‘Brindley House’ 273 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag NSW

Back to business this morning, serious business. Not wanting to get you excited but we are confident it will be one of the best homes MA will post in for 2019. Situated (where else?) but the NSW spiritual home of Modernism, Castlecrag, with its architectural history noted in the local newsletter alongside the men’s shed and tennis club open days (hey preservation battlers – there’s an idea) and appearing in government commissioned heritage reports, architect John M. Brindley devised and built this residence as his own in 1955. New owners took over in the mid 60s, added a little extension to the front and that, dear friends, is that. As such this sale seems to be an estate wind up and the home is undoubtedly a little tired and wanting some love (yep there’s a pool under that ‘decking’ out front.) Subsequently the campaign is a rather limp affair with unforgivable photography requiring us to resort to video stills to convey the magic. 
Now, the term ‘Palm Springs’ is as exhausted and abused as we, the voting public, are in this federal election campaign however here it is applicable and if your Mid-Century desires run toward elegant, low-slung homes of glass and white walls and sensible living/sleeping wing division and you’re a sucker for a lush lawns, feature palm trees, poolside crazy paved patios, service courtyards and winding long drives leading to carports then this dear readers, is one for you. Furthermore if you can afford all the extras of higher-end living including wine cellars and bajillion dollar views and this highland-toffy address, yet have the integrity against the stereotype of talk-back listening, developer donating, opera-house advertising, Sirius demolishing, anti-intellectual praising, cashed-up Sydney philistine then get up there and get your paws on a contract. We shouldn’t have to make such a case, this gorgeous segment of waterside MCM divinity should be heritage listed but we’re as usual it’s suspected not and it will be up to one of us to swoop to the rescue. And though the expense is large (impossible for most) the personal reward for doing so is immeasurable. Protect this house and the process save a sliver of your architectural soul.

114-116 Exeter Rd, Croydon North VIC

We can’t quite believe there’s yet another lil’ A-frame looker in our midst, but here we are. Though externally it’s passable and nothing that some better pool fencing, landscaping and a coat of paint couldn’t instantly improve (pool is A1 of course), it is inside where the true joy shines through; wonderful timber ceiling and walls, solid parquetry, not overly white washed walls and that beautiful little, boho galley kitchen (tip: keep the fluorescent bulkhead lighting – warm white fluro tubes are a thing & a revelation). Positioned on the hill to take in the north and with a very sensible (and rather large) floorplan, this A-frame is way more considered and  year round livable proposition, not simply a dream weekender. That said, this part of Melbourne soared to incredulous heights in the real estate boom and is now slowly is deflating before our very eyes, we are still worried that this little patch ain’t long for the world. Still too many spivs still in the Dandy foothills. 


‘Oxlade House’ 2 Ridgehaven Dve, Bellevue Heights SA

Another 11th hours sale! You have less than 30 mins. to get in and snap up this freakin’ c.1970, wonderland of Modern-meets-Scorsese-set in the suburbs of Adelaide. And what sensational 70s awesomeness has been idling under our radar here?! Those impossibly wide, mid-west ranch exteriors, the Brady Bunch split levels, architectural timbered ceilings, original pendant lights, wall reliefs & built in planters and a to-die-for cocktails-in-chiffon frocks pool area and all in seemingly immaculate condition. Though we may be a little late on promoting the possible purchase, there is always time for a little dirty rock n’ disco-infused daydreaming……..

1A Lewis St, Kingsville VIC

Before the priced out youngen’s started their inevitable migration over the Watergate and burbs like Seddon, Kingsville and Footscray were still the domain of the original working and migrant population, we’d staked ourselves a little slice of inner west and this home was one of two Mid-Century touchstones we held dear. In a region verily untouched by postwar freestanding homes we’d consistently monitor on the driveby and in tandem – this large abode not just across the road and the little green fella. And may we declare that the owners of this rather unassuming residence were a beacon to us in terms of preserving such a local rarity. Not least with that button-bright green paint job but when we saw they had installed ti-tree fencing we lost our minds with delight – these were obviously people who know what they have and how to make it work. Finally getting a peep inside we can see the Mid-Century joy continues and is celebrated over and over with a wonderfully pared back but full retro flavour throughout. All in all – a perennial charmer, still evoking the grins. 

3 Keraboite Crt, ‘Kerboite Gully’ Mount Eliza VIC

An unrivalled bushland bonanza of no ordinary origins here but rather a c.1975/76, mint condish Merchant Builders/Graeme Gunn colab within their planned mini-estate of Keraboit Gully. You can read the full intent in the original sales brochure here. But below is a taster

The Concept. We don’t think of Keraboite Gully simply as “a development”. We think of it as a planned community of individual houses, where every detail- will contribute to an overall sense of harmony. Our principle aim is to make the most of the natural environment, and. to offer an attractive and workable alternative to the monotony of conventional development.”

How utterly familiar in intention and spirit this is to anyone taken by contemporary architect-led developments of higher ideals* (over simple return for financial investment) in this day and age. How trailblazing and yet sadly so cast by the wayside these concepts have been for the last 40 years!
Owner, Richard, has done a considered job of keeping this marvellous example of late Modern project housing intact with the a modest kitchen update merely reinforcing how such an aged residence remains timeless and seamless with its elemental materials and deference to the environment. We’d like to assume the new owners take on and embrace the similar spirit and immerse themselves fully in this home’s shining success in tranquil, comfortable and elemental bushland living.

*And if great architectural/development groups reading this want to branch out into regional Victoria to continue this particular bushland, lower density housing legacy – we’re on board – just sayin’.

50 Condover St, North Balgowlah NSW

The second Pettit & Sevitt to close out the day, this one a tad smaller than the first, yet even more original in its interiors, with nary an alteration made since first built in 1968. Not a surprise really since it has been one person’s, singularly cherished home the entire time, only now is it facing a new future. Fingers crossed this one too snags the caring owner and subsequent tending it so acutely deserves.

Example two. C.1968. P&S design number -TBA.

PS – For more Pettit and Sevitt chit chat, restoration help and owner pride – check out the ‘Pettit and Sevitt Owners and Friends Club’ on social media, from the good people at Secret Design Studio……..

9 Hill St, Austinmer NSW

Hark! Those of the Pettit & Sevitt project home persuasion today we bring you not one but two large, hillside, split level family ramblers. Each all original (apart from a little guff & fluff – easily removed). Both a little tired yet busting with potential for a full restoration by some loving hand. And both of them, by the looks, needing to be sold as estate wind-ups. We say – jump in! For we can just feel it in our bones that the more ‘the average Australian’ paints gorgeous timber white, renders raw brick into aluminium grey and replaces every inch of our native earthy, mid-century homes with a high-gloss shopping mall aesthetic, the more these faithful, original wonders rise in value and grace. 

Example one. C.1972. P&S design number -TBA.

50 Helena St, Mount Martha VIC

An A1 class, beach house today in the tradition of the great, indigenous fibro and timber designs holding out in certain ti-tree enclaves, this one looking all the more prosperous with just the right amount of contemporary zhuxh to appeal to more than just us. Nothing to do here but move in for the holidays with your Uno cards, easter eggs and a good book, leaving the laptop behind. 

4A Wootoona Tce, St Georges SA

In our unceasing assessment of the lengthening parade of listing candidates, certain residences stand out with a tenour of such force it produces a rush to the mind, beat to the heart and fingers rapping with immediacy on the keyboard. This place is certainly one. Spotted just this evening on the essential South Australian MCM page thelocalmodernist, we drop all to bring it to you, like now. And you’ll see why. The drool-inducing spaces constructed with a feather-light 1960s convention of smooth brick, walls of glazing, bespoke joinery and (if you’re gonna get Kondo about it) acid level sparks of joy everywhere including but not limited to; ceiling tile, light fittings, crazy paving, carport, luscious sprawling gardens and that bathroom – reverberating across the nation with dreamfile inspo. And though not placed in the regular SA price range (which is generally between wtf!-inexpensive thru to still-achievable-bang-for-buck) we think it’s worth every penny. But let us not hope that some shyster developer thinks so too……

23 Windmill St, Tarragindi QLD

Cute as a button with a street name to match, we are a little surprised this one hasn’t been snapped up yet. Such a lovely little Mid-Century home, of splendid presentation and with plenty of scope to move in, improve it a tad or maybe not at all. 

21 Balook St, Lauderdale TAS

One owner. Pristine condition and more than your usual 1950s cottage going on here – some architectural chops on show for sure. And that kitchen? Wowee. So please peruse and enjoy another, less usual, Tassie treasure and start the week off right.

588 Macquarie Dve, Eleebana NSW

This may be a posterity post as local knowledge suggests waterside homes in this patch command a lot and the agent blurb doesn’t exactly fill us with a sense of security. Nonetheless we are sure you all, as we can, see the magical 60s pad this home once was and could be (with come deeply considered updates) again. Surely there must be a one or two cashed up Sydney refugees who have the means and nouse?

Cheers to Alistair at Secret Design Studio for spotting this one. 

57 Amy Street, West Moonah TAS

There’s a number of these little weatherboard groovers on the market in Tasmania right now but Amy is the most jaunty. Who can say no to that skillion roof, beautiful living with fireplace, Fonzie flat/rumpus downstairs, terraced garden beddery and all that retro joy of that kitchen lino and perfect ironwork pulling you in the front door like a fish on a hook. We know this little charmer is going to hit those who long for a bargain c.1960 pad with million dollar views, straight in the heart.

17 Milton St, Bedford Park SA

Yet another Adelaide sensation that the vendors/agents want to wash their hands of ASAP – so get your skates on! A bona fide bonanza of floor to ceiling glazing, beautiful horizontal lines, cream brick and garden of desire (oophf those soaring pines!) no doubt going for price in the realm of classic South Australian (read – ludicrously affordable). This slice of suburban gold is just one more nudge ending us ever closer to outright defection to The Festival State. 

Due props to thelocalmodernist for spotting this one.

13 Marloo Ave, Bawley Point NSW

We love a good A-Frame here at MA, with ‘good’ being the operative word as there really is any number of janky triangular constructions out there that’s for sure, this however is not one of them. Indeed with its ply ceilings, unmolested timber beams in full hewn flight and set within one of the many sea and treed bejewelled towns which dot the southern NSW coastline, this could be the fully realised boho hideout tucked within the minds-eye of many. 

125a Eastern Rd, Turramurra, NSW

From the outside this home sparks the curious eye with its dramatic roofline and carport, a clear sign of the late Modernist housing experiment. Though the kitchen cork and bench still whispers of earlier times, internally the once earthy textures, warm tones and interesting spaces have been corseted into a submissive Chanel No.5 smelling nana-villa – that 1990s cream and green cannot hold! That said the floor plan is the true winner here – a lovely flexible and secretly large design (loft!) and it wouldn’t take much to peel it back into a tranquil Sydney retreat of the most beautiful nuts n’ berry kind (if it can survive the bulldozer that is). 

4/25 ‘Lavewan Court’ Upper Clifton Tce, Red Hill QLD

We’ve been a bit a bit quiet on the apartment front (though not for lack of listings) so today for your consideration we have a blistering little eyrie within MCM apartment block ‘Lavewan Court’ a c.1961/62 local landmark by notable Queensland firm; Curro, Nutter & Charlton*. (For a little slice of primary documentation, listen here to Ian Charlton discuss joining the firm at the time.)
Upon investigation it seems this triangular statement in dynamic Post-War apartment goals, complete with arresting spiral staircase (just waiting for a musical song and dance number) and constructed in localised materials of the best Brisbane Modern, subtropical palette; clean cream brick walls, the white filagree of lattice and iron balstraude and a turquoise-pop features, is up for some new heritage recognition– hooray! In the meantime, Brisneylanders (ooh that’s a new one!) can snap this up and make it their own, with the apartment interior itself pretty much bare bones right now. Get in there and make it sing!


Thanks to Modernist Australian Peter for bringing this one to our attention.

19 Vancouver Ave, Panorama SA

Been online for all of 4 days and it seems young Olly and Braddo think that’s long enough before they’ll flog it off to the first quasi-interested party who sitcks their head in the door  – as the word on the Adelaide streets tonight says this one’s gonna sell before COB tomorrow! That’s right cats and kittens, before anyone has a change to fully realise (let alone inspect) the beauty and refurb potential of this wonderfull MCM home complete with killer pool and to sensational stonework, the boys are gonna fire-sale up and walk away with their fat commish all for 5 days work. We say – hell no! And have bumped this listing (over a few deserving others) just to get it out there tonight. So c’mon!! Ring the bank in the AM, have your cheque cut and ready to go by 2pm and sign on the line by 5 – for this is one hella good pick up which we cannot let slide into oblivion.