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Robin Boyd's Brigford House Goes Under The Hammer

Modernist Australia

When checking the stream of MCM homes as they pop up on the Australian market, Modernist Australia admits it’s easy to get a little complacent about just how innovative and ahead-of-their-time many of these 1950’s and 1960’s houses were. BUT nothing brings this back into sharp focus quite like this 1954 ‘undisputed master…’

Today, we take you inside an exceptional example from Australian architecture legend Robin Boyd. It’s a beauty, it’s in Melbourne – AND it’s up for auction this Saturday!

22nd October, 2018

Robin Boyd’s Bridgford House. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

The four-bedroom home is up for auction this Saturday. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

It’s located on Beach Road in Black Rock. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

The home was built in 1954. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

The current owners have undertaken a beautifully skilful revival. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

The home sports floor to ceiling walls of glazing and original timber panelling. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Original kitchen. Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Photo – courtesy of Jellis Craig.

Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs
Monday 22nd October 2018

‘ It could be that in the wrong hands this home is dust by Christmas 2018 and a McMansion by Easter 2020. We cannot allow this to happen.’ – Patricia Callan.

Bridgford House was Robin Boyd’s most expensive commission to date when undertaken in 1954, at the behest of wealthy boatie Charles (& wife Phyllis) Bridgford. Sitting on a corner allotment, this is only its second time on the market and (thanks Steven Coverdale for the historical pics and info) we can note the current owners have undertaken a beautifully skilful revival with a contemporary architect – oh so light and delicate, in keeping with the truest sensibilities of Boyd’s early domestic catalogue.

It is also with a recurring knot of sadness at the loss of Boyd so young, that we pore over every room with the sheer cleverness of his craft on view; the inbuilt cabinetry, dividing kitchen shelving, that wild indoor to outdoor dining table, groundbreaking walls of glazing, those stunning bedrooms – not hanging their attractiveness on large footage but rather on utility, light, formation and the unadorned beauty of raw materials – honestly we could look at this house all day and find something startling and elegant to gush over every time.

The one recurring minor note to this tune is the question of fate and future, for this prized residence sits in a now very ‘aspirational’ area where those with money far in excess of their cognitive skills race to build ever more bloated monuments to vapid consumerism and self-loathing and this home has no protection, heritage or otherwise, of any kind. It could be that in the wrong hands this home is dust by Christmas 2018 and a McMansion by Easter 2020. We cannot allow this to happen. We all must find a new custodian of this uniquely beautiful and notable residence ASAP!

View the listing here, and original MA article here.

Run by Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs, Modernist Australia is the passion-project/website dedicated to raising the profile of mid-century design and modernist principles in Australia. For more swell eye-candy, visit Modernistaustralia.com.

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