Modernist Architecture Bayside

In Melbourne Beaumaris is recognised as the epicentre of Modernist Architecture with many homes built by the Modernist ‘School’ of Architects, both for themselves and their admiring clients. The modernist homes created and constructed were all about space, light and comfort – a major departure from the box like structures of pre-war Melbourne. Large, open span ceilings, courtyards and featured living areas make these properties as desirable today as they were back in the 1950s and 60s. 

This week we feature, courtesy of the Herald Sun Property Section, a wonderfully restored example of the genre with tasteful additions complementing the original construction:

Robin Boyd: Modernist dream home one of Beaumaris’ best

This restored Robin Boyd mid-century masterpiece has kept all its 1950s features, including what could be the famed architect’s first “window wall”.

Christina Karras

November 4, 2021 – 12:30PM Herald Sun

Awaiting its Third Owner

A fun orange door welcomes you to the home.

Modernist fans have the chance to become just the third custodian of one of the “most significant” mid-century masterpieces in Beaumaris.

Renowned architect Robin Boyd designed the 1950s Browne House. It has retained distinctive features, including what could be the first of Boyd’s famous “window walls”.

Hodges Beaumaris director Michael Cooney said he matched the vendors with the property when the original owners were looking for a buyer in 2007, ensuring it would not be demolished.

A sprawling open-plan living space.
The famous window wall.
The main bedroom occupies the old studio in the original part of the house.

There is a real movement to protect these sorts of homes in the area,” Mr Cooney said.

“I knew of the home so I helped (the vendors) into it, and they’ve completely restored it and renovated it.

“When they bought it, it was in fairly original condition, so they had to do a lot of repairs to update it. Painting, carpets, the kitchen and the boards have all been re-done but the actual structure has hardly changed.”

Modern bathroom.

Now, the four-bedroom pad at 86 Dalgetty Rd is on the market again with $2.3m-$2.5m price hopes.

Mr Cooney said the sellers had added a “very sympathetic extension” with two bedrooms and a bathroom hidden at the rear of the home. The family also installed an in-ground trampoline for their kids in the backyard.

Never be without natural light.
Primed for post-lockdown dinner parties.

A striking orange door awaits at the entrance, with the updated open-plan living, kitchen and meals area a few steps away, enhanced by the standout window wall.

Mr Cooney said the impressive facade made of windows was designed to bring in the sunshine all year ‘round.

“But in summer, you can open the windows and doors to the let sea breeze come through,” he said.

“There’s something for each season and also for your mood – there’s inside or outside, and formal or informal.” 

“Everyone who comes through the home says how relaxed you feel inside.”

Multiple living areas ensure everyone has their own space.

An in-ground trampoline adds to the family package.

The house features in the Beaumaris Modern: Modernist Homes in Beaumaris book, named as one of Boyd’s most iconic and significant designs.

“We opened it for the first time on Saturday and we had buyers coming and we had other admirers who have Boyd homes too,” Mr Cooney added.

A “peacefully positioned” main bedroom filled with natural light and a coveted location within the Beaumaris Secondary College zone are additional drawcards.

Warm up by the fire.

An in-ground trampoline adds to the family package.

The house features in the Beaumaris Modern: Modernist Homes in Beaumaris book, named as one of Boyd’s most iconic and significant designs.

“We opened it for the first time on Saturday and we had buyers coming and we had other admirers who have Boyd homes too,” Mr Cooney added.

A “peacefully positioned” main bedroom filled with natural light and a coveted location within the Beaumaris Secondary College zone are additional drawcards.

An in-ground trampoline adds to the family package.

It is a joy to just walk through such a property and admire the delightful use of space – light, airy and designed for living. In the Bayside area there are many of these gems and unfortunately, with large, expansive blocks, often with seaside vistas, they are coveted and targeted by developers.

Bayside Council has been very slow in offering any form of Heritage protection to these magnificent properties, with very few being submitted to the Council for Heritage Listing or consideration. 

For assistance with Heritage Status, restoration and achieving comfortable liveability with Modernist properties in the Bayside area, please contact Andrew Fedorowicz, Heritage Architect and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects for a free, no-obligation consultation on 0418 341 443, or alternatively, leave your details here for a prompt reply and scheduled meeting.

Balance Architecture, Heritage Architecture At Its Very Best. In Every Detail. 

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