This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Secret Modernist Stunner For Sale On Sydney's North Shore

Modernist Australia

We always love the mid-century gems that Patricia Callan from Modernist Australia has to share, but today’s home is quite possibly one of the BEST we’ve seen!

First built in the early 1960s, the same family has lived in this home on Sydney’s North Shore for over 45 years. Now, they’re ready to hand over the keys to a considerate new custodian!

We are completely smitten by the brick and stonework, passages of skylit ceilings, and don’t even get us STARTED on the indoor garden – all in immaculate condition! Over to Trish for the lowdown.

18th October, 2019

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Photo – Anthony Basheer.

Patricia Callan
Friday 18th October 2019

It always pays to letter drop.

When agent Marcus Lloyd-Jones of Modern House (the only Mid-Century Modern real estate agency in the country) had his offer taken up to appraise this home (after popping a flyer in the letterbox) little did he know he was to stumble across one of the most exquisitely secret residences in Sydney.

Owned since 1974 by the Payton family, English immigrants with over 5 generations famous within antique and fine musical instrument business, they have lived within and cherished this home for over 45 years. The home’s origins lie some ten years earlier when it was built in 1962-63 as a commission by Peter Swan. Swan had offices in Pitt Street, though his business was in commercial architecture, this residence is the only private residence known thus far to be designed by him.

The commissioning client was the Welch Family, of also another noted family business this time in construction, Welch Bros, which worked with other noted architects at the time, though their reasons for employing Swan to design their family casa is unclear. However, all of this wonderful (and until now undocumented) history doesn’t really convey the sheer stun this home will inflict upon viewing. The cascade of expletives and gasps will commence with the street view, the low-slung carport and hints of stone, a tempting invitation to anyone versed in MCM residential architecture. Inside the house reveals itself slowly but surely and it is here you can sense the incredible use of materials including; Tassie Blackwood paneling, stone fireplace, full-height glazing and the outstanding design with total north facing living, garden lightwells, pool-centred courtyard and split levels.

The entire residence an individual expression of Modern architecture at the time, with clear comparisons to some of our most beloved and well-known names such as Walter Burley-Griffin, Bruce Rickard or Neville Gruzman. This home is up there with the greats, its recent discovery enthralling and immaculate, all original presentation we hope magical enough to attract a deserving custodian of integrity, if not also some form of heritage recognition.

View the property listing on Modern House 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 eye-candy, visit modernistaustralia.com.

 

This Week

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Similar Stories

Modernist Australia

A Robin Boyd Bushland Block Up For Sale!

A classic home by Australia's most loved modernist architect, the 'Uglow House' in Montmorency is on the market for a steal!
Patricia Callan

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan

Modernist Australia

The Beachfront ‘McKay House’ Is Up For Auction This Weekend

A DREAM beach house in Mollymook, New South Wales, designed by one of the nation’s most beloved Modernist firms, Allen Jack + Cottier Arch...
Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs

This Week

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Modernist Australia

A Robin Boyd Bushland Block Up For Sale!

A classic home by Australia's most loved modernist architect, the 'Uglow House' in Montmorency is on the market for a steal!
Patricia Callan

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan

Modernist Australia

The Beachfront ‘McKay House’ Is Up For Auction This Weekend

A DREAM beach house in Mollymook, New South Wales, designed by one of the nation’s most beloved Modernist firms, Allen Jack + Cottier Arch...
Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net