105 Nicholls St, Broken Hill NSW

Many thanks to Alistair over at Secret Design Studio, one of our most excellent professionals on the MA Rolodex who provides a pre-renovation advisory and design service including personalised (Dr Retro) Housecalls to many an MCM homeowner seeking direction on the sympathetic renovation. Alistair highlighted this one earlier in the week and we are smitten with not only the astounding Mid-Century public building architecture on display here (architect unknown as yet) but also the potential to a more eccentric mind. To our way of thinking those soaring arches, entry, driveway internal spaces and surrounds leaves only one clear option: a Howard Johnsons-esq roadside, super Googie, motel and restaurant complex (yes, we’ve suggested this before). We propose a slimline, double story complex of motel rooms outside, overlooking a pool, with the current building host to booths, window seats, burgers, shakes and rosy waitresses called Marlene. Call us crazy or even old-fashioned, but it’s certainly more visionary than the empty shell it is now and just the kind of landmark tourism we know many of you would go all the way to Broken Hill for. There are only so many tiny mining museums one can peruse in outback Australia after all. 
Better get your phone bids in kids as this one is selling (well, maybe) this morning. 

‘Jade Gates’ 20 Highbank Plc, Mount Ousley NSW

A taste of olde-worlde class through the lens of Mid-Century Australia. Located in a part of the world ever intriguing to us in its small but exquisite bounty of private, original compounds (check this one in neighboring Mount Pleasant which we never quite got over) Mount Ousley has held tight to this home for one family since it was designed* and built-in 1953! Those stately front gates and signage giving way to a sweeping drive upon approach to this incredible low-slung, blonde stone and breeze block featured abode with walls of glazing and a modest footprint ( 2 bedrooms is enough we certainly think!). In impossibly gorgeous condition we still fear that all of this still may not be quite ‘enough’ and that it sits at a crossroads in grave danger of molestation, or even demolition. Any captains of industry seeking to leave Sydders for a more genteel life of G&Ts on the croquet lawn? Rummy by the pool (yep- we think one could go nicely in the side there) and moolight bushwalks? This one has your (possibly hyphenated) name simply all over it.

*Architect, as yet, unknown.

4 Hughes Plc, Armidale NSW

An astounding find in, of all places, Barnyard territory. From the outside it has the distinct architectural mood of the Case Study Houses program, such is the low-slung, minimal forms and courtyard/carport dynamics at play. The inside, granted, is rather more ‘Midday with Ray Martin, though that’s nothing which couldn’t be lifted with some personal charm, colour and a ceremonial burning of those vertical blinds in the backyard.
It will forever keep us on our toes, the locations across the country where such interesting and genuine Mid-Century Modernist residential design pops up. The only downside to this is we would love to see it more geographically achievable for ourselves! 

40 Mills St, Warners Bay NSW

Summer Bay? Warners Bay? Any bay is A-okay! Pack your spring suit (and your ice skates) and away you go with this stunning hidden gem in the trees. The clean 60s design, stone fireplace, blue kitchen and green tiled bathroom compleating this picture of affordable, adorable, Mid-Century regional living. 

‘Loo York’ 156 McElhone St, Woolloomooloo NSW

Some are seduced by those who reside in steely, severe penthouses bedecked with typical, flashy baublery advertising the owners immense wealth accumulation with sledgehammer subtlety. Us? Give is this instead any day. Though also requiring hefty financial outlay this simple, 1 bedroom abode perched on a rare crux of natural clifftop and inner-Sydney action would have us weak at the knees if ever invited up for an etching perusal. A home not designed (nor furnished) to further the impression of power or intimidation that oft comes with larger banking portfolios, but rather a place built purely for the sensory pleasures of living – long outdoor lunches, reading in the winter sun, bare feet on Persian rugs and the toot of harbor tugs endlessly carried on the breeze. As such it comes as no surprise that Bruce Rickard, a man who led The Sydney School architectural ethos of placing such indigenous, natural and elemental pleasures front and center in domestic design, not only designed this residence but owned it for a time.
This singular expression of Sin City bohemia is as utterly desirable in its simplicity as it is rare and one which will not doubt have many of you (and us) hitting up the lucky shop for a ticket and a chance. 

9 Dalrymple Cres, Pymble NSW

We started the week with Pettit & Sevitt, and here we go again. This one has been extended, though it’s such a sympathetic renovation done not long after the build that we cannot tell by the house pics which is what. – seemles. Never before sold and clearly loved for all of it’s 45 + years its first era is over and a new one awaits. 

1 Sussex Rd, St Ives NSW

For those who mood is generally set to: Brady and who are perhaps are looking (and have the means) for something pretty special in the leavy ‘burbs of Sydeny then, take it from us, you wil not see another of these for a at least few years – tis a rare bird indeed. A jaw-dropper of unassailable, untouched Pettit & Sevitt breathtakery; valuted ceilings, split-levels timber detailing, parquetry floors and a massive just-waiting-for-the-pool yard. We hold grave fears that this too, like so many others, could be turned out as a white, high-gloss abomination – so we’d beg those of you in the market: this one requires a (sensitive) lover like no other, do you fit the bill? 

The Quaterdeck, Middle Cove NSW

We Venture way out of our own date bounaries today as we have no idea of build date (but suspect it’s a bit later than the 1970s) . Nonetheless, we’ve had so many little fixer-uppers lately we thought a detour to where the .03% lives would be a nice timewaster. Admittedly Frank Lloyd Wright’s name does get bandied about these days with a frequency exceeding his actual influence or works, however this does seem more than most to replicate that heft, the dark drama, the materials and the wild geometry of the early Modenrist’s work – and that fireplce is really something. The bonus here that, although infuenced enough to be close to imitation and despite our thoughts that this architecture is generally more harmonious with its geographical origins (that is to say some icy, Illionis paddock) you can’t escape the gorgeousness of its location here, one of the most beautiful urban suburbs in the world, the bushland harbour enclave of Middle Cove, Sydney. One can only guess what the throat drying weekly rate is for this rental, though for us looking for a bit of mid-week eye candy, thats the least of our concerns. Enjoy!

Skippy’s Home Sweet Home

Photo by Brett Patman at Lost Collective

A building block of our cultural psyche, the illusory Waratah Park and its super Modern headquarters which had been lying idle, slowly being reclaimed by Duffeys Forest forest, has caught a break this week. Otherwise known as the homebase for the Hammonds: Sonny, Dad, Mark, token girl Clancy and the main event  – erstwhile, crimefighter macropod Skippy, this building was centrepiece of many childhoods spent in front of the box, burning a subconscious imprint of low-slung, stone-walled Modernism into the mindseye of an entire generation of Australia. In actual fact only intended as a set, the indisputable Mid-Cenutry cool of this building never really left us, and now with the push from the local residents association and Aboriginal Land Council has recieved some starting dollars to get its rebirth as a pop-culture and Indigenous centre going! Think global act local – isn’t that right Skip? 

BTW to itch your Skippy nostalgia scratch we highly recommend the full movie –Skippy and The Intruders’ (1969). A warm-hued burst of 1960s Australiana; the clothes, the lingo, the eye-brow raising wrongness – a sunny, childhood heads of the coin to the Wake in Fright tails, if you will. Our fav moment? The16 min. mark melding hot tips for cooking abalone with some rather stange subtext about men and earrings – tee hee!

25 Moses Street, Windsor NSW

Essentially a clean slate home with a solid and simple MCM tract-house design, pop-fun features and a garden/ interior waiting for an inspired hand (we’re breaking with the agent here on these mirrored cupboards). Any which way you wanna go, here is a wonderful beginning.