This residence was Guilford Bell’s second commission for the Seccull family, completed a mere year after their city home was finished. Now, those of you with pachyderm memories and/or super serfs at the foot of the Australian Modern gods will remember when we showcased the first Seccull House on Modernist Australia two years ago. This formidable statement of theoretical breadth and unfettered vision clearly impressed Mr and Mrs Seccull enough for them immediately request a holiday house in the then boho and surfer-dream-town of Lorne.
This auspicious combo of patronage, prestige and place leads to this 1973 listing, which should have many weak at the knees. A configuration in two parts: the bedroom wing – a comfortingly steadfast block of repeating windows, rooms and balconies – a design that had roots in the 1930s Internationalist circles, but which thereafter became 20th-Century design shorthand utilised in everything from motels to offices to retails strips across the globe. And in an adjoining twist, but very typical of Guilford Bell’s (especially later) work, the living-dining pagoda-esque pavilion topped with an incredible timber-lined ceiling and expansive decking affording all the breathtaking Otway coast views. To die to die!
Of course it’s had its share of updating (some bits most successful than others) but for the most part, it remains close to the original in form and it would be a hard heart indeed who wouldn’t give their eye teeth for the chance of inhabiting a home of such provenance and location.
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.