For those freezing in the winter chill we can assure you that light and warmth is on it’s way and by the end of this very week, you’ll be feeling it. To tide you over, have a gander at this impeccably spring-light, roomy residence in Seidler’s renowned ‘Campbell Housing Apartments’, a Modernist jewel in our nation’s capital with this townhouse looking particularity refreshed, a refurb which (we think) remains in the purview of the master, whilst enticing all. We’ve a seen a few of these residences over the years and it warms the cockles to see the ever strengthening recognition and respect for this timeless beauty of design and construction. Special kudos to the agent and once again the photographer for truly flaunting the magic, we have no doubt it will go off with a bang on Saturday!
Like so many reclusive dames, this once life and location of the party now sits moldering away amid the birdsong and breeze, silent as a stone as the beamers and 4WDs coast past. A capsule of swingin’ times now superseded by other residences nearby of larger breadth and european appliances whose inhabitants have traded Tupperware and key parties for wellness retreats and luxe athleasure wear. Let’s shoot her one more glance and a wink adieu before her likely last hot date – that with a bulldozer.
Too many listings are flooding in for us to handle and we’re showing the cream of the country right now. So back we travel to Adelaide and this wonderful architect (John Hipper) designed residence from 1964. Resplendent with fine internal timber framing, thatched raked ceilings (oh those ceilings!), flagstone entry and electric blue carpeting, this home is all at once heightened desire and endless promise. Check it.
Women squeal. Men swoon.The MCM geeks knowingly nod their heads. What a retro-fabulous 1960 stunner! Naturally it is being marketed for its ‘position’ but we refuse to let that dampen our spirits today, not when faced with such unmolested gorgeousness and so skillfully captured by the photographer* kudos! Let us just simply appreciate what we have right here right now and dream of better days for it. Maybe they are on the horizon…….
PS- That interactive function which enables those without sufficient occipital lobe to foresee a kitchen of insipid, Bunnings-quality cladding slathered over that button bright kitchen? Just no.
*Yo snapper – please contact us and we’ll give you a plug!
Many thanks to The Local Modernist who always keeps an eagle-eye on their home turf and has unearthed this ripper just come to market; a 1959 residence from architect Dr Andrew Benko. In the grand Australian Modern tradition Benko originally boated over from Hungary and from all accounts was a FLW devotee. This sensational and very intact house which addresses the sloping bushland block with a series of of (now overgrown) terraced garden and internal levels is just crying out for some sympathy, love and care, to ensure the integrity of those original materials, landscape remain intact, whilst bringing them all into a life renewed. Certainly worth a pilgrimage Adelaide folk.
Existing on the edge of what we’d deem mid-century, this home demands to be listed for its magical warmth of design, timber and breathtaking walls of glass allowing the supreme (and rare) metro bushland of Studley Park to take centre stage. Our millionaire-selves would snap this up in a heartbeat, make some very minor changes (the 80s peach might be painted over) and add some more gums and grevilleas to the front there, but that’s it. Sadly those looking in this price-range stereotypically seem more keen to destroy such 40 year old beauty and, in order to bolster their fragile personalities, are duped into building tacky, cold and ill-suited status castles in which to host their family breakdowns and/or service their financial obfuscation requirements.
As always, time will tell………
With thanks to Brad for not only locating this little gem in a more under-the-radar suburb, but also noting it’s project home origins – having the same floor plan as recent a Eltham listing. Just proving once more the footprint of beautiful and thoughtfully conceived project homes across our capitals was indeed large, though it seems to be getting erased by the day and replaced with homes of far more negligible (to nil) architectural consideration.
One out of the box sure to tickle to fancy of those who enjoy the more eclectic and/or industrial Modernist side and ideal for those who dig a project. Though looking a little rusty on the outside (nothing a lick of paint can’t fix) inside is a rather splendid 60s home with timber detailing, glazing and a ship shape kitchen (one of two!). This intriguing building is nothing if not the headquarters for your motorbike restoration shop/architecture firm/indigo dye-works/photography studio/furniture factory/yoga cult. Spend your Sunday clicking away and plotting it out.
No address, no internal photos, barely a blurb (though there is at least a little MCM nod in there) yet a price tag 3 times more than what we usually find in the bargain lands of Adelaide. We’re guessing a quickie sale on the cheap, though land size isn’t even mentioned. Can anyone shed some light on this gorgeous looking place, before it slinks into oblivion?
Some of you may have trouble seeing it behind the worn out paint and sun bleached stone, but this has an implicit elegance that is so attractive to us we cannot stop looking at it. A lightness its form as it sits beautifully upon this sloping block, and we beg of anyone who snaps this doll up to only use the lightest of touches in bringing her back to full bloom. We don’t need to see yet another site of half-baked flip styling experiments; slathered in render, white paint and high-gloss flooring – no – we’d strongly suggest instead a deep clean, some new light fittings, delicious landscaping and an appropriate kitchen refurb. What say you Brisvegans?
Another result of hard toil by a dedicated owner with drool-worthy results. It’s been a while since we’ve showcased some mount Eliza magic, but we can always rely on that particular peninsula pinnacle to never fail in delivering the most sublime spreads in the entire state of Victoria. Once gain our internal monologue confidently claims “this would do us quiet nicely, quite nicely indeed.”
As rare a listing as the come, with nothing we’ve ever posted coming close in terms of restoration efforts nor regionally historical MCM importance. This ES&A Bank designed by Richard Apperly was opened in 1957, one of perhaps hundreds of landmark Modernist commercial buildings of the post-war boom built in regional Australia (back before economical rationalism decided regional Australia didn’t exist anymore). Spending the last 50 years spiralling into a familiar oblivion and now yanked back into life with sheer grit. We shan’t go into too much detail here for suffice to say the vendor, who is reluctantly selling, has an entire website dedicated not only to the provenance of this incredible building but also details the blood sweat and tears put into the bank in the last 3 years to bring it back to unheralded glory. And what unbending yakka it has taken! As the owner states;
“I personally saved and restored every original feature, spending over 60 hours a week for 7 months on the project……I have poured my heart and soul into the building, ensuring that every detail was as close to original as possible.”
It shows. On par with the most heavily and publicly financed and manned restoration works, this effort of private dedication and funding is a majestic rebirth of a building in totality. Every aspect studied and renewed. Every material considered. Every ounce of craftsmanship cherished and recaptured and in some cases enhanced with the only the most deft design eye. From the iconic staircase, the entry reception, the exterior stone work and (our favourite) the bank vault itself. This bank building in a tiny, Mid-Coast town (pop. 5000) on a winding riverbank now sits as a museum of Mid-Century Australia.
Indeed, one could easily conduct a walking tour of the last 150 years of rural culture as seen in the untouched streetscape with a MCM building now taking its place now among the old familiar institutions: the Saturday NRL match-ups in the oval across the road. A shandy in the (also wonderfully intact) Federation pub. A bit of Sunday penance at ‘Our Lady’s’ round the corner, followed by some old-timey, white Australia antiquing in the Wingham Museum right next door.
And now the big question: what next for the ES&A Bank? Shall its rebirth be the start of a new chapter for itself and even Wingham overall? Can a fitting, most likely creative, business continue on this wonderful path? Or shall it be bought and forgotten? Perhaps worse still picked up and destroyed through ignorance? To direct fate in the best way, we make the national call out for a the new owner. An entity who knows decentralisation is the key to the working future (NBN willing). Maybe a type who easily straddles the regional culture and more urbane aesthetics. Or maybe just someone who will adore this building as much as the current owner does? We wonder.
From disposable to prized the spinning wheel lands on any and all possibilities for our MCM built heritage. Today is back to the good with a 1960s sprawler which has been given a bit of a Sydney zhuzh and as such, owing to it’s beautiful bones of course, should be all set to sail through the coming years as a beloved family home with exquisite gardens, rooms, light and locale.
There are so many media outlets which focus on Mid-Century Design and appreciation with the interest thankfully growing by the hour. Over our 10 plus years we have seen and listed it all – magnificent Modernist sentinels by Boyd, Seidler or Grounds, cultural and societal change in a constructed expression such as the Torbreck Apartments or Sirius Building and the simple, beautiful indigenous Modernism of the Sydney School and project home movements. But this house pretty much encapsulates why we exist. This house of an incredible intact condition will never be on the front of an architectural magazine. It will not be lauded for its particular design value or build (though they are timeless and rock solid to this day). It may not even last the year out (if you are to glance at the bone-chilling amount its neighbours sell for). Yet this home evokes emotions to perhaps the widest range of Australians overall. This house along with its more rudimentary beach shack cousins, are the Modernism for the masses as unintentionally realised across the nation in the mid-twentieth century. With a build made up of components which were reproduced and installed endlessly across the nation – free floating, open kitchen, simple living space with huge glazing, inset bath and shower bathrooms of one hero pastel, pragmatic joinery (inbuilt cupboards oh my!) each element, room and furnishing is the catalyst for thousands, if not millions, of individual sentimental journeys. Here at MA we trundle the line between design and sentiment daily but this home like so many now gone is tremendously rich in both and we believe it is worth all the focus and delight we can heap upon it. Take yo praise little house, while we still have you in our midst.
Down in the the new SoHo (don’t worry, we don’t that’s a thing – yet) and ticking boxes left and right is this superb, never-before-sold residence built the year of our MCM lord, 1960. Through the rather lovely classicism and knick-knackery of the current owner (those wool blankets – sigh) the simple and beautiful design shines clear with that northern orientation alone worth the price in our coolest capital, taking full advantage with main living room walls of windows and stone patio. Of course you get other delights only Tassie seems to present on the regular too; mature gardens, sweeping vistas, crisp air and 1200 square meters, and neat as a pin home and all for under 700k. And though those prices are ever creeping, the mainlander in us says that is still some good bang for buck.
We get the feeling young Brad and Ollie aren’t quite sure what they’ve got here with some vague references to an extensive (then modest?) residence and of course the obligatory suggestion to ‘build you dream home’. To these fellows all can we say is ‘yeah, nah’. We are not going to ignore all those wonderful aspects and materials which make this wildly exciting home a prize among the MCM crowd: ironwork, marble floating stairs, pioneering open plan kitchen/dining, flawless cream brick, commanding roofline, expanses of windows & breeze block. We know it needs work, but what visions await! We implore those in Adelaide to add this one to the ever growing list of joy open for inspection this weekend and perhaps even put it at the top. It’s a real humdinger!