Not one but two separate listings just bubbled up from the same wellspring of inner Melbourne history. One bedsit and one 1 bedroom apartment from the fondly regarded and fiercely protected ‘Cario Flats’; a U-shaped, jungle shielded, urban oasis of farsighted origins and intent. Completed in 1936 by early, Tassie born Modernist Best Overend (we never get tired of that name) as a project for creating maximum fun for minimum size within the tradition of ‘bachelor pad’ living it comprised of 20 studios and 8 one bedders. Design to facilitate a community within (a consideration now cycling back into the mix for high density complexes in contemporary architecture) was integral to this building, specifically the shared internal garden, an in-built corner shop and rooftop space for all kinds of jocularity. So too were some features which, though also communal, speak more about the needs of Mid-Century single men-about-town; extras such as a dinner service, whereby hot meals were dropped to each kitchenless apartment via a hatch, and of course a laundry service. The elegant Deco-Internationalist Mod design with its twirling external staircases, its afore mentioned lush garden, its proximity to the city across the road from the Exhibition gardens and smack in the middle of slum/turned bohemian/now gentrified Fitzroy, have all lent a certain aura of romance and mystery to The Cairo. Indeed it is perhaps the first listing we’ve had which has a novel set within its grounds, a story which naturally harks to a heady chapter of Melbourne lore concerning art, theft and free-spirited characters. In the brief researching of this address, we found numerous links and for each one pertaining to its architecture we’d find 3 more about its impact on the lives of the locals, its familiar presence, its intrigue, its very position in the landscape as though taking the form of one of its inhabitants; the loveable eccentric bohemian of the old inner-city, still there as inspiring and vital as the day it was built. Not a bad legacy for a pile of bricks and metal railing really.

Listing (studio apartment)

Listing  (1 bedroom apartment)