About as iconically pared back Modernist for the Victorian capital as a Johnson in New Caanan, a Koenig in Los Angeles or a Mies in Chicago is this pinnacle residence by Guilford Bell (c.1972). By all accounts one the architect’s most accomplished and favourite commissions, amid a lifetime of notable work. It may be such a complete and astounding expression of Bell’s ideology and practice because his clients, William and Elaine Seccull, apparently gave over complete trust of the project to the architect, proving that it’s an unfettered genius who reaches the highest heights. The architectural merit of this home at a state level is explained in the Victorian Heritage Database Report as follows;
“His (Bell’s) distinctive oeuvre combines modernist minimalism with traditional symmetrical and axial arrangements, and middle-eastern inspired courtyard planning. The Seccull House is possibly the most thorough and one of the most impressive examples of his works. Architecturally and aesthetically the Seccull House is an extraordinary work. It incorporates a series of restrained but powerful minimal gestures to create a layered environment of streamlined simplicity, and classical repose.”
The fact that it remains amazingly intact and has received relatively sympathetic updating over it’s 45 years, adds yet another layer of wow to woo to the beholder. Straight to the dream folder with this one.