‘Roberts House’ 53 Orme Rd, Buderim QLD

Alright kids, take a deep breath and check. this. out. For those with the means and/or the dreams we have one of those rare (for Australia) residences with not only the pedigree, documented accolades, originality (aside from a some additions which can be remedied – that half-arsed ‘Balanese’ decor being the first to go) but also the location on par with of the best in the Mid-Century Modern world. A private subtropical lookout rivaling to anywhere from So Cal, Nor Cal, Mexico or the South Americas on which to commission a sensational, low slung, progressive design at the peek of architectural cool. Built in 1965, this large compound is a work by Brisbane architect John Dalton (a regular on MA as we have him here & here for starters) by Melbourne businessman Arnold Roberts. Though we don’t know his trade, suffice to say Roberts was clearly tuned-in with his era not only employing one of Queensland’s best architects at the time, but also Victorian landscaping figurehead Edna Wallings to set out the garden, a very interesting (and we are not sure how remnant) task, as we’re used to Wallings’ work of the bushland southern variety, but the tropical jungle scene? Not so much. But we digress, this residence was a show stopper from the get-go with a feature spread in Home Beautiful (which would well serve a new passionate owner as the best guide in peeling back some later changes and reinstating its stunning first blush) and remains a seriously breathtaking vision of architecture and location. We can already see the glorious lawn parties at sundown, bar by the pool, ‘Lujon’ on the player and light banter floating down the hill on the evening breeze……….sigh…….

PS- Big props to the agents here – with such a location this property could easily be pushed as a development op,  not so here and the inclusion of historical images commands some earnest kudos- bravo!

8 Beresford Cres, Gympie QLD

Snapped up before we could post it here (under contract as of today) nonetheless we just had to show you. Existing on a regional plain which hints at Edward Scissorhands suburbia, if populated by slightly more nasally accents and triffle desserts instead of ambrosia salad, the sparkling clean retro charm of this one will draw a grin, no matter what. With a mad-as combination including, but not limited to: spotless brick hearth, timber room dividers, feature fronatge stone terrace, mint condish parquetry, spotless bathroom and backyard for miles. As we said it’s too late to grab it but never to late to click through and enjoy its inherent Mid-Century delights.

8 Mayheck St, Tarragindi QLD

Shut the door and GET OUT.
Queensland has this year turned from intermitant scrapper to strongest in the field in the suppliying-us-with-sensational-listings stakes. This one giving us no Sunday rest with a trumphant presentation of boundless MCM joy we’re not sure which to coo and ahh over first. Is it the kitchen with outstanding, all original timber and lamiex joinery? The terrazzo downstairs flooring? The stright-as-a-die, overall built form of right angles comprised of flawless brickwork? The verndah tiles? Timber dividers? Lavender bathroom….the list is long and by jove it must not be messed with. Brisbane Modernists, we’ve given you a lot to aim for recently and if you’ve not landed anything as yet, then the fates declare this one must be for you. Hop to it. 

3-5 Saint James Ct, Nambour QLD

While a lower part the country is dealing with an ice storm, we cast our eyes to the Sunshine Coast and this sensational, c.1968, never-before-sold (nor probably really seen) home on some beautiful acreage. In such wonderful condition, there isn’t a whole lot to do here and plenty to leave exactly as is – including those incredible ceilings and cork flooring. We’d would be inclined to reforest the grounds bringing back a little wilderness, then sit back in this breezy family retreat with the birdsong and breezes. 

22 Banoon Dve, Wynnum QLD

As they say in the classics (or is that the socials?) GTFO. This nugget of brisbane MCM gold has just bumped to the top, becuase as a desceaed estate and dubbed ‘a renovator’ by the agent (and what a watery pitch it is) sounds like it could easily fall into the wrong hands.
This. Must. Not. Happen.
Sure if your idea of ‘renovation’ is installing your collection of awesomely bold and swingin’ Mid-Century decor then that’s a fair ask as the inside has undergone a searing blanc-out which, though clean, baseline and not irreversable, needs some character to live up to the promise of its incredible exterior (seriously, if anyone messes with that…….*fists clench*……just sayin’).
‘Nuff said, pics tell you more. All we’re doing is sending it out to the internet ether posthaste and demand someone worthy get onto it, like now!

*With thanks to Modernist Australian, Michael, for pinging this one through and advising us of others in this row….

9 Millard Ave, Aitkenvale QLD

To cite one of the most progressive expressions of Twentieth Century, western culture – Modernist architecture – a manifestation of all social and political facets slipping from their languid traditions into an exponential slipstream of change, in one of our regions regarded as least receptive to ‘the progressive’ (sorry Townsville – stereotypes be stereotypin’) may seem almost a reach. But here at MA, we know that the pragmatism and sublime satisfaction in fuss-free design of the 1940-1970s was appealing (and can be discovered) everywhere. Indeed a Goog-stroll down Millard Ave (and a look out the windows) reveals a veritable village of stunning, double-storey, weather-white, rectangle residences of a particularly Queenslander meets Internationalist hybrid. This beautifully maintained version is but one with popping retro detail (balustrade ohh!), open living/dining and large floor to ceiling windows allowing for essential air flow and of course the capacity to be enveloped by the incredible fecund greenery of tropical gardens (again – check some others down the street). With a pricepoint on par with old boots, this little surprise package brings the goods in many, many ways. 

43 Mitchell St, Sunnybank QLD

Ol’ mate Tom here is so excited to extoll the virtues of the nearby shopping centre (as we suppose the opening of yet another Chemist Warehouse, banal nail salon and enlarged Kmart full of trinketry is what makes life worth living) that he affords this home only the most perfunctory of attention. Not surprising. We however cannot get over the heightened Mid-Century gorgeousness of this, albeit rundown, all original building and its potential to become a home of distinct beauty and character. It requires grit, time, money and some expert advice (which may be gleaned from looking up our new Rolodex!) but in the end the rewards for preserving that lovely brick hearth, stunning double door entry, walls of windows and jaunty roofline would be worth it all and more. This home has lines and a look that cannot and will not be replicated today, let’s hope someone can recognise this and snap it up in time. 

**Update** MCDA (now on our Rolodex) has come through with some design answers here – this is strongly suspected to be a c.1955  Age RVIA Small Homes Service plan (The T362- as pictured) by none other than Neil Clerehan himself. How great to see such example still knocking around in Queensland of all place! 

48 Trevallyan Dve, Daisy Hill QLD

Last sold in ’72 we’re guessing this one was built a smidge before then and though looking a little tired now could be a sensation with the bare bones (and pool) to re-imagine it into a Mid-Century beauty, keeping that unreal concrete brick and timber please!

34 Harlen Rd, Salisbury QLD

From the land of the Queen and on this ceremonial weekend birthday, we present a ground-up, sleeves-up renovation rescue calling for grit, cash and vision. A hybrid of Mid-Century and Queenslander traits where the enclosed sleepout with louvered windows overlooks a breeze-blocked pool and cabana set up this residence has much going for it (asbestos extension aside) including parquetry flooring, the bathroom tile, an open breezy plan and of course the aforementioned pool and gardens. Many of you will click on this one and shudder at the work, the materials or question the design value but we feel there is significant and integral Australian charm here and is worth a crack at least. 

9/34 ‘Kinkabool’ Hanlan St, Surfers Paradise QLD

A listing history lesson today detailing the colourful yet little known Post-War development of Surfers Paradise as primo holiday destination and Googie-motel wonderland for a brief shining moment before a new slew of ‘developers’ saw fit to rid itself of such joy.
To wit – a penthouse apartment in the heritage listed (huzzah!) ‘Kinkabool’ (c.1959) designed by architect John Morton of firm Lund Hutton Newell Black & Paulsen. This rarity in its preservation success, is one of the few recognised landmarks of Mid-Century Modern apartment living scattered across the country, a contemporary to the ‘Torbreck’ in Brisbane, ‘Domain Park’ in Melbourne and ‘Arlington’ in Sydney. ‘Kinkabool’ was built in a time of acceleration for Surfers Paradise with the once sleepy wave spot catching the eye of many a suited and sunburnt entrepreneur, who then sought to make their own fortune with various and colourful attempts of built glamour and sparkle. Constructed four years after the rise of the very first Gold Coast motel, the legendary the El Dorado (demolished in the 80s) and two years after the dazzling Chevron (demolished 1987) only the ‘Kinkabool’ has presided over changing hands and times, the glitter, the grime, the downturn and development for the duration. It remains still intact, a lone sentinel of its era.
The present sellers would love to see the wonderful Mid-Century legacy of their now departed grandparents taken on and cherished by a new sun-seeker, perhaps someone who loves a bit of sand and shimmer and who knows the value of a protected penthouse when they see one.