‘Roberts House’ 53 Orme Rd, Buderim QLD

Alright kids, take a deep breath and check. this. out. For those with the means and/or the dreams we have one of those rare (for Australia) residences with not only the pedigree, documented accolades, originality (aside from a some additions which can be remedied – that half-arsed ‘Balanese’ decor being the first to go) but also the location on par with of the best in the Mid-Century Modern world. A private subtropical lookout rivaling to anywhere from So Cal, Nor Cal, Mexico or the South Americas on which to commission a sensational, low slung, progressive design at the peek of architectural cool. Built in 1965, this large compound is a work by Brisbane architect John Dalton (a regular on MA as we have him here & here for starters) by Melbourne businessman Arnold Roberts. Though we don’t know his trade, suffice to say Roberts was clearly tuned-in with his era not only employing one of Queensland’s best architects at the time, but also Victorian landscaping figurehead Edna Wallings to set out the garden, a very interesting (and we are not sure how remnant) task, as we’re used to Wallings’ work of the bushland southern variety, but the tropical jungle scene? Not so much. But we digress, this residence was a show stopper from the get-go with a feature spread in Home Beautiful (which would well serve a new passionate owner as the best guide in peeling back some later changes and reinstating its stunning first blush) and remains a seriously breathtaking vision of architecture and location. We can already see the glorious lawn parties at sundown, bar by the pool, ‘Lujon’ on the player and light banter floating down the hill on the evening breeze……….sigh…….

PS- Big props to the agents here – with such a location this property could easily be pushed as a development op,  not so here and the inclusion of historical images commands some earnest kudos- bravo!

1 Ilma Ct, Parkdale VIC

Some down-home inspo for all us regular people out there today, to start the week off right. This is a good example of a within-budget refresh by owners who took over this c.1964 beauty from its orginal owner making some bright changes (including local joinery and pieces by our MA Roldex‘s own, Angelucci 20th Cenutry), whilst mindful of keeping its MCM essence. As they explain;
“……expanded the benches from 40mm to 60 mm to accommodate a dishwasher and induction stove, but put all the old doors back on. Also the old wall oven cavity is now a pantry. I polished some of the concrete floors, added new carpet that had last been done in the 80s.”

Nothing over the top here but rather a wonderful family home with some pragmatic yet fun updating, all ready to go for new owners who’d love their own little slice of Mid-Cenutry joy by the bay. 

8 Beresford Cres, Gympie QLD

Snapped up before we could post it here (under contract as of today) nonetheless we just had to show you. Existing on a regional plain which hints at Edward Scissorhands suburbia, if populated by slightly more nasally accents and triffle desserts instead of ambrosia salad, the sparkling clean retro charm of this one will draw a grin, no matter what. With a mad-as combination including, but not limited to: spotless brick hearth, timber room dividers, feature fronatge stone terrace, mint condish parquetry, spotless bathroom and backyard for miles. As we said it’s too late to grab it but never to late to click through and enjoy its inherent Mid-Century delights.

32 Glenard Dve, Eaglemont VIC

Nestled within the Walter Burley Griffin devised ‘Glenard Estate’ and just down the road from this Charles Duncan beauty we listed last year sits a similarly eye-popping residence. Though this one, a 1970s creation by architect Nicholas Griffin, is in such remarkable condition with the non-apologetic splendor of its era on full show (check that kitchen and bathroom and you too will drop to your knees and believe) that it commands attention like no other. Such wonderful conceptional fusion of thoughtful design with the organic crunch of Australian indigenous Modernism familiar also to our legendary Sydney Schoolers, and revered local architects like Graeme Gun etc is veritable catnip to those of us seeking a physical touchstone of intelligence, nature and warmth in this, our ever-accelerating, mixed-up world.

4 Hughes Plc, Armidale NSW

An astounding find in, of all places, Barnyard territory. From the outside it has the distinct architectural mood of the Case Study Houses program, such is the low-slung, minimal forms and courtyard/carport dynamics at play. The inside, granted, is rather more ‘Midday with Ray Martin, though that’s nothing which couldn’t be lifted with some personal charm, colour and a ceremonial burning of those vertical blinds in the backyard.
It will forever keep us on our toes, the locations across the country where such interesting and genuine Mid-Century Modernist residential design pops up. The only downside to this is we would love to see it more geographically achievable for ourselves! 

4 Selbourne Ave, Rostrevor SA

We all know real estate agents get a bad rap but sometimes, just sometimes, that asessment is spot on. Take this residence for example, an incrediblly elegant, intact Mid-Cenutry home of rare architectural nouse. Now check the excrement planned to be piled up on the site, after the bulldozers have wiped any semlbence of this residence and accompanying garden. Blah.
Here’s a tip for free Alex ol’ mate; BUILDING DESIGNERS ARE NOT ARCHITECTS. Without opening up a Roman coliseum’s worth of fights over performance, snobbery and experiences, the plain truth is that what is being proposed here has no design merit whatsoever and is something AI could spit out if the imput data included the keywords: bloated, depressing, environmental ignorance & cookie cutter. And this is what you get when you equate a person with zero creditials and zero study of design somehow on par with those spend 5 years (and the rest) investigating the boundless discipline and history of architecture before they even start practising. And of course there are some sensational building designers, just as there are some godawful architects, but to not even understand the difference and the wildly varying degree in which design is understood and implemented by each suggests a kind of ignorance which would (in other fields) see the local mechanic design the new Tesla or the beauty therapist down the street to perform skin grafts (though to be fair, these professionals also require solid accrediation too, unlike self proclaimed building designers). 

Anyway, just a little something we wanted to get off our chest.

Someone please buy this gorgeous (and deserving-to-survive) house. 

 

8 Mayheck St, Tarragindi QLD

Shut the door and GET OUT.
Queensland has this year turned from intermitant scrapper to strongest in the field in the suppliying-us-with-sensational-listings stakes. This one giving us no Sunday rest with a trumphant presentation of boundless MCM joy we’re not sure which to coo and ahh over first. Is it the kitchen with outstanding, all original timber and lamiex joinery? The terrazzo downstairs flooring? The stright-as-a-die, overall built form of right angles comprised of flawless brickwork? The verndah tiles? Timber dividers? Lavender bathroom….the list is long and by jove it must not be messed with. Brisbane Modernists, we’ve given you a lot to aim for recently and if you’ve not landed anything as yet, then the fates declare this one must be for you. Hop to it. 

40 Mills St, Warners Bay NSW

Summer Bay? Warners Bay? Any bay is A-okay! Pack your spring suit (and your ice skates) and away you go with this stunning hidden gem in the trees. The clean 60s design, stone fireplace, blue kitchen and green tiled bathroom compleating this picture of affordable, adorable, Mid-Century regional living. 

3-5 Saint James Ct, Nambour QLD

While a lower part the country is dealing with an ice storm, we cast our eyes to the Sunshine Coast and this sensational, c.1968, never-before-sold (nor probably really seen) home on some beautiful acreage. In such wonderful condition, there isn’t a whole lot to do here and plenty to leave exactly as is – including those incredible ceilings and cork flooring. We’d would be inclined to reforest the grounds bringing back a little wilderness, then sit back in this breezy family retreat with the birdsong and breezes. 

22 Banoon Dve, Wynnum QLD

As they say in the classics (or is that the socials?) GTFO. This nugget of brisbane MCM gold has just bumped to the top, becuase as a desceaed estate and dubbed ‘a renovator’ by the agent (and what a watery pitch it is) sounds like it could easily fall into the wrong hands.
This. Must. Not. Happen.
Sure if your idea of ‘renovation’ is installing your collection of awesomely bold and swingin’ Mid-Century decor then that’s a fair ask as the inside has undergone a searing blanc-out which, though clean, baseline and not irreversable, needs some character to live up to the promise of its incredible exterior (seriously, if anyone messes with that…….*fists clench*……just sayin’).
‘Nuff said, pics tell you more. All we’re doing is sending it out to the internet ether posthaste and demand someone worthy get onto it, like now!

*With thanks to Modernist Australian, Michael, for pinging this one through and advising us of others in this row….

‘Loo York’ 156 McElhone St, Woolloomooloo NSW

Some are seduced by those who reside in steely, severe penthouses bedecked with typical, flashy baublery advertising the owners immense wealth accumulation with sledgehammer subtlety. Us? Give is this instead any day. Though also requiring hefty financial outlay this simple, 1 bedroom abode perched on a rare crux of natural clifftop and inner-Sydney action would have us weak at the knees if ever invited up for an etching perusal. A home not designed (nor furnished) to further the impression of power or intimidation that oft comes with larger banking portfolios, but rather a place built purely for the sensory pleasures of living – long outdoor lunches, reading in the winter sun, bare feet on Persian rugs and the toot of harbor tugs endlessly carried on the breeze. As such it comes as no surprise that Bruce Rickard, a man who led The Sydney School architectural ethos of placing such indigenous, natural and elemental pleasures front and center in domestic design, not only designed this residence but owned it for a time.
This singular expression of Sin City bohemia is as utterly desirable in its simplicity as it is rare and one which will not doubt have many of you (and us) hitting up the lucky shop for a ticket and a chance. 

68 Hart St, Colac VIC

I little regional delight, not so cutting-edge, enlightening in its overall design but moreso a charming little home, chock-full of jaunty retro appeal with plenty of room to improvise, improve and love it up. 

9 Dalrymple Cres, Pymble NSW

We started the week with Pettit & Sevitt, and here we go again. This one has been extended, though it’s such a sympathetic renovation done not long after the build that we cannot tell by the house pics which is what. – seemles. Never before sold and clearly loved for all of it’s 45 + years its first era is over and a new one awaits. 

76 Aldgate Valley Rd, Aldgate SA

A  major entry in the glamour stakes and something to get those juices flowing this Friday knock-off is this unbelievably beautiful 1960s home which has undergone, to our minds, a praise-worthy contemporary up-do. Though the ubiquitous white paint is a major player here it is gratifying to see the retention of those undeniably Mid-Century features which are so precious, yet so rudely discarded in the hands of lesser renovators, specifically the parquetry, stonework and timber detailing. Throw in acres of uninterrupted floor to ceiling glazing, butterfly roofline, promising landscaping and accomplished styling up the wizz-way and you”ll be humming Farnsey* unironically all weekend. 

*Level 2 earworm warning.

12 Marshall St, Ivanhoe VIC

This commentary is directed  to the agents; Dear James and Liz, we welcome this home onto MA for one reason and one reason only – the photography. Whomever you’ve hired to take these shots is a marvel of rare and precious talent. In less caring and skillful hands we would hard pass this house, even with its wonderful, all original furnishings and certain design elements, as the images to go with would most liekly be average. Instead these photographs you listed have transformed a tired family home, (albeit with a lot of gorgeous potential) into a Todd Haynes melodrama (ooh those bedrooms!) with us slobbering over every detail. We dare say that any interested buyers we attract your way will ask for simply everything thrown in (though we’d like to call dibs on the downstairs planter box for ourselves). The power of the image in an market these days is not to be overlooked and this unchanged, Mid-Century residence is a clear-cut example of marvelous sellability of the dream, despite present condition and age. 

9 Millard Ave, Aitkenvale QLD

To cite one of the most progressive expressions of Twentieth Century, western culture – Modernist architecture – a manifestation of all social and political facets slipping from their languid traditions into an exponential slipstream of change, in one of our regions regarded as least receptive to ‘the progressive’ (sorry Townsville – stereotypes be stereotypin’) may seem almost a reach. But here at MA, we know that the pragmatism and sublime satisfaction in fuss-free design of the 1940-1970s was appealing (and can be discovered) everywhere. Indeed a Goog-stroll down Millard Ave (and a look out the windows) reveals a veritable village of stunning, double-storey, weather-white, rectangle residences of a particularly Queenslander meets Internationalist hybrid. This beautifully maintained version is but one with popping retro detail (balustrade ohh!), open living/dining and large floor to ceiling windows allowing for essential air flow and of course the capacity to be enveloped by the incredible fecund greenery of tropical gardens (again – check some others down the street). With a pricepoint on par with old boots, this little surprise package brings the goods in many, many ways. 

1 Sussex Rd, St Ives NSW

For those who mood is generally set to: Brady and who are perhaps are looking (and have the means) for something pretty special in the leavy ‘burbs of Sydeny then, take it from us, you wil not see another of these for a at least few years – tis a rare bird indeed. A jaw-dropper of unassailable, untouched Pettit & Sevitt breathtakery; valuted ceilings, split-levels timber detailing, parquetry floors and a massive just-waiting-for-the-pool yard. We hold grave fears that this too, like so many others, could be turned out as a white, high-gloss abomination – so we’d beg those of you in the market: this one requires a (sensitive) lover like no other, do you fit the bill? 

35 Pine St, Brighton East VIC

This one has undergone a freshen up (in fact the whole block has by the looks of an old listing) though it’s super heartening to see the retention of most of the era- specific joy which makes this a ripper Modern city-living option. Still resplendant with that relief brick pattern, crazy paving and mosaic tile inserts on the exterior, with timber joinery and floor to ceiling windows inside (though the meddling and white-out of that killer livingroom wall unit is somehwat infuriating) it is overall still celebratory and yet another timeless testament to simple, considered design. 

16 Wentworth St, South Hobart TAS

Posthaste to the chiase gang, lest your knees buckle for this one, as the kids like to say, slays.
From the very outset the stunning timber and brick countenance with white window detail, to the interior skillion beamed living and considered expanses of glazing (bedecked with an awesome never-before seen chevron light fitting) is not only of an inconceivably spotless and original condition but is even furnished with a pared back simplicity which suggests a certain itegrity of the owner, all of which conspire to make this home easily the best Tassie contribution of the year thus far. As with the cream of the crop, we’ll let the photos mostly do the talking, but not without a warning that such unmolested originality must not fall into the hands of a self-styled renovator whose only concept of ‘improvement’ is to thickly apply white paint and cesar stone to any and any and all surfaces, as the the agent declares:
“it is unsullied by insensitive attempts at renovation and retains all of it’s cool, retro chic – characteristics that are so often sought out or emulated today, but rarely found.” 
Indeed Kim*, we are all with you on that. 

*Speaking of the agent we must make note here that the startling brilliance of this home is utterly matched by the learned and appreciative sales pitch by said agent, to which we give a solemn Orson Wells ovation – Brava!