Almost all of the homes I feature on Modaokon are ones I have seen in real life. But while I was Facebooking working hard the other day, a link by to caught my eye online and I just had to share it here. Just look at it!
It looks unassuming from the street front, but this four bedroom house is a beautiful example of modernist architecture and almost completely untouched since it was built in the 1950s. Check out that original kitchen! And that garage! This house is so colourful and light-filled and just cute. How could you come home to a house like this and not feel cheerful about it?
I’m always enthralled by those rare older houses that still retain so many of their original features. Even if the kitchen is a bit poky by modern standards or the carpet is a lurid definitely-not-beige shade. They make me smile.
But what caught the peeps at Modernist Australia's attention was this house’s real estate listing write-up. The real estate agent titled the house an “outstanding development opportunity” and in his opening paragraph delved into the block’s opportunity for development (there’s an ugly apartment building next door, and views across to Bondi). THEN he talked about what a rare and beautiful example of modernist architecture the house was - with a design that was revolutionary when it was built in the 1950s. Oops. Modernist lovers unite and wave their pitchforks .
Perhaps ironically, incensing and inciting the wrath of modernist lovers across Australia has probably garnered the real estate much more publicity for his listing than if he had marketed the house as a stunning and rare piece of original modernist architecture first and foremost. So maybe the real estate agent was not unintelligent as some people called him (and unintelligent is paraphrasing politely!) but in fact, very, very smart. Hmmm.
It’s not hard to see both sides of the equation - of course I can see why apartment developers would be keen to snatch a large elevated block like this one up. But I think it’s really sad when special houses like this get demolished. (You might already know of my fondness for crazy original old houses if you read my story on this 1970s party mansion in Wembley Downs).
This house is a deceased estate, too - I could just imagine some elderly person who had lived in it for 60 years slowly pottering around it every day, lovingly maintaining it – just look at those manicured lawns, those neat flowers in those garden beds, that shiny little kitchen overlooking the ocean. Houses like this one are the kinds of homes that will be put on the heritage register 50 years from now – if there are any left. So I hope some design-loving person will buy this one and make it their very cool home. Would you buy this place? (If any of you guys have cash to splash… it’s for around $3 million. Well it is in Bellevue Hill - and very close to Bondi!) Maya x