Notable Arts and Crafts Houses in Victoria

Arts and Crafts in Victoria

 

Arts and Crafts houses in Victoria are relatively rare.

“We’ve lost a few,” says Tracey Avery, conservation co-ordinator with the National Trust.

“Comparatively few were built in Australia. In Victoria, they were built in the country, in the Western District, and in the wealthier suburbs of Toorak, Parkville, East Melbourne, Caulfield and eastern suburbs.”

 

There are five in Heidelberg. The best local Arts and Crafts properties were by Desbrowe-Annear, Robert Haddon and Walter Butler. [1]

Professor Harriet Edquist comments:

"And when you go through the Chadwick House or any of these houses, really, which are designed in a sort of in a 360-degree manner, so that as you walk through the rooms, you can look at the landscape and you get a different landscape picture, if you like, from every window."

"So they were relating to the landscape in that way, and there was easy access to the outside. But the interior, I think, was seen as a contrast, as a refuge from the landscape, if you like."

"And it was a very rich, luscious interior. We've stripped our interiors of colour. Now they're monochrome. And we paint, we produce paintings to suit those interiors." [2]

Glyn, B224 Kooyong Rd, Toorak, Victoria

Arts of living: Arts and craft houses

 

"As soon as Jane Stuchberry stepped inside the grand old 1908 mansion Glyn in Melbourne’s Toorak, she fell in love." 

“I really liked its space,” she says. “It has such high ceilings and large rooms, and yet it’s quite minimalist. The way it was designed was a response to the heavy ornate design of the Victorian era, so it’s all very pared back and simple.”

Above and Below: Glyn, B224 Kooyong Rd, Toorak, Victoria: One of the most magnificent examples in Australia of the arts and crafts movement. Photo: Domain.com.au

 
 
 
Sir Edward Miller.jpg

Glyn, 224 Kooyong Road, Toorak, 1908​

The Arts and Crafts house Glyn was designed by acclaimed architect Rodney Alsop at the leading edge of the arts and crafts movement which, from the late 1800s, produced a Gothic style of home with gabled roofs, prominent eaves, lots of windows, wide open spaces and artisan features. 

Back then, it was a statement of wealth and prestige for its first owner, financier and politician Sir Edward Miller, BHP's founding shareholder.

Today, after a painstaking 12-year renovation and restoration that Stuchberry began as soon as she bought the six-bedroom, five-bathroom home, it’s one of the finest examples of the style that still stands in Australia.

“Glyn is a beautiful house and I think the owners must have spared no expense in its restoration,” says Harriet Edquist, professor of architectural history in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University, and an expert in the arts and crafts movement. [3]

 
 

Early Arts and Crafts Houses in Victoria

Arts & Crafts isn't really a single style; it's an intellectual approach to many styles.

Practically the only common factors to be found in all Arts & Crafts houses are those that encourage an informal but cultured lifestyle:

  • an open floor plan;

  • natural materials such as stone, brick, and wood;

  • airy, light-filled rooms that encourage interaction with the outdoors;

    • and the tasteful arrangement of a few well-designed, decorative, and useful objects. [4]
       

Left: This list of buildings is drawn from Harriet Edquist's 'Pioneers of Modernism'​
 

 

Architect Guyen Purchas was one of the most prominent architects in Melbourne around the turn of the century, one of the first to be influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement, and helped to establish the journal Arts and Crafts in 1895.

Read more: Guyon Purchas - Wikipedia

 

Boisdale is situated on the Avon River 10 km north of Maffra and about 212 km east of Melbourne.

The Boisdale run, taken up for Lachlan Macalister in 1842, stretched from the Avon River west to the Macalister River.

It is thought to be named after a village in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

 

In 1850, the lease was secured by John Foster, one of many runs he held in Gippsland.

In 1861 he still controlled about 6000 acres at Boisdale.

In 1892 a son, Askin Foster, took over the management of the property. Previously thousands of cattle and sheep had been grazed on the undulating plains.

From 1896 Askin Foster subdivided part of the property into smallholdings of 120 to 260 acres for dairy farming. 

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Boisdale Homestead, Maffra/Briagolong Road, Boisdale,1892

 

Boisdale Homestead was erected in 1892 for Askin Morrison Foster, son of pioneer pastoralist John Foster, who leased the run in 1841.

R G W Purchas, the Melbourne architect, designed the present single storey brick and timber residence with a steep broken pitch roof clad with Marseilles tiles and capped with a monitor skylight.

Boisdale House, with its outbuildings and water tower, was built of handmade bricks. The roof was constructed from oregon pine and covered with tiles from Marseilles.

The V plan form and exterior form reflect American influences in the design.

Boisdale Homestead is a distinctive East Gippsland residence and a notable work of R G W (Guyon) Purchas, an innovative architect working in the late 19th century.

 

The style of Boisdale is clearly derived form contemorary American developments and contrasts with Purchas's revivalist work, of which his own house, Tay Creggan, in Hawthorn, is the most important.

Boisdale is an early settled pastoral run and the present residence is dramatically situated on a granite outcrop overlooking the Avon River.

In 1892 Askin Foster had a new house built on a ridge overlooking the plain. It was constructed of Hawthorn bricks and Marseilles tiles, with red pine used internally. The interior was finely crafted.

Its modern design included electricity, running hot water and drainage.

The stables were equally modern, and of the same brick and tiles.

 

Seven acres of garden and orchard surrounded the homestead. The estate, now reduced in size, including Boisdale homestead and outbuildings, are maintained intact and in excellent condition.

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Tay Creggan, 30 Yarra St, Hawthorn, VIC, 1892-1893

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Tay Creggan Year 9 cover..jpg

Tay Creggan was built by the prominent Melbourne architect Robert Guyon Whittlesey Purchas (known as Guyon) as his own home.

He bought the land, a 1.5 hectare sloping site between the railway line and the Yarra River, in 1889 and built the house in 1891-2, but ran into financial difficulties at the beginning of the 1890s depression and sold the house in 1892.

 

The house was bought by Michael Spencer, whose family crest appears above the fireplace in the hall.

Purchas designed a number of changes to the house for Spencer, including the conversion of the ballroom to a grand billiard room.

Following Spencer's death in 1900 his widow married A H McKean, and the house was further altered, with the enlargement of the entrance hall and new stairs constructed.

In 1937 the house was purchased by the Catholic Church for the Sisters of the Holy Grail, who added the Tudor Hall and dormitories, now used as classrooms.

It was sold to the Baptist Union of Victoria in 1969 for use by Strathcona Girls School, and is now their Year 9 campus.

Since then extensions and renovation works have been carried out, including the replacement of the roof tiles and the addition of a large new kitchen in place of the original.

Owners-Occupiers of Tay Creggan.jpg

Tay Creggan is a picturesque asymmetrical red brick two storey Victorian Queen Anne Revival style house set amidst spacious grounds overlooking the Yarra River.

The roof is elaborated with turrets, and with dormers and gablets with finely-worked barge boards and finials, and is covered with Marseilles pattern tiles and terracotta ridging.

The red brick walls have rough-cast with brown woodwork on the front facade, and the windows are casements with small diamond-paned leadlights.

 

The house is notable for its fine detailing, including

  • the slender decorative chimneys characteristic of the Elizabethan period,

  • the weather vane on the candle-snuffer roof of one of the turrets, and

  • the small entrance porch with scalloped tiles.

 

Internally a number of the rooms are interesting for their timbered ceilings, fireplaces, ingle-nooks and bays.

The staircase is of finely worked kauri timber and the landing has a notable stained glass window by William Montgomery depicting a hunting scene, with contrasting art nouveau decoration above.

 

The most outstanding room is the billiard room, which is remarkable for the three stained glass domes above, the enormous Scottish Oak fireplace with Art Nouveau style copper repousse work, and the carved decoration of the roof timbers, which have carved dragons on the beam ends.

There are several former servants' rooms in the attic. The house retains its original entrance gates and driveway, a row of Bhutan Cypresses along Yarra Street, and some original terracing in the garden area to the east of the house.

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Pastoria Homestead, 589 Baynton Road Pastoria, Macedon Ranges, 1890s

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Nestled in the foothills of Australia's Great Dividing Range, Pastoria Homestead at Currabubula Station offers a unique experience of the Australian countryside.

Pastoria Homestead is predominantly an Arts and Crafts styled building developed in two main stages.

  • The first stage consists of a simple single storey homestead building which is now subsumed into the present building.

  • The second stage of development occurred c.1890 and constitutes the present form.

Pastoria has an attic-gable, an open ground level verandah and enclosed rear verandah.

The interior contains a wide upstairs gallery overlooking the living area and the drawing and dining-rooms have been decorated with Arts and Crafts wall-papers.

Whilst Australian architecture was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement early in the 20th century, Pastoria demonstrates very early influences of the stylistic movement, having been constructed late in the late 19th century.

Pastoria is architecturally advanced and largely intact; the interiors have been skilfully executed and finely finished.

Pastoria retains many of its original 1890s wallpapers and also its superb full length French windows which open out into the garden once tended by Chinese gardeners.

The collapse of the economy in the 1890s resulted in a substantial decrease in building activities and thus Pastoria is of significance for its use of stylistic elements which were uncommon at the time due to economic depression.

 

Pastoria was the residence of early pastoralist George Govett who bought the run in 1853 from William Piper.

Between 1853 and 1854 Govett secured a pre-emptive right to the 640 acre homestead block and constructed a single-storey weatherboard homestead.

In the late 1850s and the 1860s, Kyneton flourished as a result of gold mining activities.

The area had been mainly a rural district, however as people made their way to the gold fields the size and wealth of the township grew.

Govett died in 1888 and J.B. Watson junior, the son of mining magnate and financial investor John Boyd Watson, purchased Pastoria with his inheritance money.

Although Victoria was in a state of depression, building works soon followed with the erection of a first floor attic and the remodelling of many of the ground floor rooms; these works led to the present form of Pastoria.

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Purrumbete was established by the brothers John and Peter Manifold in 1839, when they became squatters on the land around Lake Purrumbete.

During the nineteenth century the Manifold family became one of the largest landholders in Victoria, and Purrumbete developed into a substantial and prosperous farming complex, accommodating the growing demands of cattle, sheep and later bullock and dairy farming.

A small house was first constructed on the site of the present homestead in 1842, and in 1857-1860 a large bluestone wing was added, part of which remains.

Major additions which doubled the size of the homestead were made in 1882 to designs by the Camperdown architect, Alexander Hamilton.

The resulting single storey bluestone Italianate style house included a verandah with elaborate ironwork and an extensive cellar.

In 1884 an elaborate conservatory was constructed at the western end of the house.

By the early 1890s at least twenty outbuildings had been constructed at Purrumbete, all built in timber except for the bluestone men's quarters. The Manifolds made good use of the lake as a water resource, and installed an advanced water reticulation system.

In 1901 architect Guyon Purchas was commissioned by W.T. Manifold to again enlarge and modify the house, resulting in a highly unusual Federation Arts and Crafts style building.

The most significant changes were made to the rooms along the front wing with addition of a first floor, the inclusion of a substantial hall with minstrel's gallery, and the modification of the drawing room.
 

Externally the resulting homestead is Arts and Crafts in character, with remnants of the earlier phases evident.

The textured bluestone and red brick building is highly asymmetrical in composition with dominant multi-gabled roofs containing dormer windows, and encircling verandas.

Detailing includes terracotta shingles in gable ends and bulbous terracotta veranda columns, exaggerated timber brackets and dressed with bluestone quoining and architraves.

Decorative Art Nouveau lamps remain at the porch steps.

Internally the mains spaces are Arts ad Crafts in character with Art Nouveau detailing.

Extensive timber work, such as panelled walls and ceilings, frieze brands, sliding doors, screens, newell posts, fire surrounds, overmantles and inglenook seats, and metal work incorporate sinuous details.

The timber fittings were crafted by Melbourne joiners, Murray and Crow, between 1902 and 1904 and, together with the metal work, were probably designed by Guyon Purchas.

Manifold commissioned the leading Heidelberg School artist, Walter Wither, to executive six paintings depicting the early settlement and development of the family at Purrumbete, to line the main hall of the homestead.
 

Read more: 

 

Later Federation Era 
Arts and Crafts Houses in Victoria

 

Harold Desbrowe-Annear was an influential Australian architect who was at the forefront of the development of the Arts and Crafts movement in this country. During the 1890s he was an Instructor in architecture at the Working Men's College where he founded the T-Square Club in 1900.

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East View, 16 Martin Street, Heidelberg, 1903

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East View, 16 Martin Street, Heidelberg is a medium sized residence built on two levels that utilise the fall of the land.

East View is a particularly fine example of the early work of Harold Desbrowe Annear.

Built in 1903, for local shire engineer Herbert Tisdale, who was a champion of the architect's work.

East View was built using a timber balloon frame and incorporates a number of elements for which Annear is recognized. These include

  • characteristic window designs,

  • built in furniture,

  • a square corner bay window,

  • a verandah space cum outdoor living area that Annear called a piazza,

  • the simple use of materials,

  • the expression of structure and a planning layout that moves away from the more traditional form of compartmentalised rooms off a linking hall way toward a more open plan.

 

This is the most intact example of the architect's work.

Harold Desbrowe Annear was one of Australia's leading and most innovative Arts and Crafts architects in the first decade of the twentieth century. East View is highly representative of Annear's work during this period, possibly his most inventive.

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Desbrowe-Annear House,  36–38 The Eyrie, Eaglemont, 1903

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38 The Eyrie is a medium sized residence built on two levels utilising the fall of the land.

Built in 1903, The Annear house was built using a timber balloon frame and incorporates a number of elements for which Annear is recognized. These include characteristic window designs, built in furniture, a square corner bay window, a verandah space cum outdoor living area that Annear called a piazza, the simple use of materials, the expression of structure and a planning layout that is a clear departure from the traditional layout of compartmentalised rooms off a linking hall way toward an open plan.

38 The Eyrie contains a higher degree of attention to detail than is usually found in his houses of this period. This is demonstrated by overlaid elements of the red pine fretwork as lintel ornamentation in the internal openings and in the work of the various brass door, overmantlesand sideboard fittings.

The house exhibits an irregular though carefully realised external articulation which is the result of a design approach where the building's exterior was derived from its plan form.

Read more:

 
 

Chadwick House,  32–34 The Eyrie, Eaglemont, 1903

The art and craft of living

JENNY BROWN - NOV 8, 2010

 

These lyrically woody houses are rare and valuable, writes Jenny Brown.

Architect Peter Crone’s passionate renovation of a rare and remarkable circa 1903 Arts and Crafts house on a remarkable site at the top of Heidelberg’s Mount Eagle (Eaglemont), has been an undertaking lasting 19 years.

He has rebuilt 15 windows – some of which recess up into the walls – stripped some timber panelling and restored other sections.

He has painstakingly sourced a way to copy hand-crafted brass door and window fittings and scraped back paint to reveal original colours to reinstate on interiors and exteriors. Yet . . . he’s not quite finished.

There is one side of the house still to be excavated by removing a Federation (i.e. 1919) tack-on extension.

When that comes off, the vision of one of Melbourne’s most notable Arts and Crafts architects, Harold Desbrowe Annear, will be fully revealed in its richly detailed and lyrically woody splendour.

The ceiling beams are Douglas fir from Oregon; the interior panels are Sequoia, from California’s giant redwoods – aged claret. “Dark, but we like it,” says artist Jane Crone.

Their beautiful, flowing “unusually open-plan” home known as “the Chadwick House” by National Trust and Heritage Victoria, is the middle of three similar classified Arts and Crafts houses designed by Annear for himself, for his father-in-law, and for the Officer family. All share incredible north-eastern views to the Dandenongs.

Peter Crone has his now-practiced eye for the way one of his architectural heroes crafted unique houses on a new project to restore another Annear house. It will be another mightily protracted renovation, yet he has already started in with a crowbar.

Last year, his mother-in-law Margaret Bennett bought Annear’s own home, the one just up the hill and the first thing Crone uncovered was the architect’s studio on the lower floor.

He broke unsympathetic add-on bathrooms and bedrooms to reveal the bones of the big square room in which Annear worked 100 years ago. “Quite unique. Wonderful,” he marvels.

It’s an understatement when it comes to describing Arts and Crafts houses in any respect. They resulted from an aesthetic movement – born initially in Britain in the late 1800s but a movement that found expression in many Western countries – as a reaction against the mass production of the industrial era.

Chadwick House, 32-34 The Eyrie, was designed in 1904 by the architect Harold Desbrowe Annear for his father-in-law, James Chadwick.

The house is a two-storey, Medieval inspired Arts and Crafts style building with half-timbered roughcast walls, a hipped and gabled Marseilles-patterned tile roof, arcaded chimney stacks and cantilevered gables. Internally the house has extensive timber panelling with built-in furniture and storage space.

Chadwick House has the half-timbered rough- cast walls the hipped and gabled marseilled-pattern tile roof arcaded chimney stacks and cantilevered gables.

The swagged and ogee-arch slatted balustrading to its balconies and the overall picturesque disposition of elements have been borrowed from northern European 14th and 15th century domestic styles.

These are exemplified in the white rough cast and black stained timbering (i.e. black and white houses) both internally and externally it may be seen as an early example of medieval revival style unique to Heidelberg.

James Chadwick owned this house after its construction and leased it to a civil servant Charles Stanesby until he himself became the occupier in 1907. A later occupier was Arthur V Walker.

Chadwick House is architecturally significant as an outstanding example of the work of eminent and influential architect Harold Desbrowe Annear.

Annear was instrumental in introducing the open plan form into Australian domestic architecture and Chadwick House, along with 28-30 The Eyrie and 36-38 The Eyrie, is an early example of his work which demonstrates this Modernist doctrine.

"Our first project was to restore the vandalised main Living Room area.

The original sequoia timber paneling,window brackets and fireplace surround and overmantle had been removed.Timber fragments found beneath the house assisted in gaining an understanding of Annear's original detailing. No original drawings of the house have been discovered."

 ​

Through its incorporation of Modernist ideas and Medieval-inspired design principles, Chadwick House was influential in the development of the Art and Crafts movement in Australia and embodies the cultural dogma of domestic architecture in Australia through its utilisation of the open-plan form.

Chadwick House is important as an intact and notable example of the work of Annear and as one of the prototype forms which remained peculiar to his work.

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Officer House, 55 Outlook Drive, Eaglemont, 1903

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Built in 1903, 55 Outlook Drive, Eaglemont, often referred to as the Officer House, is a residence designed by Harold Desbrowe Annear, the most innovative Arts and Crafts architect of the early twentieth century.

The house is highly representative of the architect's work during this period which was arguably his most inventive.

The Eyrie houses are considered to be the best and clearest expression of Annear's Arts and Crafts designs.

The house is referred to as the Officer House after a George Officer who rented the place from James Chadwick after it was built.

 

A Jewel in The Crown of Prestigious Mount Eagle


An Australian architectural treasure designed by Harold Desbrowe-Annear that showcases stunning Arts & Crafts decoration and 'Heidelberg School' views.

This landmark four Bedroom and Study residence with flexible floorplan is a seminal 'modern' home that functions perfectly today as a sublime family environment with farmhouse feel near private schools, shops, parks and trains. Affords magnificent Living room with ornamental fire place.

55 Outlook Drive is a medium sized residence built on two levels utilising the fall of the land. The house was built using a timber balloon frame and incorporates a number of elements for which Annear is recognized. These include

  • characteristic window designs,

  • built in furniture,

  • a square corner bay window,

  • a verandah space cum outdoor living area that Annear called a piazza and

  • the simple use of materials, albeit in a highly decorative manner externally.

 

The house exhibits a somewhat irregular though carefully realised external articulation which is the result of a design approach where the building's exterior was derived from its plan form. In these Annear was able to explore variations in concepts and detailing in a related collection of buildings.

The external surfaces of the house display a greater level of decorative treatment than is apparent in the other two houses of the set. This includes

  • a 'bottled' finish to smooth render as opposed to roughcast,

  • timber strapwork that is purely decorative in nature rather than purely highlighting the underlying structure and

  • the decorative friezes that are thought to give the building a 'Swiss Chalet' aesthetic.

Read more:

 

Architect Rodney Alsop was a founding member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria and played a major role in the introduction of this style into Australia in the early 1900s.

Alsop was one of Arts and Crafts movement’s best practitioners.

  • In Victoria, the best known and most important examples of Old English influence on house design in the first two decades of this century were the houses of both Harold Desbrowe Annear and of Rodney Alsop.

  • Alsop‘s work in this period drew heavily on the English vernacular revival and its medieval sources.

  • His earliest work, demonstrated by buildings such as Glyn and Edrington, was firmly founded in contemporary English domestic and vernacular revivalism, a theme which the practice maintained through the 1910s albeit with a growing acknowledgement of American bungalow idioms… in part an attempt to develop an expression which, while derivative of British traditions, was suited to Australian conditions.

  • The design partner of Klingender & Alsop, Rodney Alsop designed many notable houses with examples such as Edrington, Berwick (1908) and Glyn, Malvern (1908) being evocative of the Arts & Crafts English domestic revival designs of architects such as Voysey and Lethaby.

    • The interiors fittings were typically designed or made by Alsop, in the Arts and Crafts tradition that eschewed machine made detailing or ornament.

    • Glyn is on the Victorian Heritage Register and has been selected as a national exemplar of Arts & Crafts design by Apperley, 1989.

Born in Kew, Victoria, on 22 December 1881, Rodney Howard Alsop was articled to the architectural firm Hyndman and Bates around 1901, after his return from Europe.

He built his first house in 1903 and was admitted to the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects in 1906.

Subsequently he designed and built several large houses for which he also designed some of the fittings.

A founder member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria in 1908, he also exhibited decorative arts designed by him at the Society’s first exhibition, which was in the same year.

Over the next fifteen years he continued his career of architect.

Above: The T-square club of Melbourne, who established an Arts and Crafts agenda of collaborative work and building crafts

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Edrington, Melville Park, Berwick Vic, 1908

 

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Bulletin cover.jpg

Edrington is a two-storey red brick example of the English vernacular style with some reference to the Queen Anne style. 

Built in 1906 for Samuel P Mackay in the Art Nouveau style to the design of Rodney Alsop, architect, the house is distinguished by the variety of effects created by changes to the type and placement of windows from room to room and for the stained glass with its motifs of gumnuts and leaves.

It was described by Sir John Betjeman as a house built from the inside outwards as all good homes should be. 

The house is of brick, tile roofed, with floors of oak, ceilings of oak and pine, with bathroom walls lined with pressed metal and remarkably intact within its pleasant, appropriate and contemporary garden.

'Edrington' is architecturally significant as an important Arts and Crafts bungalow mansion that is a prime example of the innovative designs of the architectural practice of Klingender and Alsop.

The 1906 design is one of the earliest examples of the Vernacular Revival style which was to become popular for suburban residences over the next twenty years.

Internally, features of the entrance foyer, bathroom and old kitchen are intact and are good examples of the period. The garden, also believed to date from c1906, provides an authentic setting.

The Edrington garden in 1978. Lady Casey (centre) is pictured with two companions.

Edrington is notable as the home of the Baron Casey of Berwick, federal parliamentarian from 1931-40 and 1949-60, Governor of Bengal, 1944-46, Governor of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1965-69,and member of the British War Cabinet, 1942-43.

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Glyn, 224 Kooyong Road, Toorak, 1908

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Owner Jane Stuchberry began a painstaking 12-year renovation and restoration as soon as she bought the six-bedroom, five-bathroom home.

 

Toorak’s grand arts & crafts movement mansion Glyn is a $11 million mansion in Toorak – built in 1908 by wealthy financier, pastoralist and politician Sir Edward Miller to the design of esteemed architect Rodney Alsop.

The  property at 224 Kooyong Road, with oversized and intricate everything, includes six king-size bedrooms, a billiards room, music room, gym, sauna, basement storage, two cellars and five studies.

There are several formal and informal living and dining areas off a grand foyer.

The home is ripe with artisan detail, including ornate timberwork, deep bay windows, inbuilt furniture, leadlights and carved woodwork. [5]

 

The house was constructed in the Arts and Crafts idiom, finished with a distinctive render with pebbles pushed into the surface (pebble-dash).

This finish was complemented by a terracotta shingle roof.

The interior contains many distinctive Arts and Crafts features, such as carved woodwork, stained glass and beaten metal ornamentation.

The 2420-square-metre estate surrounding the home accommodates a tennis court, pool and several private garden zones. The elevated block captures distant easterly views to the Dandenongs.

Glyn is architecturally significant as one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts movement architecture in Victoria, and for its associations with one of the movement’s best practitioners, Rodney Alsop (1881-1932).

Alsop was influenced by English architects such as Voysey and Lutyens who in turn were working in the tradition established by Ruskin and Morris in the 1850s.

Alsop was a founding member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria and played a major role in the introduction of the style into Victoria in the early 1900s.

Architecturally, the Arts and Crafts movement emphasised

  • picturesque massing,

  • references to vernacular architecture and

  • the exposure of building materials and textures.

All these elements are evident in Glyn.

The original fireplaces, light fittings, switch plates and joinery were rare examples of English arts and crafts influence in Australia, although some of these features have been lost in alterations in recent decades.

The arts and crafts influence is further reflected in the different decorative treatment of each room.

An interesting Australian touch is the eucalypt decorative scheme in the main hall, stair hall, entrance hall and upstairs gallery.

As a committed Arts and Crafts practitioner, Alsop not only designed houses, he engaged in their decoration, with built-in furniture, carved woodwork, stained glass of his own design, and beaten metal ornamentation often made with his own hands.

Alsop envisaged his houses as all-encompassing designs and works of art, and Glyn is a fine instance of this philosophy.

 
Stonnington - City of Malvern Heritage Study

Author: Nigel Lewis and Richard Aitken P/L
Year: 1992
Grading: A1

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Architect Walter Butler's nearby commissions: 

Above: Myrniong (1907), and below; 

Murndal Homestead Extensions (1906)

The Gables, 69 French St Hamilton VIC, 1908​


A very English version of the Federation style, the house was probably designed by Walter Butler and has important associations with leading townsmen.

This building has regional significance for its architectural interest as a fine example of the Queen Anne style, and for its historical associations with Harold Learmonth (1863-1933) of Peter Learmonth & Co., stock and station agents and auctioneers, a prominent Hamilton townsman and mayor.

The Gables was probably designed by the leading society architect, Walter Butler. He was active in the area at this time and associated with the Learmonths.

The house is an important foil to both Eildon, now the Napier Club building, designed by Ussher and Kemp in 1904 and Myrniong, designed by Butler (or Henry Kemp) in 1906.

All three architects were closely associated.

Notwithstanding the verandah, it is a very English version of the Federation style and hints at the Arts and Crafts movement in its detailing.

The Gables, built in 1908, replaced an earlier timber house on the site owned at first by Sigismund Jacoby, storekeeper, and by Learmonth in 1890.

Above: Eildon, now the Napier Club, 34 Thompson St Hamilton, designed by Ussher and Kemp

Learmonth's brother-in-law, Dr David Laidlaw, Medical Superintendent at the Hamilton Hospital, built his mansion Eildon, around the corner at 34 Thompson Street, in 1904.

The house remains significantly intact and is in good condition. Being the largest residence in this part of French Street it plays a critical part in the streetscape. It also has an important relationship with the Botanic gardens opposite.

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Anselm, 4 Glenferrie Street Caulfield North, 1908

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Haddon was professionally admired but provoked hostile criticism.

He was a vocal, dominating figure within his profession but appeared restrained in his private life, spending much time travelling and painting.

He produced many sketch-books which remain unpublished.

Robert Joseph Haddon's Hill-house sketchbook.

Haddon's design for his own residence, Anselm, 4 Glenferrie Street, Caulfield (1906), combined elements characteristic of much of his work;

  • balanced asymmetry,

  • the use of towers, bays and bull's-eye windows,

  • steep roofs,

  • attic rooms,

  • open planning and

  • applied decoration in the form of terracotta patterned tiles and

  • florid wrought iron.

His principles were closely allied with those of the English Arts and Crafts architects who were propounding simplicity, originality, craftsmanship, structural honesty and a national sentiment.

Robert Joseph Haddon (1866–1929) was an England-born architect who practised in Victoria in the 1900s-1910s.

He was a major figure in the profession in Victoria, championing the Arts & Crafts in his writing and teaching.

He designed some of the most original buildings of the period, featuring restraint, balanced asymmetry and Art Nouveau details.

Anselm was designed by architect Robert Joseph Haddon as his own house and constructed in 1906. 

  • A single storey Arts and Crafts influenced red brick house with attic, Anselm has a pyramidal slate roof with prominent chimney stacks.

  • There is a octagonal corner tower with saucer shaped domed roof surmounted by a weather vane, and the tower has decorative terracotta panels immediately below the eaves line.

The front door opens immediately into a large living or common room, screened from view by a timber and bottle glass screen.

The large room was designed to function as a drawing and dining room.

 

The house is rich with hand crafted details including

  • door and window furniture,

  • wrought iron gutter brackets, fireplaces (one with built in wood box), and

  • fire tools.

The interior decoration includes

  • hand painted frieze of Port Phillip in the study, and

  • a hand painted frieze of turbulent sea with sailing boats in the tiled bathroom.

  • There is a small hand painted tile at the base of the tower which states
    “This building was erected AD1906 from designs by Robt J Haddon FRIBA,Lond FRIVA Melb Architect”.

    • He also designed an attic addition which was constructed in 1927. Anselm is substantially intact although the double casement window immediately to the south of the front door was originally circular.

'Anselm' is architecturally important at the State level as a substantially intact, highly personalised and boldly expressed house expressive of the Arts and Crafts movement.

'Anselm' incorporates Art Nouveaux enrichment in a variety of forms, the use of ornamental terra cotta tiles to the comer town being of special note.

 

Its importance at the State level is strengthened by its place as the home of  Robert Haddon, the noted architect and Melbourne's most influential exponent (Freeland, J.M., Architecture in Australia, p. 213) of the Art Nouveaux movement.
Last sold September 1998 for $492,000

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Mawallok, 3802 Geelong Road Stockyard Hill, 1907-1908 

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The Historic Western District Mawallok property has a 2.5-hectare garden designed by renowned landscape architect William Guilfoyle in 1909, in the year of his retirement as director of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens; and is arguably his grandest private work.

  • Serpentine paths, sweeping lawns and impressive vistas across a lake which was designed by Sir John Monash.

  • Historically significant trees including Algerian and Gallipoli oaks and stunning Horse Chestnut.

  • Later design additions include grapevine-covered pergola, and an avenue of pleached Tilias.

Many of the Western District properties settled in the early 20th century, including Mawallok, are surrounded by thickly planted belts of trees, especially pines and cypresses, along with hedges and stone walls. 

Within this sheltering framework, Guilfoyle planned a garden to complement the newly-built homestead, designed by Melbourne architect Rodney Alsop, which is a picturesque composition of gables, sweeping roofs and rough-cast walls.

The house, with its simple and boldly stated forms, can be seen at a great distance, its off-white walls and red roof the central focal point among the expansive lawns and great trees.

Mawallok (also spelt Mawallock, Mahkwallok and Mawhallock) station of about 28,000 acres (now 5,851 acres) was acquired by Alexander Russell and Co. in 1847 and remained in the Russell family until 1980 when it was purchased by the present owners. 

The original station homestead was extended in the 1860s with a bluestone wing and cellar.

A number of early structures remain on the property including the original homestead and outbuildings, the bluestone gable-roofed and dormer windowed stables, bluestone coach house, the stone and iron woolshed and iron meat house.

Alexander Russell died in 1869 and his son Philip Russell inherited Mawallok. Phillip Russell, and then from 1932 his son Alex Russell (1892-1961), were responsible for major changes at Mawallok.

In 1907-08 the Arts and Crafts homestead was built to a design prepared by architects Klingender and Alsop, and the garden laid out to a plan prepared by William Guilfoyle, Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens in 1909.

The large house was constructed in reinforced concrete, an early use of this material for a domestic residence.

It has an asymmetrical composition with a dominant steep roof form featuring gables, gabled dormers and tall chimneys.

The interior includes notable elements such as the handsome Arts and Crafts inspired timber staircase leading to a timber-balustraded upstairs gallery which overlooks the large living space below.

Around 1927 the Melbourne engineer and World War I General Sir John Monash was commissioned to extend a small dam into a 22 acre lake.

The pump house and a small shed were built in similar materials and style to the 1908 house.

The raised terrace of the house looks across the sweep of lawn and lake to the distant vista of the Pyrenees Ranges and Mt Cole.

Read more:

Stockyard Hill Wind Farm Mawallok Herita

Arts and Crafts Architects in Australia

 

For English architects Arts and Crafts was about embracing their Englishness, but for Australian architects it was more complex.

Melbourne architects, who sometimes behaved in a manner more British than those in the 'Old Country', had no (acceptable) local vernacular to avail themselves of and only a small number of architects -

Rodney Alsop, Harold Desbrowe Annear, Robert Haddon, Walter R. Butler – stood out from the many who only seemed capable of designing one Melbourne ‘Queen Anne' building after another. [6]

Read More: Arts and Crafts Architects (in Australia), Notable Arts and Crafts Houses in NSW

 

"Throughout his life there were two men that Butler admired and respected above all others: architects

 

"Sedding was a highly passionate, dedicated and influential architect and Butler served as his Chief Assistant for three years before he migrated to Melbourne in 1888."

 

Sedding was primarily concerned with church architecture and this was ref1ected in Butler's career: his most refined, eclectic and spiritual buildings were erected for the church."

 

"Lethaby was Butler's contemporary but Butler always held him in high esteem.

Lethaby and Butler had trained with the same architect in Devon (albeit at different times) and both ended up working in London: Lethaby was Chief Assistant for Richard Norman Shaw when Butler filled the same position with Sedding."

 

"The two were close friends and. along with Ernest Gimson, Sidney and Ernest Barnsley and Robert Weir Schultz, formed an important group of friends. They would remain an influence on each other throughout their careers."

 

The friendship between Butler, Lethaby, Cimson, Schultz and the Barnsleys formed a key coterie in the London Arts and Crafts movement." [6]

Walter Richmond Butler (1864-1949), architect, was born on 24 March 1864 at Pensford St Thomas, Somerset, England, fourth son of Henry Butler, farmer, and his wife Mary Yeoman, née Harding.

Butler showed an early talent for sketching and at 15 was articled to Alexander Lauder of Barnstaple.

In 1885 W. R. Lethaby encouraged Butler to move to London and work with J. D. Sedding. He was accepted into the arts and crafts and domestic revival circles centred on William Morris and R. N. Shaw, among whom his closest friend was Ernest Gimson (1864-1919).

 

In June 1888 Butler left Sedding's office and sailed for Australia, perhaps at the prompting of the young Melbourne architect Beverley Ussher then visiting London.

From 1889 until 1893 Butler was in partnership with Ussher. In 1896 he was joined by George C. Inskip but they parted in 1905 after a dispute with the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects over the conduct of a competition.

Above: Butler family and friends at ‘Avalon’; Tom Watson, Walter Butler, Harry Butler, Howard Butler, A. R. Butler, Win Butler, Marjorie Butler

In 1907-16 he partnered Ernest R. Bradshaw and after World War I he was in practice with his nephew Richard (b.1892) as W. & R. Butler, which briefly included Marcus Martin. In the late 1930s Butler was in partnership with Hugh Pettit, but he retired when Pettit enlisted for World War II.

Butler was rightly considered an architect of great talent, and many of his clients were wealthy pastoralists and businessmen. His country-house designs include

 

Equally distinguished large houses were designed for the Melbourne suburbs:

 

These are all fine examples of picturesque gabled houses in the domestic revival genre.

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Thanes aka Wyalla, 13A Monaro Road Kooyong VIC, 1908

Thanes (formerly known as Wyalla) was designed by Walter Butler of Butler and Branshaw, and built in 1908 for Franz Wallach, a mine engineer.

The house has rough cast walls and a slate roof.

Its most distinctive features are its Elizabethan parapets to the six main gables, as well as the swagged parapets to the projections over the bay windows and entry porch.

Originally a much larger property, Thanes was progressively subdivided in the interwar period.

Thanes is of architectural significance as an extraordinary example of the Arts and Crafts freestyle, with distinctive Elizabethan influences, and as perhaps the most unusual Arts and Crafts residence constructed in Victoria.

The plan form is typical of the Arts and Crafts Movement, with the house being one room deep with a corridor, and bent to form a boomerang shape.

The house is planned so that the principal living areas face down a north-east slope, giving views over the Tooronga Valley.

This orientation reflects Butler’s enthusiasm for north-facing living areas with good natural lighting, a concept for which he was a pioneering advocate in Australia.

The hallway (50 feet long and 10 feet wide) and landing upstairs are the most impressive spaces in the house, and the joinery details, including staircase balustrade and timber panelling are well crafted and reminiscent of the work of Charles Rennie McIntosh and Voysey.

An interesting Australian touch is the arched entry featuring a wreath of gum leaves and nuts, a motif repeated in a second entrance on the axis of the main hall.

The Arts and Crafts movement in Australia encouraged the use of Australian materials and motifs, reflecting burgeoning nationalism around the time of Federation and the movement’s belief in the necessity of a locally authentic form of decoration.

Thanes is of architectural significance as one of the most outstanding works of Walter Butler, an architect of great talent and prolific output.

It demonstrates his pioneering use of solar design principles in Australia, and his deep interest in arts and crafts principles, a legacy of his early experience with leading arts and crafts architects in England before coming to Australia.

Renovation of Thanes:

OCT 10, 2012 - Members of the Pratt dynasty are planning a $10 million renovation and extension of their heritage mansion Thanes that will span six house blocks along Monaro and Avenel roads.

Melbourne packaging billionaire Raphael Geminder and his wife Fiona, daughter of late Visy Group chairman Richard Pratt, have paid millions to buy and demolish five neighbouring homes over the years to make enough room for the sprawling abode.

The approved extension plans include a 12-car garage with car wash, gymnasium, at least three swimming pools, theatre, staff quarters and a separate wing for their four children.

 

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Tongaboo, 6 Stonnington Place, Toorak 1912

A relatively well preserved and successful house designed by and built for the noted Arts & Crafts architect, Rodney Alsop 

This attic-storey Arts & Crafts English Domestic revival style house has

  • multiple gabled roofs clad with slate,

  • stuccoed walls,

  • tall brick (over-painted) chimneys,

  • deep eaves with exposed and shaped rafters and joists,

  • timber-framed multi-paned sash windows, and

  • half-timbered and vertical boarded (once stained?) gable ends.

The overall character of the design is in the manner of noted British Arts & Crafts designer CFA Voysey.

Given the changes of the 1920s, the house is generally externally near to original as seen from the street except for minor and related changes to the attic dormer facing north (was a skillion roof dormer).

A visually related garage wing has been added in front of the house at the north-east corner of the house and another to the rear west side of the original kitchen block.

The window sills in the added north bay of 1924 have been lowered to ground level, with matching glazing infill. 

Early construction drawings show both levels: entry hall, dining and living rooms, two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen; and, on the upper level, 4 bedrooms, dressing room, open stair hall and bath room

Sold in May 2008 for $4.025 million.

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Studley392 - 400 Toorak Road, Toorak​ VIC, 1912-1918​-1922

“Butler’s Old Masterpiece”

By JOHN WESTWOOD The Age 14 June 1985


DAME Nellie Melba is among the past residents of a remarkable development of flats at Toorak, one of which has come onto the market, a rare event in itself.

 

  • 41 Tintern Avenue was where Melbourne architect Walter E. Butler at the turn of the century built a fine home for himself and his wife, who was Millicent Howard, ot the Howards who established a grazing property east of the city, named Studley Park.

  • Butler named his Toorak house Studley, but its character changed to a remarkable degree about 1918 when he had the idea of adding some flats to it.

  • He built some on the tennis court,

  • a few more on the main block near the house and

  • also turned the house proper into a series of maisonettes.

This man however was no speculator. He was not in search of a fast buck, it seems; his aim was more in line with creating a garden setting where “respectable” people (vetted by Butler himself) could live in peace and tranquillity.

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  • The idea took otf. and Butler’s flats were always in demand. He did not sell his flats, preferring to rent them to the right folk, among them in later years being Dame Nellie Melba.

  • Butler wrote to her in 1924 asking if she would care to become a tenant, and she wrote back from Coombe’ Cottage, Coldstrearn saying how delighted she was with his proposition.

    • Soon alter that. she did agree to rent a flat and her letter of acceptance was produced for our perusal by the present owner of in. who sent us a copy of it and a later note from her to Mr Butler inviting him to dinner and the opera, but also asking him to tell his gardener not to mix red and magnolia flowers in the grounds “quite so much”.

Studley is a complex of early flats which particularly exemplifies changing attitudes and a semi-servantless lifestyle as developed by the end of the Great War.

It comprises the earlier house of the architect Walter Butler as converted by him into flats in 1918, together with

a new detached block to Tintern Avenue of the same date,

and extensions to the west and a detached flat, (The Cottage) apparently conceived at the time and executed soon afterwards,

together with various ancillary spaces, stairs, cellars and

the large courtyard garden with its terrace, fountain and decorative ceramic plaques.

The flats have suffered some re-subdivision and remodelling, but are still characterised internally by late Arts and Crafts detailing such as

ledged and braced doors,

beaten brasswork and

stained timber.

The Tintern Avenue block especially is notable for forward-looking labour-saving gadgetry such as

double-sided doors and hatches,

rubbish bins located so as to be removable from an exterior hatchway,

and a remarkable set of milk delivery boxes with adjustable pointers to indicate the numbers of bottles required.

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Marathon, 12 Marathon Drive Mount Eliza, 1914

Marathon, constructed in 1914, is significant because of the relationship between house and garden.

Designed by the architectural partnership Butler and Bradshaw, with substantial extensions designed by Walter and Richard butler in 1924, it is an interesting example of a large beachside residence designed in the Arts and Crafts manner.

Designed with substantial extensions by Walter and Richard butler in 1924, it is an interesting example of a large beachside residence designed in the Arts and Crafts manner.​

 

Below:  Timber cottage in Arts and Crafts style with roughcast walls and half-timbered and roughcast gable ends in the English domestic revival manner, for Major Grimwade.

  • Architect's name: Butler + Bradshaw, Architects, 413 Collins St. Melbourne 1909

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The garden, also designed by Walter Butler, with 

  • its formal terraces, 

  • axial layout, structures, 

  • stairs, walls, paths, 

  • pergolas and ornaments 

reflects the Arts and Crafts philosophy of garden design, and of creating outdoor "rooms". 

It is a fine example of Butler's garden design, having the grandest plan and being the largest and most intact surviving work.

Marathon has a strong association with the Grimwade family, who were prominent in Melbourne commercial, social and intellectual circles. 

Originally built for them as their summer residence, it was used more recently as a permanent residence. 

It remained in the Grimwade family ownership until mid 1992.

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Woburn Cottage, 6-8 Redesdale Road Ivanhoe, 1911​

 

Woburn is a large example of the half-timbered Arts and Crafts style, popular in Heidelberg and Ivanhoe in the early 20th century. The house is enhanced by its garden setting and intact interiors.

Woburn is in an attic style, Tudor residence of timber construction, with Marseilles pattern tiled roofs.

The half-timbered gables which face east and west, with their rough-cast rendering, are perhaps the main distinguishable elements of original 1912 section, each with large leadlight Tudor arched windows.

The tapered, rendered chimneys appear to date from the 1920s or 30s alterations.

Internally the major space is the upstairs billiard room which has an exposed truss ceiling (1912) whilst its counterpoint is at lower ground level at the south-west corner, where a fine 1930s interior was added with custom made lamp fittings and furnishing.

 

Landscape: The front and rear gardens are diverse in character but the major original elements (conifers and palms) are discernible as is the terraced layout at the rear, fronting the river.

A large Weeping Cherry is prominent in the front garden whilst on the western boundary, a large glass house has been built (1920-30s) at the rear.