Man About the House

We have had the pleasure of performing in exquisite houses and buildings all around the world. See a catalogue of our shows below.

MOTEL Brisbane, Hamilton Motor Inn, Brisbane, QLD

July 2019

Road trips without air conditioning, collapsing folding beds, Paddle pop sticks stuffed down the back seat of the car, minor injuries from tripping over a guy rope, variety packs of cereal, sunburn on sunburn, a banana lounge for a bed in an annexe, Chinese restaurants in country town, a room key and a carton of milk.

Join Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst for their brand new live show, the follow up to their award winning Man About the House show. Step into the original condition Hamilton Motor Inn, for a nostalgic, thought provoking and funny exploration of Australian holidays of the past. Using story telling and song they will take you on a sentimental motel journey.

BT Tower, London, UK

June 2019

BT Tower By Bedford and Yeats (1964)

The BT Tower is a communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London, owned by BT Group. Completed in 1964, the tower was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works; the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats. Typical for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 centimetres in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h. The main structure is 177 metres high, wiht a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. Upon completion it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.

The construction cost was £2.5 million. As well as the communications equipment and office space there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop and a rotating restaurant on the 34th floor, called the Top of the Tower and operated by Butlins, which made one revolution every 22 minutes. Today, the tower remains at the heart of BT’s technology & innovation.

GasHolders by Wilkinson Eyre, London, UK

June 2019

Gasholders London by WilkinsonEyre

King’s Cross is the largest urban redevelopment scheme in Europe and the rich industrial heritage of the site is integral to its renaissance. Among the most distinctive and beautiful features to be retained is a conjoined triplet of gasholder guide frames, constructed in 1867, now Grade II listed and the world’s only connected triplet to be refurbished into residential spaces.

WilkinsonEyre won a design competition in 2002 with a concept for three residential buildings to be housed within the elegant cast iron frames. The concept proposed threedrums of accommodation at differing heights to suggestthe movement of the original gasholders, which would have risen up or down depending on the pressure of the gas within. A fourth, virtual drum shape, located at the centre of the frames, formed an open courtyard, celebrating the conglomeration of the cast iron structures at their point of intersection.

The concept has been advanced to create a dynamic counterpoint between new and old. The heavy industrial aesthetic and raw physical materiality of the guide structures contrasts with the lightness and intricacy of the interior spaces, which draw inspiration from the delicaterefinement of a traditional watch movement.

Hill Street House by Roy Grounds, Melbourne, VIC

June 2019

Hill Street House By Roy Grounds

Sir Roy Grounds designed and built the Hill Street House in the 1950's for his wife Betty and himself. Designed as a prototype for Grounds work on the National Gallery of Victoria, built some 10 years later, the Hill Street House was like a number of experiments in geometry and architecture that he worked on in the 1930s.

An amazing example of mid century architecture, all the rooms face a central courtyard. The house uses strong solid walls in the external design and extending eaves that float about the highlight windows.

The Hill Street House won the Victorian Architectural Medal in 1954.

Roy Grounds (1905-1981) was a renowned Victorian architect and a leader in Australia’s modern architecture movement. During his early career he spent some time working in the United States and England and after the war he was involved in setting up the curriculum for the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Between 1953 and 1962, Grounds was part of the Grounds, Romberg and Boyd partnership, in which time he designed the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra. When Grounds left the partnership he took with him the National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre project, completed in 1968. (source: https://architectureau.com/organisations/roy-grounds/)

MOTEL Adelaide, Marine and Harbours Building, Adelaide, SA

May 2019

Marine and Harbours Building, Port Adelaide - 1978

Brief history

In 1966, the Department of Marine and Harbours (DMH) was established to oversee the workings at Port Adelaide. The DMH relocated when the Marine and Harbours building was constructed in 1978 as its new headquarters, bringing together staff from three separate locations. Located in the commercial centre of the port, the building was the focal point for port and marine authority matters. The modern accommodation was intended to facilitate conference with port users, reflecting the department’s emphasis on its role as a commercial enterprise.

The building closed and has been empty since 1996. In last few years, the Marine and Harbour building has been used occasionally by South Australian StarForce defence team for training exercises.

Starfish plans

Starfish Developments gained development approval to renovate and repurpose the derelict Marine and Harbours building as a boutique hotel. Starfish will be retaining some of the key architectural and design elements to create a strong warehouse look and feel, with respect to the Brutalist theme of exposed concrete and utilitarian styling which became popular in the 1970s.

Elements remaining will include :

External board form concrete
External wall art should structural works allow so
Timber ceiling and large can lights in the hotel lobby on ground floor
Retro numbering above lift doors on all levels
High ceilings with exposed services to underside of slabs in hotel suites

Lake Weyba House by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2019

Lake Weyba House by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole (1996)

Lake Weyba House is located on the Sunshine Coast near the western end of Lake Weyba. Created by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole in 1996 this house is an Australian exemplar in lightweight and environmentally responsive housing.

A series of three pavilions, originally Gabriel Poole designed this residence for himself and his wife Elizabeth. They needed an office for their work as well as somewhere to cool off in summer. The rooms are arranged so as to be highly functional. Each pavilion has a structural framework consisting of a “series of steel portals” spaced 2.4 metres apart.

With considered sustainable design and high functionality, this home speaks of a specific architectural style, of light, and of openness to the unique surrounding landscape.

Two Tree House by Bark Architects, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2019

Two Tree House by Bark Architects (2018)

Cantilevering high above the steep northern escarpment of Buderim Mountain, this young family’s ‘Tree House’ nods to the majestic Eucalypts, which frame the broad views of the Sunshine Coast from its large breezy decks in the subtropics.

From the light filtering breezeway, past the inviting plunge pool, this is a home for a trusting client with a modest budget, which was designed to be a modern, timeless, sustainable and climatic response for outdoor living and welcoming spaces within a smart modular structure.

Images by Christopher Frederick Jones

Design Nation Live, Bark Architects Studio, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2019

Bark is a collaborative ‘client focused’ architecture practice established by Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 1997. Together they lead a small team in designing and delivering an increasing variety of projects, from private residential designs through to public facilities and commercial architecture. Every project is a uniquely crafted response to landscape, place, climate and people, underpinned by a desire to unlock the spirit of each site in a sustainable and contemporary way. Bark’s portfolio of work has attracted recognition through numerous awards, publications, lectures and exhibitions.

Balgownie House by Owen Architecture, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2019

Balgownie House by Owen Architecture and Dayne Lawrie Constructions

This architecturally designed home embodies a muted palette of carrara marble, white casement windows, internal spotted gum timber features and burnished concrete flooring with an intentional connection to golf course views that form part of the landscape.

The thoroughness and accuracy in the attention to detail has been achieved through hand built spotted gum bench seating that forms part of the cooking and dining area, hand built open shelving in the kitchen and laundry, a large entrance pivot door with a custom spotted gum handle, hand built internal sliding doors with custom made spotted gum handle detail plus much more.

This sleek minimalistic design accentuates the natural materials used throughout the home whilst focusing on consistency and connectivity.

Man About Don's House, Westleigh, NSW

April 2019

Join us in an original Pettit and Sevitt Lowline house as celebrate the election year with a pewter mug and a nod to Don’s Party, the classic David Williamson play and movie set on the night of the 1969 general election.

The show will be held in the exact same model of house featured in the film (in fact it’s just around the corner from it.) We invite you to dress up and party like it’s 1969.

MOTEL, Town and Country Motel, Sydney, NSW

March 2019

Road trips without air conditioning, collapsing folding beds, Paddle pop sticks stuffed down the back seat of the car, minor injuries from tripping over a guy rope, variety packs of cereal, sunburn on sunburn, a banana lounge for a bed in an annexe, Chinese restaurants in country town, a room key and a carton of milk.

Join Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst for the premiere of the follow to their award winning Man About the House show. Step into a classic 1970s Motel, for a nostalgic, thought provoking and funny exploration of Australian holidays of the past. Using story telling and song they will take you on a sentimental motel journey.

This show will be performed in the period perfect Beppi’s Cocktail Bar at the Town and Country Motel.

Alongside the show a number of rooms of the motel will be reimagined with a series of art, film, photographic and automotive installations.

Contributors include artists Stephen Ormandy, Paul Davies, Claudia Damichi and photographer Derek Swalwell. These experiences will be curated by architect Tristan Wong, a director of SJB.

MOTEL is part of Sydney Design Festival 2019.

Two Halves House by Moloney Architects, Ballarat, VIC

December 2018

Two Halves House by Moloney Architects
Two Halves House is Moloney Architects’ latest residential project. A family home that responds to its clients’ sociable living style, as well as its beautiful bushland surrounds. Named for its split monolithic architectural form, Two Halves house is distinguished by two pavilions that appear to stand alone, but in fact live hand-in-hand.
“The clients wanted their internal living spaces to have a strong connection to the bush surrounds, while also providing them with privacy and a sense of seclusion,” said Moloney Architects Principal, Mick Moloney. The resulting Two Halves design addresses these dual requirements by simultaneously dividing and connecting; separating the ‘public’ open-plan living zone from the privacy and quiet seclusion of its neighbouring sleeping and bathing quarters.
“The two pavilions essentially distinguish the functions of the house, splitting the public and private zones to give the main living spaces the best views and natural light access,” said Moloney.

The Mid Century Project - Kirriemuir House by Studio 101, Geelong, VIC

December 2018

Kirriemuir House, Hamlyn Heights

This beautifully designed 1960’s Mid-Century Modernist home was based on the Lend Lease model called the ‘Pan Pacific’ - designed by the architect Nino Sydney. Rumour has it that the original owners made an interstate trip to the Carlingford Homes Fair held in Sydney back in 1962 that featured a series of architect designed, affordable housing prototypes. They were so impressed by the Pan Pacific, they arranged for it to be built back in the Geelong suburb of Hamlyn Heights.

The stand out design elements included the elongated gable roof form and the combination of external materials of face brickwork, stone feature walls and breezeway blocks. Internally, the spatial flow was enhanced by the floor to ceiling glazing, a sunken lounge with open fire, raking ceilings with expressed beams and a free flowing plan that revolved around the central kitchen.

With developers circling, the home desperately needed some TLC and was purchased in 2012 by its current owners – Peter and Belinda Woolard of studio101: Modernist Architects + Interiors. Over time, they have sensitively restored and transformed the home and given it a new lease of life. Fitted out with vintage furniture from the owners private collection and vintage furniture store, the home has been enhanced for today’s lifestyle and ready to serve for another fifty years.

Shell House by Harry Seidler, Melbourne, VIC

November 2018

SHELL HEADQUARTERS BY HARRY SEIDLER

(Article on The Design Files by Stuart Harrison)

Shell House is fascinating for several reasons. It’s Seidler’s only tower in Melbourne, with a unique site on the corner of Robert Hoddle’s grid. A bookend to the city is created, and Seidler smooths this grand corner – denying the city a sharp edge as others may have done. This move also dealt with the recently completed city train loop tunnel cutting under the site, making building above it restrictive. The train line itself a curving form, trying to turn the corner of a grid city.

The building uses two main forms to resolve the ‘L’ shaped site – the tall tower and the side podium. There are three street entries – in addition to the main tower entry on Spring Street, the lower podium links Flinders Street to Finders Lane. Once in the main foyer off Spring Street, look up to see Arthur Boyd’s mural ‘Pulpit Rock, Bathers and Muzzled Dog‘. These entries are connected – you can walk through internally (do it!) as well as down the dramatic lane of stairs on the western side. In front of all three entries is a small plaza, an intimate public-like space. Seidler’s towers often have this element of (privately owned) public space around them, with distinctive brown slate tile underfoot.

Sky gardens, where the façade is pushed in to create protected balconies, scatter the façade of Shell House, adding subtle variation to the rigorous and repeating concrete framework of the building. The tower is co-owned by Daniel Besen, who has offices on the top floor. These refurbished suites, designed by Simone Serle, utilise sky gardens to great effect. The fit-out here builds on the original palette, and expresses key original elements such as a quintessential sculptural white Seidler staircase. Shell House has other uses at the lower levels – within the podium a gallery and lecture theatre are used for public events.
Seidler’s towers of this period – Shell House, Riverside (Brisbane), Grosvenor Place (Sydney) and Perth’s QV1 (one I watched being built as an excited teenager) are similar stylistically, with consistent elements and materials. These key elements include decent, effective sunshades on all windows – something not as common as you would think in Australia! The dominant style for office towers today is still unshaded glass – I remember Seidler saying in the early 90s that this was madness – and it still is.

Harry’s national family of office towers from the 80s and 90s all feature raking columns at the base, granite cladding, tall foyer spaces with expressed beams, with a restricted material palette of whites and greys. And all have a sculpture out the front, a classic modernist composition that allows the building to happily be the backdrop. Here in Melbourne, Charles Perry’s unpeeling work ‘Shell Mace‘ still holds this corner of the city.

Lovig House by Charles Duncan, Melbourne, VIC

November 2018

Lovig House by Charles Duncan (pictured recently at the house above)

The Lovig House was designed by Australian architect Charles Duncan, a proponent of organic Wrightian architecture, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The home’s floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors are a classic characteristic of Wrightian architecture, unifying the landscape with the interior. There is also timber flooring, ceilings and timber panelled walls with exposed brick columns throughout.

Duncan was one of a number of young Melbourne architects who designed Wrightian style homes in the 1960s, including David Godsell, David Chancellor and Rex Patrick, Geoffrey Woodfall and Kevin Knight.

In 1965, Duncan was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s Single House award for the Williams House in Heidelberg.

The Croydon North home was built by Melbourne builders Fasham Johnson. It was not the last collaboration between Duncan and Fasham Johnson – Duncan designed two low energy display homes in Mills Parks and Taylors Lake in the 1980s that were constructed by Fasham Johnson.

102 The Mill by Carter Williamson, Sydney, NSW

November 2018

102 The Mill by Carter Williamson

102 The Mill is an example of considering existing buildings as an opportunity that can result in the impetus for designing generous, robust, and character filled home.
102 The Mill responds to its context whilst being in dialogue with neighbouring buildings. By maintaining the original height of the warehouse, the street composition is held and the additional third floor balcony reinterprets and is in conversation with the traditional terrace opposite the street.

With these gestures, 102 The Mill acts as a mediator and transition piece as Balmain straddles the past and present, and a place of industry and homes.

Carterwilliamson is a multiple award winning design studio with a strong commitment to rigorous, beautiful and robust architecture. The belief that design quality can make a real difference to the way we live, work and move through our world is central to the way they work.

Peekaboo House by Carter Williamson, Sydney, NSW

November 2018

Peekaboo House by Carter Williamson.

Peekaboo House is named by the large box window that hangs from the level 1 addition, where the building is strategically shifted to take advantage of views towards the nearby Punch Park. This space in the home is symbolic of the generosity and joy embedded into the architecture. The window seat is accessed via a curved bridge, framing a generous curved void, and creating a moment for quiet reflection or play for the young family. From this spot, the best backyard in Balmain, Punch Park, can be enjoyed while still in the home.

Carterwilliamson is a multiple award winning design studio with a strong commitment to rigorous, beautiful and robust architecture. The belief that design quality can make a real difference to the way we live, work and move through our world is central to the way they work.

Sydney Opera House with Kevin McCloud, Sydney, NSW

November 2018

“It stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.” Expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, 2007.

Fusing ancient and modernist influences, and built on a site sacred to the local Gadigal people for thousands of years, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the most recognisable buildings of the twentieth century, synonymous with inspiration and imagination.

As Pritzker Prize judge Frank Gehry said when awarding architecture’s highest award to the Opera House’s architect in 2003: “`{`Jørn`}` Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology... a building that changed the image of an entire country.”

Built to “help mould a better and more enlightened community,” in the words of New South Wales Premier Joseph Cahill in 1954, the Sydney Opera House has been home to many of the world’s greatest artists and performances, and a meeting place for matters of local and international significance since opening in 1973.

Today it is Australia’s number one tourist destination, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres, presenting more than 2000 shows 363 days a year for more than 1.5 million people, from the work of the seven flagship arts companies to which it is home to First Nations’ arts and culture, talks and ideas, theatre and dance and the superstars of classical and contemporary music.

The breadth of those experiences reflects our visionary 1961 Act, which charges the Opera House not only with the promotion of artistic taste across all art forms, but also “scientific research into, and the encouragement of, new and improved forms of entertainment and methods of presentation.”

But while the tale of the Opera House is one of breathtaking triumph, it is also one of personal cost. The building’s design was inspired - entirely unlike anything that had been seen before. Pressures piled upon its architect, Jørn Utzon, who left Australia midway through construction, never to return to see the building completed.

Nevertheless, Utzon’s masterpiece would define his career, and redefine the image of Australia both to itself and the world. An exercise in nation building, as Joe Cahill underlined, it was an extraordinary collective act of dreaming in public; a work of art built for the performance of works of art and brought to life by people who believed in the power of imagination.

Realising the dream took us all - visionaries and pragmatists, politicians and architects, engineers, artists and, most fundamentally, the people of Australia.

The Mid Century Project - Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle, NSW

October 2018

Following a sell out season as part of Melbourne Design Week and the London Festival of Architecture, Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst invite you to join them for The Mid Century Project Newcastle. For the past five years they have been skillfully blending storytelling, music and design in a mold breaking format and are thrilled to perform at this recently renovated gallery.

Tickets include mid century inspired film installations and the latest version of Tim Ross’s hit show Man About the House performed with musician Kit Warhurst.

“Must see show of the Festival” New York Times

“Had us in stitches” Sunday Times UK

“Hilarious” The Age

With a limited season and capacity, tickets will sell out, book now to avoid missing out.

Torbreck Apartments, Brisbane, QLD

October 2018

About Torbreck.

Torbreck is a company-titled multi-storeyed home unit development and a prominent landmark visible from many places in Brisbane. It was designed by Brisbane architects AH Job and RP Froud and comprises two stages; a low rise Garden Block to Chermside Street and a high rise Tower Block to Dornoch Terrace.

Torbreck was erected in 1958-1960 by NA Kratzmann Pty Ltd, one of the largest building contractors in Queensland by the late 1950s. The eight-storeyed garden block was constructed using the lift-slab technique, whereby the roof and floors were prefabricated on the ground, then hoisted into position by jacks mounted on the vertical wall supports. This construction technique had not been used in Queensland before. The fourteen-storeyed tower block was erected along more conventional lines.

Design Nation Live, Howroyd House, Launceston, TAS

September 2018

Design Nation Live is Presented as part of Open House Launceston (8-9 Sept) and the Junction Arts Festival.

How Much for The Green Chair with the Wooden Legs? COCA Christchurch, NZ

August 2018

Join comedian, design nerd and the presenter of acclaimed Australian TV design series Streets Of Your Town for an evening of assorted stories about his obsession with Mid Century furniture, architecture and beyond. How Much for the Green Chair with the Wooden Legs? is a nostalgic look at our childhoods, collecting modernist designer pieces and touring the globe performing in architectural gems.

The Mid Century Project - Wickham Terrace Carpark by James Birrell, Brisbane, QLD

July 2018

Wickham Terrace Car Park

Wickham Terrace Car Park is a heritage-listed multi-storey car park at 136 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, Brisbane. It was designed by James Birrell and built from 1959 to 1960. Added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1995, it was the first parking station to be constructed by Brisbane City Council and one of the first in the city area.

James Birrell was appointed the Architect in charge of the Brisbane City Council Architectural Department at the age of 27 years and in this capacity oversaw more than 150 projects between 1955 and 1961. The carpark was Birrell’s largest, and one of his last, projects for Brisbane City Council.

The Mid Century Project - National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT

June 2018

National Library of Australia by Walter Bunning (Bunning and Madden) in association with T.E. O’Mahony (1968)

The National Library of Australia building located at Parkes Place, Canberra was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. When the building opened it was the first time since the Library moved to Canberra in 1927 that all of the collections and staff were located in one building.

Walter Bunning (1912-1977) of the architectural firm Bunning and Madden was the chief architect in association with T.E. O'Mahony. The style of the building is 'Contemporary Classical' ('Late-Twentieth Century Stripped Classical'), influenced by the work of American architect Edward Stone and the Parthenon in Greece. The building was planned to have the same amount of columns (17 x 8) but the National Capital Development Commission cut one row of columns (to 16 x 8) to save $250,000.

Prime Minister Robert Menzies took a great interest in the Library’s development and funding. He was openly adverse to the idea of a modern building. He favoured ‘something with Columns’. Bunning's classical vision meant traditional building materials were used. The exterior of the building is light-coloured marble cladding, with granite, bronze, slate and copper. The podium walls are grey trachyte and the roof is copper.

The interior of the building was also carefully considered. Fine Australian woods were used in some of the reading rooms. The Nan Kivell room, previously the Manuscripts Reading Room, is panelled with red cedar and the Asian Collections Reading is panelled in grass paper and wood trim in bleached coachwood. The furniture was designed by Fred Ward and Arthur Robinson. Examples of the heritage furniture still feature in the Library.

After 7 years of design and construction the final building cost in 1968 was $8 million plus $600,000 in furnishings and equipment.

MOTEL, The Sails Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW

June 2018


Motel

Stories and songs inspired by Australia Motels.
A new work by Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst.

This show is a preview and will be held in a room at The Sails Motel in Brunswick Heads.

The Mid Century Project - BT Tower, London, UK

June 2018

BT Tower By Bedford and Yeats (1964)

The BT Tower is a communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London, owned by BT Group. Completed in 1964, the tower was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works; the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats. Typical for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 centimetres in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h. The main structure is 177 metres high, wiht a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. Upon completion it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.

The construction cost was £2.5 million. As well as the communications equipment and office space there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop and a rotating restaurant on the 34th floor, called the Top of the Tower and operated by Butlins, which made one revolution every 22 minutes. Today, the tower remains at the heart of BT’s technology & innovation.

One Hundred – An Evening with Tim Ross at Australia House, London, UK

May 2018

The History of Australia House

Australia House is the oldest Australian diplomatic mission and it is the longest continuously occupied foreign mission in London. King George V laid the building’s first foundation stone in 1913 but it was not until August 1918 that he officially opened the completed building.
The stringencies of World War I – principally shipping difficulties and labour shortages – had delayed construction considerably.

Federation of the six Australian states formally took place on 1 January 1901 but it was not until 1906 that the Federal Government sent an Official Secretary to London to represent Australia. In the intervening years Australia was represented by State Agents-General, the first of whom was the Agent-General of Victoria.

Victoria House had been built in 1907 on the corner of an island site, bounded on the south and east by the Strand, on the north-east by Aldwych and on the west by Melbourne Place. A massive demolition scheme many years before had left this vacant triangle of land, which had been empty so long that wild flowers bloomed there and the Daily Graphic called it “a garden of wild flowers in the heart of London . . . this rustic spot in urban surroundings”. In 1912 the Australian Government bought the freehold of the entire site.

The cost of the land was £379, 756 and building and other associated costs brought total expenditure to about £1 million.

The building was designed by Scots architects, A. Marshal Mackenzie and Son, following an architectural competition, the judges of which included Bertram Mackennal, John Longstaff, George Lambert, Fred Leist and Arthur Streeton. The judges reported “we are united in the opinion that this building will be a lasting monument to the importance of the Commonwealth and a splendid addition to the architecture of London.” The Commonwealth of Australia's chief architect, Mr J. S. Murdoch, travelled to London to work with the Mackenzie firm on the building.

The builders, Dove Brothers of Islington, began work in 1913 but were soon delayed by problems caused by World War I. However, the High Commissioner and former Australian Prime Minister, Mr Andrew Fisher, and some of his staff were able to move into temporary offices on the site in 1916, while work went on around them.

On 24 July 1913 King George V laid the foundation stone. He was accompanied by the Queen and Princess Mary. Much was made of the enthusiastic shouts of “Coo-ee” from the predominantly Australian crowd at the end of the ceremony. The Daily Express reported “it started suddenly and drew into a long-drawn, plaintive cry, which swelled and died again and again, coming to Londoner’s ears with almost startling novelty.”

King George V officially opened the building on 3 August 1918. The Australian Prime Minister, Mr W. M. Hughes; Mr Andrew Fisher, High Commissioner and former Prime Minister, and Mr Joseph Cook, Minister for the Navy and former Prime Minister and later High Commissioner, were among the official party.

This impressive building is a UK statutory listed Category II Government building and is listed on Australia’s Commonwealth Heritage List.

2018 marks the centenary of Australia House.

Headland House by Atelier Andy Carson, Gerringong, NSW

May 2018

Headland House by Atelier Andy Carson

ATELIER ANDY CARSON is an office for design est. in Sydney in 2015. The practice has a focus on exploring the art of living, building and materials.

This new home designed by Atelier Andy Carson is a sanctuary from its harsh surrounds, perched on a sprawling coastal site overlooking Werri Beach, New South Wales. Green pastures and paddocks running dairy cows line this 150-acre property on one side, rugged coastal cliffs and ocean on the other. The four bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom main home consists of three linked pavilions, wrapped around a protected courtyard.

The architects’ design is inspired by the spectacular landscape. The 180-degree views and breathtaking backdrop called for a respectful celebration of the location. Instead of providing the same view throughout the house with wall to wall glass, the design creates considered framed glimpses of what lies outside. Meanwhile, a storm-viewing room pays tribute to the drama of extreme weather fronts creeping up from the ocean.

The clients, Beau Neilson and her husband, Jeffrey Simpson, set the brief based on a clear understanding of how they live. No strangers to the design scene, the couple desired an elegant, comfortable residence for all conditions. Their brief also called for a modest two-bedroom guest house on the site to cater to visitors and extended family.

This guest house is inspired by a farm shed, with a plan that’s charmingly simple yet highly considered in its detail. Two decks form a cross axis to the home on the north and south, providing opportunities to chase the sun or seek refuge from harsh winds. The architect and builders teamed up with a local engineering firm to develop the operable façade. Large copper panels that cover the entire western façade can be adjusted to any angle, or fully open to light and views via hydraulic cylinders concealed in the floor space. Occupants are treated to a sensory show as the setting sun penetrates deep into the living space.

Atelier Andy Carson has created a robust family home that actively explores the relationship between building and landscape.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL NICHOLSON

Rose Seidler House by Harry Seidler, Sydney, NSW

May 2018

Rose Seidler House by Harry Seidler AC OBE

Harry Seidler (1923-2006) was notably one of Australia’s finest architects of all time. Having designed more than 180 buildings, he received much recognition for his contribution to architecture through out his career. With projects spanning the globe, he worked on residential, commercial and public commissions.

Seidler was best known for leading the modernist movement in Australia and his use of new building technologies of the time.

Seidler’s first house was the Rose Seidler House, which he designed and built for his parents. Completed in 1950, the glass walled, elevated cubiform house was revolutionary. The ‘most talked about house in Sydney’ during the 50’s, the house overturned almost every convention of suburban home design. An integration of architecture, art and technology, the house stood for a bold and optimistic new way of living.

Click here for more on the Rose Seidler House, gifted to the Historic Houses Trust by Harry Seidler in 1988 (link http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/new-way-living)

The Mid Century Project - Iwan Iwanoff House, Perth, WA

February 2018

Iwanoff House by Iwan Iwanoff, Perth, WA

The Mid Century Project

The Bulgarian-born Iwanoff is recognised internationally for his Brutalist buildings, characterised by the use of concrete blocks.

Villa Marittima by Robin Williams, Mornington Peninsula, VIC

December 2017

Villa Marittima by Robin Williams
Villa Marittima lives up to it's stunning photos when viewed in real life. A masterpiece of minimal living, Villa Marittima was designed by architect Robin Williams, who wanted his project to be about light, outlook and space. Set on the beach in St Andrews on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, the house is more like an artwork with surprising choices of materials, concealed cupboards and doors. Not surprisingly, Villa Marittima has taken out a host of awards including a National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture, a finalist in the World Architecture Awards and SPASA pool of the year.
2015 National Architecture Award: Residential – Houses (New) Jury citation
Villa Marittima challenges the “norms” as great works must. This villa is about poetry, discipline and commitment. It’s also almost impossible to describe, as it is alluring, reflective, abstract and particular. It is at one moment a garage, a shed, a reflection pool, a mesmerizing abstract painting, a framed “James Turrell-like” light-scape, a clever articulate interpretation of the Building Code of Australia and, quite simply, “a joy to live in.”
A bizarre and joyful experiment in living within an art piece, Villa Marittima is unique. It celebrates the possibility of architecture as art.

Kew House by Chancellor and Patrick, Melbourne, VIC

November 2017

KEW HOUSE BY CHANCELLOR AND PATRICK
Chancellor and Patrick were a Melbourne based practice, formed in 1953. Known for the houses they designed in the 1950's and 60's, they had an signature, expressive and 'organic' style of architecture. Inspired by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, they are best known for the Rothel House in Mornington and Larrakeyah, McCraith House, Dromana.
Kew House has been kept in original condition and is a prime example all that we love about 70's houses. Dramatic bathrooms in every shade, slate and wood, the house evokes memories of that era.

Hill Street House By Roy Grounds, Melbourne, VIC

November 2017

Hill Street House By Roy Grounds
Sir Roy Grounds designed and built the Hill Street House in the 1950's for his wife Betty and himself. Designed as a prototype for Grounds work on the National Gallery of Victoria, built some 10 years later, the Hill Street House was like a number of experiments in geometry and architecture that he worked on in the 1930s.
An amazing example of mid century architecture, all the rooms face a central courtyard. The house uses strong solid walls in the external design and extending eaves that float about the highlight windows.
The Hill Street House won the Victorian Architectural Medal in 1954.
Roy Grounds (1905-1981) was a renowned Victorian architect and a leader in Australia’s modern architecture movement. During his early career he spent some time working in the United States and England and after the war he was involved in setting up the curriculum for the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Between 1953 and 1962, Grounds was part of the Grounds, Romberg and Boyd partnership, in which time he designed the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra. When Grounds left the partnership he took with him the National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre project, completed in 1968. (source: https://architectureau.com/organisations/roy-grounds/)

University House, ANU, Canberra, ACT

November 2017

University House is Building No. 1 on the ANU campus, opening in 1954; at the time of the University's establishment. We have 61 students from many different countries who form a thriving and supportive community of scholars pursuing postgraduate coursework or research qualifications. The facilities of University House are here for the sole purpose of providing the social, physical and emotional support needed to help residents complete their academic studies satisfactorily. The House provides an environment where each of its residents can live and work without disturbing or being disturbed by those with whom they live and where they can enjoy the benefits of a fulfilling social life.

The Mid Century Project - AV Jennings Project Home, Adelaide, SA

October 2017

The Glenbrook House - 1963 - AV Jennings
The ‘Glenbrook’ project home (also marketed as the ‘Caprice’), was designed by John Campbell for AV Jennings Industries circa 1963. This design is featured in the book AV Jennings: Home Builders to the Nation. The floor-to ceiling glazing on the front elevation make the design particularly suitable for a north-facing front allotment. It is a simple compact T shape with bedrooms arranged along one side, and living areas with access to the front and rear gardens. This plan was very popular within the Small Homes Service which the design may well have been inspired by.
The suburb of Highbury is in the north-east of Adelaide, about 10km from the city, and rises up the foothills from the banks of the River Torrens linear park. It’s a leafy garden suburb subdivided from Italian migrant market gardens, with a lot of significant eucalypts remaining in place, and dotted with small reserves and parks. There are numerous examples of the AV Jennings homes in the streets around this suburb. Many are in quite original condition, but sadly some have fallen victim to demolition or owners’ featurist ‘improvements’ over the years. Boyd would not be impressed.
The current owners bought the home nearly 10 years ago from its original owner, Toni, a lovely Italian lady whose husband built the project home in 1967 but sadly passed away a few years later. Toni raised three sons and a number of German Shepherds in the home over the ensuing decades. Toni was selling the house to retire to Victor Harbor and seemed pleased to know her home was going to people who appreciated the architecture. She said she and her husband were so proud to have such a striking home, and to this day it really stands out on the street.

Newmarket House by Paul Owens, Brisbane, QLD

October 2017

Newmarket House by Owen Architecture
The original Newmarket house was constructed in 1940 by one of the owners of Queensland Land and Building Company (Leonard Birt) for himself. The company built another art deco home in Ashgrove for his brother and another similar house in Goskar Avenue, Alderley for his mother. The home was then featured in a special publication of Queensland Homes in1940.
Passionate for the Art Deco era, the current owners purchased the house in 1998. The home was run down but in original condition. They proceeded to work to lovingly restore the original house and create structured gardens, while saving for an extension.
At the end of 2004, some 6 years later, they completed a full renovation. Opening up the back of the house, creating a large kitchen, family and dining room, as well as an undercover entertaining area.
The renovation was judged to have been very sympathetic to the original house and its modernist influences. As a result, it won the architect, Paul Owen (OwenArchitecture), the State’s top accolades in 2005 including RAIA Queensland’s House of the Year and the Robin Dods Award for Residential Buildings.
The house is about to be listed on the real estate market, a rare find for Art Deco fans in Brisbane.

Bardon House by Bureau^Proberts, Brisbane, QLD

October 2017

Bardon House by Bureau^proberts
Liam Proberts, Managing and Creative Director of award-winning Brisbane-basedarchitectural practice bureau^proberts, has designed his family home. The house is situated on a wide, ridge-top block in the hilly Brisbane suburb ofBardon (within 5km of the CBD), falling steeply due-north to a tree reserve. The design is grounded in – and strongly connected to – the landscape andcharacteristics of its sloping site.
A seamless connection with the landscape is expressed throughout the house, andproliferates from the entryway to an internal courtyard on the main living level. The materials and textured screening draw on its context as a “Queenslander”home, referencing the traditional hip and gable roofs, and exposed timber framingof this form.
Bureau^proberts is an architectural firm based in Brisbane, Australia, with a 25-year history of providing a unique and diverse contribution to the architectural fabric of Queensland.As a recognised leader in commercial and multi-residential projects, they look to art,history and nature for inspiration to tell the story of each project.

The Mid Century Project - Kalowski House by Harry Seidler, Sydney, NSW

August 2017

‘The problem was to design a house in a treeless built-up suburb without any view. A house on the corner site, in order to provide for outdoor living, had to turn within itself. This was achieved using an enclosed courtyard and screen walls.

‘With the absence of natural vegetation, materials and finishes were chosen that result in a design dependent on sharp contrasts of black shadows on crisp, light, synthetic finishes. The exterior is of roughcast cement render on brick, painted light grey, with one main wall of dark green contrasting with the smooth white render of the concrete access stair and the white fascia. Bright colour accents on the entrance further the contrast with the grey natural concrete block courtyard walls. A pattern is introduced in the exterior walls, which are pierced below floor level to provide ventilation.’

From H Seidler, Houses and Interiors 1, 1948–70, The Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2003, p114

Image Credit:
Photographer Max Dupain 1958 © Penelope Seidler. Architect Harry Seidler

BT Tower, London, UK

June 2017

BT Tower By Bedford and Yeats (1964)
The BT Tower is a communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London, owned by BT Group. Completed in 1964, the tower was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works; the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.
Typical for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 centimetres in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h. The main structure is 177 metres high, wiht a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. Upon completion it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.
The construction cost was £2.5 million. As well as the communications equipment and office space there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop and a rotating restaurant on the 34th floor, called the Top of the Tower and operated by Butlins, which made one revolution every 22 minutes. Today, the tower remains at the heart of BT’s technology & innovation.

Future House, London, UK

June 2017

Futuro House originally designed by Matti Suuronen – restored by Craig Barnes
Futuro House, is a round, prefabricated house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, of which fewer than 100 were built during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The distinctive flying saucer-like shape and airplane hatch entrance has made the houses popular among collectors, originally designed to be portable ski hatches. Currently residing in Central Saint Martins, London since 2015, this Futuro House was painstakingly restored by artist Craig Barnes. This spaceship style, prefabricated fibreglass house is one of only 60 worldwide still in existence today.

Blythe Road House by Michaelis Boyd Associates, London, UK

June 2017

Blythe Road is a playful new-build single family home situated in Hammersmith, on the site of a demolished, disused garage. The challenging long and narrow site is surrounded by three storey office blocks with a small opening leading out to a sharp bend in the predominantly residential end of Blythe Road.
The design is a striking, contemporary take on Corbusien modernism employing geometric and sculptural forms, sliced open with dramatic glazing that offer sits residents a unique and unparalleled experience of city living. The vernacular house has been flipped, with landscaped gardens adorning the roofs of the two curved structures that rise above the neighbours and offer outstanding views across West London. These organic curves are penetrated by a regular geometry of rectangular and circular apertures along key view lines that respond to the surrounding structures. Underneath the two distinct higher tiers of the building is a ground floor that boasts light, substantial open plan living areas that open onto a secluded swimming pool offering sanctuary from a hecticcity life.

Kew House by Piercy & Company, London, UK

June 2017

Set within the Kew Green Conservation area of south-west London, this four bedroom family house is formed of two prefabricated weathering steel volumes inserted behind a retained nineteenth century stable wall.
The layout is informal; rich with incidental spaces and unexpected light sources. A delicate glazed circulation link reveals the contrast between a rustic exterior and refined interior. Split into two wings, the simple plan makes the most of a constrained site and responds to the living patterns of the young family.

Isokon Building by Wells Coates for Jack and Molly Pritchard, London, UK

June 2017

Isokon Building (formerly Lawn Road Flats) by Wells Coates for Jack & Molly Pritchard (1934)
The Grade I listed Isokon Building is are inforced concrete building in the International Style, built as an experiment in modern living for single professionals. Famous 1930s residents include four Bauhaus masters, four Soviet spies as well as several famous authors, artists and architects.

Trellick Tower by Erno Goldfinger, London, UK

June 2017

Trellick Tower is a 31-storey block of flats in Kensal Town Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. It was designed in the Brutalist style by architect Erno Goldfinger, after a commission from the Greater London Council in 1966, and completed in 1972. A Grade II listed building, Goldfinger's design is based on his earlier and slightly smaller Balfron Tower in Poplar, east London. It has a long, thin profile, with a separate lift and service tower linked at every third storey to the access corridors in the main building; flats above and below the corridor levels have internal stairs. The building contains 217 flats and was originally entirely owned by the GLC with the flats rented as council flats.

The 1957 Beach House, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2017

One of the original late 50's beach shacks in the area, the house most likely was built by handy mates from Brisbane over many weekends, probably taking years to have their own little patch of paradise at the Coast. Surviving the eighties and nineties, it has since been lovingly renovated and extended. Now a light and airy 3 bedroom home with a great connection to the outdoors, the home sits elevated, comfortably back from the beach, behind what were swamp-lands at the time of construction.

Located in the established beachside area of Maroochydore, the house is a little gem among newer builds and modern renovations. A perfect example of architecture in this era, the beach households memories of many family holidays and summers by the sea.

Lake Weyba House by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2017

Lake Weyba House is located on the Sunshine Coast near the western end of Lake Weyba. Created by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole in 1996 this house is an Australian exemplar in lightweight and environmentally responsive housing.
A series of three pavilions, originally Gabriel Poole designed this residence for himself and his wife Elizabeth. They needed an office for their work as well as somewhere to cool off in summer. The rooms are arranged so as to be highly functional. Each pavilion has a structural framework consisting of a “series of steel portals” spaced 2.4 metres apart.
With considered sustainable design and high functionality, this home speaks of a specific architectural style, of light, and of openness to the unique surrounding landscape.

Marcus Beach House by Paul Owen, Sunshine Coast, QLD

May 2017

The Marcus Beach House (1985) by Brisbane Architect Craig Herron derives from the architect designed, craftsman built Australian suburban project homes of the sixties and seventies. Designed for his mother, the house entertained family holidays for the extended Heron family for more than 25 years. The house was sympathetically re-modeled in 2010 for its new owners, a young family of five, by the multi-award winning Brisbane Architect Paul Owen (Owen Architecture). At just 140sq.m the courtyard house layout derives efficiency of space through integration of circulation and utility functions bringing family members together in daily routine and ritual. A restrained architectural aesthetic, the Marcus Beach House gives primacy to function and demonstrates small houses done well deliver eminently liveable family homes.

Power Street Residence by Rossetti Architects, Melbourne, VIC

March 2017

“An experience of total sensory surround is how architect Craig Rossetti’s stunningly original family house shapes up on a Hawthorn block subdivided so it fronts a quiet bluestone lane.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-living space home under a roof that cascades towards its garden is set beside a swimming pool that amplifies the Hockney-esque effect of the huge north window Rossetti compares to “a collapsing soap bubble”.
Beyond comfort and function, every element of this home becomes especially enlivened during wet weather; and, he says, is “about engagement in the environment”.”
Taking its reference from the lane that ran behind the old house, Power Street creates a stern face to that compliments the cobbstones and garage doors of the neigbouring houses.
Yet behind the massive front door, and a deliberately dark and low entry space, people enter a northern orientated space where light flows in through the structural curtain wall of steel and glass which supports the soaring 5 metre space.
As the principal designer at Rossetti Architects, Craig Rossetti has established himself in both Melbourne and overseas as a talented and dynamic designer with high profile airport, commercial and housing projects to his credit. One constant factor throughout his career has been Craig’s passion for his work and his company’s ability to design and build projects that fit comfortably within their urban context or natural surroundings.

Courtyard House by Aileen Sage Architects, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

Completed in 2014, this reinterpretation of the terrace house typology characterizes much of the Paddington Conservation Area. This includes articulated public and private areas, a street façade with overhanging balcony and a visual contrast between the front and rear of the house.
A central garden and series of smaller courtyard spaces are carved from the built envelope with a planted roof connecting the front and rear of the house. Each of the living areas opens up to this inner city ‘secret garden’ with different scaled openings allowing for flexibility throughout the seasons.
Aileen Sage Architects was established as a collaborative design platform, working with all disciplines of the built environment and creative industry. With a varied background and inspiring list of clients, Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday most recently were the co-creative directors for the Australian exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

International Towers by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

Two International Towers by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners
Within Sydney’s newest commercial precinct of Barangaroo, Two International Towers, is the middle of three towers designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
A hybrid of world-leading sustainability and workplace design, Tower Two innovates with: high-performance solar shading facades; improved indoor air quality with 100 per cent fresh air during business hours; and ‘vertical villages’ – a series of flexible, airy and connected spaces between levels designed to encourage a sense of community within the building.
The curved facades are designed to break the ‘corner office hierarchy’, ensuring natural light and water views for as many occupants as possible.

The Dome House by Stan Symonds, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

Situated with picturesque views of Middle Harbour in Seaforth, The Dome House is representative of Stan Symonds architectural career. Semi-circular balconies cantilever externally and internally – from bedrooms above a double height living area. A spiral staircase, inside-outside circular pond and domed roof and ceiling are all iconic of the time. Completed in 1963, the house has undergone tasteful additions, including a new circular pavilion on the grounds, designed by Symonds as a smaller separate home and a more recent addition over the carport. Nestled in amongst the newer ‘McMansions’, this modernist home is a wonderful example of sculptural and geometrical architecture.
Stan Symonds (1933-) studied and lived in Sydney. With a career spanning more than 70 projects, he is best known for his work in residential houses and small commercial or multiple housing blocks.

Noble Hughes House by David Boyle Architects, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

The owners of this house have a passion for mid century modernist design and hold an enviable collection of artwork, furniture, lighting and memorabilia from that period. David Boyle designed a family home that reflected the best of the 50’s and 60’s that spoke of optimism, innovation, community mindedness and generosity.
The house incorporates a series of planar colours, patterns and natural materials applied to surfaces to explode the rigid geometric spatial planes. Featuring a spiral staircase, impressive roof top gardens and generous outdoor spaces across two levels, this house brings a modern touch to an iconic era of architecture.
Individual building components incorporating natural materials and a series of nostalgically contemporary colours and patterns offer a joyous and generous backdrop to the street and the daily lives of the family who lives here.
David Boyle Architect is a multi award winning architectural practice established in 2002. Situated on the Central Coast, 2 hours north of Sydney, their residential projects span Sydney and the east coast of Australia.

Rose Seidler House by Harry Seidler, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

Rose Seidler House by Harry Seidler AC OBE

Harry Seidler (1923-2006) was notably one of Australia’s finest architects of all time. Having designed more than 180 buildings, he received much recognition for his contribution to architecture through out his career. With projects spanning the globe, he worked on residential, commercial and public commissions.

Seidler was best known for leading the modernist movement in Australia and his use of new building technologies of the time.

Seidler’s first house was the Rose Seidler House, which he designed and built for his parents. Completed in 1950, the glass walled, elevated cubiform house was revolutionary. The ‘most talked about house in Sydney’ during the 50’s, the house overturned almost every convention of suburban home design. An integration of architecture, art and technology, the house stood for a bold and optimistic new way of living.

Hollander House by David Hollander, Sydney, NSW

February 2017

Hollander House by David Hollander
Designed and built in 1971, the Hollander House boosts the architect’s, David Hollander’s, ambitious exploration of elliptical geometry working in the medium of steel-reinforced cement. Arguably Australia’s best example of organic architecture, the interiors and exteriors of this striking home are carefully calibrated to create a building that grows out of the site.
Hollander developed a floor plan enveloping three levels beginning at the entrance hall and office, continuing through the living area to the kitchen/dining area, and ultimately ascending to the casual recreation room at the highest elevation. Featuring curved walls and domed ceilings, the house was voted on one of Australia’s top five houses in 1973 by Australian House and Garden magazine.

Show:
MAKING OF STREETS OF YOUR TOWN
Following rave reviews for the recent film series, Streets of Your Town, join Tim Ross for a very intimate evening where he discusses the making of and ideas behind the show.
Hosted in the 70’s Hollander House by David Hollander, Simon Marnie (702 ABC Radio host) will join in conversation with Tim Ross to talk all things modernist architecture, where Australian architecture has come from and where we are headed.
Don’t miss this opportunity to sit in a sunken lounge and take in this piece of architectural history.

Robin Would Have Loved That, Walsh Street by Robin Boyd, Melbourne, VIC

November 2016

Robin Boyd CBE (1919-1971)
Boyd is arguably the most influential architect there has been in Australia. Through his writings Boyd inspired the general community and through his architecture he has become an acknowledged leader in the design and architectural professions. He was a renowned Victorian architect, author, critic, and public educator in the 50s and 60s, a leader in Melbourne’s Modern Architecture movement, a visionary in urban design, and outspoken on the ‘Australian Identity’.
Robin Boyd was a public educator. He was passionate about good design and devoted his life to creating a wider public understanding of its benefits. Acting as the cultural conscience of the nation, Boyd encouraged people to extend their thinking and expectations beyond ‘the known’ and ‘the given’. He urged people to reassess and innovate and, most importantly, he led by example.
‘Walsh Street’, the house Boyd designed for his own family in 1957, is his most well-known work. It has been extensively published both nationally and internationally as an exemplar of modernist Australian architecture and a house that continues to influence architectural thinking. It is now the home of the Robin Boyd Foundation

BackHouse by CODA, Perth, WA

October 2016

A compact and sustainable house by Coda Studio that prioritizes connection to family and community encapsulates the progressive ideals of the architects who call it home.

The founders of Coda Studio, Emma Williamson and Kieran Wong, are altruistic architects. They work on both private and public projects, and recent projects include several buildings that address homelessness issues. The practice consults to government to ensure good design outcomes on large-scale projects, and Kieran and Emma serve as volunteers on boards, committees and juries, regularly crossing the country from their base in Perth to contribute to the advancement of the architectural profession.

Their home in South Fremantle, an area that has been slowly gentrifying since Australia won the America’s Cup yacht race in 1983, is a testament to their socially progressive ideals: the house is compact at 165 square metres, is inherently sustainable and sits quietly among its neighbours.

It may seem like luck or good fortune that led the couple to purchase one of the few 1,200-square-metre blocks in the area, but Kieran had lived in this street as a child, in his grandmother’s house across the road. When the couple bought their new home – a modest 1930s cottage – and met their neighbours, some remembered Kieran as a toddler. “My whole family lived here in South Fremantle `{`but`}` they all moved out into new houses in the 1970s and 80s,” he recalls.

The only way the architects could afford to return to this newly desirable suburb was by putting their architectural skills to work: they bought and lived in the small cottage with their three children – now aged fourteen, twelve and nine – for five years, while they saved money and devised plans to build at the rear of the site. Although they are happy in their newly built house, they both harbour a desire to eventually move back into the original home, “where you can engage much more easily with the life on the street,” Kieran explains.

Source: ArchitectureAU

MWA Home by Architect Meaghan White, Perth, WA

October 2016

Like a veritable Tardis the sedate 1930s facade reveals a modern family house and independent studio basking in the stunning backdrop of the 105-year-old John Street pine trees.

The family home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a powder room, music room, reading room, internal/external dining and living areas, outdoor timber deck entertaining area, walk-in cellar/bar, handyman's workshop, outdoor cinema, self-contained separate home office with separate laneway entry, elevated glass front swimming pool, a pizza oven, veggie garden and a kid’s cabin.

Apartment House by David Weir Architects, Perth, WA

October 2016

Bounded on all sides by existing homes and a warehouse, the Apartment House crouches to the south of the block to make the most of the winter sun and to create a yard for itself.

The site is surrounded by local shops, cafes and pubs, so rather than build out the entire site, this house provides just enough room for its inhabitants – a young professional couple – to live, and enough outdoor entertaining space to make the most of Perth’s easy indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The entire roof is a concrete deck, surrounded by screens of jasmine, with views north over the suburban landscape, and west to the setting sun.

1 bed, 1 bath, a jug of Pimm’s on the roof and a cafe down the road – everything a person could need.

Bayside Fire Station by Owen Architecture, Bayside, QLD

October 2016

A 1930s fire station ignited the imagination of a Brisbane couple, who set about transforming it into a unique family home.

Converting a heritage-listed fire station is one of the more unusual briefs an architect or interior designer could receive. But Nicki Dalton says she knew the moment she and her husband Michael walked into the 1938 fire station’s engine room that it would be a wonderful home.
“We like something a bit out of the ordinary,” she says. “I didn’t know how we were going to make it work, but it was an awesome space.”

Nicki and Michael, proprietors of specialty food wholesalers Fino Foods, bought the bayside Brisbane property in 2012 and moved into the three-bedroom stationmaster’s quarters on the first floor. It was liveable, but with four children – Lucy, now 10, Harry, eight, Charlie, six, and Alice, three – to accommodate, it felt a little cramped.

The couple embarked on a full-scale conversion in 2015, calling on the expertise of architect Paul Owen and interior designer Daniella Rowles. The brief was straightforward: install a kitchen and dining room where the couple could celebrate their passion for food, revamp the entrance and enclose the external staircase.
Today, the former engine room is still at the centre of the action, reimagined as a dining hall with a custom-made 20-seat dining table to accommodate the Daltons’ regular large gatherings.

Source: Homes to Love

Archibald Street House by Kevin O'Brien Architects, Brisbane, QLD

October 2016

The Archibald Street House works a 3 level house around a central courtyard on a small lot in Brisbane. The upper sleeping level gains light through the introverted nature of the upper void, whilst the ground plane living level opens generously into the productive garden.

An expressed concrete structure is dressed in 3 layers of insulation (2 reflective, 2 bulk) to exclude heat gain in the long summers, and minimize heat loss in the short winters, leading to reducing energy consumption and electricity bills. Stained spotted gum ship-lap boards provides an external skin with effective thermal properties while continuing the timber tradition of the area. To the rear, a fixed garden bench frames a view of Mt Cootha over a fire pit.

Rising above the courtyard is a sculptural work by artist Fiona Foley, titled 'Bodhi Leaves' float mounted on a golden background that greets all who enter.

Railton House and Offices by John Railton, Spring Hill, Brisbane, QLD

October 2016

For this special show, in association with Brisbane Open House, they welcome you to the 1963 Railton House. The former home and office of Architect John Railton.

Sirius Apartment Building by Tao Gofers, Sydney, NSW

August 2016

Comedian Tim “Rosso” Ross will present a special performance of his show Man About the House at the Sirius building in Sydney on 20 August.

The performance, in association with the Save Our Sirius Foundation, is organized in protest to the NSW government’s decision not to heritage-list the brutalist style Sirius building designed by Tao Gofers in 1979.

Accompanied by musician Kit Warhurst, self-confessed nutty modernist Tim blends his two passions of architecture and comedy for this hilarious exploration of what design means to each of us in our daily lives, he weaves tales of suburban youth, new fatherhood and road trips with rapper Vanilla Ice with his love of design. Born from his obsession with design, (his Sydney home is a shrine to modernist architecture furniture and objects), this sell out show has been performed at iconic historic buildings all over the country including Boyd Education Centre in NSW Southern Highlands and Rose Seidler House, north west of Sydney.

In 2014, the show received a National Trust Heritage Awards.

Proceeds form the show will assist the Save Our Sirius Foundation.

Iwanoff House by Iwan Iwanoff, Perth, WA

July 2016

The home and studio of iconic architect the late Iwan Iwanoff. The Bulgarian-born Iwanoff is recognised internationally for his Brutalist buildings, characterised by the use of concrete blocks.

BT Tower, London, UK

June 2016

The BT Tower is a communications tower located in Fitzrovia, London, owned by BT Group. Completed in 1964, the tower was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works; the chief architects were Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.
Typical for its time, the building is concrete clad in glass. The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building will shift no more than 25 centimetres in wind speeds of up to 150 km/h. The main structure is 177 metres high, wiht a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. Upon completion it overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.
The construction cost was £2.5 million. As well as the communications equipment and office space there were viewing galleries, a souvenir shop and a rotating restaurant on the 34th floor, called the Top of the Tower and operated by Butlins, which made one revolution every 22 minutes. Today, the tower remains at the heart of BT’s technology & innovation.

White Lodge by Studio Octopi, London, UK

June 2016

White Lodge is part of a group of houses along the Upper Richmond Road better known as ‘Captains’ or ‘Nelson Houses’. Built in the 1860s, the name is attributed to the former landowner who developed the land, who married Francis Bolton, daughter of Thomas Nelson, 2nd Earl Nelson and also great niece of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Australia House, London, UK

June 2016

Australia House is the oldest Australian diplomatic mission and it is the longest continuously occupied foreign mission in London.
King George V laid the building’s first foundation stone in 1913 but it was not until August 1918 that he officially opened the completed building. The stringencies of World War I – principally shipping difficulties and labour shortages – had delayed construction considerably.
Federation of the six Australian states formally took place on 1 January 1901 but it was not until 1906 that the Federal Government sent an Official Secretary to London to represent Australia. In the intervening years Australia was represented by State Agents-General, the first of whom was the Agent-General of Victoria.
Victoria House had been built in 1907 on the corner of an island site, bounded on the south and east by the Strand, on the north-east by Aldwych and on the west by Melbourne Place. A massive demolition scheme many years before had left this vacant triangle of land, which had been empty so long that wild flowers bloomed there and the Daily Graphic called it “a garden of wild flowers in the heart of London . . . this rustic spot in urban surroundings”. In 1912 the Australian Government bought the freehold of the entire site.
The cost of the land was £379, 756 and building and other associated costs brought total expenditure to about £1 million.
The building was designed by Scots architects, A. Marshal Mackenzie and Son, following an architectural competition, the judges of which included Bertram Mackennal, John Longstaff, George Lambert, Fred Leist and Arthur Streeton. The judges reported “we are united in the opinion that this building will be a lasting monument to the importance of the Commonwealth and a splendid addition to the architecture of London.” The Commonwealth of Australia's chief architect, Mr J. S. Murdoch, travelled to London to work with the Mackenzie firm on the building.
The builders, Dove Brothers of Islington, began work in 1913 but were soon delayed by problems caused by World War I. However, the High Commissioner and former Australian Prime Minister, Mr Andrew Fisher, and some of his staff were able to move into temporary offices on the site in 1916, while work went on around them.
On 24 July 1913 King George V laid the foundation stone. He was accompanied by the Queen and Princess Mary. Much was made of the enthusiastic shouts of “Coo-ee” from the predominantly Australian crowd at the end of the ceremony. The Daily Express reported “it started suddenly and drew into a long-drawn, plaintive cry, which swelled and died again and again, coming to Londoner’s ears with almost startling novelty.”
King George V officially opened the building on 3 August 1918. The Australian Prime Minister, Mr W. M. Hughes; Mr Andrew Fisher, High Commissioner and former Prime Minister, and Mr Joseph Cook, Minister for the Navy and former Prime Minister and later High Commissioner, were among the official party.
Australia House is on the UK statutory list of Government buildings as a Category II building.

2 Willow Road, Hampstead, London, UK

June 2016

2 Willow Road is part of a terrace of three houses in Hampstead, London designed by architect Ernő Goldfinger and completed in 1939. It has been managed by the National Trust since 1995 and is open to the public. It was one of the first Modernist buildings acquired by the Trust, giving rise to some controversy. Goldfinger lived there with his wife Ursula and their children until his death in 1987.

Marsden House by Robbie Elmes of Ruskin Rowe Elmes, Mount Pleasant, NSW

May 2016

About the house from Felicity the current owner.

``The main house (I like to call it Marsden House) was built approx. 1964 as Mr Marsden (Mick) Williams private residence. It was designed by Robbie Elmes of Ruskin Rowe Elmes of George Street Sydney.
It sits on 4 acres of landscaped gardens designed by Stuart Pittendrigh, in a Japanese style.
The house was originally designed to be two bedrooms, plus a maids bedroom, a study and a large Japanese tea room, family room, living room, dining room and 6 bathrooms! Downstairs was built originally to house his train collection, but he then built an additional building on the property when his collection grew too big. Downstairs was then converted into a self contained flat with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living and dining.

The building that was built to house his train set is over 900m2 under roof. And is an architectural triumph in itself. The train set was reportedly one of the largest train collection in the world and estimated at approx. $13million - that was just the trains, not the actual railway or building. He built it for his eyes only and only a handful of people ever got to view it (luckily my husband and I we were two of them and you really had to see it to believe it).

I cannot imagine what he would have spent to create this property, absolutely no expense was spared. Our ``plant room`` houses an electricity sub station and a ducted air conditioning unit that apparently is the same as that which runs the Langham Hotel in Sydney. ``

Atherton House by Bill Baker, Sydney, NSW

April 2016

The beautiful 1950’s home Tim shares with wife Michelle Glew-Ross and Bugsy and Bobby is the stuff dreams are made of. Aesthetically impressive, yet refreshingly relaxed, the Ross family home is a testament to the timelessness of modernist architecture. It’s the kind of property that could easily have been knocked down, had it fallen into the wrong hands. Luckily, this house found it’s perfect match, and it’s a love affair that is still going strong, ten years on!

Tim purchased this house in 2005. ‘At the time, nobody else wanted it’ he says. Over the years, he and Michelle have restored and updated certain rooms, undertaking most of the design work and planning themselves. ‘Much to the horror of professionals I admire, I’ve trusted our own instincts with most of the changes we’ve made’ says Tim. Much of the home has been restored to its original 1959 condition, and in recent years, the garden and pool area has also been landscaped. One big consideration was working out the most sensitive way to incorporate a pool fence – in the end, frameless glass panels were used to minimise visual impact, whilst crazy stone paving was salvaged from elsewhere in the garden, and reused to build up walls around the pool and carport.

The house was originally built in 1959 for the Atherton family, and designed by their friend Bill Baker. ‘Bill was an architect and a Qantas Pilot – a multitasker like John Travolta’ Tim explains! ’On his trips to LA he was inspired by West Coast Modernism, and this house is a certainly a nod to those places he saw and admired at that time’.

Source: The Design Files

Dorney House by Edmond Dorney, Hobart, TAS

April 2016

The Dorney House is the family home of the late architect J.H EsmondDorney and is believed by some to be one of the great modern houses ofAustralia. The open plan 1978 house has stunning panoramic views andartfully incorporates parts of the old Fort Nelson ruins atop Porter Hill in SandyBay.

Howroyd House by Lawrence Howroyd, Launceston, TAS

April 2016

Designed by Lawrence Howroyd and built in 1965, the property is the home of Cumulus Studio director Todd Henderson and his family.

“We purchased the house about 11 years ago,” Mr Henderson said.

The Hendersons have always had plans to renovate, but construction only began about a year ago.

“I love the house so much that I couldn’t quite work out how to renovate it without wrecking the essence of the house,” he said.

“Although there are plenty of ‘60s houses around ... we could tell an architect had something to do with it because of the way the space was designed.”

Only the second owners of the house, the Hendersons put in a new, open plan kitchen but kept the living space as it was.

“The kitchen was a tiny shoebox,” Mr Henderson said.

A bedroom was transformed into a bathroom and an extension was added for a master bedroom.

“We wanted to make it a modern house but also keep the essence and the soul of what the house was,” Mr Henderson said.

“I think the thing we’ve enjoyed the most has been reusing parts of the house, because we loved it so much I couldn’t bring myself to throw bits of it away,” he said.

Original blackwood, green curtains and big windows are some of the standout features of the living area.

Bicheno SLSC by Birrelli Architects, Bicheno, TAS

April 2016

The little Bicheno Surf Life Saving Club and Boathouse is not just another shed. The club and boathouse principally for training young nippers to swim safely in the ocean is a bold contemporary timber form placed like an abstract vessel careened on the edge of the quartz white sand of Waub’s Bay, Bicheno, Tasmania.
The timber boathouse stands proudly as a public gesture. Serving as an historic beacon it takes cues directly from the activities of the last five remaining commercial cray fishing boats that operate out of Bicheno today. Cray fishing is a traditional commercial fishing activity that was once the mainstay of the coastal town’s economy.
Timber battens are laid horizontally in a crafted pattern of alternating sizes with finger-jointed ends expressed at each corner. The banded timber cladding is a direct metaphor interpreting cray-pots that are today still handcrafted using traditional time honored techniques weaving thin natural timber strips into a delicate striation to form the crustacean trap.
By day the timber crafted box washed ashore is intended to grey and silver to give a weathered patina over time, and contrastingly by night the little building becomes a lantern shouting out loud a message that the proud Bicheno community cares for both its environment and its children’s wellbeing.

The Barn by Alex Nielsen, Liz Walsh, Hobart, TAS

April 2016

Designed by Liz Walsh and Alex Nielsen, the concept for #thebarnTAS in Hobart was quite simple: retain as much of the existing building fabric as possible. Working within the original envelope of the barn, the architects created two distinctive spaces: a long, low one for dining, and a tall, smaller space that showcases the original full height of the building. The taller space also reveals the underside of the original roof shingles that have been painstakingly cleaned by the architects. All new work reads differently from the existing fabric – this way the important qualities of the building’s past have been retained. The Burra Charter mantra of “do as much as necessary, as little as possible” has led to the retention of much of the rich textures of the stonework, timberwork and plasterwork. As a result, the ingenuity of the new insertions is emphasised. Every opportunity to maximise spatial usefulness has been exploited. For example, the new glazing finishes flush with the exterior sandstone, heightening the awareness of the “new,” while internally these inserted window boxes provide much needed ancillary storage space. Inside, the architects have succeeded in preserving the sense of the barn’s original height by making the adjacent spaces lower as well as dividing space according to the structure and spacing of the original horse stalls. Working within the original envelope, the architects have used volume, outlook and a clear material strategy to define spaces and encourage variety and play. The project ultimately demonstrates that less can be much more.

Source: https://www.yellowtrace.com.au/hobart-barn-conversion-liz-walsh-alex-nielsen/

Shearer’s Quarters by John Wardle Architects, Bruny Island, TAS

April 2016

This beguiling shearers quarters sits as a companion building to an existing historic cottage on a working sheep farm.

Located on the site of the old shearing shed that was destroyed by fire. The residence houses shearers, and family and friends on annual tree planting weekends and retreats.

The plan form transforms along its length to shift the profile of a slender skillion at the western end to a broad gable at the east. The geometry of this shift is carried through to the layout of internal walls, lining boards and window frames.

A singular palette of materials is used with corrugated galvanised iron to the exterior, and timber internally. Inside is a large open living/dining/kitchen area, bathroom and laundry, two bedrooms and a bunkroom.

The primary internal lining is Pinus Macrocarpa sourced from many different suppliers principally as individual trees from old rural windbreaks.

The bedrooms are lined in recycled apple box crates, sourced from the many old orchards of the Huon Valley where the timber remained stacked but unused since the late 1960s.

Sawmill House by Archier, Yackandandah, VIC

April 2016

Befitting a regionally based sculptor, Sawmill House is a hand crafted upgrade from his existing rather rustic bohemian abode.
Working closely with the client, whom was a family member, the design developed as a conversation rather than a regimented document. Comprised of 270 one tonne concrete blocks, Sawmill House explores the possibility of positively leveraging the thousands of tons of concrete that goes to waste each year.
Leveraging our client’s skill set was a priority. We facilitated this with a simple documentation set a year prior to the start of construction, then slowly developed the design whilst physically working with the client on-site.
This design / build approach allowed us to move away from conventional solutions and investigate highly bespoke yet cost effective alternatives. Large sections of the roof and facade could be mechanised, entire walls of glass could pivot, courtyards could be added, custom furniture, joinery and hardware could be designed and manufactured on-site with immediate feedback.

Walsh Street by Robin Boyd, Melbourne, VIC

April 2016

``Walsh Street is a very sociable house - it was designed to be enjoyed``
An early initiative of the Robin Boyd Foundation was to purchase the Walsh Street, South Yarra house, which Boyd designed for himself and his family in 1958. Walsh Streetis acknowledged as one of Boyd's best houses.
It is widely recognised as one of Australia’s architectural icons of the Twentieth century and is now the home of the Robin Boyd Foundation.
The Walsh Street house is the focal point for the activities of the Robin Boyd Foundation. The house remains unchanged from the time it was first designed and occupied by the Boyd Family in 1959. Furnished with pieces designed by Boyd’s associates Grant Featherston, Clement Meadmore and others and then photographed by Mark Strizic, the house provides a unique insight into Melbourne’s design leaders of the 50s and 60s.
Boyd's Walsh Street house was the winning nomination for the RAIA (Victoria) 25 year Award in July 2006, and also the winner of the National 25 year Award, announced in October 2006.

Mills House by Austin Maynard Architects, Melbourne, VIC

April 2016

MILLS, THE TOY MANAGEMENT HOUSE

In a nutshell.
She’s a senior executive and now a new mum. For her and her newborn baby she wanted a light-filled home that could hide the mess. We gave her a floor that was a giant toy-box.

The what.
Mills is an extension to a one level weatherboard terrace in Melbourne. The original facade and front 2 rooms of the terrace remain. One of those rooms has been altered to incorporate a study and a bathroom. A large lightwell separates the original structure from the new extension. The extension has two bedrooms and a bathroom above an open kitchen, living, dining space.

Mills is a complex home, full of ideas, however there are 2 core elements.
1. The floor is a giant toy box.
2. The rear facade filters and softens the strong sunlight that had previously dominated the backyard.

The floor is the cupboard.
Everyone wants an abundance of storage. Terrace homes are roughly 6 metres wide. After adding walls, corridors, stairs, heating panels and cupboards we are left with very little width for living space. What if we didn't have wall cupboards? We’d get almost 1 metre of space back into the width of our terraces. What if our storage space was within our floor? Floor space is often left to the mice and spiders. Lets convert the floor into storage space and make the living area as big as possible without lining the walls with bulky cupboards.

Beyond the need for storage we were also concerned with the radical day-to-day changes a new baby brings. The endless management of ‘stuff’ was the key. Gravity is colluding with your child and conspires in its favour. Parents constantly pick things up, whilst kids throw them down. Children seem to love dropping things on the ground. We have all seen the torturous game of a baby sitting in a high chair throwing a toy to the ground the moment it is placed on their table. It’s cute the first three times. It’s a nightmare the next 200 times. While gravity amuses the child, it punishes the parent. The trick is to work with the chaos a child brings rather than naively hoping that your child will choose to be neat. At Mills we have made gravity the parents’ ally rather than the child’s by enabling the floor to swallow all the mess. Rather than picking toys up to put back in the toy box, we’ve made the floor one big toy box. Let’s get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides. It becomes a game for the child as well as a new hiding place to play.

450 is the magic number.
The toy-box floor is 450 millimetres deep. A typical seat is roughly 450 millimetres high. The open floor is not only storage space, it is also play space at a comfortable seat height for adults. A kitchen bench is roughly 900 millimetres. Therefore a kitchen bench is two seats high. The kitchen sits on the original floor height therefore the bench is 450 millimetres above the new toy-box floor. The kitchen bench is a seat to the new floor. We’ve upholstered a seat under a flap on the kitchen bench so that there can be one extra seat at the dining table when visitors are over, or when Louis wants to cook with Mum. Furthermore, the lightwell garden is at the new floor height, 450 lower than the benchtop, which makes access to the herbs very easy. 450 is the magic number.

Corridors are wasted space.
We like to give corridors dual functions. The kitchen at Mills occupies the original corridor space. Therefore the substantial space the kitchen would have occupied in a typical location has been used as living space. Upstairs the master bedroom wall can slide entirely away so that the room can increase almost 2 metres in length when open to the corridor.

Perforated metal.
We’ve used perforated metal throughout Mills. Stairs are tricky, especially in tight spaces. We have tried to create a stair that feels light like lace, which is difficult considering the constant live loads a stair is under. Perforated steel sheet is folded allowing light to be shared while also enabling conversations from one level to the other, without requiring you to be in the same space. One can lounge by a sunny upstairs window while having a conversation with someone below. Although it is a small home with numerous spaces we’ve avoided creating isolated cells by using translucent materials like perforated metal.

We’ve also employed perforated metal to control sunlight. We all want an abundance of sun in our homes, however too much sunlight makes any home very uncomfortable. The rear facade of Mills faces North-West, therefore it gets hit with the most aggressive sunlight of the day. Before the renovation the owner had felt very uncomfortable at the rear of her house. We’ve draped a white perforated metal facade down the face of the rear elevation. The facade reflects most of the unwanted sunlight in summer, allowing a soft filtered light to penetrate the house. The lines between inside and outside have been blurred. The glass walls of the living space are offset from the perf facade which creates a comfortable outdoor space that feels as though it is within the skin of the house. The facade feels solid and protective on a bright, hot day. On a dull day, at dusk and in the evening the facade appears far less solid and the metal skin feels more like lace than a wall.

That bathtub.
The bathroom is not big, therefore we have created very large windows towards the lightwell and towards the original roof. This makes the bathroom seem large, sunny and bright.

No one likes cleaning a bathroom. Adding a bathtub to a small space creates a lot of fiddly details where grime, mess and mold can gather. To avoid the mess, and to create a bathroom that was easy to maintain, we made our own bathtub out of fibreglass. There are no seams or joins. Along the walls a slim, continuous gutter that ensure water runs around the bath and drains through the floor. Simple, neat and clean.

Sustainability.
Like all of our buildings, sustainability is at the core of Mills House. Although the site is small we have maximised natural light and air to all spaces. The openings and windows have been designed to optimise passive solar gain, thereby drastically reducing demands on mechanical heating and cooling. All windows are double glazed. White roofs drastically reduce urban heat sink and heat transfer internally. A need for air-conditioning is eliminated through active management of shade, and passive ventilation. A large water tank has been buried central within the lightwell. All roof water is captured and reused to flush toilets and water the garden. High performance insulation is everywhere, even in the walls of the original house. Where possible we have sourced local trades, materials and fittings. Solar panels with micro-inverters cover the new roof.

Aperture House by Blight Rayner, Brisbane, QLD

March 2016

This project is a remodelling and extension of a tiny timber workers cottage in inner city Highgate Hill. It illustrates our passion for crafting architecture, here via a collaboration with specialist bricklayers Elvis and Rose.

One generating idea for the extension was to invert the existing cottage’s gable roof, delivering north and south daylight into the spaces. Another was to employ the device of aperture to enlarge the experience of small spaces, creating perspectives through them and views out while maintaining visual privacy to neighbours.

The brickwork is designed to appear as a series of garden walls through which small apertures support vines, and larger ones frame courtyard vistas. The walls extend out into the rear garden forming patios and culminating in a pool enclosure reached across a ha-ha trough.

The house is a demonstration of how adaptive re-use of the smallest of cottages can be crafted to create flexible family environments, utilising built-in elements to maximise utility and enrich experience.
Collaboration
Twofold Studio
Client
Jayson and Melissa Blight
Awards
Horbury Hunt Residential Award, Think Brick Awards 2014 • Shortlisted in House, WAF 2014 • State Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions), AIA QLD 2014 • Regional Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions), AIA QLD Brisbane 2014 • House of the Year, AIA QLD Brisbane 2014

Iwanoff House by Iwan Iwanoff, Perth, WA

December 2015

Though not born in Australia, Perth is the city of architect Iwan Iwanoff’s work – and despite his death in 1986, he’s still Perth’s most famous architect and internationally acclaimed.

Born in Bulgaria in 1919, Iwanoff was an artist who studied architecture in Europe before immigrating to Australia as a refugee in 1950, where he established his own practice in the mid-1960s and become known as WA’s most famous architect.

With his distinctive expressionistic style, his career as an architect was a short but brilliant one, yet it is still said he was often misunderstood by most early in his career. His buildings became famous for his Brutalist style, distinctive concrete blockwork, ahead-of-the-curve floor plans and trademark features that included letterboxes designed as part of the whole house and futuristic-looking, handcrafted sculptured panels, often made from recycled materials.

Completed in 1966, Iwanoff’s own house and studio in leafy Floreat is regarded by many architectural buffs as one of the finest examples of his work.

In near-original condition, it features Iwanoff’s signature use of concrete blocks placed in long horizontal bands of glass, block and flat fascia as well as distinctive sculptured panels to the front of the house. Inside there is a studio, extensive timber panelling, an upper-floor kitchen, numerous living areas and signature sculptural panels. Each of the three bedrooms has its own luxuriously appointed en suite.

It is now owned by The Collector founder and interior designer Renee Coleman.

Waverley Street House by Klopper & Davis Architects, Perth, WA

December 2015

A two-storey timber-clad box has been added to the rear of a brick worker’s cottage to give more space to the homeowner, architect Sam Klopper, and his growing family.

The house wraps around an existing oak tree to protect the house from the strong summer sun, which opens up in winter to fill the house with light.

Gresley Monk House by Gresley Abas Architects and Justine Monk Design, Perth, WA

December 2015

Architects Philip Gresley and Justine Monk renovated this project to serve as their family home.

“I always love to get inside the house of an architect and this one is superb and the home of not one but two of them!” Ross says.

A living area, dining and kitchen space, second bathroom and laundry were conceived as a “box” that suspends from the rear of the existing cottage.

“Small in size but perfectly designed, I cannot wait to see the design quirks of this house up close,” Ross says.

The project won the Australian Institute of Architects Architecture Award (Alterations and Additions– WA) in 2012.

Coolbinia House by Krantz and Sheldon, Perth, WA

December 2015

Do you love awesome architecture, amazing design and live comedy? You’re going to go nuts over this event.

Presented by the Australian Institute of Architects - WA Chapter, Man About the House is the brainchild of comedian Tim “Rosso” Ross of Merrick and Rosso fame and his musician mate Kit Warhurst.

When I first heard about this event I thought, “What a cool idea!” Man About the House combines three of my biggest loves: stickybeaking through an amazing iconic house, architecture AND a night of live comedy.

Shine Dome by Roy Grounds, Canberra, ACT

November 2015

The Dome: The story of its construction
Completed in 1959 and reflecting some of the more adventurous architectural ideas of that time, the Shine Dome (previously known as Becker House) remains one of the most unusual buildings in Australia.
The dome – roof, walls and structure combined – dives down beneath the still water of its moat to give the sense that it is floating. From the walkway between the moat and the inner walls, the arches provide a 360° panoramic sequence of 16 views of the capital city and the hills beyond.
The Shine Dome was conceived before Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin existed, before microchips, and before manned space travel. It was created in the visionary scientific era of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.
The dome came about because the Australian Academy of Science needed a home. In the early 1950s, under the founding Presidency of Sir Mark Oliphant (http://sciencearchive.org.au/fellows/memoirs/oliphant.html), the new Academy and its 64 Fellows set about finding funds to create a building of its own. The Academy, which had been using offices in the Australian National University, recruited some eminent industrialists to its cause and received its first cheque (for £25,000) from BHP. Thus encouraged, Fellows both provided funds and encouraged their business associates to do the same. The dome, which cost a total of £260,000 to build, was completed in 1959 and named Becker House, recognising Sir Jack Ellerton Becker (http://sciencearchive.org.au/fellows/memoirs/becker.html)'s £100,000 donation.
Once the Academy had found a suitable site, the next step was to select an architect. Six architects were invited to submit plans to a competitive process, and on 1 December 1956 the Academy's Building Design Committee met in Adelaide to look at them. The committee wanted a building that would be of a very high order aesthetically, judged from a non-traditional standpoint.
The committee settled upon the most radical design and their decision was unanimously approved by Council (https://www.science.org.au/node/32077). Grounds, Romberg and Boyd were seen as the most influential Australian architects of their time.Roy Grounds was the sole architect on the Academy's building: it was his design that won the commission.
Unique features and challenges
The radically different building created radically different problems for the architects and engineers involved. Some doubted it could be built. Nobody knew how to calculate the stresses created by a 710 tonne concrete dome perched on 16 slender supports. This was vital, because if they got it wrong the whole dome might collapse when the building supports were taken away. In the end they grappled with the problem by building a one-fortieth scale model to see if it would work.
Those who trusted the model were proved right. When the massive concrete dome was built and the forest of wooden formwork and supports removed, the top of the dome dropped less than a centimetre as it took its own weight. It was a triumph for those who worked on the calculations and the model.
But getting the 'roof' on was only half the battle. In the centre of the dome was a lecture theatre for 150 people – and the big concrete umbrella did some strange things to sound. Again, the problems were new ones, and it took a great deal of work by acoustic engineers to get the sound right. The solution was to use a complex series of acoustic baffles to control the sound. Some were suspended from the ceiling and others built as part of long wooden panels on the walls. After much trial and error, the sound problem was solved.
Then a whole new and totally unexpected problem emerged. It became apparent that the elegant eucalyptus sound baffles gracing the walls created a form of optical interference, rendering about half of the people in the room nauseous. It took quite some time to find a solution, but eventually a Fellow, Dr Victor Macfarlane (http://sciencearchive.org.au/fellows/memoirs/macfarlane.html), who worked at the John Curtin School of Medicine at the ANU, came up with the idea of filling in the visually offending gaps with strings. This fixed the optical problem without spoiling the acoustics.
The concrete roof of the dome is sheathed in copper – and under the copper is a layer of vermiculite which partly insulates the interior from outside temperatures. This provides a degree of thermal inertia and the temperature of the dome's underside is roughly an average of the outdoor temperature of the previous 24 hours. It can become unpleasantly hot after a February heatwave or chilly after an August cold spell. However, a natural gas heating system helps keep the building warm in winter. In the summer the sloping roof shields the windows from direct sunlight.
Opening the dome
The dome's foundation stone was laid on 2 May 1958 by Prime Minister Robert Menzies, and founding Fellows Sir John Eccles (http://sciencearchive.org.au/fellows/memoirs/eccles.html), Sir Mark Oliphant. Each spoke (http://www.science.org.au/laying-foundation-stone-2-may-1958) eloquently about the founding of the Academy and the importance of science to Australia and the world. On 6 May 1959 luminaries of science and politics gathered to witness the Governor-General, Sir William Slim, officially open the dome (http://www.science.org.au/opening-ceremony-6-may-1959).
Later additions
In 2000 the dome was completely restored and updated with a new cooling system. These major works were supported by a donation of $1 million from a Fellow, Professor John Shine, and a grant of $525,000 from the National Council for the Centenary of Federation. In recognition of this donation, the building is now named the Shine Dome.
A capital landmark
For its unique architecture and status as a landmark, the Shine Dome was included in the National Heritage List (http://www.environment.gov.au/node/19630) on 21 September 2005. For many years the Dome has been an iconic landmark of the national capital. It has featured in news backdrops, on posters, postcards, teatowels and even as a souvenir fridge magnet. The Shine Dome, which has won a number of national and international architecture awards and citations (http://www.science.org.au/architectual-awards-and-citations), continues to fascinate visitors to Canberra.

Kennedy Nolan Offices, Melbourne, VIC

November 2015

Kennedy Nolan was established in 1999 and has since developed a reputation as a design focused practice with a distinctive approach to built form. The practice is dedicated to the production of architecture that is highly responsive to its context and seeks to form a strong relationship with landscape.

Design at Kennedy Nolan is generated drawing on the optimistic precepts of modernism - rational, utilitarian, empowered by technology - and a positive view that the design and arrangement of spaces can support and reinforce relationships, can add piquancy and zest to life.

Less tangibly, the practice is also compelled to distil the impalpable – to draw on the reaches of memory, the evocative power of recognising form, colour, texture and light, the resonance of shared memories, of history and landscapes.

The Log Cabin, Melbourne, VIC

November 2015

This renovated 1970s suburban home in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs has been the buzz of the Design Blogs for a number of years and we are excited to spent an afternoon here.

https://thedesignfiles.net/2013/03/melbourne-home-simone-and-rhys-haag/

Dolls House by Simon Knott BKK Architects, Melbourne, VIC

November 2015

Dolls House is an idea about providing flexible, highly sustainable living that is responsive to its context and able to adapt to the changing needs of a family over a long life-span. The first known Doll’s house, originally called a ‘baby house’ in 1557 was a showcase for local creatives and craftspeople to display their wares. The Dolls House later became a play thing for children; a space of imagination. Shared ideas of creativity, craftsmanship, play and imagination underpin this house, whilst also mirroring the flexibility of the Doll’s house where a bedroom can become a living room or dining room by simply moving furniture or joinery. The new addition is largely made up of two spaces stacked upon each other, with no doors or walls, just furniture and joinery to divide space and imply use. The two levels of the house are treated quite distinctly; the lower sunk below grade and heavily grounded, whilst the upper is soaring into the treetops. The new addition frees up the plan of the old house where the former living and dining areas have become a flexible buffer space with an artist studio and playroom that place creativity and play at the centre of the home.

Holman House by Durbach Block Jaggers, Sydney, NSW

November 2015

This show was hosted as part of a fundraiser for The Pool exhibition, Australia's pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Sited on the edge of a 70-metre high cliff, the plan of Holman House refers to Picasso's painting The Bather. It contains a complex series of fluid living spaces set within a meandering perimeter that arcs, folds and stretches in response to sun, landscape and views. Living and dining areas cantilever out over the ocean, allowing dramatic views up and down the coast. The lower floor forms a base that is built from rough stone walls like an extension of the cliff below. These walls continue along the cliff edge to form a series of eccentric terraced gardens and a vase-shaped rock pool.

Walkley House by Robin Boyd, Adelaide, SA

October 2015

This show was proudly part of the Adelaide Festival of Architecture and Design.

Built in 1956 this house is a highly significant example of the 'International Style' and is stylistically linked to the work of notable overseas architects such as Philip Johnson's Glasshouse and Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House both completed in the late 1940s in the USA. In addition it is of considerable architectural interest for being the only structure designed in South Australia by the architect Robin Boyd who achieved international renown. Born in Melbourne in 1919 into a family of well-known artists Boyd became renowned as an architect of the 'new breed' of the 1950s who aspired to develop a functional style suited to the Australian climate and lifestyle. He wrote several widely acclaimed books including 'Australia's Home' (1952) and his attack on unimaginative architecture 'The Australian Ugliness' (1960).

Jacobi House by Hayes and Scott, Brisbane, QLD

October 2015

Architects of the mid-twentieth century steered Brisbane’s architecture in parallel with the utopian ideals of the modern movement. Jacobi House (1957) by Campbell Scott were part of a group of mid-century homes built at the time and an example of the international style in a local context.

Jacobi House is equally bound to modernist and subtropical architectural principles; a square, timber and glass pavilion, elevated on stumps and topped by a pyramid roof suspended from diagonal, laminated timber beams. Simple but effective technologies enhance the home, such as a roof sprinkler to protect the building from forest fires and integrated ventilation strategies to ensure good environmental performance. Cantilevered verandahs on three sides provide perimeter shading to generous, sliding and louvred openings to maintain effective airflow.

Griffin Willoughby Incinerator by Walter Burley Griffin and Eric Nicholls, Sydney, NSW

September 2015

Completed in 1934, The Griffin Willoughby Incinerator is a remarkable piece of early Australian Industrial heritage. Designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Eric Nicholls, the building is sited at the edge of what is now the Willoughby Centennial Parklands. In 1967 the incinerator was switched off, and the building lay dormant until undergoing adaptive reuse works in the early 1980’s to convert the building first into a restaurant and then a small office building. Vandals, fire, a lightning strike (that forced the removal of the ornate chimney top) and a series of unsympathetic additions all badly damaged the original fabric of the building. In 2006 SJB and Godden Mackay Logan were appointed by Willoughby Council to prepare documentation for the adaptive reuse of the badly damaged and maligned building. No ‘as built’ drawings were completed, so the building was 3D modelled from old photographs and very limited original architectural documentation. This unique interrogation (that could be described as ‘CSI Architecture’) informed a clearer understanding of the original building, including what potentially lay beneath the additions made in the 1980’s renovations.

Modelling the building allowed clear and concise communication of the buildings potential to a huge variety of stakeholders; Walter Burley Griffin Historical Society, NSW Heritage Council, Local Community, Client, Council Officers, Councillors, Consultants and the Builder appointed for the demolition and rectification works. The building rectification works have been a long, arduous and expensive task. Significant concrete cancer necessitated the replacement of much of the built form, while the reinstatement of the original chimney has given the building back it’s sense of scale. The building is now home to an ‘artist in residence’ studio, a community gallery space and a café and community meeting place. The incorporation of a lift to enable equitable access to the building included the commissioning of Artist Richard Goodwin for a sculpture to cloak the lift structure, kicking off the public acquisition program for what will become a public sculpture park. This is an ongoing project that will see this small civic building spread its tentacles into the surrounding parkland as funds become available and if the public’s will is expressed loudly enough.

Atherton House by Bill Baker, Sydney, NSW

August 2015

Built in 1959, Atherton House is regarded as a classic of mid-century architecture, complete with kidney-shaped pool and red lino floors, and features enough Eames chairs for the entire cast of Mad Men. 'It's also got floor-to-ceiling glazing, which was pretty typical of the period,' Ross says. 'It brings in all the light, so that on a sunny day the house literally smiles at you.'

This mid-century marvel was built in 1959, and it sure was lucky to find Tim in 2005 (he is only the third person to own the home)! SO many modernist homes in Australia end up being demolished or re-configured beyond any recognition (devastating!), but Tim is a self confessed architecture nerd, and has been extremely passionate about restoring his beloved pad in keeping with it’s original design. Much of the home is in original condition – sadly the bathrooms had already undergone unsympathetic renovations when Tim purchased the property, so Tim replaced these. Carpet from the 1980′s was removed and the original boards polished.

Tim’s passion for all things mid-century clearly extends to his choice of furniture and interior details. He’s is an avid junk shop fiend – favourite pieces include the Arne Vodder sideboard with the coloured drawers in the loungeroom, a wonky old featherston chair, the Finn Juhl chair in the lounge room… and ‘watching Michelle curl up in the old Womb Chair to feed Bugsy is rather sweet’ he says! Tim is a collector of MANY things – ‘cameras, old records, phones, teapots… I love all of them’ he says. ‘I have some German tea pots and cups that were leftover stock from a homewares store that my parents ran in the late 1960’s, they are rather special to me. I love the stories behind what we collect’.

Aireys House by Byrne Architects, Airley Inlet, VIC

June 2015

The house is essentially three levels, although both ground and first floor are split at key moments to take advantage of views and connect back to the landscape. There are three bedrooms at ground level, with the master bedroom, living and kitchen on the first floor and a basement with a-three car garage, workshop and wine cellar.

Central to the concept are ideas of fluidity and exploration. Between the site and the high cliff drop to the ocean are simple sand and gravel tracks, a rarity along the great ocean road. Cliff line trails rise and fall, bend and disperse like capillaries, on occasion opening up to expose exquisite hidden beaches.

Brick House by Clare Cousins, Melbourne, VIC

June 2015

The Brick House is an addition and renovation to a single fronted Edwardian house in Prahran. Craving privacy from looming neighbouring flats two new structures were conceived to cocoon a private central courtyard space between them.

Designed for a young family the house caters for their needs now and in the future. A flexible space, referred to as the studio, is housed on top of the new garage forming a double story mass at the rear of the site to help screen large neighbouring buildings. The single story addition to the house engages with the garden with its meandering facade of glass and brick.

(Pent)house by Harry Seidler, Sydney, NSW

March 2015

The Harry Seidler offices and top-floor apartments were developed in three stages. The first building (no 2 Glen Street) was completed in 1973. It is an 11 m clear span office building of prestressed expressively profiled T-beams with vertical exterior concrete sun blades.

The first addition (no 2A Glen Street), completed in 1988, extends the offices on the lower floors and adds a penthouse apartment on top. Entry to the penthouse is into a space two storeys high, with a presentation theatre and facilities for entertaining. A half-elliptical Indian granite dining table allows guests to sit at the curved side of the table so that they can see the splendid water view; the hosts sit on the opposite side, facing their guests. A curved stair leads to the upper floor lounge, study and master bedroom suite. Within the straight outline plan, flowing curves enrich the open interior. Only the artworks (by Albers, Stella, Lichtenstein, Mais, Perry and Noland) are colourful in contrast to the neutral grey, white and black interior.

Rose Seidler House, Sydney, NSW

2015

Rose Seidler House is a heritage-listed former residence and now house museum located at 69-71 Clissold Road in the Sydney suburb of Wahroonga in the Ku-ring-gai Council local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by Harry Seidler and built from 1948 to 1950 by Bret R. Lake.

Donner House, Auckland, New Zealand

2015

Tibor Donner was a serious modernist and the house he designed for himself has a lot of the key modernist elements, although it could be described as 'tropical' modernism in that it's quite fruity, with curved walls and crazy paving, with strong textures and a spiral staircase leading up to the roof.

Hotel Lautner, Palm Springs, USA

February 2015

Formerly known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel this unique property was designed and built by John Lautner in 1947 as a master planned community of over 100 buildings, storefronts and pools on 600 acres in Desert Hot Springs.

Gand House Palm Springs, USA

February 2015

Joan and Gary Gand heard the buzz about their Palm Springs home long before they saw it.

“It was this legendary, cool house where people were going to parties and falling in the pool and that sort of thing,” says Gary about the 1960 residence, which was recently nominated by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation as a Class 1 Historic Site.

Seeing the property was on the market again, the couple called their real estate agent, who was also curious to see it. After only a 40-minute tour, Joan and Gary — who collaborate as professional musicians and avid collectors of midcentury design — knew they had to buy it.

Befitting a home of creatives, the Gand residence hardly seems to stand still. Dynamic changes and transitions occur at every turn; walls shift in angle and the ceiling slopes dramatically. The centerpiece, a sunken living room with the walls arranged in part of a hexagon, wraps around the swimming pool.

“The geometry is like a crazy quilt,” Gary says admiringly. “At times, you’re not quite sure where you are. It’s like those fun houses you went into when you were a kid.” Indeed, after a few drinks, it would be hard not to fall in the pool.

Heide II, Melbourne, VIC

2015

Heide Museum of Modern Art began life in 1934 as the home of John and Sunday Reed and has since evolved into one of Australia's most important cultural institutions.

Soon after purchasing the fifteen acre property on which Heide stands in 1934, founders John and Sunday Reed opened their home to like-minded individuals such as artists Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff. They nurtured a circle of artists, writers and intellectuals who contributed to Heide becoming a place for the discussion, creation and promotion of modern art and literature.

John and Sunday made a lasting contribution to Australian culture through their support of creative endeavours in the visual arts, literature and architecture. In the mid-1950s the Reeds established the Gallery of Contemporary Art and in 1958, with the assistance of friend and entrepreneur Georges Mora, they re-launched the gallery as the Museum of Modern Art of Australia. This eventually led to the formal establishment of the museum.

Amassing an outstanding collection of the contemporary art of their time, the Reeds outgrew their original farmhouse, now known as Heide I, and in 1964 commissioned the construction of a ‘gallery to be lived in’ from David McGlashan. This modernist architectural icon eventually opened as a public art museum in November 1981 following its purchase by the State Government on behalf of the people of Victoria. Although the Reeds lived to see their vision fulfilled of Heide as a public museum, they both died shortly afterwards in December 1981, ten days apart. They are remembered as champions of modern art and literature and remain two of Australia's most important art benefactors.

Boyd Education Centre, Bundanon, NSW

2015

Designed by internationally celebrated Australian architect Glenn Murcutt in association with Reg Lark and Wendy Lewin, the award-winning Boyd Education Centre provides arts education programs, hosts special events for visitors, and is available for large group residencies, corporate functions, seminars and conferences.

Spring Hill Reservoir, Brisbane, QLD

2015

Spring Hill Reservoir 1871 Queensland.
This show will be performed underground in the former water storage facilities last used in 1962.
This show is part of Brisbane Open House 2015.

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD

2015

Queensland Art Gallery