4/70 Orrong Cres, Caulfield North VIC

From the Wonka-esq derring-do of Holgar & Holar (stilts and feature brick and arch forms – oh my!), the no-expense-spared tradition of the Bagel-Belt homes and in an era when high/medium density housing was more than just a cynical ‘wealth creation’ exercise – comes this 3 bedroom residence in the sky. Although far more tame inside than we were hoping – it is still a goody, with a north/south orientation enveloping the width of the building in an ingenious curved floorplan (see the listing for the plan – sadly our hosting platform has nixed that image for the time being) typical to some of the best landmark apartment complexes in the Australian MCM canon. A joy to behold.

Listing

 

 

‘Kurtz House’ 82 Lumeah Rd, Caulfield North VIC

Take a deep breath Modernist Australians as we dive headlong into one magnificent compound which is not merely a privilege to view, but stands as a gloriously intact example of the work from architectural legends old and new.
Built in 1973 for estate agent Solomon Kurtz (and family) it is the work of Holgar & Holgar, the husband and wife architect team much idolised by MCM aficionados for their lavish take on what Modern architecture in its most elaborate residential form can be. Forging another tale from Melbourne’s proud european influx past with Helen Holgar’s life story, from participating in the Polish resistance and Warsaw uprising in 1944 to creating homes like these decades later a veritable Cate Blanchett Oscar vehicle, their domestic resume is an exotic procession of bold white arches (always those sensational arcs – their signature motif inside and out), horizontal planes, detailed brickwork and sweeping entrances. Their interiors eliciting squeals and exclamations not regularly visited when describing Mid-Century architecture of note: opulent, eastern-influenced and wild (once agin we offer the rare advice to check the agent’s video – there so much wow ignored in these photos). Drawing a grin from even the purest Modernist and flat out adoration from their fans, discussion on Holgar and Holgar recently reached fever pitch in the wonderful FB page Victorian Modern, led by architectural consultant extraordinaire Simon Reeves (not just your usual fanboy/girl page people – join today!) who held an almost month long ‘Holgar-palooza’ in August and who, among many other observations, discovered the Blake Edward’s vision of 60’s Hollywood Modernism, truly does rest with our Holgar and Holgar.

Recently it has been refurbished by the local dream team of Kennedy Nolan, who it appears have gone full Liberace, bringing the bazaar and taking it up a notch, which proves a fun versatility and deference for the original architects, as their own work is generally far more natural and understated (in the most lovely possible way of course).

Okay, enough from us time for you to enjoy dear reader and just know that this house is one for the ages. Party on.

Listing

3 Labassa Gve, Caulfield North VIC

A typically splendid home in the heart of Melbourne’s bagel belt. Showing all the attributes of European Modernism as translated into post-war Australia, we have no doubt this would be a magnificent living proposition; generous spaces, elegant and expensive materials, features of dramatic flair – water feature, tiled pool and cabana (is that a sunken lounge room?) and craftsmanship seemingly lost to our contemporary building practitioners. Its a crying shame then that none of this is photographed nor valued as anything more than a side note to the dreams of knocking it down. Dazza it is time to re-evaluate what you have here, and what is could be once more – the wheels of commerce can still revolve bringing these residences back to life at the same time offering some deserved respect the remaining housing stock which came to us from the intellectual dreams and masterful hands of our Mid-Century migrants.

Listings

32 Crotonhurst Ave, Caulfield North VIC

Over the years we’ve had many prize homes come up in the Caulfield area and we have discussed it as the eye of a Melbourne Mid-Century perfect storm which saw to so many Modernist homes come into being – predominately due to the settling of European diaspora post WW2 and the new lives, wealth and aesthetics they proceeded to bring and build upon in the Southern Hemisphere over the next 60 years. We have always relied on finding many lovely examples round this way, mostly kept within the same family and thus safely untouched for generations, but this one? This one is the best we’ve ever seen!
Where to begin? Of course there are the beautifully generous flow through living spaces, the flat roof, the wall to floor windows and demure yet stunning entry all suggesting a brand of European sophistication far surpassing the cream brick 3 bedders the rest of the city was building at the time. But what really took our breath away was the details  – that cabinetry and the sheer beauty of craftsmanship you’d struggle to get practitioners for these days, let alone pay for. That carved front door and wall dividers. Those built-in lounges complete with turntable and sideboards. The sheer curtains. And our favourite – that magical, carved Y-motif in the bathroom to bedroom dressing table. Incredible.
We had been contacted by the family to say this was their late grandmother’s home and very original. What a stellar woman she must have been to first build this legacy and maintain it in such order 50 years later so as to present as if built yesterday. We would dearly wish for this home to remain whole and not be subject to the pitfalls of some nasty renovation with it’s heart and soul woodwork sliced up and dished out to the numerous retro furniture stores of inner Melbourne. We know many of you, once looking over these images will feel exactly the same. Long may it stay, intact and as stunning as ever.

2/420 Dandenong Rd, Caulfield North VIC

Some properties in our endless search strike a chord instantly. They are pure goodness, places we’d buy in a heartbeat and do very little to. This is one of them. Simple, easy, elegant spaces crafted for living. Caulfield, you’ve done it again.