5 ‘Bauhaus’ 43-45 Sydenham Ave, Manifold Heights VIC

Are you a big fan of pedigree Australian Modernism? Always dreamed of living in, even buying, a Boyd, Clerehan or a Gunn but just a bit short of the usual $1 million plus these historical homes command. Maybe you’re even a first home buyer with no Bank of Parents priority? Well, we know a place where you can own a beautiful example from this cohort for under $370k. Behold apartment five of the ‘Bauhaus’ a complex from the hand of Neil Everist with his consummate architectural nous on show. Making use of a difficult North road facing position he has managed to bring light, warmth and breeze within a gorgeously solid and private home setting, finding space for 2 bedrooms plus extra with seamless inside/outside aspect. The white paint. Yes, we see it. We know what it has done, the damage in our midst. We are investigating ways to work out if this could ever be corrected for this house (and for many many others)*. In the mean time let’s try and get past it and we suggest drawing joy from the Yves Klein Blue highlights and of course that floor plan instead. May the bunfight begin.

*A big announcement re MCM renovation and building is imminent, watch this space!

‘ME2 Design’ 3 Pickworth Ct, Rosanna VIC

Many thanks to Steven Coverdale over at MCDA for turning up this unmitigated gem. A project home design called the ‘ME2’ by, you guessed it – that kitchen is a dead giveaway – the firm of McGlashan Everist from their golden period of the late1960s. Drawing together their architectural traits and stalwart materials common to their commission work – raw brick, elegant timber ceilings and pragmatic floorplans to ensure optimal light, airflow and parental respite (master bedroom one end – kids at the other – win!) this unmolested wonder makes serenity of space and movement amid everyday family bustle a reality, a feat rarely achieved in even contemporary builds (remember this is nigh on 50 years old). It leaves naught to do but break out the Toto in exultation.

‘Hawkes House’ (relocated) 15 Brent Ave, Aireys Inlet VIC

For those round the way the story of this particular home has become legend. Celebrated architect firm McGlashan Everist builds a simple beach house for client ‘Hawkes House’ (c.1966) in Ocean Grove. 33 years later the architect pops by to see the house, just in time to witness it’s demolition. What happens next is true testament to the vision of its creator and versatility of Modernist design;

“One man was taking to the brick fireplace with a sledgehammer, another was using a chainsaw to cut off the overhanging beams on either side of the house. “What on earth are you doing that for?” exclaimed Everist.
It turned out that the parts were being prepared to be moved on trucks, then sold. Everist made an instant decision. “Well, I haven’t got a site but I’ll buy it,” he said.
He had nowhere to put it. But the modular system of the house meant it was capable of being split into three sections – a living wing, a parents’ wing and a children’s wing. So each section was braced at the ends, loaded onto trucks and carted off to a paddock in Lake Connewarre………..The house would eventually end up on half of a double block of land in Aireys Inlet.”

A modular system comparable to any of the burgeoning pre-fab companies today, and an architect with the wherewithal to save one of his early designs. Delightful.
Now with the passing of Neil Everist last year his family beach house is once more set for a new life with a new owner. Due to it’s timeless design and beach casual vibes we suspect anyone Aireys bound will revere and love this place without too much changing, but we’re putting it here to sound the alarm for any and all McGlashan Everist tragics out there, we know you are out there.

Vale Neil Everist (1929 – 2016)

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It was with wistful resignation we recently read through Simon Reeve’s all encompassing round-up of notables and influencers of Australian Mid-Century Architecture who left us in 2015*. Though only 1 week in to 2016, we now note the loss of one more, an Australian architect at the heart of Modernist Australia’s very inception – Neil Everist, of Melbourne/Geelong firm McGlashan Everist.

As our about page says, we were fortunate to live our first 18 years in a home designed by McGlashan Everist, commissioned by our family and in completed in 1970. As a Geelong project it was overseen by Neil Everist (as this is how they generally divvied up the projects). The brilliant yet ephemeral qualities of living within quintessentially Australian Modernist architecture, the rules of its design and the intention in every aspect, dug into our soul and never left – arming us with a heightened sense of what housing in this country could and should be – elemental, light, airy, of integrity and honesty. Last year we finally achieved our goal of bringing together our mother and Everist (and the outstanding Jill Everist) for an afternoon of tea, cakes and chat on architecture, the making of our home, and the projects of his lifetime. Neil Everist was as vital and impressive as his imposing stature (both physically and professionally) suggested. He was beyond gracious, bringing along documents to back-up the historical aspect of his career with late partner David McGlashan and the conversation that wintery July day was as genial and enlightening as we could have ever hoped for. We finished with a shared joke and a wave. We regret that we were unable to collate this meeting into something readable for Neil Everist to look over before this day, but we are now working extra hard to bring it to you in the coming months.

We pass on our deepest sympathies to Jill Everist and family with the reassuring joy of his long life, well lived.

To everyone else we suggest to look up the catalogue from a Heide exhibition in 2006 (re-printed last year) “Living in Landscape: Heide and houses by McGlashan and Everist” for a succinct overview of Everist’s esteemed career. Alternatively crack open any essential ‘top Australian MCM home’ coffee table books – The Forever House or Iconic Australian Houses 50/60/70 for example, inspect one of the many open houses available throughout the year (or on Air BnB!), and/or check the MA site for our regular fawning rants, as you know Neil Everist (and David McGlashan) will always be here.

 

*Victorian Modern, essential educational Facebookery – join up today.

15-17 Vanessa Ave, Highton VIC

**okay, okay. This listing has now been updated, the below rant may not be so applicable. As such it is indeed now comforting to see some classic M&E features present in this home (albeit with some painted ceilings and colonised kitchen)**

F*ck. You. Ray. White.

Nothing incites more fury with us than a bunch of section 32 wielding jerks who know of the irreplaceable value of such stunning domestic architecture (from hometown hero Neil Everist no less) and masterful construction but never, ever, let that get in the way of an extra dollar. Of course the joke is ultimately on them for a prospective buyer who is passionate about a property as a ‘forever’ house is always going to do anything to get it. They will go right down to the wire. We have seen it before. If these particular, pea-sized agent brains were able to comprehend more sophisticated marketing strategies and the nuances of their audience, then this home would have a greater chance of existing for another 50 years and maybe even *gasp* pull a better price than what any self-styled-shitbox-flogging developer would pay. Publishing photos of this, in your own friggin’ words jaw-dropping, home like McGlashan Everist’s other celebrated work here

and here

and here

and here

……would be a start. Dickheads.

Listing

6 Woodlands Dve, Ocean Grove VIC

We’re getting Vic heavy this week, but for good reason. Being eagle-eyed architecture folk we all know the local landmarks and we each have favourites sitting apart from our usual bustling world. Buildings which command regular snooping and speculation on provenance, ownership and interiors. This evening one of our own (as seen on our instagram just last month) came on the market and and man, is it astounding! A bold triangular statement IRL (as the kids like to say) this house manages to exude an abiding homeliness even in the midst of its Besser brick monolithic front. Of course it helps to be positioned in the serene hinterland of a little coastal town with trees, lawn and racing parrots as neighbours. Without question it’s the work of an architect though unsure who** and laid out in a spectacular mezzanine configuration, complete with feature staircase, private balconies and above all the sheer dynamism of those angular walls and windows. We at MA have a serious soft spot for concrete brick homes and this one utlilises the material in such a commanding yet grounded manner, we simply cannot look away. So now the real estate spotlight sits squarely upon a previously little-known gem and we watch and wait for others to see it too, eyes ever widening, minds ever racing.

**Update! confirmed as the work of none other than Neil Everist, we are slightly embarrassed to admit we didn’t know it straight away, though one step through the front door and all is made clear – it’s the vibe, you know it when you feel it. Perhaps a later work, the selling owners (yes, first time on the market) were friends with Everist and sought to have him design their home when most of his firm’s projects had moved onto public and commercial work – making this property even more special then we thought!**

Listing

Local Modernists go to the mattresses.

DIY activism has seen a resurgence with the advent of a baying social media audience and it’s no more visible locally than in the hostile plains of real estate and land development. Recently MA spotted this instance, where a passionate citizen of Melbourne bayside Mod hotspot, Beaumaris, has taken action of the most direct variety to voice their concerns and warn those who may not share their same appreciation.

We have seen this method used in the inner city where the battle for the first amenity rights of music venues to continue their business over the demands of new neighbours to quieten down saw handwritten signs on sparkling new apartment sales boards, warning prospective buyers of the rockin’ nightlife they will be moving into. And here we see it take a rather interesting architectural turn.

The house in question is a prime example of formative Australian Modernism (it’s a McGlashan Everist beauty – see our listing), stuck in a suburb which, for all it’s brilliant Mid-Century history, eats ‘older’ style homes for breakfast. And sadly for us at this juncture MCM architecture is still maligned by the larger public while earlier styles are steadily climbing the preservation hierarchy. That old 70/100 year rule strikes again.

We are unsure whether this notice is still there, and not really certain of it’s overall effectiveness, developers be developers after all, however it’s somewhat gratifying to see a shared frustration manifest itself in such a way. In the various the devilish ways we have dreamed of acting upon such frustrations, this real-world example is overall pretty tame and fuzzy.

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22 Heathfield Ct, Newtown VIC

A particular hotspot for Modernist homes (see 3 doors down from earlier this year), this prestigious Newtown eyrie overlooking the Barwon River presents its heavy arms with this newly listed 1967 McGlashan Everist marvel.

Lauded masters of the Australian Modernist movement, McGlashan Everist are behind such notable public projects as Heide II however in our humble opinion they incite the deepest palpitations with their extraordinary body of private homes. A list of dreams such asThe Grimwade house, Fern Tree House and Guss house. A set of familiar architectural traits extend throughout this house including dead straight lines (ivy begone!), nakedly honest materials – cement block, timber and cork, perhaps (if we’re really lucky) their signature leather pull handles on the kitchen cupboards, northern orientation and above all a sense of keenly devised yet still casual spaces for living.

The constant refrain with high Modernism is that its genius is observed best in the physical experience. It has to be felt. It’s the vibe. It’s the light. It’s the invitation to exhale and be still. We have no doubt this home, like many from it’s creators, would exude this aura and that’s why we’d recommend to anyone close handy to go for a sticky beak (cheeky – but who doesn’t love a free MCM house tour!) All will be made clear when you step thought the front door.

Listings Round Up Autumn

It’s been a while and a hectic beginning to the year and that includes the MA real estate listings that seem to be getting bigger and better every month. Thanks to all who let us know of their local favourites and it’s now time to go over a few recent gems we’ve had the pleasure to post up….

First up, Victoria, where the pendulum of fate swung over two Boyd hones – a magnificent property in Warrandyte (which to our mind looked better than Walsh St and Boyd Barker put together!) which received newspaper raves and was quickly snapped up and another, perhaps lesser, but still enduring home in Ringwood given only the most cursory of nods as to it’s provenance in between the usual, infernal real estate garble about sub-dividing and 5 townhouses. It too has been quickly sold, but it’s destiny as only a memory seems to be a forgone conclusion. On a brighter note we also see an early McGlashan Everist in Beaumaris been given the star treatment in it’s particular sale pitch and from a pure enjoyment perspective are 2 x seventies wonderlands in suburban Donvale. We also have two of very respectfully (hooray!) renovated originals in Newtown, Geelong one of which, in Noble Street, we have been advised from the vendor was saved from the wreaking ball (to make way for 3 townhouses, of course) when purchased some years back and is now selling for over 1 million dollars – my my how the worm turns!

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Moving north now and NSW has it’s usual mix of high and lower end Modernist homes, but the highs couldn’t really get much higher. In St Ives we find a tasty slice of Palm Springs transplanted to the leafy suburbs of Sydney, while in Wahroonga we are very proud to say one home that is being sold the right way, courtesy of our friends at Modern House. A 1955 masterpiece with a mystery to boot (the architect is, as yet, unknown) this property is a thoroughly gorgeous sun-filled Mod home set within beautiful mature gardens and is of lovely proportions.

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Canberra we suspect is keeping tract after tract of amazing MCM homes from our wandering eye, and this recently listed gem in Deakin is a very essence of what we are all about here – an original, untouched, well-loved architectural wonder. First time on the market and worth every cent – you really don’t find much better in the entire country.

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It’s been in Tasmania where we’ve had suburb discovery of the year thus far. Aside from the collection of lovely little houses in Burnie and a magnificently preserved owner-build winner in Devonport, we have found the hitherto unknown suburb of Rosny. Like so much of Hobart, it’s a suburb of exquisite river and harbour views teamed with a gloriously humble Tassie price tag, but more importantly is obviously one of those ‘outer’ suburbs established in the middle of last century, where many of the local houses stand as testament to the Modernist ethos of the day. We’ll be scoping it weekly from now on.

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We’ll end the roundup with a call out: Achtung Queenslanders! We just know there is a bunch of great little Mid-Century properties floating about on your local real estate pages – so tell us where exactly! We are looking in some of the usual places – The Gap, Indooroopilly and turning up the bare minimum, so lend us a hand if you can and tell us any you’ve spotted of late.