A Christmas miracle confluence of premier Victorian beach town and preeminent Victorian architect, this residence was Guilford Bell‘s second commission for the Seccull family, completed a mere year after their city home was finished. Now, those of you with pachyderm memories and/or super serfs at the foot of the Australian Modern gods will remember when we showcased the first Seccull House 2 years ago. This formiddible statement of theoretical breadth and unfettered vision clearly impressed Mr and Mrs Seccull enough for them immediately request a holiday house in the then boho and surfer dream town of Lorne. This auspicious combo of patronage, prestige and place leads to this 1973 listing which should have many weak at the knees. A configuration in two parts: the bedroom wing – a comfortingly steadfast block of repeating windows, rooms and balconies – a design which had roots in the 1930s Internationalist circles, but which thereafter become 20th Century design shorthand utilised in everything from motels to offices to retails strips across the globe. And in an adjoining twist, but very typical of Bell’s (especially later) work, the living dining pagoda-esq pavilion topped with an incredible timber-lined ceiling and exapnisve decking affording all the breathtaking Otway coast views. To die to die! Of course it’s had its share of updating (some bits most successful than others) but for the most part it remains close to the original in form and it would be a hard heart indeed who wouldn’t give their eye teeth for the chance of inhabiting such a home of such provenance and location.
Historical photos curtesy of Simon Reeves at Victoria Modern – many thanks Mr Reeves!