39-45 Wills St, Kew VIC

Nothing in the world is more certain than this one being razed very soon. A c.1957 architect designed residence, conceived by who-knows which architect (though we’d suspect there’s only a handful it could be) and built in the heyday of bohemian Studley Park, it now resides with its beautiful trees in quiet, palliative stasis. But too soon the dozers will roar over it all, tearing it away from this world and most likely putting in its place (as they have next door) some thumping mish-mash of Nu-Georgian marketability. Adieu, gracious one, you shall always be here in the digital ether, with us.  

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.

66A Molesworth St, Kew VIC

Phhhwoooaarrrr! Keeping the continuum going with yet another knockout home we’ve listed before is today’s Charles Duncan landmark in the Melbourne Mecca of high-end Modernist Australian homes, Studley Park. Out-schooling those Sydney Schoolers with it’s Wrightian horizontal heft and crunchy berry goodness, this impressive residence is one for the ages, with that swapped around lounge room furniture (see – old and new listings) making nary an impact on the overall magnificence of architectural vision. Duncan, as you may know, is up there with the MA essential legends bearing a legacy of revered work, both public and private, some of which has heritage listing and others acting as celebrated venues for MCM events, and it’s fair to say that this particular residence is a stand-out even in that formidable list. As an aside, would we dare suggest that such iconic, finely crafted, MCM goodness in beautiful condition, 3 kms for the CBD is a bargain at 2.2 millions dollars? I think we will, though still most certainly in the realm of impossible dream for us normies. QuickPicks incoming.

5 Belvedere, Kew VIC

Existing on the edge of what we’d deem mid-century, this home demands to be listed for its magical warmth of design, timber and breathtaking walls of glass allowing the supreme (and rare) metro bushland of Studley Park to take centre stage. Our millionaire-selves would snap this up in a heartbeat, make some very minor changes (the 80s peach might be painted over) and add some more gums and grevilleas to the front there, but that’s it. Sadly those looking in this price-range stereotypically seem more keen to destroy such 40 year old beauty and, in order to bolster their fragile personalities, are duped into building tacky, cold and ill-suited status castles in which to host their family breakdowns and/or service their financial obfuscation requirements.

*sigh*

As always, time will tell………

9 White Lodge Ct, Kew VIC

Resplendent as it rests in the inner-city bosom of big money MCM. A commission for Drayton & Colman Architects (c.1964) for an obviously more ‘hip’ contingent of Melbourne’s captains of industry (well at least a little more tuned-in than those who opted instead to haunt the ghostly mansions of Hawthorn and Toorak) in the late 50s and early 60s. This one like so many of Studley Park was built by wealth, intended for family, sits virtually next to the Yarra and is less than 5kms from the CBD. A glorious, cream brick beauty standing straight as the day the original owners moved in and, like the Warrnambool listing, is a testament cum museum piece of old Melbourne glamour and style. We of course are naturally troubled, for although this area has many intact and wonderful MCM streetscapes, there are so many big homes being daily deformed into grotesque wedding cakes by dictator aesthetics, this home is not immune. Time we believe for the torch to be passed from the old hipster guard to the new. In this creative economy there are many minted kids out there partial to such homes, we just need to find one to step up and take on their classically Melbourne birthright.**

*Architects (apparently 2 of them!) as yet unnamed.

**C’mon! That Twin Peaks address alone is a siren call to the demographic we are calling upon…….

 

13 Dunlop Ave, Kew VIC

“…deliver instant family appeal while its sensational 634sqm approx. north-facing private allotment is the perfect site to build a new home to your own design and specifications (STCA).”

At what point do we ask the hard questions of our society? This quest for wealth so obscene as to view anything as disposable. Where the true value of anything is measured purely by a commercially engineered, obsolescent continuum of status and accumulation. In other words – what the f*ck is wrong with people?

 

‘Stradwick House’ 53 Molesworth St, Kew VIC

A wild ride in the illustrious MCM riverside hills of Studley Park. Some new alterations, some old, some things to change and many things to strip back and enhance. Make Mid-Century Great Again.

**Update** Flying under the radar this is actually the work of MA luminary Anatol Kagan (thanks Simon Reeves) and was a commission for Charles Stradwick, completed in (c.1956) Some primo MCM pedigree right there!

40A Stawell Street, Kew VIC

An astounding hipsterville (1950s hipster, not 2017 hipster) oasis by the Yarra, ripe for a little lovin’ care, though we’d cry at the thought of anyone inflicting an el blando-luxo reno upon it or, heaven forbid, getting rid of it altogether and installing some mansion of mindless ostentation. The wandering spirits of artists, poets and thespians need a time-honoured place to abide and some new, head of finance’s palace will not cut it. Keep Studley Kew boho we say.

‘Lyall House’ 13 Belvedere, Kew VIC

A shining jewel in the bedazzling Melbourne MCM crown that is Studley Park. A noted and cherished work (C.our Olympic year 1956) from crowd fav Anatol Kagan this cruise liner of a residence sits astride a sweeping corner, soaking up the northern views of urban bushland, river valley and hills dotted with similarly valued Modernist homes of note and pedigree. Spotless on the outside it has been somewhat colonised on the inside, in the 80s we suspect (oh that kitchen and stained glass has got to go!) however unlike the heart draining vandalism which has infected other homes (such as Danne’s 1954 residence at 5 Yarra St  turning natural, sleek simplicity into Liberace fever dreams, which BTW do not sell very well at all) this home has endured changes which could easily be reversed, bringing this worthy home back to the original vision.
A breadcrumb trail history of the home has been dug up on an old favourite blog, Walking Melbourne. First – from the original owner’s son Peter;
“I can confirm that the house was designed by Anatol Kagan around 1956 for my father, James Lyall who was a “designer and modeller of Architectural decor” mainly creating interiors of theatres in plaster decor (including the re-modelling of the Regent Theatre in the 1940’s). I was the architecture student referred to and lived in the house whilst studying Architecture at the RMIT. I was also fortunate to work in Anatol’s office both prior to commencing studies as work experience over the school holidays and also later on a full time basis when completing the course.
The house was fully completed when sold, including the establishment of the beautiful garden. The upper level consisted of Laundry, Kitchen, Dining and Playroom (at the pointy end) with associated balconies, the intermediate (entry) level had a small guest room a hall and powder room, the lower level comprised three bedrooms and the main bathroom as well as the double garage. The “basement” level was a small self-contained flat that we used also as a “home theatre” and a covered loggia used for BBQ’s etc.
The surrounding area was often referred to as “Kaganville” as there were many houses designed by Kagan in the vicinity.”

…and then the second owner’s son ‘Alan’;
“I was fortunate to have lived there from 1961 to 1972. My late parents bought the house from the original owners .The house was only 2 years old (near new) and the interior was barely finished. It was missing floor coverings in many areas;was missing a laundry and was not heated or cooled apart from a fire place. My father established a garden and had an indoor pool built by the Grollo brothers.(One of their first major projects) I have early photographs if any one is interested ? The houses and gardens in studley park were manicured when first planted and everyone took pride in their property…….”

This is one is certainly for the dreamers and the gamblers and we’d love to see a member of the rising class of monied up, clued-in ‘influencers’ ( sigh if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em) in Melbourne town take over the wheel and steer this wonder into another 6 decades of exquisite Modernist Melbourne life.