Just imagine taking a mellow Sunday arvo, carving through the barren streets of a new housing estate of the edge of any metro or regional place to view the house and land packages. See yourself walking through the display villages, the rows of insipid porticos, double garages, eaveless pitched rooflines and after-thought landscaping only to find yourself becoming, as Vonnegut might say, unstuck in time and landing face-to-face with this offering instead – ‘The Aquarius /V444′ project home by architect Peter Vaalburg *. A beautiful concept of generous proportions, framed by expansive timber beams, floor to ceiling windows creating a tranquil living environment of flowing spaces, internal courtyards and perfectly positioned bedrooms. The reality of that fantasy sits here, 50 years on, still resplendent in its timeless design and condition (though that granite kitchen bench top must be banished) and we’ve featured a couple of these examples before – most notably this one Yea in a similarly respectable condition. The attraction of the plan and build is undeniable, yet (as well all know) there is nothing close to this in the mainstream volume housing market as it stands today. This sad fact alone is all the more reason to hold onto this beauty as it exists, to champion all that we seemed to have lost in this sector and give us something aim for, one day, again.
*For The Age RVIA Architects Housing Service Competition of 1969. Many thanks again to Steven Coverdale for the historical images.