‘Dobyn House’ 270 Springvale Road, Donvale VIC

Steven Coverdale* has sounded the bell, so gather around people and bear witness to this – one of those handful-a-year properties in which all sense of decorum flies away and one starts pacing, perspiring, heavy breathing and plotting. What looks to be an original 5 bedder, with pool and stunning tree coverage (on 1 acre actually) in the inexplicably high-finance hills of Donny and built round 1969 this is a dreamscape for lovers, like us, who revere Graeme Gunn and his gumnut solid forays of later stage, Australian Modernist living. Coverdale in his assessment suggests the influence of Ken Woolly and we’d agree, though that sublime fireplace/living room reminds us immediately of another Melbourne beloved, the heritage listed Godsell House *sigh*. Though all this having been said and all this monumental gorgeousness before our very eyes does not negate this home’s vulnerability. Donvale has more than its fair share of self styled, cashed up, amoral wankers who’d sooner see this demolished or ‘renovated’ for some impersonal flip gain, much like this nearby Chancellor and Patrick tragedy we highlighted earlier this year. So we’d like to make this clear right now – anyone who even thinks of such actions, let alone tries to execute them be warned; we’ll come for you in the night and not in the good way. This this home is pure untouchable and deserves nothing less than humble adoration.

*We’d like to credit Steven for post floor plan historical images, by Peter Wille.

45 Weston Street, Revesby NSW

Thanks to Modernist John for this heads up. Though more demure on the inside than that wildly rich street frontage promises, what it may lack on the kitchen/ bathroom front, it more than makes up for in singularly composed floor plan, straight as they come construction and such overall clever simplicity (oh those bedrooms with their own courtyard access!), so muchs as to suggest an architect must have been at work here. Suffice to say the same owners for 54 years have treated their clearly beloved home with utmost care and it would be terrific to think it could be passed onto a new generation to love and enhance what is already a beautiful residence.

‘Frank House’ 5 Patula Place, Menora WA

It’s always thrilling to see an Iwanoff stride onto the market. Yet another glorious work from Perth’s hometown boy. Having undergone a little do-up which is, for the most part wonderful in its respect for the home (minor quibble – we would have used real breeze block), this is another for which photos (albeit kinda wonky ones) are better than any of our words- click away, enjoy today!

141 The Esplanade, Mount Pleasant WA

In spite of the rather bodge photography, the clean Modernist ethos and bright 60s flourishes shine through on this little buddy. A little TLC could really bring this one back though sadly we don’t think it will survive. Let us remain optimistic (the mining boom is over right?). This house will always be here with us in spirit, if not in reality, in any case.

23 Alden Ct, Cheltenham VIC

It is quite astonishing how such a (albeit wonderful) refurb can secure the future of any domestic building. We have no doubt if this was a rundown, un-landscaped house, filed with the remnants of musty furniture and the pool emptied out – we’d see nothing but areal land size shots in the sales pitch. No talk of family friendly design, character, north facing backyards nor clever tri-access bathrooms though these attributes would always be present, regardless of actual condition. Once again the survival of our classic suburban MCM streetscapes comes down to an enlightened and generous few who can see beyond surface and, with a deft hand and creative eye, draw out the best of these homes educating others on their intrinsic beauty and value. Bravo people and keep it up!

36 Gawalla St, The Gap QLD

Busting forth like a blooming hibiscus on Motunui and echoing the soaring Polynesian architecture seen in a multitude of Pacific nations (and of course being appropriated post WW2 for the Tiki Exotica culture niche) is this special spread. Internally the dramatic story continues with split levels, cathedral ceilings and clean tile, brick and timber as far as the eye can stretch, eventually leading out to the stunning pool and palmed yard. All in all (and strictly MCM or not) this is one spectacular oasis – many elements of which are repeated throughout the Sunshine state, but hardly ever assembled with the skill required to create such a bold and complete statement as we find here.

82 Parkhill St, Pearce ACT

For purists and simplicity lovers everywhere. This remarkable, architect* designed home, of clean beamed right angles, textured brick, internal courtyard floor plan and lightest of light updating will have a lot of you planning your escape to the capital. If the photos don’t immediately draw you in (which is doubtful) let us use the words of the owner James – a long standing Modernist Australian;

“In my view the house is a marvelous example of simple, functional, light filled living. Unpretentious but sophisticated in its proportions and visually engaging in its subtly flowing horizontal lines.  Wonderful floor to ceiling height doors emphasize an airiness along with multiple windows letting sunlight in throughout the day.  The internal courtyard is both intriguing and revealing allowing both complete privacy from the outside as well as multiple internal vantage points through the house – especially appealing at night.”

Indeed. We can feel those long, window-lit courtyard nights from here. Get onto this Canberra Mods, you know we totally would.

*Hancock Courtney & Renfree

14 Glenwood Ave, Glen Forrest WA

Rare. A sensational 70s brick and beamer with walls of glazing and the carefree zing of a bright yellow kitchen, topped off with a genuine conversation pit. Rarer still is that this home hails from WA, not a state we usually associate with untouched homes of such nuts and berries architectural purity, let alone one celebrated by the sales pitch. Right on.

153 Main St, Huonville TAS

Perhaps a flip. Maybe a spruce up of a departed relos home,or a do-up from run-down, in any case this cutie-pie is striking a handsomely cheap and cheerful balance between update and retro origins, surely to please a bunch of house hunters out there.

7 Vernon Pl, Burnie TAS

A Tasmanian trilogy today, starting with Verno here. Not much to say that the listing or the photos don’t convey. Just your usual, everyday architectural and garden loveliness with evidence of some wrong turns toward colonisation in the wet areas, but nothing that can’t be undone. This home highlighting once more what bangs for bucks await across the Strait.

3/1 Percy Street, Devonport TAS

It’s easy to love Rose Seidler House. It’s easy to be awed by a Neutra, Palm Springs, Case Study House #22 or some American Graffiti-esq Googie bowling alley. However you know your obsession has slid to a deeper plain when you start coveting tin clad, 2 bedroom flats in Devonport. We don’t care. Just look at that staircase. Look at that truly Modernist split level, repeating facade. And how dare they sully that interior with such a sub-par kitchen! Percy, my dear boy, MA will continue to proclaim loudly and proudly – if loving you is wrong, we don’t wanna be right.

10 Kirriemuir St, Hamlyn Heights VIC

We know a few of you out there have held fast to this little street, in an unassuming regional ‘burb, as their secret real estate crush. Sorry guys, this Catland cat is out of the bag now with a new, swoon inducing listing. In perfect condish with only a minor change here or there required (though perhaps you enjoy some kitchen carpet?), on a large block with north westerly backyard this gorgeous, neat-o, grey-bricked, carported wonder is the stuff of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ family dreams. To those surviving in the capital 60 mins north, battling traffic, rent increases and the choice of whether to hold that home-ownership dream balloon as it floats ever higher and higher, or jump into the safety of G-town’s own West Brunswick (near to the old Eastern Euro enclaves and its purveyors of tasty meat products) we say just one thing – The median price range for houses in Hamlyn Heights is $429k. Even at 100k more – which it may well get – this place is a standout bargain on top of being a drop-dead beauty. Go get her!

‘Exley House’ 27 Finlay Rd, Warrawee NSW

Back in September 2015, we like to think that MA was one of the first alarm pushers who discovered this home on the market with seemingly no protections to stop it being completely destroyed if sold into the wrong hands (close to original Seidler, on huge land in leafy Sydney, it was looking shaky). Thankfully Harry Seidler is one architect in this country whose iconic work provokes loud calls for protection and historical cataloging (though with differing outcomes, depending on the councils and houses at hand). It seems the wheels of justice may have 360ed, this stunning home’s heritage protections in place and the vendors having achieved a beautiful compromise – phew! Now to be sold with 2 titles, perhaps this is the best outcome for this day and age; higher (well, than before) density living, with respect to the original, historic architecture. Win, win!

PS- We strongly suggest to click onto our 2015 listing of this property to see the divine Max Dupain images (c.1957) Polly Seidler kindly sent to us of this home post build – some serious inspiration right there.

‘Amigo House’ 5-7 Romaine St, Blackheath NSW

Mis amigos, volvamos a las colinas!…..and behold this bright and brilliant house with all the essential turns from the Australian MCM playbook; built in 1962, from the hand of 1950s, European émigré, turned notable, unsung architect (John Pinter – still practising BTW), single ownership and unchanged for decades (by the Amigo family) and recent(ish) handover to a couple of contemporary architects who knew what they had and set to work reviving and enhancing it, as they describe;

“When we bought the place both the house and garden were quite run down. Over the last 15 years we’ve replaced the super6, attended to essential maintenance, installed a new kitchen and a new basin in the bathroom but otherwise we’ve enjoyed the house just as it is. We’ve gardened instead of extending, which is much more fun! It’s a small sunny house with a big garden (on two blocks).”

And oh that landscaping!
With a history like that, it’s little wonder this spot, in what seems to be a little hub of progressive cool in the Blue Mountains (let’s not forget we’ve been here already this year), presents today as stunning option for Modernist minded folk. Quite simply this is Australian Mid-Century joy on a platter; all the hard work done and ready to roll and as such we have no doubt it’s gonna receive inquiries from a flurry of interested and deserving parties.


‘Wentworth Memorial Church’ 32B Fitzwilliam Rd, Vaucluse NSW

Brothers and sisters, we call upon you to open your hearts, your eyes, your souls. Don your cassock, kaftan or Sunday best and offer it up to the church of Modernism. Well, actually, a chapel built for the fallen soldiers of WW2, the last piece in the development dream for the Vaucluse Estate, one of the oldest patches of whitefella land in this country as the spread of William Wentworth – explorer, politician and all round Renaissance first-born of the colony –  who kicked it all off in 1827. Some 140 years later architect Don Gazzard saw to this twentieth century vision; an ecclesiastical symphony of native, Sydney School interiors; timber, white painted brick, capturing the light, shadow and fresh southern breeze in dramatic clearstory windows and on the outside an imposing, southern european, pinnacle perhaps more at home on the cliffs of Basque country and than the acacia crags of Sydney Harbour. Whatever the case and wherever its new pivot into domestic, public or spiritual life takes it, this is a truly iconic and heritage protected building the likes of which we seldom get the pleasure of posting on our lil’ ol website.