‘Courtyard House’ 4 Staddon Close, St Ives NSW

B&W images by Max Dupain

Pettit and Sevitt project homes of the 1960s and 70s are a staple here for us and its always a sight for sore eyes when those familair mission brown beams and white brick walls float up on a feed, this example however is a cut above the usual. ‘The Courtyard House’ was a design by Ken Woolley (but of course) for the company c.1965 and was compleated in 1966 as part of their second display village, one of ten domestic architecture dreams presented for consideration to the post war public as an indigenous, enlightened response to the needs of the emrgeing Australian lifestyle and climate. And as it did then, it wows us today with a considered inside/outside floorplan as the original village brochure attests:

The house encloses the courtyard on two sides and brick walls enclose the other sides. Living, kitchen and bedrooms all face the courtyard, even the roof slopes towards it emphasising its relationship to all rooms”

This residence is textbook parade of P&S trademark elements which endure as the best Mid-Cenutry Modenrism always does – the beautiful painted masonry, tile and timber and thanks to only two dedicated owners it is in spendid condition, with elegant gardens of harmonious plant selection.
Photographed in the mid 60s by Max Dupain and part of the 2014 Sydney Living Museums Iconic Houses Tour, where Ken Woolley himself walked the admiring throngs through this home, discussing his design, himself moved by its marvellous condition.  
Now is the time for the next chapter and new owner to take the reigns of this exhbition level home. A new cusotdian to love it and keep it as it has been for the last 50 years, seeing through the next and enjoying every living moment its simple yet affecting design affords.

‘Pettit House’ 5 Coonah Pde, Riverview NSW

Already in a successful partnership building the Australian modern project home legacy that is ‘Pettit & Sevitt’, architect Ken Woolley and the Petitt’s then collaborated for one very personal vision – the family home. Displaying many traits of the architect, as seen in their set house plans (though obviously opting for varnished pine over mission brown stained internal timbers) this very large and primo positioned home looks to have undergone a few updates in recent years, though nothing which couldn’t be stripped back (is that render?) and brought more in line, elementally, with the unsurpassed pure Sydney gorgeousness of its native environs. 

50 Condover St, North Balgowlah NSW

The second Pettit & Sevitt to close out the day, this one a tad smaller than the first, yet even more original in its interiors, with nary an alteration made since first built in 1968. Not a surprise really since it has been one person’s, singularly cherished home the entire time, only now is it facing a new future. Fingers crossed this one too snags the caring owner and subsequent tending it so acutely deserves.

Example two. C.1968. P&S design number -TBA.

PS – For more Pettit and Sevitt chit chat, restoration help and owner pride – check out the ‘Pettit and Sevitt Owners and Friends Club’ on social media, from the good people at Secret Design Studio……..

9 Hill St, Austinmer NSW

Hark! Those of the Pettit & Sevitt project home persuasion today we bring you not one but two large, hillside, split level family ramblers. Each all original (apart from a little guff & fluff – easily removed). Both a little tired yet busting with potential for a full restoration by some loving hand. And both of them, by the looks, needing to be sold as estate wind-ups. We say – jump in! For we can just feel it in our bones that the more ‘the average Australian’ paints gorgeous timber white, renders raw brick into aluminium grey and replaces every inch of our native earthy, mid-century homes with a high-gloss shopping mall aesthetic, the more these faithful, original wonders rise in value and grace. 

Example one. C.1972. P&S design number -TBA.

78 Duneba Dve, Westleigh NSW

A fine Mint Slice. Deep mission beams outlining expanses of cream walls, an intelligently considered set of spaces and flow through, a purely late Mid-Century expression of the Australian lifestyle (that bar tho!), all in exquisite condition. The purists and P&S fans in particular will be hyperventilating over this Ken Woolley designed beauty (The ‘Lowline F’), but really who shouldn’t be? Yet another in our top 10 hit-parade of magnificent homes this week and one we’d be seriously scrapping for, if in close proximity.

255 Humphries Rd, Frankston South VIC

Petitt & Sevitt project homes are usually spotted in the bush hills of Sydney, looking for the most part like the mission brown beamed and white walled original gems that they are (like this gorgeous little rental for instance). Today’s example however is a bit more on the epic side of things. In the secretly high-end ‘burg of South Franga, home to many jaw-Mid-Century sprawlers, this one sits pride of place in its own compound of joy and although it’s had a white out, tack on and marble up and diverges from the gumnuttiness of it’s Sydney origins, it is still a inspiringly straightforward and light home.

Note – For more P&S love, and in keeping with the growing movement to celebrate and preserve MCM homes in this country (hooray!), take a look at a rather new ‘Pettit and Sevitt Owners and Friends Club’ on Facebook.

PS – The agents might want to note that not long departed Ken Woolly (vale) was an actual person.


47 Pioneer Road, Sheldon QLD

Another stunning bushland acreage with a slightly gone-to-seed home therein. This one just out of Brissy and holding a strong 70s, mission and cream toned, timber beamed, Pettit and Sevitty vibe. Once again so much potential here to clean it up and make it a Japanese tinged refuge amid tropical birdsong and frog blips.

**Update** ‘Tis indeed a Pettit and Sevitt! A ‘Lowline’ design from Ken Woolley (c.1969) no less (though very altered from the original plan).