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’
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.
Next up and all original 1960s, flat-roofed, salt spray eyrie. Sitting high amid the tea-tree scrub, with interiors a little above the standard for such homes – beautiful timber lined walls, cork flooring and that stacked fireplace. Fate alone will dictate what happens here, but lets enjoy such simple, verging on boho, beauty while it stands.
For those of you just killing time till the end of the week, others just barely limping to the finish line of 2017 or perhaps seeking 2 minutes respite from the consumerist death-races, today is a mini-bonanza of listings under the guise of a MCM beach shack exploration. A study of one particular location which has only seen the real estate push over the last couple of years and as such still maintains a variety of original homes which we’d deem as worthy for a listing here – from your straight up old timers, to the renovated Air BnB specials. Come let’s away………
The first is a success story. Obviously a once large block has been subdivided, but the owners have thankfully seen fit to keep the original 50s/60s board house with its integral summer vibe (townhouse development begone!) and modest footprint and go full instapic zsoosh on it. The results are elegant, a little fancy but nonetheless a great little example of how old, can become new, can become mass-appeal hott as they come.
Many thanks to Steven Coverdale over at MCDA for turning up this unmitigated gem. A project home design called the ‘ME2’ by, you guessed it – that kitchen is a dead giveaway – the firm of McGlashan Everist from their golden period of the late1960s. Drawing together their architectural traits and stalwart materials common to their commission work – raw brick, elegant timber ceilings and pragmatic floorplans to ensure optimal light, airflow and parental respite (master bedroom one end – kids at the other – win!) this unmolested wonder makes serenity of space and movement amid everyday family bustle a reality, a feat rarely achieved in even contemporary builds (remember this is nigh on 50 years old). It leaves naught to do but break out the Toto in exultation.
Like a sullen teenage Kate Moss sitting in an airport lounge, it only has to take one person with a good eye and chutzpah to take them aside and turn them into a supermodel. This little cutie pie has everything in place to become a loved MCM abode of true 60s beauty, including, if warranted, a little sympathetic extension out back. Indeed t’would be an offence to see such good bones go to ruin. Anyone?
Slightly underwhelming on the inside – though that master bedroom patio combo is rather dreamy – the outside well and truely makes up for it, what a stunner!* And with a roomy three bedrooms you could, in time, chuck that colonised kitchen, swish it up a tad and you’ll have set yourself up beautifully in primo Hobart town.
*Architect – Frank Stary
A number of you have alerted us to this lovely residence, a warm brick and beamer by everyone’s favourite non-architect, Alistair Knox and only one of three apparently in this suburb (which is usually the locale for earlier era MCM gems rather than bushland babies like this) and of these messages has stood out – from Emma, who grew up here and like so many of you out there has parent’s farewelling the long-held family and does not want to see it fall, as she writes;
“My parents have listed this house, which they bought off the original owner (the brother of Peter Jackson, of suit fame) 20 years ago. This house has so much scope with beautiful bones. 7 children grew up in the 3 bedroom house (the 5 boys had the large bedroom at the end), and the backyard was used to learn to drive………….We really want the house to be saved from the wrecking ball…”
(Who doesn’t love a little local celebrity colour!) But we need to act fast – this home goes for auction tomorrow, we sincerely hope there may indeed be a new family waiting in the wings already, ready to pounce and Knox it up for another few decades.
Some ripper aspects to this endangered Brighton beaut – the landscaping, bbq configuration complete with copper hood, internal timber detailing, northern orientation and epic design comprising walls of glazing and masonry but the one feature that truly elevates this home is the internal courtyard. Letting in light and providing an architectural focus to an entire floor plan, internal courtyards are guaranteed to add a certain Modernist je ne sais quoi to any residence and are one of those precious items on many a MCM home wish-list which rarely gets a tick.
**Update** thanks to Simon Reeves – this home was from the architectural offices of Bernard Evans, military man, Mayor of Melbourne (for 2 terms) architect and head of one of the the biggest architectural firms in Mid-Century Victoria. Now that, my friends is a list of accomplishments!
A wild ride in the illustrious MCM riverside hills of Studley Park. Some new alterations, some old, some things to change and many things to strip back and enhance. Make Mid-Century Great Again.
**Update** Flying under the radar this is actually the work of MA luminary Anatol Kagan (thanks Simon Reeves) and was a commission for Charles Stradwick, completed in (c.1956) Some primo MCM pedigree right there!
Yesterday, 12 kms north of Brissy central, a mis-named MCM ripper. Today the same. 12kms South this time. A Jindalee jamboree of MCM sophistication and more than a touch of sleek, So-Cal swing. Those agents showing themselves up as for the rubes they are by declaring it an ‘ugly duckling’. But on second thought, perhaps in a Hollywood sense they are correct, for it only takes a mere removal of the glasses and shaking out of the hair to reveal to those with a myopically conventional grasp of ‘beauty’ what is actually standing right in front of them. For the rest of us well, I dare say a few last minute, Friday arvo calls to the bank is on the cards.
Aido, mate, love the enthusiasm but if you think this is a California Bungalow then you may need the fire up the Googs. For what in fact you have on your hands here is a damn resplendent example of Australian suburban, architect designed, possibly project home, Mid-Century Modernism. In the tradition of your Pettit & Sevitts or Fasham Johnsons. Reckon you might wanna change up that title because, as much as CB’s have their fans, they ain’t nuthin’ on the increasing crowd of rabid MCM cultists whose fires we (and many other social pages) stoke on a daily basis. You wanna have people falling over themselves for that elegant, low-slung frontage? That gorgeous entry? The genius simplicity of spaces, beams and natural texture palette? Then recalibrate that pitch a tad and let’s see what happens.
A hectic tsunami of the spring real estate market and parade of incredible home after MCM home has finally receded, leaving the Christmastime detritus of run-down projects like this sweetie and dear beach town shacks. Both we’ll be showcasing for a while – hopefully winding you down to a summer letting-go, an escape from the the rush and bumble, edging you closer to more earthly delights of food, drink, friends, family and weather. But we digress. This little place of course is on the ropes, and no amount of amenity to bus stops and pokies venues disguised as a good night out are really selling it to us. What is calling us however is the beautiful elevations, vertical timber and brick, that classic cement patio, stone fireplace, kitchen and the dreams of possibility. And at $215k, you may indeed have enough leftover to see this possibility become reality.