We apologise in advance for the bait and switch, for although this is a legitimate listing and still wonderful home (with a few beach house extensions) and the main building remains intact, we cannot avert our eyes from the original; a veritable lesson in Mid-Century Australian, nay, international Modernism. Many thanks to Steven at MDCA for all the intel and historical images (more here), for what is a truly breathtaking example. This beach house designed by David Chancellor (of oft celebrated firm Chancellor & Patrick) in 1953. It was constructed for £2000 utilising a system of pre-fab panels hung on a timber frame sitting on a concrete base, with that beautiful stone hearth providing a focus in the living zones whilst separating the sleeping/bathing and cantilever beams stretching over the terrace. And.that.is.it. Stripping back amenity and form to just the elegant essentials, this home at 65 years of age is a pinnacle of Modern design. It could certainly hold its own with any small, domestic projects built in the US or Europe in the era and undertaking, we dare say, far greater material, financial and cultural constraints but additionally stands up today, with the original,1953 1-bedder comparable to anything being offered by the premier pre-fab, small homes and higher-end architects practising right now. And once more it returns us to the question: Where the hell did it all go so wrong? If this is what we were building in the early 1950s, then why are so many of our glorious beach ‘burbs slathered in stale brick veneer, tiled roofed, neocolonial mediocrity? We had it in the palm of our hands to build for our lifestyle, with a discipline of elemental sophistication, as built by world leaders of design and we turned our back on it for over 30 years – only to find ourselves repeatedly startled by seeing what we think of as ‘contemporary’ is actually more than 60 years old.
PS- Grab your diving mask & spearguns, gonna get us some crays!