see knocking it down was not on the cards and the home has been spectacularly brought up to date with an attractive touch of white-washed, desert adobe to go with the beautifully renewed gardens and sleek mid 60s lines. Double points for making doggy and even a garden shed look chic. In updating this home, for the most part cosmetically, there is a lot here to grab the attention of those who are more contemporary snazz than Modernists at heart but this only reaffirms the timelessness of the integral design and features – for the simple enjoyment of the elements which make our earthly realm; light, air, warmth, textures and fragrance never really goes out of style.
Finally, in an area with the twin reputation of having the grandest Mid-Century modern homes in Victoria with the fastest rate of destroying and replacing them with hideous, overblown mansions by all-money-no-tastemakers, finally comes this joyful confirmation of the importance of architectural legacy. Taking a gorgeous1960s home of fine joinery (Dario Zoureff strikes again!), plentiful proportions, and clean lines and polishing it up to a contemporary sheen – this is a singular, glam-infused, dynamite party house. And whatsmore its being sold on its genuine and groundbreaking architectural pedigree, the sales angle alone is rare for such an area, even for a building as well turned out as this. Now, if this could just happen with all the other similarly beautiful original MCM residences in Brighton, they may just save their gold-plated souls yet.