Introducing the Modernist Australia Rolodex!

After many years in the pipeline, today we launch the Modernist Australia Rolodex!
For a long time we have received weekly requests seeking help in MCM sympathetic renovation and building, Concurrently we have noticed a lack of spaces for you to find cohesive information to locate materials, trades and expert advice with an MCM bent. Within our listings we have always encouraged robust conversation about the whats and wherefores of Modern craftsmanship and preservation, so the time has come to not only talk the talk, but provide a positive and easily accessable point for you all to make the best choices you can with your own MCM project. 
The MA Rolodex is a finely curated, Australia-wide resource for only the most proven businesses with a Modernist design ethos, history or sensibility. This includes, but won’t be limited to:
– Architects
– Builders
– Pre-fab & Project Home Plans
– Interior Designers
– Craftspeople
– Tapware, tile, brick, timber, fittings, flooring and fabrics.
– Furniture and the vintage marketplace
– Lighting
– Landscaping

There is also space for auxiliaries such as architectural historians and preservation organisations. 

In placing all of these professionals together on The MA Rolodex we provide a connection between possible clients and professionals in a simple classifieds tradition with digital ease. 
In the coming months we’ll release The MA Rolodex Companion, a written guide on all aspects on the building and renovation process, design, materials and histories to help you along. Ideally (and if you all can play nice) there will also be forums in the future.

We welcome any appropriate business or institutions with a proven passion for Modernist ethos and/or Mid-Century flavour to contact us about coming aboard!

Let’s Rolodex!

Open House Melbourne – MA picks

Melbournians! Open House bears down like a runaway train and the city is ready to show her hidden treaures and frilly architectural undergarments to a curious throng. Here’s a tiny sampler of the choicest Modernst Australian-infused picks (though we’d be partial to pretty much anything on the building/exhibition/concert menu this year) and let’s hear a cheer for a highlight of the year – huzzah for Open House!

First up is wonderful heritage stalwartds Prof. Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad presenting a floor talk at football o’clock (2pm saturday arvo)  walking us through thier new book ‘Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design’ and also dovetailing exhibition (for free!) presently on at the Melbourne Uni School of Design, ‘Australia Modern: from the iconic to the everyday.’ Discussing the genesis of this book with associated histories, homes and (possibly juicy) anecdotes, you could not be in more genial and enlightening Modernist hands.

‘Australian Modern: From The Iconic to The Everyday’  – Floor talk Saturday 27 July 2pm. Exibition 22nd July – 30th August.

Next up, a trip to the movies with the Open House month-long program for a collection of interviews and archival material from some of the greats of Melbourne’s Modernist architecture story including, but not limited to Daryl Jackson, Graeme Gunn, Phyllis Murphy and a fresh new view hearing from one of the lesser name-checked architects, Dione McIntye. As stated;
“You are invited to a special screening of the 2019 Modern Melbourne extended interview with Dione McIntyre, a University of Melbourne architecture graduate in the early 1950s, accomplished Melbourne architect, and Peter McIntyre’s business and life partner.”

‘Modern Melbourne’, Thursday 25th July. Booking essential.

And now a subject close to our heart with the public viewing of a landmark apartment building which stands sentinel of what we call ‘Marvellous Migrant Melbourne Modernism’, Edgewater Towers in St Kilda (c.1961). Presiding over Mid-Century Melbourne’s bohemian beachfront, start of the bagel beltway and concentrated cluster of some of the most majestically designed and crafted residences in the nation. With its 13 shining storeys, this urbane tower is a burst of high-density sophistication unseen in this sleepy outpost until ushered in by our European diaspora with names like Mordechai Benshemesh, Harry Seidler and Neville Gruzman. Tres chic. Quelle Magnifique.

Edgewater Towers, St Kilda. Saturday 27 July 10am–4pm, with tours on the half hour. 

To finish, we go West where the future lies and the suburbs venture to the horizon. Here we have the council chambers for the City of Hobson’s Bay (c.1963) through which we see, in its optomistic, science-focused outlook in architectural form and engineering, a still utilised for original purpose building to this day. That is a rare feat for a local public building in an embryonic suburb at the time. 

Hobson’s Bay City Council Chambers. Open Saturday 27 July 10am–2pm. Self guided visits.

Skippy’s Home Sweet Home

Photo by Brett Patman at Lost Collective

A building block of our cultural psyche, the illusory Waratah Park and its super Modern headquarters which had been lying idle, slowly being reclaimed by Duffeys Forest forest, has caught a break this week. Otherwise known as the homebase for the Hammonds: Sonny, Dad, Mark, token girl Clancy and the main event  – erstwhile, crimefighter macropod Skippy, this building was centrepiece of many childhoods spent in front of the box, burning a subconscious imprint of low-slung, stone-walled Modernism into the mindseye of an entire generation of Australia. In actual fact only intended as a set, the indisputable Mid-Cenutry cool of this building never really left us, and now with the push from the local residents association and Aboriginal Land Council has recieved some starting dollars to get its rebirth as a pop-culture and Indigenous centre going! Think global act local – isn’t that right Skip? 

BTW to itch your Skippy nostalgia scratch we highly recommend the full movie –Skippy and The Intruders’ (1969). A warm-hued burst of 1960s Australiana; the clothes, the lingo, the eye-brow raising wrongness – a sunny, childhood heads of the coin to the Wake in Fright tails, if you will. Our fav moment? The16 min. mark melding hot tips for cooking abalone with some rather stange subtext about men and earrings – tee hee!

Hospo Inspo

Every couple of years or so, amid endless residential offerings online we chance upon something more substantial, a specifically more commercial proposal than a domestic one in the form of a classic Mid-Century motel. The recognition and romance of the Australian motel has been creeping up for many years (generally in the minds of those reaching a certain middle age who now find themselves unnervingly the responsible adults in the room) and has been duly enjoyed in recent events such as the Ok Motels mini-festival (5 stars – would go again) and the current Tim Ross show and new book, ‘Motel’, mining similar cultural bedrock. 

Image from ‘Motel’ by Tim Ross pub. 2019

We at MA, in our tireless goading of you all, have oft championed the idea, much embraced in the USA, of taking a potential though perhaps rundown, Mid-Century Motel and breathing new life into it – celebrating its past, its design, its invariably holiday-esq location and spinning a hip narrative within a hospitality venture. You cannot deny that The Saguaro Palm Springs or Austin Motel (for example) aren’t onto an easily exportable and attractive variation for our own Australian stockpile of untouched 50s/60s motels just sitting offside the M1. And indeed there are a few intrepid Aussies getting their game on here with the Warburton Motel Yarra Valley and The Sails Motel Brunswick Heads for starters, but there is always room for more!

The Austin Motel, Austin TX

So today, for your consideration, we propose The Blue Dolphin Motel on Mid-North Coast NSW. Not to be confused with Robin Boyd’s Black Dolphin Motel in Merimbula,  this unadulterated classic 1960s motel with incredible beach/river location, impeccable Mid-Century lines and 22 rooms is just gagging for someone to seize the opportunity and transform a dormant business with a sketchy recent past (you can goog that yourselves) into a MCM infused wonderland. You need bucks. You need a plan. You need an exceedingly catchy eye. And you need to set a hospitality standard which will keep the kids Instagramming and coming back time after time, but as Brian Wilson asks – wouldn’t it be nice?

‘The Blue Dolphin Motel’ 6-10 Fraser St, Nambucca Heads NSW – MA listing

 

Iwanoff captured – an exhibition.

Perth Modernists this month is yours, for as well as being able to peruse a current Iwan Iwanoff residence on the market in Menora, accomplished architectural photographer Jack Lovel is holding a celluloid celebration of the man and his works, opening on the 20th of this month! Get on down to There Is Studio in Northbridge to see ‘The Architecture of Iwan Iwanoff – through the lens of Jack Lovel’  for 10 days only.

“The Architecture of Iwan Iwanoff – through the lens of Jack Lovel”
There Is Studio
49 Stuart St, Northbridge (Cnr. Fitzgerald St)
Open 10-3pm daily
June 20-30

 

The Flip n’ Fail

Every so often we allow ourselves the indulgence of savaging the current state of Mid-Century homes and the obsession of mass-class renovation within this ‘flip’ market. While sellers’ aspirations may now be forced to move down a gear (who ever knows the future?) one thing we do know is the parade of irksome examples in which bespoke originality, warmth of materials and bursting potential is wilfully destroyed in place of ‘consumer-driven’ neutrality and feckless banality continues unabated. 
We suppose on some level we should be happy that this Frankston home (of admittedly poor condition at time of sale 4 years ago) is still standing and structurally the same but we cannot help bemoan all the missed chances to make the interior a delightful expression of home and hearth using its original materials without resorting to a tiresome snowbound theme, wiping out all traces of inbuilt joinery and exposed brick (original light fittings not withstanding) and which in the process has changed a lovely Mid-Century residence into just another display house of overarching dullness. 

Before

After

That said, that common garden variety ‘renovation’ isn’t nearly as offensive as this next abomination.

Imagine having the financial power (a lazy 3.5 mil in this case) to purchase a wildly designed, miraculously cantilevered waterside residence. Architecturally alluring and bold, built in the form a french curve with a swimming pool and entertaining at its heart, as listed here by us some years ago. 

Now imagine having no ability to conceive of refurbishment without ignorantly clinging to the most repellant hallmarks of commercially driven ostentation, pathetically confusing it for elegance. The result is here – a gangly mess of severe surfaces and depressing schema of metal, grey and ice contrived to appeal only to those with Patrick Bateman depths of sociopathy and other empty vessels for whom prescribed, high-gloss and over lit ‘luxury’ (but worthless liveability) is a deeply misguided yet viciously contested goal. And yes, they’ve filled in the pool.

This once lovely home of unlimited appeal and transcendent form now simply a cold mausoleum, a blockish monument to the worship and display of ‘capital’ at the expense of everything human, everything felt and heard and experienced.
We suspect a ‘make over’ provoking such visceral recoil purely from the online images feels like a house of clinical horrors in actuality and hence it comes as no surprise it’s been sitting on the market for quite while now. C’est la vie.

 

TEASER – In order to address this chronic problem in future and offer practical alternatives to this frozen pandemic, we’ll soon be launching a new aspect to Modernist Australia  – a companion and resource to locate the right practitioners and products to help anyone in their quest for sympathetic home renovation and refurbishment. Keep your peepers peeled people!

A Boyd night out

Ever wanted to pop into Boyd’s legendary home in Walsh St? Perhaps wanted to say hi to us? Well tomorrow night you can do both as we venture into the weeds of ‘Midcentury Modernism in a Post Ironic World’ – the third instalment of the Boyd Foundation’s Heritage Speaker Series as part of the ‘Robin Boyd Centenary of Design’ year long celebrations.
We are honoured to sit beside heavy hitters Debbie Ryan, Adele Winterage, Erna Walsh forming a quartet of Melbourne design lady-power and talking all things Modernist, irony, trend and identity. We would love you to swing by and join the chat, so come on over!

Post irony is a term used to connote a state in which earnest and ironic intents become muddled – is modernism simply a trend on repeat or does it have deeper connections to modern living?

Post-Ironic Modernism – Heritage Speaker Series #3 

Wednesday 16th May 6.30 – 8.30pm
@ 290 Walsh St, South Yarra.
Tickets can be bought here.

The art of Australian Modernist suburbia

With the rise of Mid-Century Modernist architecture in the wider cultural gaze of Australia and our recent past, it comes as no surprise to see a dovetailing ascent of such buildings as the subject in Australian fine art. The results show up in the galleries and socials, with varying degrees of acumen and creative skill.
The beautiful paintings of Eliza Gosse, to our minds, are a lovely example with her architectural background informing the arrangement and lines, and the washed out tonal quality of her painting a distinct reading of memory and reminiscence.
Presently the artist is working toward a new exhibition (slated for this August at May Space Gallery) which will depict Australian MCM homes of suburbia coupled with quotes of childhood recollections, in a set of wry and engaging works.
Below, a few examples have been imparted to us for a sneek peak. 

The artist is currently seeking more homes and stories within her intent:
“… to humanise these buildings and raise awareness for the place they have in Australia’s history.”
And so to those of you lucky enough to have spent formative years in a swingin’, savvy or simple Modernist home across the country, here is your invitation to contact the artist and possibly have a little slice of your own MCM history documented within a work of art and collection of of stories.

*Eliza Gosse is here, contact her with your great tales of MCM childhood homes.

A warm welcome to AGA!

You may have noticed a new image pop up on our site in recent days and it’s with warm salutations we welcome Architects Group Australia aboard the good ship MA. This Melbourne based organisation is a collective of registered architects offering services such as consultation, reports and/or drafting within a transparent, fixed-price arrangement. For whatever project you may have be it residential or commercial AGA offer a simple and direct access architectural expertise within your individual budget.

And  FYI – if these kinds of services and practitioners are what you’re looking for to complete that special MCM flavored renovation, dream build or historically sensitive refurb then stay tuned – we’ll have very big site news in the coming weeks!

Robin Boyd – A Centenary of Design

It would be very remiss of us to not remind you all about the entire year of celebratory events the Robin Boyd Foundation has locked and loaded in for 2019. In celebration and homage for Australian architecture’s largest luminaries, in what would be his 100th year (if he hadn’t exited the building far too early) this long-play birthday party includes everything from house tours, topic expert speakers, exhibitions, films nights, concerts, commemorative stamps (did you get yours?) and discussion panels (perhaps including a special guest appearance from us!).

Boyd’s enduring and expanding legacy is reflected in this program with a myriad of community partners coming onboard to help celebrate including Parks Victoria, The National Trust, Australian Institute of Architects (Vic), Melbourne and Monash Universities, The State Library and Open House Melbourne and in varied locations from ground zero at his Walsh Street house in South Yarra to Shepparton, Koroit to Sydney and Adelaide.

Over the coming months we’ll be cherry picking a few of these events to highlight in detail. But in the meantime, get over to the Boyd Foundation’s dedicated program page, peruse the offerings and book in before it’s sold out.

More runs on the board!

We’d like at this juncture to give a shout out to all those MCM home purchasers out there who spotted their new beloved on Modernist Australia and had the conviction, passion and (in some cases finance) to take it all the way. We love hearing your tales and knowing that we, all, as a collective of appreciators, are making a nice dent on the market and subsequent preservation culture of Australian Modernist and Mid-Century streetscapes.

We’ve already taken a bow over (and booked ourselves into) the astounding ‘Fender Residence’ which is set to enjoy a comeback on all the design and housey media henceforth (keep an eye out for the fancy mag spreads near you).

“We’ve been following the Modernist website for many years now, we actually found our home on your site – we’re forever thankful and love what you do.” – Katie, owner and restorer of ‘Fender House’

And speaking of pedigree Melbourne homes, another ripper has also been snapped up by an MA + Charles Duncan enthusiast, the gorgeous, virtually all original ‘Reade House’ – that’s some most excellent news right there!

“Hi, after seeing the Charles Duncan in Briar Hill on your FB pages I arranged to go with two friends to an open for fun and viewing pleasure……..Thrilled to let you know that one of my friends (who adores her leased Charles Duncan) is buying the one in Briar Hill and not changing a thing, thank you, another one saved and in adoring hands” – Caroline, MCM trooper.

 

Next up is one which set hearts afire just this past month gone and we know there will be a bunch of jealous peep out there, but nonetheless Northumberland Rd in Pascoe Vale is now off the market and in very safe Australian Modernist hands.

“Thanks to this page – we will now own this incredible home! We weren’t even in the market for a new home, but when this original beauty was posted- and being in such a great family friendly location, we had to have a look! Then one by one we fell like dominos for this house- first my husband and I, then our kids and every single family member since. We are looking to retain the home largely as is- as it’s even more breathtaking in reality. The original owners are looking to pass on the original history of the home along with some of the artwork and furniture to us. It’s an absolute dream come true- we never thought we’d own an original mid century home. After being married in at the Robin Boyd Welsh St house and honeymooning in Palm Springs- it will be in good hands with long time mid century fans” – Nicky.
 
 

Now time to hear form a seller, rather than buyer and for all you agents reading this – check out what beautiful MCM design, shown respect and duly celebrated can achieve- nothing short of an usually quick sale in the relatively remote regional town of Armidale, NSW.

“Thank you for listing our MCM house. It has sold in 6 weeks, in our small country town where the average sale period is 18 weeks, to a young Midcentury aficionado for a good price……..The sale video gained 11,000+ views on facebook for a house in a town with a population base of 26,000 people, so there is enthusiasm out there for modernist design.Your efforts bear fruit! Keep up the good work.” – Lyn
 
 
And really there is nothing more reassuring than contact from an owner of a home we felt for sure was a goner, such as this sculpture-like salute to Mid-Century beach ‘burb design dating from the early 1950s………
“I am the new owner of 9 Sydney Road, Warriewood – a house featured on your site. Wanted to let you know I was given the plans from the owners as a present when we bought the house. They were tendered in 1953 / 54. 
We are very happy with our purchase and while we do want to make some minor changes we will try and keep as much of the house similar to what it is now.” – Jo, owner by the beach
 
 
And finally, just sometimes all we need is the cheerful word from a neighbor with a keen eye……
“I enjoyed your post on 703 Stedman Cres. I live next door to it. Shes a real beauty. I can find out the architect from the new owners as they have all the records. Luckily the new owners love the old girl and her original features so I don’t expect any render!” – Alister.
 
Love it Alister!
Love it all to bits!

Canberra Modern is back!

The closest we get to Palm Spring Modernism Week, in terms of celebrating our own MCM heritage en masse with plenty of home tours, guest speakers and cocktail mixers to loosen our learned minds – Canberra Modern – is back! Starting next week (13th April – 5th May) you’ll have so many choices to make. Do you set out to absorb the indigenous, Modernist housing dream in situ at Urambi Village with the architect himself, Michael Dysart as guide (we listed a home in sister development Wybalena Grove just last year)? Do you get your fash on with the Marion Hall Best exhibition or Marimekko talk (oops – already sold out!)? 

Do you check out Rosso in full suburban flight in his Design Nation show? Or (our particular fav this year) get on the bus and stop at Canberra’s collection of iconic Modern bus stops with artist Trevor Dickinson? In any case, and with any MCM taste, there is a little somethin’ – somethin’ for you all and we’d suggest for East – coasters a road trip should be in order to really soak in all up (along with a dirty martini or four at Robin Boyd’s Manning Clarke House c.1952).
Check the website for the full program and ticket purchases and remember after all there’s no Australian Modern quite like Canberra Modern.

The Paganin House phoenix on ABC TV.

Everyone’s favourite architect ’bout town, Stuart Harrison, walks onto the box tomorrow night in a triumphant return of ABC’s Restoration Australia. Triumphant because he’ll be profiling the remarkable rebuild of Iwan Iwanoff’s masterpiece – Paganin House – which as many of us sadly recall was reduced to ashes back in 2015, while its proud owners were away on holiday. For all intents and purposes (and perhaps apart from the current fight to save the Sirius Building) this is the most dedicated effort to preserve a piece of Australian Modern history we’ve witnessed, a truly jaw-dropping effort of money, passion and grit.
So tell everyone you know from fellow MCM fans to all those interested in the usual commercial dreck of ‘renovation’ shows to the aspirational devotees of Grand Designs, for this one episode shall blow them all away. 

For those of you more inclined to imbibe their Australian Modern in the aural, rather than visual, fashion then click here for a 10 minute interview with Stuart Harrison and owner Tim Bult.

Restoration Australia (s.2), premiers tomorrow night, Sunday 17th March at 7.40pm. And will be available thereafter on iview for your viewing pleasure, at a time of your leisure. 

Another loss

Shattered we are this morning to see the report from Beaumaris, where one our absolute favourite, architect designed and immaculate houses we listed back in 2016 has been knocked over to make way for townhouses. See our original listing here.

 

To say nothing of those magnificent mature trees and landscaping.

All of the beautiful and lost artistry of joinery, tiles, fittings as well as the valuable timbers have not been retrieved.

All is rubbish. All is skipped and bound for the tip. And the more all damned we are for allowing a society to become so feckless and wasteful.

Congrats to the lucky ones!

We always adore hearing the success stories, the validation of goals here at Modernist Australia and the relief of knowing a deserving listing has landed into loving hands. And often we are super jelly too, such in the case of the killer in Kanofski St, as new owner Michelle advised us joyfully of their purchase……

“We’ve been meaning to email you for months to THANK YOU for alerting us to the auction of this modernist gem in Brisbane via instagram – which we bought!………We wanted to assure you that since we have moved in, NO surfaces have been rendered white, nor anything removed or destroyed……. We connected with the original architect on auction day and he relayed a good deal of the history to us (he designed it for his parents as an architecture student in 1969) which we shall dutifully document over the coming years… “
We also have a second shout out to Modernist Australian, Olivia, who let us know that they are now the proud owners and soon to be renovators of the elegant Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag.
 
Huzzahs and thank goodnesses all round! And please – let us know of any more!

Xmas Wishlist #1 : Beaumaris Modern book

The rise of Beaumaris Modern, the preservation/celebration community residing in primo bayside Melbourne, has been a heartening development in the recognition and fight to secure our Australian Mid-Century Modern legacy. In just a couple of years this passionate gang of go-getters have evolved from appreciation website to local activists to open house & festival organisers extraordinaire. We’d urge anyone across the country who see their own patch being deformed by poor planning, negligible heritage assessments, unchecked ‘development’ and ignorant (and/or venal) councillors would do well to contact the leaders at Beaumaris Modern for a pep talk, direction of how and where to take the MCM fight and also when to spare negativity for more inclusive celebration (flies, honey etc).
The next stage of their increasing footprint is in-print with the timely arrival (for all your Christmas needs) of ‘Beaumaris Modern’ an absolute stunner of a publication. This lovely and sizeable book is a walk through some of the best residences in the Victorian crucible of MCM talent, and man-o-man what homes! A collection of cherished residences from the likes of Robin Boyd, Mockridge Stahl & Mitchell, Martin Sachs and David Godsell with in depth descriptions from BM lead, Fiona Austin, with contributions by Alison Alexander, Built Heritage oracle Simon Reeves and impeccable photography by Jack Shelton and Derek Swalwell, all delivered in the confines of sleek, hardcover, Modern graphica.

You can peruse and purchase a simply limitless number of flickable tomes about MCM design from overseas from UK Brutalist public housing to Fire Island Modern to Case Study Houses but it sure is nice to have comparably beautiful publications about our very own backyard and design heroes. As Molly says; do yourself (or the archi nerd in your life) a favour and check it out.

‘Beaumaris Modern’ will be released on the 1st December and is available for pre-order now.

Chancellor House II- under demolition.

We’ve just received the news from Keely (bittersweet thanks) that the magnificent Chancellor House II, yes David Chancellors own family home which he designed himself c.1957 and rebuilt again after a fire c.1970 (and which we listed last year) now has cyclone fencing around it. It has a demolition permit approved in City Of Whitehorse register and (surprise friggin surprise!) a permit approval for 2 dwellings. No doubt these two townhouses will be some of the most innovative, well conceived, architect designed and crafted homes of already assumed historical value to dovetail beautifully with those majestic, 50 year-old trees which we are sure will be left standing, cooling all as summer fast approaches and keeping the green suburban character alive, ultimately ensuring that the destruction of such a fine and livable example of our influential architectural heritage, materials and design will not be in vain.

Or maybe not.

White Australia Policy

Australia, we have a white supremacy problem.

We have witnessed with a keen eye the rise of home coveting (of which we can certainly take part blame) and ‘improvement’ to the point of fetishisation. We’ve seen the ascension of a privileged class of ‘designers’, cum lade graduates from the school of ‘I Saw You Coming’, a veritable flock of stylists over substance whose modus operandi is of very limited scope and can be best expressed in the the following terms: Antique, Vivid, Whisper & Natural. It’s time to put the brush down.

Arh! Our eyes!

As Australians we are quite rightly addicted to light. Those who have spent time in autumnal European climes will have pined for the brilliance of even a mid-winter Hobart sun. It is piercing, it is warmth, it is magnificent. Going full Trump we’ll happily state: we have the best sunlight, the best. In this knowledge and also knowing the role natural light plays as a defining feature of Modernist design, Australian Modernist homes have reaped the rewards. Other homes which have paid no heed to such elemental foundations and which continue to rise today in greenfield estates across the nation have instead embraced white as a way to bring extra light into the build. Refreshing older modest or mediocre homes generally involves a paint over of white. Thousands, perhaps millions, of kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms have been de-dagged with white tiles, paint and surfaces. To this end and within trend, this is maybe not such a bad thing. The bad thing occurs when white takes over. When it becomes the default. When not only average homes are snowed under, but also those with beautifully considered places of shadow and dark. Where cheap and nasty surfaces smother and destroy original raw brick, natural timber and coloured tile because of lazy, mass-market ideas about white supremacy, instead of carefully considered concepts of dark and light and material interplay.

34 Yarraville Rd, Kew (a Robin Boyd Home deformed into unrecognisable white space)

The plain truth is we are starting to have our retinas burned by blanc. Cosy spaces of depth being turned into Wonkavision studios. Elegant rooms ever changing with the sun’s rotation transformed into static labs. White is clean and sleek but it can also be cold, impractical, hard and above all, not the intent of the original architect and/or owner. Sometimes it’s just not the vibe and should it never be forced, and right now we believe it requires en masse restraint.

Fern Tree House by McGlashan Everist (c.1969) illustrates gorgeous dark and light and the irrelevance of white interiors.

Light is essential and the use of white in interiors can be magical but trends come and go, materiality plays a role and darkness is not something to shunned out of hand. We like to see those who call themselves professionals and/or ‘influencers’ in the world of home and interior design check themselves, understand the nuance of white and dark and work to curb the white walkers mindless advance. What say you Modernist Australians?

Modern Events pt 2. “Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston” at Heide

Next up on the event trail is a new exhibition about to open that MCM progressive laboratory, known otherwise Heide, tracing the life and work of our most celebrated designer couple Grant and Mary Featherston.
‘Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston’ (showing 30th June – 7th October) will display an all encompassing selection of work – not just the famous furniture but also promotional design, sculpture and photography and offers a wonderfully documented take on the Twentieth Century evolution at a local level, showcasing the creative lives so inspired and what it really meant to be ‘Modern’ back in the day.

Modern Events pt 1. “Mid Century Modern Curated” at Outre Gallery

For those of you wanting to take your love of all thing Modern outside a while there is a bouquet of MCM focused events coming up to pick from (sorry Australia, they are all in Melbourne for some reason). What better time to experience primo winter Melbourne; coffee, handsome folk in warms coats, endless music, bowls of warm pasta and this? So, get out there gang and rub shoulders with your fellow enthusiasts, who knows what you might learn or who you may meet!

First up – this Friday night our bosom buddies Outre Gallery are opening “Mid Century Modern Curated”, a multi disciplined and many faceted ensemble of Mid-Century Modern artworks and designs. Including original futuristic lithographs by designer Syd Mead, Alexander Girard wooden dolls, Mid-Cenutry Australian architectural renderings and a very special selection of original Scandinavian painting and prints from sister space – Gallery Midlandia. Get down there, enjoy the surprises and perhaps find that singular piece for your little Mod home.

 

Architectural rendering by Harry Divola (Australian) early 1960s.