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.
28 Feathertop Ave, Templestowe Lower VIC
October 15, 2018 | Archives