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A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'

Modernist Australia

Today we are THRILLED to be welcoming back the fabulous Patricia Callan of Modernist Australia fame to the pages of TDF! After shuttering her beloved website in 2020, we had a sneaking suspicion that the lure of excellent mid-century-modern design would bring her back soon enough. With a few sneaky Instagram posts here and there, our suspicions were confirmed, and we couldn’t help but ask Trish to return as a regular columnist, to share her expert perspective on the most marvellous mid-century houses that hit the market, across Australia.

And what a way to welcome her back – with the spectacular Golowin House by Iwan Iwanoff in Mount Lawley, Western Australia! Over to Trish.

15th April, 2021

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Photo – courtesy of Danielle Geagea at Zsa Zsa Property.

Patricia Callan
Thursday 15th April 2021

An unexpected thrill to an otherwise ordinary week is guaranteed when an Iwan Iwanoff home pops into view. From the destroyed to groundup grandeur of Paganin House (1965) to the untouched museum piece of Toschkoff House (1959), a celebrated slice of residential Modernism from the Perth-by-way-of-Bulgaria tour de force, nowadays, always draws a deserved crowd. Now comes ‘Golowin House’ (1959). Cherished and restored by its savvy owners, who have held fast to this excellent example for the last 3 decades, they now relinquish their charge into the hands of another Modern lover, someone who can enjoy this heritage listed home, sit in its endless sunlight and dance on that parquetry till dawn.

Once more a legacy of our immigrant endowment, this residence was a commission for Iwanoff’s preferred builder, the Russian-Jewish family, Golowin Builders, who carried out the construction in the best tradition of astonishing, old-world craftsmanship leaving not a crumble or crack to be seen over 60 years later. Harmoniously accompanied by lush, sympathetic landscaping there is simply nothing more to do to this sweeping abode but move on in.

Certain naysayers of Mid-Century Modern architecture hold a rather shallow politics on why it can never compare to, say Greek or Roman Classicism, that Internationalist ‘boxes’ do not lift the spirit or embody the heroicness of humanity. But to that, our Iwanoff answers in his own particular and spectacular language. For how can one walk up that split level entry, in party best, on a balmy Perth evening and not feel like a contemporary goddess?

View the real estate listing here

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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