Gently put down whatever you are holding, take a seat and breathe slowly as pure unadulterated mid-century magic floods your eyes and replenishes your soul.
We often hear/tell of hidden architectural gems dotting our entire country, sometimes the overlooked work of some architect or other, but this residence just popping up online today and initially marketed as ‘Art Deco’ (oh the dire state of our built heritage knowledge!) is quite insane. Igniting an online hyper buzz all afternoon about the what/when/where but as usual Simon Reeves comes into his own revealing that this is the one of few standing houses in Melbourne designed by Raymond Jones, a Geelong-born, late 1940s architecture student at Melbourne University who toiled under the illustrious tutelage of Robin Boyd, Roy Grounds, John Mockridge, and Frederick Romberg (doesn’t get much heavier than that). Taking a particular fancy to Boyd’s philosophy and works (in between gigs kicking goals for Collingwood and Melbourne Football Clubs) Jones started his architectural career at the firm now known as Yuncken Freeman, though not for long as he departed for Western Australia, never to return, in 1953. There he continued his magnificent creative output (and premiership footy for Sth Freo). The cherry on top? Raymond Jones (b. 1925) is alive and still boldly fights the Modernist fight for us all as he is quoted in Wiki:
“Jones is not impressed by a lot of modern architecture in Perth, saying he’s depressed by the “proliferation of ugliness”. “We are just not going forward at all, we are going backward”. He blames Perth’s ugly, impractical and unsustainable modern homes on the laziness and expediency of politicians, city planners and mass-marketed project homes. Mr Jones says he is a crusader for sensible, environmentally aware design.
Jones is still practicing as an architect as of 2011 and has no interest in quitting entirely any time soon, instead focusing on projects of interest”
This home, a commission in 1952 for a relative Jones, is the stuff of California dreams and Marvelous Modern Melbourne. It has pedigree, a confidence and completeness of design that is very rare for such an undocumented home. It has lit a fire in the heart of every casual (and not so casual) MCM fan in less than one day. It remains magnificently unaltered and based on all this should be in line for a heritage overlay. In lieu of that and in order to ensure it’s safe passage from one owner to the next, we Bat-Signal those MCM dreamers out there with the cash (and a respectful amount in comparison to most on the market right now might we dare say) to look no more – this is it. This is the one you have been waiting for.