• Jon Ruwolt

Arts and Crafts Kooyong trophy home 'Grenfell'

Updated: Aug 12, 2019



Grenfell, a Kooyong home with rich publishing history, has been offered for sale. The Mernda Road arts-and-crafts-style home, in Edna Walling-designed gardens, was designed in 1932 by architects Godfrey & Spowers. the firm famous for creating the old Argus newspaper building on the Elizabeth and Latrobe Sts corner in 1926 and Bank of New South Wales branches in Melbourne’s CBD.

Kay & Burton's Ross Savas and Steven Rode has a guide of between $5.5 million and $6 million.


View of tapestry brickwork at Grenfell, 9 Mernda Road Kooyong Vic 3144

'Grenfell' was built in the early 1930s for Hugh Randall Syme, a grandson of David Syme whose family held The Age for decades.

He was a highly decorated bomb detection naval officer in World War II and later became general manager of David Syme & Co.


Driveway, 9 Mernda Road Kooyong Vic 3144

The home was sold by the Syme family to its current vendors in 2001 for $1.49 million.

It is considered “of regional significance as a pioneering design reflecting a modern interpretation of the Arts and Crafts idiom”, according to Victorian Heritage documents.

The property is enhanced by the intact early landscaping by Edna Walling.


Lounge room, 9 Mernda Road Kooyong

The four bedroom home is built with timber beamed ceilings, open fireplaces, rustic stonework, external tapestry brickwork and small-paned windows.


Set well beyond wide street frontage with high fence and electric wrought iron gate seclusion, a picturesque Tudor-inspired façade with its beautiful sandstone and tapestry brickwork heralds a largely original Arts & Crafts interior.


Executive study or fifth bedroom, Grenfell 9 Mernda Road Kooyong Vic 3144

This impressive home includes arched entry to a superb hall, four bedrooms, executive study or 5th bedroom, family living room, formal dining room, with a quality contemporary kitchen with Miele appliances and stone benchtops.


Kitchen, 9 Mernda Road Kooyong

With its refinement and modern enhancement, ‘Grenfell’ is a family home of warmth, richness and elegance.


Heritage:

Grenfell is "a rather stylish derivation of the Old English style anticipating architectural characteristics of modern architects of the late 1930s to the 50s."


Floorplan of Grnefell, 9 Mernda Road Kooyong Vic 3144

image3 Grenfell, 9 Mernda Road, Kooyong Vic 3144
  • It has a main tranverse gable with projecting dormers with brick apexes. The main feature is the projecting gable towards the house which has a central chimney breast extending from it and the chimney extending through the projected eaves at the gable end.

  • The base of the chimney is of rustic stonework of sandstone and terracotta shingles are used for capping the extension.

  • A skillion roof extends from the main projecting gable down to a very low level and this contains the entry and the small side wing.

  • The entry arch adjacent is a triple reveal, framed in tapestry bricks. These are also used for the three small matching adjacent windows having arched voussoirs with tapestry bricks.

  • The windows are casement windows with a simple rectangular grid of leaded glass.

  • The grounds are magnificent and a massive oak tree dominates the front garden.

  • Crazy paving and a lawn path in front of the house extends from the main gates in a sweep to the rear garage. The side garden has a sunken pool and the whole is very intact, including the original brick fence. This uses the same tapestry brick capping with elegant wrought iron gates."

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