2 Bellaire Ct, Beaumaris VIC

In a landmark street and from a local legend as Baurmaris Modern gives us the rundown:

“10 acres of land was purchased by developer/builder Max Sachs in the early 1960’s – the land had been a chicken farm. Max shared his office in Brighton with architect, Harry Ernest and built many of Harry’s houses in Brighton and Caulfield. The flat roof houses in Bellaire court were designed by Max to have ‘interesting floor plans, courtyards, swimming pools and good site orientation as well as new building techniques’ . Max built all the houses on a concrete slab and incorporated ducted heating into the slabs. Max said, ‘Its hard to achieve a good floor plan under a tiled roof’. Max worked with an amazing Dutch brick layer, ‘he was the top of his class with exceptionally clean brick work, with deep raked out and square ironed mortar joints’.
The houses were built between 1963 and 1968.”

This immacualte and very intact residence is a true artifact of our Mondernist Australian heritage. Who here would like to live amoungst it all?

‘Dearie House’ 14 Cromer Rd, Beaumaris VIC

When we walked the blossoming spring streets at Beaumaris Modern Open Day one weekend ago (next year everyone – just do it!), little did we know one of the stunning examples for perusal would soon be hitting the market. ‘Dearie House’ designed by architect Kevin Knight c.1953, thankfully survived as a local classic for decades unchanged by the same family and now been sensitively renovated by its second owners. With the hand of architect Matthew Green (who now runs his own shop, OMG Architects) this humble and delicate MCM home of stone and timber has been reborn with a fittingly scaled addition of a kitchen, master bedroom, living spaces and stunning landscaping (and pool!) to finish. It is the respectful dovetailing of form, 60 years apart, which we encourage and foster here (most specifically in our MA Rolodex) as it reiterates that the design principals and choice of materials utilised within a Modernist progressive mindset remain steadfast and timeless. Having set foot here not 2 weeks ago, we cannot fully impart how beautiful this home is, though the excellent photography (kudos agents) offer a slight indication of its allure. Get on it peeps and join the enclave down Beauie way, they’d always love another one of us.

‘Holderness House’ 17 Nautilus St, Beaumaris VIC

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.

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.

‘Abrahams House’ 372 Beach Rd, Beaumaris VIC

And here we find ourselves again, at the residence continually eddying in the simmering centre that is the heritage V developer cauldron of Bayside Melbourne. We have listed this absolutely sensational residence of pedigree and prominence at least twice before. Twice before thinking its time was nigh and twice before making the call for a true Modern warrior to set to work within the beautiful lines and materials created here in 1961 by architect (and leading firm partner), Arthur Russell. It transpired the last buyer was not so – putting forward a sub-divison plan which (to our minds thankfully) failed, leaving this home surviving yet another round of the Modernist wars. With this development ‘loss’ in mind, the growing band of Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts growing exponentially and a rich vein of creative couples families and solo masters available to marvellous Melbourne; we again put out the call for a deserving buyer. We’re posting some pics from its first sale years ago to whet the appetites and fire the synapses of those who know true Modernist beauty (and location) when they see it. Sure it is tired. Sure it needs love and care. But it is a grand, unbending survivor which should finally receive the recognition and restoration it deserves and which is so brutally denied to many others in the ‘hood.

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.

Big Night Out – Let’s Talk MCM Heritage Panel with MA!

Image: Buchanan House, by Wolfgang Sievers, Pictures Collection State Library of Victoria.

 

The Australian Heritage Festival, brought about by the National Trust in conjunction with interested organisations from across the entire continent is on the horizon. With the theme of My Culture, My Story as the focus you are able to take part as a presenter or participant of over 1000 events; from Botany Beyond Banks in Bentley(WA), Heroes and Villains in the Hunter (NSW) or  Deadly Didge ‘n’ Dance on Palm Island (QLD) as mere examples –  there’s too much to take in. That said, dear readers, we know why you’re here so please indulge our own trumpet serenade with a very special Melbourne Modernist event happening on Thursday May 17th in the MCM bosom of The Beaumaris Bowls Club:  Let’s Talk MCM Heritage – An Expert Panel Discussion.’
Proudly presented by Beaumaris Modern and featuring the astute executive director of Open House Melbourne Emma Talford as moderator, we shall navigate the questions, conflicts and opinion with a panel of some serious heavy hitting locals including master architect and educator Peter McIntyre, renowned academic and author Philip Goad, accomplished architect and presenter of Grand Designs Australia Peter Maddison and…….us. The Legend, the Professor, the TV star and MA – it’s all very Gilligan’s Island and with drinks at bowls club prices and red-hot passion for Mid-Century Architecture on the table who knows where we’ll end up!

Tickets go on pre-sale, then regular sale, next week (top tip- if you join Beaumaris Modern you can get the pre-sale tickets and cheaper!). So keep your diaries marked and the babysitter locked in for a chance to say hello to us and a host of like minded others on one very special night in a May – see you there!