With winter in retreat thoughts turn to summer places past and future and doesn’t get more Mid-Century beach shack than this. Indeed, we have stayed here before, in this very home, just not in this location – the ubiquity of certain project homes of a certain age (though lessening by the year) still pinging joy to the heart. Though looking very endangered and needing a little (though not too much) care, it’s a superb option to cut stumps, pick up and place anew on some secret bush or bush plot should the new buyers only need the land. Why build in the MCM ‘tradition’ when for 1/3 of the cost you can have the actual thing?
The last time we visited Geelong’s wild architecture experiment in concrete ‘Loaf Houses’ it was to showcase a little ripper down St Leonards way, today we go back to where it all began. A local landmark which caught every kids eye traversing the Newtown river heartland for decades and undergoing an inspired rebirth some years ago, this lovely little 3 bedder is up for sale. Constructed utilising a cast concrete shell* by eccentric innovator Eddie Seiffert (a man so thwarted by the local council curtailing his architectural vision, he eventually pulled up stumps for the motherland of unbridled Mid-Century fantasia; Oscar Niemyer’s Brasília.) this 1969 walk on the wild side is capturing attention like never before. Deservedly so, but more than anything else this house over the last decade is a particulalry tangible example of the turnaround in mass attitudes to Modern and experimental architecture – from a worn-out regional curio most certainly destined for the dozer > to nifty project for a dedicated early-adopter > to sought after home today, proving what we’ve been banging on about for a decade – MCM design is valuable, is cool and is right on the money.
*Fun fact – The metal cast used to make this home and perhaps others – after much local rumour of it sitting in a railway siding in North Geelong – has been uncovered! Should anyone wish to extend upon this 50 year old legacy of Mr Seiffert, there’s the nucleus just waiting for you.
WA is not to be left behind in the spring fling and slams down a mind-spinning project home neat-as-you-please and just begging to be cherished the old fashioned way. So much to leave be, so many options to sympathetically extend or maybe add a little kidney-shaped pool out the back (just like the neighbours). Kudos to the agents for selling it as such. If this turns out to be just another demolition site for a gawdawful bombast palace Perth, we’ll be judging you hardcore because such delightful originality sitting in front of our eyes is fast becoming a rarity over in the west (well, yes everywhere really) and we all need a hero or 10 to pull the handbrake on this insanity. Step up gang.
A fine Mint Slice. Deep mission beams outlining expanses of cream walls, an intelligently considered set of spaces and flow through, a purely late Mid-Century expression of the Australian lifestyle (that bar tho!), all in exquisite condition. The purists and P&S fans in particular will be hyperventilating over this Ken Woolley designed beauty (The ‘Lowline F’), but really who shouldn’t be? Yet another in our top 10 hit-parade of magnificent homes this week and one we’d be seriously scrapping for, if in close proximity.
Phhhwoooaarrrr! Keeping the continuum going with yet another knockout home we’ve listed before is today’s Charles Duncan landmark in the Melbourne Mecca of high-end Modernist Australian homes, Studley Park. Out-schooling those Sydney Schoolers with it’s Wrightian horizontal heft and crunchy berry goodness, this impressive residence is one for the ages, with that swapped around lounge room furniture (see – old and new listings) making nary an impact on the overall magnificence of architectural vision. Duncan, as you may know, is up there with the MA essential legends bearing a legacy of revered work, both public and private, some of which has heritage listing and others acting as celebrated venues for MCM events, and it’s fair to say that this particular residence is a stand-out even in that formidable list. As an aside, would we dare suggest that such iconic, finely crafted, MCM goodness in beautiful condition, 3 kms for the CBD is a bargain at 2.2 millions dollars? I think we will, though still most certainly in the realm of impossible dream for us normies. QuickPicks incoming.
It must be the change in seasons for once again we spy a true masterwork of Modernist Australian domesticity, which we have listed before, on the market again for only the second time in its history. We simply cannot let such immaculate pedigree, the mid-60s creation from architect Miles Jakl, pass by without featuring it again, though we shall defer to our original musings on the house itself and happily note that the present owners haven’t messed around with the original too much (though a bathroom looks to be updated). Double points for that bedroom Tretchikoff. And may we declare that while most of Canberra’s business smells like the decayed corpses of so many dead fish, its nourishing to see its strong MCM legacy and appreciation thereof expanding by the day*.
*See also the latest season of Rake – all props to the ABC locations scout – some great Mid-Century motel and public building scenes guys!
Fill your Sunday brekky with fantasies of Albury (now there is a sentence we never thought we’d publish). Hitting the listings with a bullet is this bona-fide ball-tearer. An architect designed*, untouched 1960s family home of a dynamic, Brady Bunch countenance, massive yard/rumpus/garaging and to top it off a huge, fully tiled pool (which you’ll no doubt get plenty use of) just sitting there in the NSW/VIC divide. Are you a returning swallow, city refugee or rural-working Modernist? This home might need you to ensure its very survival and integrity (if one slap of render even comes close to this home – well be ropeable). In any case this magnificent listing is an overload of MCM pleasure assured to make heartbeats increase with every click and prompting irrational acts, like scanning the Border Mail classifieds and remote employment options. Get on it kids.
*Anyone with thoughts on who the architect might be- let us know!
Ahh Sydney so many cons – radio jocks, traffic, property prices – and yet all it has to do is flash that winning vista and all is forgiven. Suffice to say on a global comparison the position and views here are right up there. But that’s not why we’re here, any carpet bagger with millions can get a similar view in the Emerald City, what they can’t all get is a Mid-Century marvel in disguise. The photos and indeed the entire pitch for this never-before-sold, classic 60s wonderland is kinda-sorta meh and it’s taken screen shots of the video to underline the possibly wonderful Modern design. Check that skillion roofline, stone fireplace, timber lined bedrooms and winning discrete front entry leading into a cavalcade of ever more wild attributes like boulder grotto spa and peacock pegboard tiki bar to say nothing of the Fantasy Island tropical estate gardens – ooh baby. All that said, as a home it is tired. It’s had some janky additions over the years (colonial kitchen and tacked on tin awning deserving special call-outs) and it’s pleading for a little love and brilliant eye to fashion it back to the highsteppin’ residence it really is. At a lazy 4 million, we’re not holding our breath it could just as easily transformed into a baroque sideshow or snow-blind Hamptons inn but we know in it’s bones it is all Mid-Century party pad and deserves to be returned to the golden age in which it was built.
A more unassuming little home today, though nonetheless lovely and progressive for it’s time (c.1962) it sits on huge bayside land and hence is at dire risk of being destroyed. We understand the owners desire to post it here to find someone with the bucks to cherish it as they have and we’re never gonna give up or let down (see what we did there) anyone who feels that way about their MCM pride and joy. So c’mon gang – this is one golden home with a beautiful native garden – all ready to roll for you.
A hooley drooly wonder from over in SA with those alternating walls of brick, stone, windows and timber creating a marvellous, thoughtful yet deceptively simple home with, in classic Modernist style, a sophisticated nod to indoor/outdoor living, an aspect completely neglected in domestic architecture en masse until recent times.
Oh how most of the country would kill to see something so intact, with lovely retro features which nevertheless translates instantly to contemporary design perfection all at a price that’s still accessible. This whole Adelaide thing is starting to get too tempting.