Something a little more unusual today, well rather, two things. This double offer of adjoining 3 bedroom ‘dupli’ AKA ‘Torrens Courtyard Housing’ (c.1966) with the disappointing banality of ‘development’ rah-rah handing over their heads. We think these homes, the work of Netherlands-born Australian Modernist architect Dirk Bolt are really something special, with those beautiful walled courtyards and patios, striking street frontage and banks of entire and half wall windows, and which posses huge scope to utilise such gorgeous elements and renew their architectural beauty with a little interior help. A mindful and skilled practitioner could transform these tired buildings into one home or preferably a shared generational living set-up and/or any manner of collective housing arrangements, as per the philosophy of their architect as Canberra Modern explains:
“In designing group housing schemes, some in association with group centres, Bolt explored an interest in the urban as well as the built form. Bolt’s central planning themes in group housing were to provide a range of housing types and access to outdoor private space. His rationale was that in each development, providing a mix in the numbers of bedrooms, and hence of family structures and lifestyles, would help promote interaction between people of different ages and social groups. The other key principle was that each dwelling should offer the opportunity to move easily from living areas into private open space. So where gardens were not possible people had access to courtyards or broad terraces.”
This housing is a prime example of the progressive experiment that was Canberra Modernism. They not only deserve to stay standing but are absolutely entitled to local protection and recognition, as their true inspirational plight and (we think) success in finding new ways of dwelling and community planning (which has been criminally ignored for the last 30 years) returns again with vengeance as the topic de jour across the entire design and political spectrum.