60 Phillips St, Bracken Ridge QLD

Wowee! Not only one of the best QLD postings we’ve have in a long time* but it so happens it was the childhood home of a personal MA buddy. Once housing a big, boisterous family in the 70s and 80s, this is a classic 4 bedder (with pool) of still awesome exterior features (though the interior has seen a little messing) and true Don’s Party heritage. To wit: a series of musings and descriptions (of no more than 50 characters) from former child resident, to set the heady scene:

Mates of mum n dad built it / parents bought it off them / slate entrance which I think is still there / did have a full size pool table on the lower level / orange ‘pig hair’ carpet tiles in the family room / much more brown all round back in the day / not so much ‘feature walls’ as there is now / when we were there it was the last house in the street with bush all around / used to climb in the roof when thunderstorms were coming in and then jump in the pool / had a bike race track circuit that went down the driveway thru the courtyard and up the front entrance path / we used to arrive home from school with wild pigs around the pool / some crazy parties the folks n then kids had / classic 70’s………..

 

 *Architect – Russell Gibbins

21 Pettys Lane, Doncaster VIC

We’re under no illusions about this one. We only came to say that for anyone with 1.5 million + to spend on 730 sqm of land in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, these ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities, funnily enough, seem to come up twice a week.

4/32 Hebe St, Bardon QLD

An intriguing proposition in Brisbane today. An old-timey cream brick exterior revealing a Mediterranean cool, studio pad inside. This one could really go either way; as a minimal inner-city paradise for a certain breed who trades material acquisition for intellectual and interior inquiry or spooky Mullholland Drive star-dreams-gone-to-seed refuge from the world. Either way we kinda can’t stop looking at it.*

*and that wasted space behind the toilet – why?

17 George St, Torrens Park SA

An absolutely magical c.1961 home in the stately hills of Adelaide though being on huge land (and a deceased estate) it’s being flogged for not much more than ‘development potential’. For shame South Australians! We expect as such from sin Sydney’s venal marketplace and likewise from the avarice afflicted sell-outs in the Victorian capital, but we thought you were different. You are supposed to eschew such tawdry unseemliness. You are supposed to be our bastion of wine and performance, of soaking in the sun at your own defined pace, your roots of propriety unblemished by the convict stain and integrity shining through in your dealings of commerce and art. Well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we?

3 Couch St, Timboon VIC

Another in regional cutie-pie, this time the milky pasturelands of Timboon. Lots of scope to make all your financially achievable retro-country dreams come true with the help of a few A1 op shops around the way.

27 Grove St, Kooringal NSW

A taste of Wagga wonderful this morn (we really need to get our feelers more round that way). This little winner has been lovingly and respectfully freshened up and owner Isabel has let us know this home was built in 1964 at the hand of respected architect Gordon Trafford Walker and whatsmore sent us through the original elevation and plan drawings. Yes, that curved dining nook is original. This is an example of why we dearly love a regional offering; though they are generally more humble in size and scope that city pads, they also offer bold flashes of personality and charm. A little country eccentricity in quiet, sleepy-time towns.

26 Bangor Dve, Frankston VIC

Thanks to Alison Alexander for turning up this mysterious and grand Frankston beauty. One quick burl on the Googs suggests that this sale may be something the vendor wants to pursue under the radar. The first listing for this property categorised as a ‘residential land sale’ has now been removed. The second listing on the RE.com misdirects with a plethora of incorrect info (yeah, this isn’t a 3 bedroom one bathroom house guys – you advertise it with a photo of an entire wall of bathroom cubicles for starters). There is no sales blurb, no agent (thought the photos claim one), no info on the architect, not much at all really. Over on Domain it has no listing per se (see the link at the bottom) but at least gives us the basics : “26 Bangor Drive, Frankston VIC 3199 is a House, with 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3 parking spaces. It is on a block of land that is 2109 square metres.” And there, my friends is the heart of the deal – half an acre of primo land with views up the bay, worth millions. This might explain the abysmal photographs which, try as they may, still cannot conceal the gasping wonder of this MCM residence. The parquetry, clean lines, the levels and even that beautiful Norfolk Pine out front all signpost this as a home which does not deserve to be sold, demolished and carved up on the down-low. Spread the word.

3 Esk Ave, Mount Stuart TAS

This one with textured glass panels, stone fireplaces and simple white tones is the very picture of refined, old school, early Australian (c.1952) Modernism sitting timelessly on Mount Stuart. The work of Czech-born architect Frank Stary (migrant Mod strikes again!) this rambling (perhaps later extended?) ripper evokes the early twentieth century sensibilities with that distinct European flavour, a utilitarian starkness but not without a touch of paired back glam (our Danish nana born in 1911 would approve). And no environment in the country can compliment such euro evocation as the back hills of early spring Hobart, with the snow still dusting just above you, water before you and the clear blue sky striking from every window. Breath it in.

11 ‘Park View’ 5 Herbert St, St Kilda VIC

Sorry punters it’s sold, but we could not miss the chance to get this gorgeous apartment, inside and out, up on the front page, especially one by MCM Melbourne star Ernest Fooks. And it is startling in this modern day depression cycle of destroyed residences to see these little beauties not only punching through but, in this case, being treated like royalty ready to greet a new bunch of owners who, after equal measures of St Kilda spangle and darkness, love them more and more with each passing year.

16 Coolangatta Ave, Burraneer NSW

We refuse to end the week on a low note and thankfully Adam has written to us with a touch of joy, his Nanny’s house to be precise, in the beautiful sun-kissed south Sydders waterside. Cast your eyes on that stunning pool (with a view!) and possibly one the greatest ping pong rooms in the country and reassure yourself that we truly live in one of the greatest places on earth, and some gorgeous houses still remain.

30 Flinders Ave, St Ives NSW

This is an 8 year old listing. We wanted to post it up because at the time we did not, and it certainly deserved some attention. The timing is now because we have just received word that it was demolished in May. This is for posterity.

**Update** It’s worse than we thought. It’s being replaced by the worst kind of nausea inducing over-gabled, quasi f*cking ski-lodge, eaveless mcmansion. A prize example of the ignorant-numbskull-thinks-this-is-how-rich-people-built-homes aesthetic which reached it’s peak around 2008 in the now real estate dead-zones of pre GFC Mid-West America. Please excuse us now, while we slide into a pit of despair.

‘Keats’ 3/94 & ‘Burns’ 8/94 Aphrasia St, Newtown VIC

A lovely Mid-Century complex (a veritable Palm Springs treat from the street), with all the persona of primo Newtown; classic, uptown and elegant (and the full Protestant box with the Poets-of-Great-Britain naming convention too). That said it presents an interesting twin opportunity here to perhaps more experimental, Modernist (or is that Post Modern) concepts of living. Are you, for example, a bona fide couple who still prefer separate bedrooms or homes? Do you have older kids or are couple of mates who could do the same? Do you get into the whole ‘small homes’ movement? Are you married to your work instead and would like you office 10 steps from your apartment? Or perhaps have a regular visitor you’d like to welcome with their own space? Or maybe, you are plotting a posse-nursing-home-co-op scenario – each party buying up a place (you can share the nursing costs and the self-driving bus to the pub/bowls/the movies when the time comes), because we’ve listed a couple of similar properties before and in these uncertain times it would be comforting to have somewhere nice to look forward to, a beautiful, simple, central compound go senile in together.

36 Dumfries Ave, Mount Ousley NSW

Props to ever-roaming MCM renovation magician Alistair over at Secret Design Studio for the heads up on this gobsmaking beauty which is guaranteed to set off fans left and right and with good reason – there is nothing more elementally Mid-Century Modern in the Southern California tradition than this right now. Situated in The ‘Gong with a climate to compare to L.A, this low-slung expanse of glazing, solid brick, breezeway and stone feature walls (oh those walls), seamlessly placed in its sloping site and without a single unused space (who wants a stupid big house when you can have a cool, pragmatic one?) not to mention the interior tile work and recessed display shelves boasts loudly and proudly of its era and it will be an absolute travesty if some new owner keeps the lines, but destroy these very idiosyncratic 60s touches which really make it sing. No, someone needs to take it in their joyfully wild clutches and run with, filling it with their period MCM pieces, de-cottaging the kitchen (and bathroom cabinets) and if they’re really dedicated, throwing in a kidney shaped pool in that backyard.

7 Haining Ave, Cottesloe WA

Some serious pedigree here, with a sympathetic update to show us all that this type of kindly renovation of MCM homes is really picking up steam – praise be! The architect at hand is Raymond Jones, former Robin Boyd protégé, who fled the frosty Melbourne drizzle in the early 50s and proceed to be at the forefront of Perth’s Mid-Century built awakening for the next 50 years, leaving a legacy of insanely beautiful and notable domestic, public and commercial buildings (top tip – google ‘Kiernan House’ c.1957, in Dalkeith for starters). So it would be pretty bloody awesome to dive in and live in such a residence, in one of the most beautifully Australian locales to boot. Perth peeps – start your engines!

35 Bainton Cres, Melba ACT

It is not often (read: never) we get to revel in the Spanish Mission-esq. This listing, in of all places Canberra, could easily lend itself to a miriad of interpretations – by virtue of it’s uncomplicated modish design – but c’mon it’s Saturday night, who doesn’t love a fiesta? Those bathrooms are a dead-cert duel throwback to Moor-Spanish conquest and swingin’ 70s and the internal brickwork, courtyard and floating hearth are just waiting to be embraced and celebrated. So were runnin’ with it. Ry Cooder in the down time (Calexico for the dance floor), stock up on jalapenos and mezcal and get to work planting that cactus fence worthy of Kahlo herself. If you can’t do it here, you can’t do it anywhere else in this country.

51 The Comenarra Parkway, Turramurra NSW

A c.1969 classic to finish off the working week and besides all the wonderful features (and floor plan); just a hint of magical mosaic tiles if you look closely and superb built in planter (as LP holder – genius!) for example, we’d really like to give props to the photographer here. The unusual, but inspired, choice of taking a shot of the worn shag carpeted, split levels stairs immediately, and heavily, evokes childhood memories of sliding down such stairs in similarly timbered family homes, the sunshine streaming in our eyes, the rising dust in our nostrils and the quiet of a do-nothing Saturday afternoon. Sigh.

19 Kapunda St, Toowong QLD

Although the design could be a variation on a project home, seen up and down the entire east cost – that garden is quintessential Queensland. Soak up the sun and endless warm evenings in style (though you might need to watch out for cane toads). Any thoughts or guesses on the architect?

**Update** Thanks to Modernist Australian sleepyhealthwear who states “Architect was Dan Kelvey who worked in UK and then Brisbane. A post and beam home, featured in Australian House and Garden Magazine 1968.” 

 

 

A requiem for concrete block

Sold last year, a stellar c.1980 family home by the hand of Victorian Government Architect Peter Williams. Held by the same family for nigh on 40 years and a vision of warmth and light in concrete block, stunning limed timber ceilings and carpet now, in less than a year, has been absolutely destroyed into a clinically, almost comically, repulsive creation of 10 thousand down-lights, plaster, ice tiles, more plaster, cottage garden and cheap stack stone fireplace.

To this

WTF is wrong with people?

Before:

After:

 

It is ‘impeccable designer flair’ like this which irritates our revolutionary ducts, causing tumultuous thoughts to rise and consider the joyful act of putting first to the wall those possessing such an unholy trinity of wealth, dim-wittedness and vaunt.

For further anger inducement, both listings below.