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.

Under the Tree

As the retail panic sets in, a few delicious tidbits for loved ones or maybe yourself (you’ve been very good this year right?) have fallen into our line of sight, well assured to delight the MCM nerd of any household. Take a look.

First up, a brand new book which gets to the heart of why Mid-Century Modern architecture remains so close to ours. “An Unfinished Experiment in Living: Australian Houses 1950-65″ by London, Goad & Hamann investigates the deliberate move to building for living in a contemporary community with the re-evaluating and upturning of concepts around construction traditions, family, nature and our unique climate zones. Using some of the best domestic buildings of the era to support their conversation, these three heavy hitters of the Australian architectural intelligentsia revisit these homes (which span the entire country) which continue to promote progressive, innovative and downright exhilarating concepts to their core, and prompting the ultimate, underpinning question: what happened to such a bright new world of thought and design?

“It puts forward new research founded on the premise that the most significant houses of the 1950s and 60s represent an unfinished and undervalued experiment in modern living. Issues such as the open plan, the changing nature of the family, the embrace of advances in technology, the use of the courtyard, and the orientation of the house to capture sun and privacy, were valuable and critical lessons. This book is a compelling reminder of their continuing relevance.”

Indeed and amen.

 

Now for those with a more stocking filler budget, especially those of the Sydneyside and/or visitors to the uncrowned capital the Footpath Guide crew have also recently released a new series focusing on thereabouts. Three new titles are there for you to take and use as a delightful walking companion, educating yourself on your own built heritage. They cover: “Sydney The Rocks 1815 – 1950”, “Sydney Inter-War 1915 – 1940” and of course our fav “Sydney Modern 1950 – 1990”. Get yours while there is still time and hit the streets this summer!

The Rumpus Room

Athleisurewear as once seen in rumpus rooms, patios and bars across the nation (The Sun newspaper, Sept. 29th 1983)

Conjurer and ferryman to Australian suburbia of the 60s, 70s and 80s, Tim Ross has recently released a new book on the very subject and is now travelling the countryside with tall tales to accompany it. Although late to the party, we’d like to remind you there is one such show coming up in Melbourne this Monday night, with additional special guest star Lucy ‘Design Files’ Feagins. We suggest you get on down to Northcote town and if you cannot then at perhaps buy the book and float away on a tide of childhood ratbaggery and long gone places revisited, which in our estimation may include but not be limited to; dinged ping-pong paddles, boardgames (we’d put our money on Mastermind, Test Match and Uno), murder in the dark, backyard cricket, Malvern Star bikes, Pong, trampoline injuries, pool ponies, stripey carpet*, EON FM, scuffed lino, bbq snags with coleslaw, swap cards, Wizz Fizz, Chicko Rolls, Adidas Romes, young parents holding banquet parties and children completely unsupervised for days on end. Oh what a time it was to be alive.

*you know the kind – the short loop pile carpet with a different stripe of colour per row – if anyone can name that for us, we be most grateful.