4 Prowse Ave, Balwyn VIC

It’s not uncharitable to state that The City of Boroondara, a council which oversees the changing fortunes of the traditionally sedate suburbs such as Balwyn and North Balwyn in Melbourne, has at once presided over some of the richest pockets of Mid-Century Australian residential buildings anywhere in the country and seen to it that an unholy amount are destroyed. And destroyed too in the most harmful way, not for better contemporary designed projects of medium-density living or more engaging streets/spaces, but removed in the unceasing construction of monuments to obscene wealth and avarice  – overblown, nouveau riche, McMansions, with nary a tree in sight, which ultimately have rendered the entire area an abject loss. BUT there are survivors which remian, and this is one of them. How long it can hold on for is up to you and us to spread the word and perhaps salvage what remains after this suburb’s wretched recent history. We hold out & we hope.

‘Dixon House’ 4 Carrigal St, Balwyn VIC

A breathtaking lesson in the downsize; elegant and pristine in presentation, simple yet totally Modern in its considerations for light, lifestyle, materials and space. Designed by architect Frank Dixon in 1974 (whose work you may recall here) for his father as a retirement/downsizer next door to his own family home in the quiet (at the time insipid) streets of the now unstoppable MCM abattoir of Balwyn. Suffice to say we do not have a robust enough collection of superlatives to lay with sincere reverence at the feet of this beauty, and must defer instead, as with all the best ones, to the images. Click and drool kids, click.and.drool. 

Many thinks to Steven at MCDA for finding this one and the indefatigable Simon Reeves at Built Heritage for the history.

24 Palmer Ave, Balwyn VIC

Like some kind of state-side dream from the pages of Atomic Ranch, this sleek yet modest home is of a pure MCM line, (any ideas on the architect behind it?). So simple in its design, ensuring maximum light and airflow, it is dotted with tell-tale signs of the more intelligent and informed building of its era; masses of windows, beam horizontals, timber feature walls, rending it timeless in the way only the best Modernist homes are. As with our previous two listings, this too gladly requires negligible work to move in and enjoy – hooray! And yet still the sales pitch suggests knocking the whole bloody thing down. Tori and Stewart, just because it’s real estate 1-0-1 doesn’t make it compulsory in every sales pitch you know, sheesh!



28 May St, Balwyn VIC

Ticks all the boxes – immaculate, original, A1 orientation, solid, pared back, of superior construction and, of course, a suggestion to tear it down in the last sentence of the agent blurb. They just can’t bloody help themselves.

1 Carrigal St, Balwyn VIC

We know we have something special on our hands when the agent does not mention ‘redevelopment’ or ‘STCA’ once in the sales pitch for one of the most developer coveted suburbs of Melbourne. Classic era. Beautiful design. Masterful construction. Mint condish. C’est magnifique!