A sublime residence for those who grimace at the idea of paint chips, detest tradie negotiations and tire of weekends spent at Bunnings. Nope, with great kudos to the vendors, this bad boy shimmers with a detailed refurb putting its tidy Mid-Century vibe and some lovely features to the fore and is now just waiting for you to waltz in, unpack and hit the pool.
Several concerned people out there have kindly let us know of this little gem. A last bastion of metro, riverside paradise complete with soaring eucalypts, birdsong and remnant Sydney bohemia in the form of the early 50s, architect designed home of artist Lindsay Server (which the agents refer to just once as ‘easy to knock down’). Carefully constructed of solid hewn sandstone with timber detailing, it appeared on the front cover of a 1954 House and Garden and we’ve even received testimony to the tranquility and beauty of staying here first hand. No matter. Plans* are approved. The sales campaign rolls on and no one has yet managed to halt its fall into oblivion. The only chance for this paradise is someone with the finances and good noggin to know that 1/2 acre of inner city bush and a gorgeous little nest within has a worth both outlasting this current market boom and immeasurable to the soul.
*Though we’re not quite sure if that malignant canker resembling a failed ski development in arse-end Canada pictured actually counts as ‘plans’
Summertime swells, it’s hot, hot, hot, so cool off and get hip with this absolute corker on the Mid North Coast. This perfectly-proportioned pad is just waiting for you to walk right in and plonk right down your tiki bar, wading pool, bark-cloth curtains, festoon lights and prize teak dining set. A lay down misere of swingin’ good times running on cabana, cheese and Ports of Paradise soundtrack.
Stalwart of retro-fabulous, angled roof lines, solid brick construction and corner glazing to both protect from and embrace the breathtaking environs of southern Tassie, Lenah Valley slaps their first 2018 offering on the table and raises its eyebrow. And with good reason; busting with style, but needing just enough of a clean/tart up to make it your very own and with ample room for the MONA-bound mainland lob-ins when required this ripper has appeal out its ears. As such we expect a few frenzies already developing out there and an ‘under contract’ status update before the week is out.
Though not one for Mid-Century purists, this gorgeous timber residence of wild pitched rooflines forming an earthy internal cavern, the skylights and cream walled, dark beamed detailing is certainly in line with the later wave of 1970s back-to-nature builds for which we have a soft spot. Throw in the fact it’s in the rare-ish locale of Perth’s forest suburbs (basically a setting for a Tim Winton novella) and was the vision of an architect with one of the best pseudonyminous names we’ve ever seen; Gene Mapp, makes it a dead cert for a listing here.
An beauty today from a longtime Modernist Australian and second owner of a lovely Russell Jack house, built for his siblings in 1962. Seeking to pass it from one loving hand to the next, as only a Jack house should be, we leave some comments regarding the property form said owner:
“We love living in this house and as only the second owners have treated it very gently, updating it carefully. But you can see Russell Jack’s signatures shining through – the staples on the tiles in the bathroom, teal blue laminate splash back and his amazing joinery. We even kept the brown trims………It’s a regional treasure and our local council sure won’t be trying to save it if a developer buys it, or even someone who likes a lot of grey. It is three years earlier than Jack’s Cater House in Mugga Way Canberra – we even have matching letter boxes.”
What more can we say? A home from one of our favourite Australian masters, in gorgeous condition, for a do-able figure – hens teeth, people, hens teeth.
Comin’ down Camp Mountain (our new favourite suburb name) is this curious casa, just made for setting up shop away, but not too far away, from town (being a mere 30 mins out of Bris Vegas). A one off, with delicious Japanese flavoured, Pettit & Sevitty, horizontals of dark beams, light partition walls and modest floorplan but centred around a serious stone fireplace, this one is a winner already and could be taken to the top without too much ado. One for those with appreciation and imagination in equal measure.
Though on a self-imposed go-slow, we simply could not get past this ripper from country Victoria. So let us open the 2018 account here and now with a superb c.1950s residence of a classic beauty and pared back styling more commonly spotted in the plush ‘B’ suburbs of Balwyn, Brighton or Beaumaris rather than Bendigo (remembering of course, along with that locale, come the bonus achievable price tag) Start the year right and for those so goldfields inclined – get on it!
The fact that the vast majority of our nation’s population cling to the coast like limpets, it is not an exaggeration to declare that time spent in a home such as this – a moderately sized, pragmatically constructed, of just the right amount of amenities, surrounded in trees, a walk through it to the beach and a place to sit at the end of the day with a drink, is our birthright. No matter who you are, when you washed up, how much money or connections you have; this is what it is to enjoy our time, people and place in concert. We really are so lucky.
As the retail panic sets in, a few delicious tidbits for loved ones or maybe yourself (you’ve been very good this year right?) have fallen into our line of sight, well assured to delight the MCM nerd of any household. Take a look.
First up, a brand new book which gets to the heart of why Mid-Century Modern architecture remains so close to ours. “An Unfinished Experiment in Living: Australian Houses 1950-65″ by London, Goad & Hamann investigates the deliberate move to building for living in a contemporary community with the re-evaluating and upturning of concepts around construction traditions, family, nature and our unique climate zones. Using some of the best domestic buildings of the era to support their conversation, these three heavy hitters of the Australian architectural intelligentsia revisit these homes (which span the entire country) which continue to promote progressive, innovative and downright exhilarating concepts to their core, and prompting the ultimate, underpinning question: what happened to such a bright new world of thought and design?
“It puts forward new research founded on the premise that the most significant houses of the 1950s and 60s represent an unfinished and undervalued experiment in modern living. Issues such as the open plan, the changing nature of the family, the embrace of advances in technology, the use of the courtyard, and the orientation of the house to capture sun and privacy, were valuable and critical lessons. This book is a compelling reminder of their continuing relevance.”
Indeed and amen.
Now for those with a more stocking filler budget, especially those of the Sydneyside and/or visitors to the uncrowned capital the Footpath Guide crew have also recently released a new series focusing on thereabouts. Three new titles are there for you to take and use as a delightful walking companion, educating yourself on your own built heritage. They cover: “Sydney The Rocks 1815 – 1950”, “Sydney Inter-War 1915 – 1940” and of course our fav “Sydney Modern 1950 – 1990”. Get yours while there is still time and hit the streets this summer!