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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
With its refinement and modern enhancement, ‘Grenfell’ is a family home of warmth, richness and elegance.
Grenfell is "a rather stylish derivation of the Old English style anticipating architectural characteristics of modern architects of the late 1930s to the 50s."
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."
Property Observer: 3 JULY 2018 "Kooyong trophy Grenfell built for The Age's Syme family listed"