Starkly reminiscent of the NorCal, redwood, hippy movement is this absolute killer property at the base of Melbourne’s Dandenongs. And what’s more, unlike many moldering homes up that way, this one remains in remarkably pristine condition and displays distinctly Modernist intentions with a skilful yet simple material palette, skylight and bulkhead lighting, split levels and absolute northern orientation. We fear this exactly the kind of home which should be preserved as is with minimal refreshing, but is a prime victim to the hubris of insta-fueled ‘interior designers’ who despise the stunning natural expression of the gorgeous wood, for a hideous slather of arctic white paint over every interior surface. Please – in this case – we pray it’ ain’t so.
Down at heel to the extreme, this expansive and impeccably laid out 5 bedder of classically Modernist features with sprawling runaway grounds holds massive potential but only to those of the most dedicated and hardworking stripe. We don’t hold much hope and the agents have already written it off, but all is not lost just yet. We’ll wait it out and see.
There is nothing which celebrates the luck and beauty of the Australian lifestyle quite like a bushland spread 3 minutes from the surf. And the value of such homes on the Bellarine though inherently priceless to the spirit are also certainly creeping up there in the bank, though compared to the major cities this place offers so much more for the moola. One acre filled with towering gums (and the occasional strolling echidna), the enjoyably scruffy tennis court (OG is proudly not Portsea), the end-of-court pocket where it is located, the tradies-grade garage housing a few boards, the car, perhaps a ping pong table/home brew set-up and of course that solid yet elegant Merchant Builders home* of brick, slate, ply ceilings, expansive glazing, feature fireplace and purist floor plan. This home which has undergone a little contemporary zooshing blessedly highlighting the best of this 40 year old solar passive design and materials (no render- no worries!) now ticks so many boxes it will tick some you never knew you had. Go get it!
*The architect behind this particular design was Sydney Schooler Terry Dorrough.
Did you know Sergio Mendes is playing the Opera House tomorrow night? If you can’t catch him there maybe he’ll stop by here on the way because if this 1956, undeniable killer of Mid-Century design* and swinging sophistication isn’t the perfect intimate venue for the Bossa Nova icon then we don’t know what is. Seriously, we are dying again and again over much here (well, maybe not the pool fence – c’mon guys if you can’t do glass then that stunning, original iron balustrading should give you some artistic direction!), even the ceiling tiles would stay. For we could think of no greater privilege than to carefully refresh this bona fide baby, bring it back into full flight and reap the reward of inhabiting a Slim Aarons photoshoot for the rest of our lives.
Sweeping onto the scene (with thanks to house hunter par excellence Graeme) is this commanding residence with a boldness and richness of features befitting its location. It also is getting a great rap from the agents who, though ‘woke’ as they seem to MCM appreciation, still claim that most homes in the 60s and 70s ‘severely lacked design variety’. Au contraire fellas – one only needs to look at your own aerial shot to see the juxtaposition of an entire court of promising looking flat roofed wonders such as this one, juxtaposed with the eaveless, gardenless, caesar-stoned, high-gloss white, poorly orientated, badly insulated, anti-designed ‘villas’ being excreted on block after demoralising block behind it. But we digress. This gorgeous home boasts not only wonderful expansive living (no floor plan though?***) and floor to ceiling glazing to make the most of such breezy spaces but also some serious wow-factor timber, stonework and spiral staircase with atrium and greenery which cries for an Eleanor LaGore number performed thereon stat! The Robin Boyd claim? We’re looking into it.* For as sensationally late 60s and architecturally devised as this building is – it also seems to have a heft of material not quite in line for Mr Boyd (though we could be perfectly wrong about that.) And really, when you’re living it up in such a pad who’s going to worry about it?
*Many thanks Simon Reeves (architectural detective) who has indeed revealed this house not to be on any record as a Robin Boyd creation, though nonetheless is an architectural commission – architect unnamed (see below) (c.1969) for one Mr Joshua Kolt, dental surgeon.
**Architect finally named! This home is the work of John F Tipping Architects, whose work we have well and truely profiled before!
***Thanks also to the indomitable Deborah who reminded us that the plan for this house are in the earlier listing.
Our lady Lenah coming through once more with this gorgeous 4-bedder which has seen a simple, sympathetic update and decking to take in those outrageous Hobart views. A tad more planting in the garden (though those stepping stone are a promising start) and she’ll be a Mid-Century forever home for one lucky family.
Between the tracks and the highway and in one of The ‘Bee’s little known pockets of 60s residences, sits this sweetie. Like its fellow westie in Lara a few days back, this home of simple astute lines, courtyard aspect and nice spaces seems incongruous with the more typical offerings of lower-end housing tracts from the 80s onward for which (rightly or wrongly) this town is known and even more culturally and design opposed with the expansionist sea of resource guzzling McMansions creeping steadily from the northeast. In any case, this residence of simple joy forges on and perhaps is just waiting to be picked up by someone who knows exactly what they like, no matter where they stumble across it.
For those down sizing (or up sizing in the heated Sydney Real Estate game) this treetop, top-floor apartment from Stan – the man – Symonds has been sitting around for a bit, thought we’re not sure why – it is a cracker. With all the joys of 1960s apartment life – the 2 roomy bedrooms, bathroom with space for a euro laundry and all encompassing balcony to savor that where-else-but-Sydney urban tree canopy this pad of pads throws out a little MCM wow with stone feature wall, walls of glazing, sensational rooftop gangway all of course due to that swinging Symonds flair. If we were really monopoly minded (and minted) we’d say start here and buy up block over time, though this top one is surely already the pick of the bunch.
Are you getting around Lonny, inspired by our recent set of sympathetic renos and looking for a project to carry out similar? Well pull out some pocket change (best offer over 229k!) and get crackin – this is the one for you. Solid and already mint on the outside though requiring a little wet area love on the inside (that’s your dirty mind, not ours) this beaut has the set up and delightful aspects; fireplace, timber inserts, views and fenestration to appreciate them, to create a splendid MCM fifedom of your very own.
A little early for the miracle of Easter Sunday, but why can’t we celebrate the rising of the dead too huh? We recall this particular residence back in an ‘offline’ patch and thought it was a goner. For sure it’s a bona fide Chancellor and Patrick – those solid brick supports, gabled roof and horizontal stretches of timber and windows indicate no other, however in its previous for sale listing in 2014 it was on the brink – looking very rundown and in that neck of the woods more likely to meet its end making way for some low-level townhouse development. But no! Praise be on this blessed weekend we see it has not only survived and was brought back to best by saviours who at this stage remain anonymous. So here we are for your consideration; a gorgeous, solid af Mid-Century home (c.1959) by legendary practitioners whose main following resides in the fancypants sandbelt. A home renovated with real respect to the past and an eye to the the future. A home in the trees with the best of Melbourne vistas. A residence which, considering its provenance, condition, architectural idiosyncratic flair (oh that FLW-esq fireplace!) and position in the middle east is apparently not asking an insane amount. All said and done – a little something to really to rejoice in.