3 Perry Crt, Kew VIC

Is this a fire sale? We’ve seen this one before (and frankly, though the house is unchanged, the old photos are way better). It sold less than two years ago for well above the current asking price. Hmmmmmmm. So, for those who missed it the first time cop a look at this Kevin Borland beauty with some fantastic joinery, all original (though they pulled up the olive mustard carpet) and ready for a new lucky so-and-so to snap it up.

‘Hardess House’ 1 Summerhill Rd, Montrose VIC

From Canberra fifties retro fabulous, to Queensland 60s party pad reborn, now we head down to Melbourne and what encapsulates our bastion state of academic rigour, leftie idealism and cosy retreats than a later era, truely Modernist home from an under-the-radar architectural hero and colleague of Kevin Borland; John Kenny. We have been contacted by Jen and Bill Hardess who are sadly parting with their cherished home after near 40 years. The story of their search to build way back and their engagement with John Kenny to produce this beautiful home (which won the architect a RAIA citation for its design) is in the Age article – do read it – for suffice it say  even in 1980 there was already a shuddering dismay over the nations turn toward mock colonial and gimmickry in volume housing which over the last 40 years has become a full-blown addiction. To further understand this home’s philosophical origins we’d also suggest crack open Karen McCartney’s coffee table bible ‘Iconic Australian Houses 50/60/70’ and on page 200 you’ll see Kenny’s own incredible home, built 4 years prior to this. So there we have it: a tried and true family abode, designed by a master and ready for a new chapter – who’s going to step up?

551 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell VIC

Real top-end-of-town Melbourne plus architectural pedigree here. A 1959 Borland and Trewenack (or is that Borland Trewenack & Brooks?) residence, though we’d love a little input from the Mod detectives out there as to its altered state and history (anyone?). In any event it’s a stunning home* for the more discerning millionaire, those who prefer natural light, seclusion and material integrity over grandiose Neo-Georgian bombast which increasingly blares from this blue-ribbon ‘burb. We can all dream.

*FYI the recent (and rather glorious) renovation is the work of Andrew Mellios at AM architecture.

**Update** From the owner:  “From the best of my knowledge the house in the south east corner was owned by Trewenack’s family on the whole block. The previous owner to us met Trewenack and was told this information……They sub divided and built our house in 1959 which Trewenack was with Borland.”  





3 Perry Ct, Kew VIC

Seems the stalwart suburbs of metro Melbourne have heard about this South Frankston upstart and decided to reiterate their place as the centre of MCM housing, a boastful, architectural dialogue flying across the real estate classifieds with a new voice chiming in each day. Yesterday Beaumaris, today we have Kew, pulling out a stunning,1960s Kevin Borland work of private splendour and bespoke craftsmanship. That kitchen mon dieu! As well as complete northern focus within an odd shaped block, progressive genius!

6 Crown Ave, Camberwell VIC

We first got a look inside this one via Design Files last year (do yourself a favour and check that link – the styled images are outstanding compared to this agent mediocrity) and returned clicked to drool over it many, many times thereafter. It’s on the market now and what a absolute showcase of 70s warmth and ingenious spatial dynamics we find. Of course as the work of pre-eminent Australian Modernist Kevin Borland, colleague of Seidler and part of the Small Homes Service cohort alongside Boyd and Clerehan, you’d expect nothing more. Boasting so many later period Mod elements which to our dismay are overlooked with the majority of contemporary housing – slab and hydronic heating, sound and celebrated raw materials – brick, timber and tile and a pure confidence of design right down to the minimal street frontage – this is one package of goodness, delivered on it’s own gorgeous terms in a suburb otherwise populated with mansions of flash and bald-faced material aspiration. Quietly stunning.


Back to School – Preshil Open Day

Former students, present parents and architect fans alike have all let us know of an upcoming open day at the progressive school, Preshil where much reverence shall be paid to at junior school, Arlington. This primary school campus, planned in the mid sixties by leading Mid-Century architect Kevin Borland, remains to this day at the forefront of visionary education-specific design and judging from the emails we have received in the past month, continue as a much-loved fixture in this school community’s collective experience.

“In 1972, Borland was awarded the RAIA Victorian chapter Bronze medal for the school campus, which encompassed six buildings designed between 1962 and 1972, including the octagonal school hall and various classrooms such as the elevated ‘Long Room’ building with a tree growing through the timber deck, and the multi- level and cellular-planned ‘Home Rooms’

Hannah Lewi,  Australian Design Review, 5th May 2011


This Sunday, June 5th, sees the school gates open as a fundraiser for conserving these important buildings and grounds, including a focus on the architecture of learning spaces with guest speakers and historical photo display. In the words of architecture student and Preshill parent Nic Dowse;
“The school would have to have the best collection of this style of woody modernism in the country.
Peter McIntyre and John Kenny, together with education and design specialists Mary Featherston and Ben Cleveland, will be speaking on the relationship between designed spaces and learning – all of Borland’s old ideas are new again.”

MA hopes to be in attendance and would like to see you all there too.
For more details see the school website and also the recent DOCOMOMO article on Borland’s work at Preshil.