Alright kids, take a deep breath and check. this. out. For those with the means and/or the dreams we have one of those rare (for Australia) residences with not only the pedigree, documented accolades, originality (aside from a some additions which can be remedied – that half-arsed ‘Balanese’ decor being the first to go) but also the location on par with of the best in the Mid-Century Modern world. A private subtropical lookout rivaling to anywhere from So Cal, Nor Cal, Mexico or the South Americas on which to commission a sensational, low slung, progressive design at the peek of architectural cool. Built in 1965, this large compound is a work by Brisbane architect John Dalton (a regular on MA as we have him here & here for starters) by Melbourne businessman Arnold Roberts. Though we don’t know his trade, suffice to say Roberts was clearly tuned-in with his era not only employing one of Queensland’s best architects at the time, but also Victorian landscaping figurehead Edna Wallings to set out the garden, a very interesting (and we are not sure how remnant) task, as we’re used to Wallings’ work of the bushland southern variety, but the tropical jungle scene? Not so much. But we digress, this residence was a show stopper from the get-go with a feature spread in Home Beautiful (which would well serve a new passionate owner as the best guide in peeling back some later changes and reinstating its stunning first blush) and remains a seriously breathtaking vision of architecture and location. We can already see the glorious lawn parties at sundown, bar by the pool, ‘Lujon’ on the player and light banter floating down the hill on the evening breeze……….sigh…….
PS- Big props to the agents here – with such a location this property could easily be pushed as a development op, not so here and the inclusion of historical images commands some earnest kudos- bravo!
**Update** We have been contacted by a fellow with a veritable treaure trove of childhood memories of this home. Many thanks to Jeremy (of Melbourne iconic vintage store, ‘Shag’, for the following….
“My Grandmother married Arnold Roberts in the early 70s and he was a very wealthy businessman from Melbourne who owned a string of bakeries and came from a very bohemian family of artists who lived in the Dandenongs. He was a very interesting man.
He moved to Buderim for the climate but also to buy up land and is the reason why his friend Edna Walling ended up moving there. She lived in a caravan on his property and designed and landscaped his garden which was a great deal larger than what remains today.
In fact in the late 70s he built another house and subdivided his land and moved there to the house you see directly below the pool (which is original btw, including the tiles). This cut the garden in two and really spoilt the flow of the terracing that Edna had developed.
The original house however that you feature was called COOLALINGA and the house site was built to take advantage of two extremely iconic bunya pines which were very close to the white stone wall you see. These trees were a landmark on Buderim as the crowns were covered in different coloured bougainvillea, such a shame they were removed, but understandably so as they were extremely dangerous and I was banned from going anywhere near them.
The house also had an outdoor bathroom in the sun court which was full of tropical palms, outdoor shower and a water feature from memory.
The rest of the house is pretty much exactly as it was apart from the fact that all the wood work, cupboards in the kitchen and architraves as well as the furniture were all by Shulim Krimper, a close friend of Arnold’s.”