Cottesloe WA

The second of the Cottesloe rental finds, this one a bona fide, pedigree, never-before-sold-or-leased rarity by Perth’s own MCM legend, Iwan Iwanoff. Not that you need us telling you that  – the quickest of glances here shows off the man’s trademark, Aztecian blockwork before you even get near the threshold. And like yesterday’s example, this too fills us with unmitigated joy at not only finding a true slice of Perth Modernist architecture, but one sustaining nil damage in the form of poor, prior renovations. From what we understand, this has undergone an intense refurb yet is remains completely loyal to Iwanoff and his unrestrained, European fair. The dark timber detailing, walls of concrete grey and white (an unusually appropriate use of the dreaded blanc – to our minds) and beautifully veined stone, echoed in sections of marble. Topping off the glory is the residential version itself – perhaps the only ‘townhouse’ the master designed and built, again unusual for an architect whose primary language was voluminous family residences.
MCM sandgropers, this is at least worth a gander (if renting is out of the question) as it’s not often such hitherto unknown examples of your own design legacy open their doors.

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


‘Frank House’ 5 Patula Place, Menora WA

Almost exactly 2 years ago we listed this Iwanoff beauty and here we go again because we’d never shirk the opportunity to show it off for those who may have missed it the first time. Very nicely refurbed and impeccably furnished it reaffirms the timelessness of classic Australian Modernist architecture in presenting as the kind of home which could have been built last year, rather than 50s years ago in 1969. 

For more Iwanoff goodness, check the upcoming Iwanoff photography exhibition in our news spot. 

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. 

‘Booth House’ 59 Oban Rd, City Beach WA

Though, to our minds, not exuding either the early, simple elegance of his 1960s projects, nor the wild, dynastic richness of some later landmarks this 1970’s commission by Iwan Iwanoff (extended by the man again in 1973) is still acceptable with its low-slung, Palm Springsy vibes, albeit blanded way out. The feature pool area and those towering pines out front, a layer of extra delicious icing on a pleasant MCM cake. 

‘Wright House’ 24 Dilkara Way, City Beach WA

The Land of Iwanoff has rolled to the top of the Faraway Tree once more and when we climb up this time we find a beautiful, slightly more demure (if that can be said of Iwanoff) example of his wonderful domestic collection. Proudly flaunting that architectural heft of form with block masonry details drawn from civilizations long gone, use of beautifully grained timber, wild pendant lights, split levels and a continuous, low-slung ceiling inside ensuring this home stays cool as a Tanqueray soaked cucumber in Perth summers, this home drips with some sensuous late 70s essence (and if that office doesn’t have a pussy-bow blouse dress code, we’ll be enforcing our own). Bonus joy is to be found in the additional the seamless-yet-separate granny flat to one side making this this a very special, possibly inter-generational, architectural beach side residence.
PS – Any historical details of this one floating around peeps? Original owner? Year built? It’s all a bit of a mystery……..

**update** Many thanks to the brains trust including Steven at MCDA among others for answering the call – dates and name updated accordingly.

Lind House win and some losses

A quick post today to acknowledge the great win for MCM heritage in Melbourne by the adding of Anatol Kagan’s Lind House to the Victorian Heritage Register. This was due to the City of Glen Eira not taking a previous Heritage Victoria recommendation to not place it on the register lying down. No siree! The council in a simply unheard of move decide to submit their case contrary this assessment to the Heritage Council of Victoria and with the masterful work of legit Modernist Australian hero Simon Reeves (Kagan know-it-all and consultant-cum-savior of so many MCM homes gone before) won the day!
Now not to take away form this giant killing win by these civic Davids (Glen Eira Council also take a bow!) but we must stress that you, dear reader, have played a major part in this victory too. For we see every other day homes of similar value to this one turning into dust (as per below), a major difference in the Lind House situation was publicity. This house and its imminent demise were broadcast far and wide across all channels: papers, magazines, the radio, blogs and Facebook pages aplenty and without this groundswell we wonder if the council may have been on board to save this slice of MCM housing with such gusto.
Suffice to say it steels our resolve to get it out there, to share and share alike, to kick up a stink to point out that which deserves to remain standing. We think we all should learn from this and live by the quote on diligence from The Shawshank Redemption “From now on we’re gonna write two letters a week, instead of one”

Now back to reality with the other kind of acknowledgement. The sad kind. The one which boils blood and whacks us (as stick not carrot) into action. We had notification last week from reader Carl that the wondrous Star-Warzian battlement of ‘Gandolfo House’ (Architect David Godsell c.1975) which was sold last year has been razed. We have no doubt that whatever wedding cake island of vulgar mediocrity which replaces it will be a forgotten and pitiful footnote to the legend this little patch of Toorak land once held.

Adding to the tears was the demolition of another smaller Iwanoff home, we neglectfully did not post at the time. which sold for a measly 1.27 million and yet was still seemingly only good for land.

And a final heartbreak – a report from a good mate that his glorious childhood home in sunny Bracken Ridge, a house which excited a lot of fans far and wide has been virtually demolished. According to a local report the pool has been filled in (this is Brisbane we’re talking here, who the f*ck does that?) and the house all but knocked down. Some images to jog your memory. Vale.

Iwanoff destroyed

We cast a wide net on MA with some listings clearly on a higher plain of architectural merit and build quality than others. One such home which we prized as being on this higher side and indeed on par, we think, with the early forays of Boyd and Seidler was this classically beautiful Iwanoff we listed just one year ago.

The news is, as you may have guessed, miserable – it is gone. With bittersweet thanks to Chandra for this update and photo and in the words of the messenger, it was sold out of reach for 1.5 million dollars and subsequently wiped off the face of the earth.
Good going Perth, you just erased a standout home from one of your most celebrated architects. You pack of vacant-eyed,Trumpian philistines.

13 Minora Rd, Dalkeith today

‘Tomich House’ City Beach WA

Hooray for Iwanoff! The master pops up yet again, this time in the form of his lesser known, but typically hog-wild commission in white – ‘Tomich House’ (c.1971). Though we are crying out for even a small peep at the interiors, we’ll have to make do with externals presenting us with a landed castle spacecraft of time-slipped Mayan aliens. Wowee!  Presently the home of Fashion doyen Liz Davenport (maybe the reason for lack on inside shots?) it was bought upon first stepping foot inside, like so many other brilliant examples of Mid-Century mastery, just one walk through and it had to be theirs.Similarly she explains it’s easy cleanability – what skill to create a statement residence all together practical enough to not require a cleaner yet bold enough to turn every passing head. We can only imagine the kind of fever-dream awaits one lucky new owner inside, and wish them happy travels in their own satisfyingly standout Iwanoff craft.

‘Madaschi House’ 53 Shannon Rd, Dianella WA

Like a finely carved, Prussian blue, gold filagreed grenade lobbed across the country, Perth reminds us once more that they are home to one of the most outlandishly exotic, Eastern Euro architects in the history of Australian Modernism, (perhaps only Holgar and Holgar in Melbourne can compare) as Iwan Iwanoff’s ‘Madaschi House’ (c.1970) is now on the market. One of a small collection of highly prized, statement residences which (rather uniquely) manages to capture the imaginations of cashed up mansion seekers, Mid-Century architecture nerds and those in between and is perhaps the reason they remain standing, well preserved and now celebrated, when so many more understated works of Australian Modernist architects (even Iwanoff himself) have found their fate at the wreckers ball. This wild ride, though palatial in its decor and spaces (sunken lounge rooms – is there really anything better?) it is far from it in layout – a mere run-of-the-mill 2-3 bed, 2 bathroom job which is nigh on perfect for today’s smaller household requirements whilst steadfastly not giving an inch in the glamour stakes. Perfect all round for those of a certain bravado, including of the Perth’s ‘arrived creative class’ as the blurb likes tell us – tee hee! Speaking of the official listing, our only gripe in this case is the janky photos – geeze guys, way to drop a sitter. This landmark deserves better.