20 Maker St, Rangeville QLD

The second, just-add-snazz Sunshine State listing is a smaller affair, though a lot of time and energy has gone into this lovely flat-roofed gem to address the duel demands of fussy mainstream buyers whilst keepin’ the Modernist lines alive. Though internally it’s pretty much a pedestrian white out (that’s demand one taken care of) the owners have done a very nice job of making its original, external attributes sing (we spy another built in planter!). Extra big claps for that gorgeous landscaping, for far too long it’s been an underestimated piece of the MCM puzzle.
The marketing of a ‘Palm Springs’ look is certainly becoming a thing and we’re not unhappy about it and certainly if anywhere in the country is well suited to the trend it is Queensland.

‘Nichols House’ 1 Thornton Pde, Wavell Heights QLD

You know all things MCM are reaching critical mass when you have more than one listing from Queensland which has undergone a fancy renovation by longstanding Brisbane firm Robin Spencer Architects which embraces its roots in Modern concepts and materials. Today we’ll post two, starting here with an extended home based around the original 1964 residence which has had many of you in a flurry. Beautiful original stone walls, joinery, interior planters and that gobsmaking copper flued fireplace all gussied up and taking centre stage, as they rightly should. It’s continually validating to see what was so wrongly considered a liability, being finally treated with the respect it deserves.

114 Fincks Road, Heathmere VIC

With a steady crop of lovely and affordable homes continually coming onto the South Australian market, Melbourne folk could be forgiven for packing it all in and making a run for the boarder, though before they cross over they may just wanna stop by this place. A very intriguing small parcel of acres, with a simply splendid home evoking a kind of Frank-Lloyd-Wright-in-Illinois vibe with its darkened brick and timber horizontals sitting amid towering pines and verdant lawn. Inside the story continues, though not as extravagant as the outside suggests, as a beautifully constructed and cared for home with honey cork flooring everywhere, exposed brick and some outstanding curios which let us know these owners are serious business: the knotty pine ‘gym’, red apple track lighting, the (surely Italian) space-age corner lounge suite and what seems to be perfectly preserved ceiling speakers in the living room. Just get your white Kartell and maidenhair fern collection in there and voilà! The best of all worlds.

‘Arlington’ 6/351 Edgecliff Rd, Edgecliff NSW

We’ve listed a number of Seidler apartments over the years dotted around Sydney, though we think this may be a first from ‘Arlington’ his huge, c.1965-66 complex of spacious residences in concrete and masonry with that dynamic drawbridge entry, bringing some sophisticated European panache to the inner leafy streets. Internally the spaces were created for generational, long-term home-making with this very apartment testament to that: the vendor’s grandfather having purchased at time of build, his mother raised there and now first time up for sale. Though obviously having undergone a contemporary white out (a burl on the Googs suggest any number of wild, private renovations going on in this building over the years – sorry Harry) it’s still heartening to see the some of the joinery and fittings remain and of course you can’t ever erase the light-filled floorplan.

‘Quamby’ 1/3 Glover Ct, Toorak VIC

A landmark of early Australian Modernism cementing (pun!) the reputation of Sir Roy Grounds as one of the state’s and subsequently the country’s premier progressive architects, ‘Quamby’ is a set of 6 flats built in 1941. A brief architectural rundown from Steven Coverdale of MCDA** as follows:

The flats and maisonette curve out towards the Yarra in four fan-shaped segments, with cantilevered balconies………structural footings are off-form concrete and the walls are of bagged brick. The effect of the fan-shapes is to give a concave form to the street facade….Internally, the flats have an open kitchen, living and dining areas with wide north-facing windows. The kitchens and bathrooms are well-detailed with built in fittings. Each flat has its own large outside area…….. The lower walls are built with stone from the site. The upper walls are painted brick, and steel columns support the side balconies. All the roofs are flat.

Though difficult to conceive of today most all of the above listed attributes were either outright trailblazing or at the very least a version of architectural creativity and consideration never before witnessed in Australia. Even now it is clear to see this near 80 year old building as a beautiful and individual statement of form and living and searing reminder of the insipid mediocrity rising wholesale on urban and suburban blocks today. That said we’ve seen and listed a couple of these apartments before, so residing in or owning such historical high-water marks is not that exclusive (if you have the money).

**Thanks also to Steven for the historical images.

‘Rush House’ 145 Springdale Rd, East Killara NSW

Hold onto your jaws everyone this one has been brought to our attention** and goes straight to the top with a bullet – a breathtaking, c.1959, duel level classic by architect Harold R. McCauley. Soaring ceilings, dramatic walls of windows rising over split-level, stone featured living and dining zones sidled by a floating staircase leading up to the bedroom wing. Did we mention the northern orientation, double-door (Brady Bunch) entry, pool, studio and perhaps the greatest aspect of all: the fact that though 100% vulnerable to a ‘contemporary’ overhaul capable of erasing every stellar Mid-Century attribute, this residence instead remains very much intact and loyal to the character of the era and its place in time? Hooray!
Enough chat – we simply cannot do it justice with our piddling words. Click and weep for joy kids.

**With thanks to you, Graeme Sutherland.

**Update** For a comprehensive article about this home as first built check this wonderful article over at Secret Design Studio.And thanks to Alistair for the historical images we’ve added to our listing. 

28 Feathertop Ave, Templestowe Lower VIC

An lovely listing today, the childhood home of Modernist Australian Eleanor, which touches on a few of our regular obsessions. Firstly that it was built in typical post-war fashion by her parents in 1964 and her father, an engineer but not architect, was intent on building in deference to our localised sunlight specifically the extension of eaves on the front northern windows, in doing this he was adhering to the foundation of the Modernist ethos (from follows function) from a purely practical standpoint in solar passive design. Overall the entire home conception is a cut above the usual triple fronted brick veneers though visually still compatible as we move into our second discussion point: this home’s place as an example of unapologetic and indigenous suburban living, in a street full of them, in a suburb also full of them. We now recognise an emerging Australian built vernacular formed at this time, which though perhaps loved and loathed (oh Mr. Boyd – what would you say?) is nonetheless all ours. We bring this up today because one of the poets of this – our suburban dreaming – was so inspired right here. Howard Arkley’s mum (who was good friend’s with the vendor’s mother) lived across the street and the artist himself talks in this program (2.20 min mark) about the connection and inspiration her home (and the neighbours) which signposted his artistic direction and which has now in his death become his defining legacy. Who could think so much artistry, so much of our national identity and story fits into a little brick house of rather lovely layout (and beautiful condition) on a real estate webpage? We do and we think there’s quite a few of you out there who will always look a little deeper too.

5 View Point Rd, McCrae, VIC

One for the purists, once again by the bay and mystery of provenance to boot. This sensational, (clearly higher strata*) architect designed family home in all original condition is a splendid example of later era Modernist domesticity. Those who have not set foot in a build of this material palette before; concrete/clifton brick, muted carpet, limed timber, white Laminex and raked straw ceilings may be forgiven for assuming it to foster an austere or even cold ambience, however nothing could be further form the truth. Buildings of such design, hewn in such elements envelop the inhabitant in a cocoon of acoustic softness, thermal equilibrium and inexpressible spiritual comfort of natural light and darkness. This home would, we have no doubt, induce a welcome mind/body calm upon entry and just keep on giving from there. We cross out fingers and toes that such skilled mastery of ambience via considered design can run the valley of those wolves with dollar signs in their eyes, ego in their hearts and white paint brushes in their hands and come out intact on the other side to continue on the 40 plus years of living tranquility for a new set of owners.

*Any thoughts on the who may be responsible for this one people?

7 Johnson Street Kotara, NSW

A cheerful, architect designed home in the Newcastle ‘burbs, just busting with classic 1960s features: beautiful horizontal lines, timber inbuilt robes, flowing split level design around a central courtyard, walls of windows, internal planters and………grecian columns? Well, that aside (and perhaps that high gloss flooring can be taken down a notch?) the rest is A-OK and ripe from some masters of Mid-Century aesthetica to move in and take over.

‘Brealey House’ 128 Kananook Ave, Seaford VIC

As the days draw closer to summer, it’s homes like this which start coming into their own. Dripping with the romance of Mid-Century bayside Melbourne which, before the arrival of money and it’s decline into tracts of nouveau mansions, was a bohemian adventure in beach and tea-tree (or is that Moonah?) settlement. In the 40s/50s/60s houses reclaimed the dunes and farmland originating from those with large minds, small pockets, independent spirits and limited resources with results like this – intimate, thoughtful and modest places for elemental living. Light, breeze and the flexibility of space – all blasts of a new refreshing clarity in a country pulling away from it’s stodgy, English past. And all in all, those which remain, are just too dreamy for words.

Thanks to MCDA for discovering the name.

177 Farmborough Rd, Farmborough Heights NSW

We welcome Farmborough Heights to the regional MCM residence hit parade and the rest of you to Freaky Friday (a few hours early). And what more to say than hooray for small town eccentrics and their dreams made manifest (with the help of architects – Webber). The question of the night then presents itself: what to sip whilst taking in such a view? The horizon of paddocks ending in distant ranges calls for Gin? Beer? A Fluffy Duck? We open the bar to you for all appropriate orders…….

113 Kingston Tce, North Adelaide SA

A fancy pants and super un-molested 1960s corker in what must be one of Adelaide’s premier suburbs (going by the price tag anyways). Rumours abound that is was once Amanda Vanstone’s digs, though let’s not let that put you off, not when you have a splendid north orientated design, lovely beamed timber ceilings, walls of windows, and that killer almost SoCal courtyard. Of course, due to it’s position it is in grave danger of being knocked over with no doubt some ill-suited monstrosity planned in its place. We shall just have to wait and see.

1/98 Warrigal Rd, Parkdale VIC

Though rather blanco-blando on the inside, we couldn’t say no to the exteriors of this great 2 bedroom apartment, built in the days when living on this scale was made as desirable as possible for the inhibitor, rather than the investor. Clean and simple.

Bendigo VIC

A Modernist Australia exclusive today with the off-market presentation of this rather retro-fabbo home in wonderful condition. This solid brick, c.1964, elevated residence of 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom (and what a beauty it is!) and established gardens has a tag of $385k, which ain’t bad considering all you may need to do is open the front door and unpack the moving truck.
All genuine inquiries (including exact address) can be made to Dean at 03 54471057.

78 Derinya Dve, Frankston South VIC

Only for those with rose coloured glasses (or maybe glasses half full) comes this broken down beauty. Beyond the obvious cavalcade of dereliction, water stains, tile grime and the echo of boots on grainy floors is the promise of a dreamy half-acre compound with a centrepiece home (merchant builders perhaps?**) complete with timber ceilings, wonderful intervals of brick and glass, open flowing spaces of an utterly modern sensibility. Anyone driven by imagination, passion and elbow grease? This is a more than worthy contender.

**Update: ‘Tis confirmed! It’s a ‘Terrace House’ designed for Merchant Builders by our main man Graeme Gunn (cheers MCDA!)

2 Wendy Ct, Heathmont VIC

When listing next door at the start of this year we just knew (or perhaps a little birdy told us) this home would be popping up on the market soon and were already fearful of what kind of sales campaign, and hence buyers, might be in line for it. Sadly, for such a immaculate and stately expression of the 1960s suburban high-life and despite the moderate tone of the pitch, the first thing we are presented with is a land size graphic. Next, a series of poorly lit, afterthought photos which (try as they might) cannot disguise the solid craftwork and considered design of this brick beauty including its pretty gardens. We claimed in the earlier listing that this little court, in a quiet suburb is an unassuming bastion of charmingly original Mid-Century architecture and we’ll continue to champion that, even if those offloading such wonderful homes cannot (or refuse to) grasp their ever widening appeal.

15 Hudson Pde, Avalon Beach NSW

This eye-catcher has been sent in by more than a couple of you and rightly so – you cannot ignore that intoxicating mix of exterior stone, white framing and glazing in a chic internationalist rectangle, a clinical Modernist form almost incongruously placed amid the fecund greenery of the Northern Beaches. But it works. Its kinda, sorta updated condition and its situation as a duel apartment configuration also raises immense curiosity and the question of what these touted new plans for renovation look like – it does sound hopeful and sympathetic – but you never can tell. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

‘Silberberg House’ 34 Maxwell Grove, Caulfield, VIC

Back to one of our favorite chapters in the Australian Modern story; Marvelous Migrant Modernist Melbourne, and this beautifully kept and cherished home now up for sale for the first time since built in 1962. The residence of Gertie and Harry Silberberg a family who, like so many of the suburb, has its origins in the biggest upheavals of the entire Twentieth Century, but who won out in long-game triumph as worthy additions to our lucky country with an enduring legacy of family, business and civility manifesting itself most visibly in the avenues of elegant Mid-Century homes which remain standing. Designed by architect Bernard Slawik, a survivor of Janowska extermination camp and later a contemporary of Ernest Fooks in Melbourne, this lovely house was commissioned by its owners (after 12 years of above-shop living!) and has been enjoyed by generations for the last half century with very little changes – note the front view with the priceless snap of one of the children with her nurse. A clean, light filled design, sublime northern orientation, a wider historical significance and above all a wonderful home. What more could anyone want?

11 Merrifield St, Castlemaine VIC

All you inner north-side cool kids looking over the horizon and dreaming of the great country power move; are you sick of the traffic, lack of space and smog but can’t quite come at the usual offering of 1800s cottage or 1980s nu-estate homes located in the Goldfields of your desire? Well hold onto your turmeric lattes (and other hipster gags) because this 1963, minty condish family home on 2 acres complete with Ned Kelly sly-grog bar is the one and the only. We’re not going to carry-on too much, as the photos amply convey the goods; parquetry, fireplace, flat-roof Modernist design divinity, northern orientation, trees, birds, the whole box and bloody dice really. We’d suggest to re-evaluate your finances (it is getting up there in price after all) and sharpen those elbows as no doubt a few in the crowd are getting their communing/working-from-home ducks lined up for this bad boy as we type.

26 Clovelly Cres, Lynwood WA

One for the treasure hunters out west. This astounding rental is hiding itself under a thick patina of neglect, but those with MCM eyes can instantly pick up the glimmer just below. Not just another rundown 50 year old building of questionable materials waiting for the planning permit to kick in so it can be swept away. no, this one has class, intention of design (architect or architect designed project surely?) and crafted features which are a little mind blowing for such an outwardly appearing wreak – Parquetry, solid masonry (including those wowee breeze block courtyards) and those wild internal glass and joinery dividers/shelving. All of which can be revived and restored with a considered overhaul. Perhaps it’s just a matter of sweet-talking the landlord into a sale?