Hey capital cats; what’s the go here? We are smitten by this imposing residence of Hollywood-esq Hills drama including a bold butterfly roofline, double story stone feature wall, classic timber and glazing and a curious addition out back- a Modern Canberra c.70s self-contained unit. But the question stands; what’s the inside story? With no floorplan, no architectural history, no internal images of the principal (earlier) residence and no inspections allowed (!), bold is the soul to shells out for a hilltop acre and home, as beautiful as even this one might be, with out stepping foot within. Thrillseekers and those with fertile, excitable imaginations we leave this one up to you!
For all those left indignant by the previous Iwanoff, here’s something a bit more original now (despite the recurring colonised kitchen). A mystery residence (c.1965) in fancy-lands Hobart town with more than a little beautiful timberwork and bulkhead lighting all over (always a weakness for us & the recent revelation of ‘warm white’ fluorescent tubes? Gamechanger).
Though, to our minds, not exuding either the early, simple elegance of his 1960s projects, nor the wild, dynastic richness of some later landmarks this 1970’s commission by Iwan Iwanoff (extended by the man again in 1973) is still acceptable with its low-slung, Palm Springsy vibes, albeit blanded way out. The feature pool area and those towering pines out front, a layer of extra delicious icing on a pleasant MCM cake.
A superfine & super refined residence in the Adelaide holding up a tradition of South Australian listings we have come to know and envy:
– classic, higher-end MCM lines and design
– incredible craftsmanship, with feature stonework deserving a special mention
– great proportions on a more-than-roomy block
– Excellent close to original condition (albeit with a little whitening)
– the kicker: an insanely reasonable price range.
It’s all there kids, ready and waiting for you.
A bold and early contender for MA house of the year (hell, maybe find the decade) is this unparalleled, mint original (check that stove FFS!), Yarra-side beauty, presenting as though you’re handed the keys direct from the builder. The (obviously) hippest people to ever inhabit the The ‘Dyte – Kath and John Porter – commissioned this residence in the early 60s from architectural firm Hipwell Weight & Ross, and it was all completed by 1965. These single owners have maintained this incredibly stunning, Modernist home of timber and brick to such an impeccable standard over the last 54 years, that we are simultaneously swearing and gasping for breath. We simply cannot go on. We must hand it to you, while we attempt regain our composure.
Just imagine taking a mellow Sunday arvo, carving through the barren streets of a new housing estate of the edge of any metro or regional place to view the house and land packages. See yourself walking through the display villages, the rows of insipid porticos, double garages, eaveless pitched rooflines and after-thought landscaping only to find yourself becoming, as Vonnegut might say, unstuck in time and landing face-to-face with this offering instead – ‘The Aquarius /V444′ project home by architect Peter Vaalburg *. A beautiful concept of generous proportions, framed by expansive timber beams, floor to ceiling windows creating a tranquil living environment of flowing spaces, internal courtyards and perfectly positioned bedrooms. The reality of that fantasy sits here, 50 years on, still resplendent in its timeless design and condition (though that granite kitchen bench top must be banished) and we’ve featured a couple of these examples before – most notably this one Yea in a similarly respectable condition. The attraction of the plan and build is undeniable, yet (as well all know) there is nothing close to this in the mainstream volume housing market as it stands today. This sad fact alone is all the more reason to hold onto this beauty as it exists, to champion all that we seemed to have lost in this sector and give us something aim for, one day, again.
*For The Age RVIA Architects Housing Service Competition of 1969. Many thanks again to Steven Coverdale for the historical images.
Hold onto your secateurs kids, for this residence may be simply splendid but that garden? Hoo boy! Held for 60 years and clearly beloved – evident in the kitchen and bathroom still as sparkling as they day they were built (trust us, that’s an incredible rarity) this one ticks many a Mod box and it’s only then you step out back for the knock out punch – and endless, gentle slope of palms, ferns, monstera, lawn and stone terracing. Garden party animals, eat your heart out.
Maybe the market is cooling or perhaps this is a locally perceived no-go zone (friends, it’s Croydon, let us not split undue hairs here)? In any case this striking Mid-Century ripper with bedrooms and yard to spare seems like a bit of a bargain. We’ve left out the kitchen pic (an 80s foray – easily corrected) and the concrete block needs the spam pink blasted off, but otherwise it’s lookin’ pretty fine. Acres of glazing, freestanding brick fireplace with feature copper flue, beams, bulkhead bathroom lighting, low-slung carport entry…it’s all too good and primed to get even better – in the right hands.
*Update* Wonderful architectural historian Simon Reeves has given us the lowdown on this one – marvellous migrant modern Melbourne strikes once more!
“This house was designed by unsung Dutch emigre Gerrit Hartland…… At the time, Hartland was employed in Gregory Simpson’s office, and he designed this house for the boss’s unmarried sister, Miss Kathleen Simpson. Circa 1965.”
A very special house tonight from one our favourite suburbs to which we’ve never been – Klemzig, South Australia. This late 50s pioneer has withstood the trials of time and development due to its dedicated and passionate owner who has lovingly cared for this residence since the late 60s. The time has come for it to pass into someone else’s hands and it is desperately vulnerable to the developer’s roving eye. We cross our fingers and post it here in order to prevent such a dire outcome. As Don, the present owner explains;
“The house was built in 1958 when Clarence Avenue was created as the result of the subdivision of a huge property. While most of the new houses that were built in the street in 1958 were traditional in style, our No.19 was way-out, daring, avante garde for the era…..(with) its unusually attractive setting diagonally across the block and its unusually attractive entrance hall with its glassy window wall looking into the living room.
We bought the house in 1968 and have been owners for 51 years. The large front garden has been carefully maintained and enhanced over the years.
The site is quite unique, as it’s a corner block, adjoining a lovely small park on one side and a cul-de-sac on another. It has a double garage with exit directly out onto the cul-desac and direct entry into the living room – almost unheard of in 1958 in Klemzig.
We have restored the house to its classic mid-century appearance, as we regard it as treasure of a property. While we realise that a developer may buy the property, our hope is that the successful buyer will be someone who values the property for the special character that it has, and enhances it even further.”
A bit of Franga fabulous today capturing that rectangular, upstairs/downstairs of many a beachcomber-esq, sea-side house design but with the bonus of a bangin’ nostalgia trip for all those 70s kids out there – timber walls, floating staircase, shag carpeting (yes, even in the kitchen) and stonework. With a beautiful line outside and awesome details inside and potential for so much in the garden, we need this to go to someone who knows what they’re doing not just any ol’ punter who’ll blindly slather it in white paint for a flip and certainly not someone who’ll destroy it for some polystyrene clad townhousery. C’mon gang – this is the affordable Mid-Century dream for one of you.
Brisvegans get ready to rumble, we’ve got the scoop on this unqualified killer never before seen on the market – Yowzer! A 1955 residence by architect Graham Peterson of firm Briggs, Peterson and Burnett. All kudos and high-fives go to the original owners (inheritors?) for taking to task what Googlymaps suggests was a tired (though thoroughly incredible) home and polishing it up to dreamboat status (gangplank entry included!) without going overboard. No total white out, no extraneous extensions, no milk-date trendiness or misplaced intentions – just the stunning purity of the original design, the materials and environment shining though every inch. We’d be hard pressed to find any recent residence in Queensland of such wonderful architecture coupled with presentation itself a lesson in balancing skillful restraint and glorious celebration. Bravo to all, we predict a bun-fight for the rights as next owner (kicking off right now!) shall be a handsome reward.
Back to palate-cleansing purity with this gorgeous, c.1968 Canberra home by hall-of-famer Daryl Jackson. Like the timelessness of its beautiful bushland environs, this home has barely changed in 50 years but for a small (and overall sympathetic) kitchen update. And really, why would it need to? This offering of all-Australian Modernism with elemental harmony at its core is as practical to the needs of contemporary living as it is beautiful behold in the contemporary eye. Wholly divine in low-key warmth and simplicity.
One image conveys 1000 words and illustrates the course of our built heritage past, present and future. It is inevitable that this lil’ darling, in the centre of a nationally recognised, prestige holiday spot, will not be with us much longer. Let us simply look, love and hold it in our hearts a while.
**Update** Seems this lil’ lovely is a local landmark for many with a number of snaps popping up from interested parties, not least this historical/architectural project by local architect Roger Todd, with any number of other local Mid-Century beach shacks (of present unknown status) pictured also.
Back to some clean right angles and very early 70s (we’re guessing) panache now with this Lewis Coote Homes home. Possessing enough eastern suburbs blanc inside to attract the norm-cores while retaining a pure Modern profile with its feature pool, gorgeous masonry, carport entry and C-shaped floor plan to sucker in the MCM die-hards, this lovely residence hopefully will attract some form of live-in owner and disperse that sulphuric stench of development which envelops such duel access, school-zoney property.
Though not in the same architectural league as say, some 1930s Miesian-reduced residence of walls and glass, you cannot underestimate the innovation and newness this home in 1950s Tasmania, a small island who in the proceeding 150 years of white expansion had only known slab bark huts, sandstone manors and modest 2-bedroom cottages of a repeating Victorian floor plan with the ubiquitous tacked on kitchens and bathrooms down back. No, this expansive home of large glazing, central (and relatively open) kitchen and intuitive movement from one space to another would have rocked as an ultra contemporary, Post-War home and bringing with it some heavy Kennedy-Camelot joie de vivre. A plausible, nay perfect, backdrop for drinks on the lawn, boating excursions and long summer cricket matches, the echoes of which filter through this essentially untouched home, to this very day.
And here we find ourselves again, at the residence continually eddying in the simmering centre that is the heritage V developer cauldron of Bayside Melbourne. We have listed this absolutely sensational residence of pedigree and prominence at least twice before. Twice before thinking its time was nigh and twice before making the call for a true Modern warrior to set to work within the beautiful lines and materials created here in 1961 by architect (and leading firm partner), Arthur Russell. It transpired the last buyer was not so – putting forward a sub-divison plan which (to our minds thankfully) failed, leaving this home surviving yet another round of the Modernist wars. With this development ‘loss’ in mind, the growing band of Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts growing exponentially and a rich vein of creative couples families and solo masters available to marvellous Melbourne; we again put out the call for a deserving buyer. We’re posting some pics from its first sale years ago to whet the appetites and fire the synapses of those who know true Modernist beauty (and location) when they see it. Sure it is tired. Sure it needs love and care. But it is a grand, unbending survivor which should finally receive the recognition and restoration it deserves and which is so brutally denied to many others in the ‘hood.
Perhaps a QLD Modernist can help us out with this one. A mystery as to date and architect, it is nonetheless rather alluring in its clean spaces, high ceilings and timber features. We suspect it also once had exteriors of unadorned concrete (oh la la!), though like the rest it is difficult to pinpoint. All that guessing gamery aside, it’s a lovely townhouse oozing room and suggesting an easy, breezy lifestyle to be had within.
A few stalwarts shining through tonight – with thanks to regular spotter Tracey for locating this sensational, dynamic residence in the ever-reliable MCM ‘burg of Lenah Valley. And we guarantee involuntary squeals will be released upon inspection of this ripper – starting with that living/lounge wrapped in panes of soaring glass, the brick dividers & planters, the dropped tiled ceiling, split levels and sunny/retro/fabbo kitchen. Throw in rambling gardens festooned with mature trees, sweeping drive and we have a barely changed gem of jaunty Mid-Century joy awaiting one very lucky new lover.