Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Next Open House and 2009 Events

Images, top to bottom:
The Haughton James House (1956-58), picture: Jane Poynter, courtesy of The Age
The Brett House (1955-56), Toorak
, picture: Wolfgang Sievers, courtesy of the NLA
Jimmy Watson's Wine Bar (1962), Carlton, picture: Mark Strizic, from Living in Australia (1970)

Next Open House: The Brett House (1955-56)

Invitations were sent today for the next Open House at the Brett House (1955-56), Toorak, to be held in mid-November 2008. I was fortunate enough to visit the house recently courtesy of the owners and DOCOMOMO (a group concerned with the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement). It is a delightful home and, apart from some practical updates, is largely in its original condition.

The discussion at our event will revolve around comparisons between the Melbourne home of the 1950s versus the Melbourne home today. How does an architect–designed home in an inner suburb in 2008 compare with one designed in 1955? The Brett House is an excellent talking point as, by today’s standards, it may be considered modest in size. The newly built Australian home is larger than it has ever been yet accommodates smaller families than those of the 1950s. The discussion will highlight significant shifts in Australian housing trends, a brief overview of the history of Victorian housing, of societal values that drive 'taste' and the effect the Australian economy has on building design.

The invitation also included the 2009 Calendar of Events, which includes a day trip to Colac to view the Clive and Patricia Winter Irving House (1956-57). We are attempting to arrange a viewing of another property in the area that was not designed by Boyd but is of similar significance. Lunch will be arranged at a local venue (tbc).

In September 2009 we will also be viewing the documentary Your House and Mine (1958) written by Robin Boyd and directed by Peter McIntyre. The screening will be accompanied by a slideshow of images from selected Boyd properties. This evening will occur at Jimmy Watson’s Wine Bar (1962).

Events in 2009 will conclude with an Open House hosted at the beautiful Haughton James House (1956-58). The banks of the Yarra River in Studley Park, Kew, were (and remain) a favourite with architects and Boyd transformed a very difficult site into a home that has become an icon of C20th Australian Modernism.

For more information please email nicdowse AT

No comments: