A magical post today straight from one Modernist Australian who is selling her home – a bay ‘burg stunner. If it was just the home that itself would be more than enough – who can’t sit and sigh at that incredible stonework, succinct yet stylish floorplan and the timber and brick carport? Yet this one also has history, a female history, of one Mrs. Sylvia Tutt who designed all four of her Beaumaris family homes with aplomb but without a scratch of formal training (for an in-depth history of Sylvia Tutt – Simon Reeves at Victorian Modern is, as usual, the go-to). This home, the second (built between mid-1962 & October 1964) conveys a domestic design prescience usually only executed by those at the cutting edge of 1960s MCM architecture. So lets shoot one over the bow here for the chicks and suggest – as a woman of the times she had far more insight into the practical requirements of running a household, cooking, cleaning, movement, daylight desired and so forth than perhaps an educated male of the day – and due to her financial status and possibly progressive married relationship, was able to convert these needs into natural solutions, creating one hell of a beautiful and functional home. As the owner attests:
“Sylvia’s innovations ranged from planning (indoor 2-way toilet, storage cupboards, walk in robe, etc.) to structure & environment (the house has one of the early concrete slabs – that works as a heat bank, north facing floor to ceiling window wall with wide overhang), to labour saving tricks (milk hatch, rubbish hatch, kitchen servery …….) to aesthetics (stone wall & floors, cantilevered fireplace shelf, carport louvre panel, etc.). It’s a fabulously liveable house full of light, with the long side facing north, and the whole house wrapping around & focusing on a north facing courtyard…”
Testament to Tutt’s the innovation and sheer desirability of her finished work is a front cover and spread in the June 1966 Australian House and Garden – also shown here for your comparison (hasn’t done too badly hey?). Just goes to show there ain’t nothing like lasting design to hook us in over and over and over again, as the owner confirms:
“Eleven years ago, when I was looking for a house to buy I got no further than the front entry vestibule of this house and I said to the agent I would buy it.”
We have a feeling it will take about the same 2 minutes to find a new owner this time round also.