Adelaide, you’ve been a little quiet of late, keeping quietly serene in this hectic spring and letting your residential Mid-Century jewels float by, like this place. A marvelous early 60s home, jutting out from its precarious slope with a straight line. Whilst inside the neat update compliments and keeps so much original joy in every room; the astoundingly mint-condish inbuilt timber cabinetry, cupboards and flooring, the banks of windows on each side allowing for cross breeze in the hot summers, the stone detailing, fecund garden and of course, that dreamy pool. Even with a price on the higher end for our usual South Australian listings, there is no doubt this 60 year old home holds huge appeal to right here, right now.
A larger than life example of Marvellous Migrant Melbourne Modern, though this time it’s across town in the MCM death valley of Balwyn North. The usual checkboxes here; noted architect of Jewish extraction Ben Alexander, commissioned by similarly observant post-war business success story, G Szalmuk (whom upon a quick Googs seems to have been a very generous fellow with several schools and medical centres around Melbourne bearing this name) and with interior craftwork by the MMMM regular Dario Zoureff. All of this said, there is really only one word to describe this breathtaking 1970 home of large proportions and joyfully elaborate interiors: BOSS.
This one-and-only has been under the watchful eye of a few locals and it’s now on the market. Built c.1958 by one Murray Lovell, it echos the aesthetic of Robin Boyd and gang who were busily designing such homes on the other side of town, such is the simple pavilion layout with walls of northern windows and segments of sensational feature brickwork. The rarity of this Mid-Century Modern home cannot be understated, with the Victorian Heritage Database declaring;
‘Aesthetically, it is significant as perhaps the only example of a postwar Modernist dwelling in Hobsons Bay.’
Indeed in a suburb known for its olde-timey housing stock and maritime vibes this lil’ darling is the only Mod in the village.
With this sale comes plans for a second story, apparently sympathetic to the existing design, though with 3 bedrooms and lovely eastern yard a spit away from the foreshore, we think it’s a perfect downsizer or small family home just as it is.
This astoundingly beautiful residence (apparent in a trifling 3 images) was built in 1963 and will hopefully get the blood pumping of someone who can love it the right way. Though faced with an insipid sales pitch banging on about ‘creating something special’ or ‘dedicated renovation’ we defy anyone with a brain to not see the existing allure of this home and treat it with the deference and delicate touch it surely commands. The interior is basically a cover of ‘Houses; magazine already, why o why must people mess with that?
The broken record skips once more. A gorgeous Mid-Century home. Solid as a rock with impossible-to-replicate features inducing parquetry floors, timber beamed ceilings and walls, flawless cream brick walls, sensational kidney pool and entertaining space out the back. With the same ol’ tone-deaf pitch; subdivide! S.T.C.A! build a magnificent home you’ve been dreaming about for years!
Of course what Sam and Chris fail to acknowledge and what we keep having to remind them and their ilk is that this, right now, IS the magnificent home may of us have been dreaming about for years.
In the recent tradition of local, illustrated architecture street guides comes a new offering from WA and the first in the forthcoming series. ‘Built Perth’ by Tom McKendrick and Elliot Langdon is a satchel sized, hardcover publication containing gorgeous illustrations, maps and histories of 50 selected buildings which lay in our western capital. Not meant to be a ‘Top 50’ but rather picked as the most affecting, most arresting or in some cases the most passed-by landmarks in the local streetscape, ‘Built Perth’ offers a lovely, accessible guide to many examples of the cities architectural footprint, including of course some ripper Mid-Century Modern examples including the Perth Concert Hall and Iwanoff’s Paganin House (which as you may recall rose pheonix-like from the ashes a couple of years back).
Written and illustrated by trained architects, their intelligent eye and beautiful artwork make this book the perfect gift for the MCM lover in your life (remember Chrismas is but 3 months away!).
‘Built Perth’ was released this week and will be available in your most frequented indie and artsy bookshops as well as directly from the publisher.
A big SOS in the sky has been sent up by Baumaris Modern for an exceptional, unsullied gem whihc is on the market and in the crosshairs of developers with dollar signs in their eyes. This beautifully simple, perfectly orientated, super clean-lined residence designed by Beauie local (and notable architect) Charles Bricknell* was built c.1958 and absolutely deserves a second shot at life for a small family ,or couple, or single who loves guests. As Beaumaris Modern attest:
“Perfectly sited on the block, the large north facing living and dining room was flooded with warm winter sun with an outlook to a delightful private garden……… It is beautifully designed, with living areas facing north to a large garden. The house has a central core with bathrooms, laundry and kitchen. The three bedrooms face the front garden. The house features full height windows, timber panelling, original ‘Beco’ light fittings, a double sided open fireplace, hardwood floors in perfect condition (under the carpet) and a carefully considered floor plan.”
What say you Melbourne MCM househunters?
*Join Victorian Modern on FB and find out more about the architect’s life and work here.
In our continuing tradition of motel alerts comes this textbook example of Mid-Century-on-the-road family accommodation now sadly facing demise. Much like earlier options we have listed, we believe (perhaps more than any other) that this classic U-shaped motel, in a beach-tourism mecca, centered around a large pool courtyard with incalculable retro charm has the chops to be reborn with sympathy and celebration. One only has to look at accommodation sensations like the stunning Beverley Laurel Motor Inn in Los Angeles or The Burrard in Vancouver to see just how a considered rebirth of a central motel can add intangible cool and immediate desirability to solid Mid-Century foundations, which this particular motel has in spades (starting with their very name ffs!). We’d assure anyone with the backing and nous who gives Sunset Strip Motel a bold and Modern flavored rebirth, perhaps with an Aussie twist (A welcome pack of twisties and XXXX 6-pack in each room maybe?) would see the hipsters and the nostalgic of all ages come running from across the country. C’mon Southern Queensland – show us you can be more than bland 90s interiors and 4 star aspirations!*
*Brisbane’s Hotel Callie a singular exception here.
Thanks to Alistair of Dr Retro Housecalls for the historical images and Christ Osborne at Brisbane Modern for the current day ones (check our Rolodex for the links to both!), it’s even better than we imagined!
Nothing so neat as this straight-as-they-come beauty in the Brisbane mecca of MCM of Kenmore. A picture of Mid-Century purity with minimal meddling in the past (perhaps a more suitable kitchen in time?) this is an excellent shot at a cool and clean Mod home with gorgeous lines and elemental character therein.
**Update** This one (with thanks to our own Rolodex culture site MCDA & and its admin Steven Coverdale) has been revealed to be none other than the work of MCM sunshine god – John Dalton reportedly built c.1965 for a Mr U.l.Davidson. The most recent work from this legendary architect we showcased was the incredible ‘Roberts House’ . Both of these homes remaining examples of Dalton’s accomplished and elegant design ethos, though this home today is much more intact.
Yet another slice of Marvellous Migrant Melbourne Modern, this time from Cezch-born WW2 émigré Robert Roch for the Jewell Family (c.1969) displaying once more the lavish craftsmanship and no-expense-spared stylings of our new, Mid-Century Australians, their old-world sophisitcations and progressive intellects. Where would we be today without them?
(Hint- not drinking a good Sunday morning coffee for starters.)