Built in 1960 by notable local notable architect Bob Warren and it has been subject to some poorly executed meddling over the years, however in 2005 it was properly handed over to another Canberra architectural legend Enrico Taglietti for a large restoration/renovation project. The finished article is a super updated residence though, especially from the street, still proudly proclaims its Mid-Century Modern roots.
A super chic restyle of another townhouse in Seidler’s Campbell Housing complex (remember earlier in August?). This one comes complete with a positively gushing spiel by MCM fan agent, which only adds to the al round pleasure of this prospect.
Moving away from preservation fights today and into more weekend vibes with an excited peek into the party season. And what better way to ring in the sunshine/Xmas/NYE/Whateverwhatever but on the many peaks of this white masonry Matterhorn? Those dynamic split-level, pool centred spaces perched snug as a bug atop an unbeatable waterfront block (jetty included) with privacy + views to knock the socks off any punter. They’ve even left you the vintage B&O sound system so you can immediately kick out the smooth summer jams, set up the cocktail bar and let the good times roll.
The second in our ‘name architect’ listings, make no mistake, is sitting on the precipice. Unlike the Russell Jack residence this morning which has been lovingly updated and sold promoting its obvious and winning architectural credentials this case (like so many others we’ve seen over the years) has interested parties choosing only to pander only to filthy development dollars and hence is down-playing, nay, concealing it’s architectural significance hoping that no one will notice. Well, newsflash, we notice*. MCM architecture throughout this land now has eyes on every corner and voices in every suburb and we refuse to let a significant CHANCELLOR AND PATRICK residence indeed the ARCHITECT’S OWN, go unnoticed. So here it is. Chancellor House II, designed by David Chancellor of Chancellor & Patrick Architects for himself and wife Phyllis Chancellor (c.1957). Burned to the ground in 1970 and rebuilt (the post floor plan images are of the original). A picturesque example from a firm which regularly reminds us of its brilliance up and down the Mornington Peninsula such as here and across Melbourne seen here and here. We have no need to go into the stunning aspects, materials, design and feel of this majestic residence nor why it manifests so much more inherent value than a white line and 1/2 an acre in the seventh ring of development hell. We could reel off historical tidbits such as this house was chosen as one of the ten most significant Australian houses and a finalist in the Architecture and Arts Awards 1958–1959. But what we really want to drive home to all those dullards who believe that janky townhouse speculators deserve first dibs on such precious Melbourne jewels, is that there are those who would pay to live and love it here – yes the millions – we have proven this in the recent Lind house fight. Protection, restoration and celebration are not the financial blow they are made out to be. In fact they make a suburb valuable and highly prized long after the polystyrene has rotten and non-code panels have caught fire on those dismal, quick-buck-non-designed townhouses. These homes are the sophistication and the chic that no glossy website will ever match. These recognised architectural pinnacles enhance life and meaning to those who live inside and around them. They teach us what can be achieved and how to go about it. And it is high time everyone learned that.
*Actually, it was Steven Coverdale, bless him, who found this one.
Today is all about pedigree; two homes from two names which never fail to raise excited eyebrows, each with their own merry band of die hard fans. Though in this instance the homes we present also show two very different situations each has found itself in.
First up – old school? nu school? Just give us some Sydney School in the form of this clearly adored and updated home of immense scale by Russell Jack. You may know him from such celebrated (and protected) domestic architecture as his own home, Jack House (c.1956) and one of our special *hearts* Carter house (c.1965). This residence from what we can ascertain, was built later again around 1971 and bears all the trademarks of late stage, high end, nature driven Sydney Modernism – cathedral hardwood ceilings, expansive pooled courtyards, cork and carpeted floors, white painted brick walls forming a aesthetically feudal, though not unfriendly, fortress of family living. Ringed of course by the obligatorily stunning bushland hills which make Sydney one of, if not the, most gorgeous cities in the world to reside in. High times for high flyers and dreamy sighs from the rest of us.
Anyone with half an intuitive mind need exert themselves only a little, mentally dissolving away the piles of stuff, the asian tinged decor, vertical blinds and mediocre 90s kitchen too see the wonderful MCM glory underneath. The owners in this case have thankfully kept it intact – check that bathroom tile, the original design, rooflines, garage and the kickarse fireplace so there would be nothing but fun in cosmetically bringing this cutie pie back from the 1990s into a 1960s future. As it’s under contract we can only cross our fingers that the new owners know what they have got here.
When it comes time for South Australia to step up to the plate, A-game is a given. There are simply far too many heart thumping jawdroppers of super high quality lazily hanging around those Adelaide Hills, not to mention furniture which will induce anyone to place a casual call to the agent, you know, just in case they’re offloading that too. And look! Here comes a couple more fresh out this week just in time for two up SA edition. Me o my o me oh my!
Not the most dynamic or groundbreaking design-wise this Mid-Century home nonetheless displays the Modernist dream as taken up by the masses in the form of open plan living, large windows with some lovely era-specific joinery to boot. Of course being Tassie, it’s a classic example of was Tassie does best; offering a lovely livable home on a particularly pretty and naturally hospitable spread, for a song.