‘Procel House’ 15 Lambert Rd, Caulfield North VIC

Hefty yet super sleek, this slice of Marvellous Migrant Melbourne Modernism (MMMM) drawn from a blessedly bottomless well of superbly maintained, imposing residences which initially (if not still) house their commissioning owners, were built with a level of investment and craftsmanship unseen in the country before or since. Perhaps in proud resolve to their new country and survival in the face of annihilation, this particular example (like so many in the area) was built for European diaspora Marek and Guta Procel and designed by dynamic post-war architect couple (and holocaust escapees) Joshua and Mary Pila, in 1967. Over ten years ago it was taken over by interior designer Caroline Gibbes who proceeded to ever-so lightly update the home, promoting the gorgeous timber work (a legacy of local go-to craftsman Dario Zoureff) (oh that entry!) and keeping the parquetry, terrazzo, metallic wallpaper,  updating the kitchen in total harmony with the age and sensibility of the home. The end result is that this residence has since been sold again with no meddling from any lesser vision. A success in refurbishment which continues to shimmer with total sophistication and ease of living.  

With thanks to our Rolodex experts; Simon at Built Heritage & Steven of Mid Cenutry Domestic Architecture for all the historical tidbits. 

7 Sommers St, Belmont VIC

For those seeking urban escape options, this new listing fits the bill and then some. Not just your regular, regional, kinda ‘retro’ gem, no, this killer with a north facing wall of windows, stone freestanding fireplace and jaunty roofline hands you the double dream; a great MCM home and the affordable new lifestyle to boot. After you’ve moved in your vintage nik and naks (and perhaps replaced the colonial kitchen) you can jump on your bike and within 2 kms you have work (G-town CBD), booze (Little Creatures), art (Boom Gallery), sport (Kardnina Park and pool), nature (Barwon River) and comfy footwear (Ugg factory). Don’t delay! The City of Dreams bekons and this gorgeous little place is the softest of soft landings for any cool-cat city kid you’re ever likely to see. 

1 Ilma Ct, Parkdale VIC

Some down-home inspo for all us regular people out there today, to start the week off right. This is a good example of a within-budget refresh by owners who took over this c.1964 beauty from its orginal owner making some bright changes (including local joinery and pieces by our MA Roldex‘s own, Angelucci 20th Cenutry), whilst mindful of keeping its MCM essence. As they explain;
“……expanded the benches from 40mm to 60 mm to accommodate a dishwasher and induction stove, but put all the old doors back on. Also the old wall oven cavity is now a pantry. I polished some of the concrete floors, added new carpet that had last been done in the 80s.”

Nothing over the top here but rather a wonderful family home with some pragmatic yet fun updating, all ready to go for new owners who’d love their own little slice of Mid-Cenutry joy by the bay. 

32 Glenard Dve, Eaglemont VIC

Nestled within the Walter Burley Griffin devised ‘Glenard Estate’ and just down the road from this Charles Duncan beauty we listed last year sits a similarly eye-popping residence. Though this one, a 1970s creation by architect Nicholas Griffin, is in such remarkable condition with the non-apologetic splendor of its era on full show (check that kitchen and bathroom and you too will drop to your knees and believe) that it commands attention like no other. Such wonderful conceptional fusion of thoughtful design with the organic crunch of Australian indigenous Modernism familiar also to our legendary Sydney Schoolers, and revered local architects like Graeme Gun etc is veritable catnip to those of us seeking a physical touchstone of intelligence, nature and warmth in this, our ever-accelerating, mixed-up world.

68 Hart St, Colac VIC

I little regional delight, not so cutting-edge, enlightening in its overall design but moreso a charming little home, chock-full of jaunty retro appeal with plenty of room to improvise, improve and love it up. 

12 Marshall St, Ivanhoe VIC

This commentary is directed  to the agents; Dear James and Liz, we welcome this home onto MA for one reason and one reason only – the photography. Whomever you’ve hired to take these shots is a marvel of rare and precious talent. In less caring and skillful hands we would hard pass this house, even with its wonderful, all original furnishings and certain design elements, as the images to go with would most liekly be average. Instead these photographs you listed have transformed a tired family home, (albeit with a lot of gorgeous potential) into a Todd Haynes melodrama (ooh those bedrooms!) with us slobbering over every detail. We dare say that any interested buyers we attract your way will ask for simply everything thrown in (though we’d like to call dibs on the downstairs planter box for ourselves). The power of the image in an market these days is not to be overlooked and this unchanged, Mid-Century residence is a clear-cut example of marvelous sellability of the dream, despite present condition and age. 

35 Pine St, Brighton East VIC

This one has undergone a freshen up (in fact the whole block has by the looks of an old listing) though it’s super heartening to see the retention of most of the era- specific joy which makes this a ripper Modern city-living option. Still resplendant with that relief brick pattern, crazy paving and mosaic tile inserts on the exterior, with timber joinery and floor to ceiling windows inside (though the meddling and white-out of that killer livingroom wall unit is somehwat infuriating) it is overall still celebratory and yet another timeless testament to simple, considered design. 

48 Pioneer Rd, Grovedale VIC

Despite the not great orientation and a rather pedestrian back end we see a touch of Modern joy here (Carport, fireplace, dynamic roof line) which could be embraced and enticed out of is downtrodden shell. Certainly not a bad starting place for a creative MCM lover to carve out their own little fifedom in 10 mins from the Victoria Surfcoast, in a suburb underrated yet populated with such examples. 

15 Cochranes Lane, Hurstbridge VIC

Pull our your drool-cups, this one’s a ripper. Looking to be a 1950s example of lightly constructed Moden architecture with perhaps a later, harmoniously sympathetic extension of besser and timber ceilings, we hold no doubt someone was at the helm here who knew exaclty what they were doing. An outstanding residence with so many classic elements we’d see in such era of professionally and progressively deisgned home (though designed by whom, we are not sure) plus a few extras such as that butterfly rooflne, panel and pane fenestration and gorgeous bucolic situation, add this one to the wishlist. 

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!