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An Architect’s Breathtaking Mid-Century Home On The Great Ocean Road!

Homes

It’s been 10 years since architect Josh Crosbie first laid eyes on this Lorne home – his favourite on Victoria’s famous Great Ocean Road. The house had been in hands of the original owners who built it in 1965, until the fortuitous opportunity came for Josh to purchase it last year.

Since moving in with his sons Levi, Jude, and his girlfriend Mish, Josh has added a lower floor to the house and completed sympathetic restorations. What he hasn’t touched are the ocean-facing facade, hardwood journey, or kitchen floor tiles – original features he deems ‘off-limits!’ 

26th May, 2021

Original MCM table. Chairs and barstools by Gerald Easdon also acquired with the house. Louis Poulsen’s original PH5 light fitting was brought from Josh’s last 1960s beach house. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original MCM table. Chairs and barstools by Gerald Easdon also acquired with the house. Louis Poulsen’s original PH5 light fitting was brought from Josh’s last 1960s beach house. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Josh in his lounge room. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files.

The unparalleled views look back over Louttit Bay toward Lorne with the pier on the far left. Views of the Aireys Inlet lighthouse and amazing sunrises are found looking east. The landscaping was just completed by CD’s Landscapes including the largest size in-ground tramp by Mr Trampoline. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘We installed four original Australian-made mid-century shelving units by Ladderax that we bought from my friend,’ says Josh. West German vases and original paintings by Jan Francis. Lots of indoor plants from Arizona  Nursery. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The original joinery and tiling in the kitchen is in pristine condition. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

MCM chessboard and sofas in the sitting room with original accordion teak sliding wall. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The laundry was converted to a butler’s pantry. Messmate hardwood tops with Vic-ash hardwood fronts were built. Fancy ‘Elektra’ copper coffee machine handmade in Florence by Coffee Machine Technologies. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original joinery unit with hardwood fronts and black tops.Josh’s collection of West German mid-century vases. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original MCM bed and side tables were bought with the house. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The technicolour ceramics pop against the bright blue ocean. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The office. Working from home doesn’t get much better (or more distracting?) than this! Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The main bedroom in the guesthouse has panoramic views over the coastline. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Truly. Iconic. New stone bath just added to the eastern deck directly off the guest house’s ‘honeymoon suite’ (aka main bedroom). Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The main bedroom in the guethouse is nicknamed the ‘honeymoon suite’. How good are those corner window views?! Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Terrazzo tiles in the new studio bathroom. Photography – Trent Perrett.

Warm, blush tones in the studio. Photography – Trent Perrett.

A view to the guesthouse. Photography – Trent Perrett.

Original ’60s pool with sandstone wall. ‘Notice the cantilevered stone ledge for champagne glasses,’ says Josh. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Seriously, do the views get any better?! Photography – Trent Perrett.

Clean and simple facade with strong flat roofline are staples of mid-century architecture. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original chairs and oil painting were acquired with the house. Photo – Nikole Ramsay for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

There’s only one word for this location – epic! Photography – Trent Perrett.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 26th May 2021

‘Many aspects of this beautiful home to me are very sacred to its original character and integrity – therefore were off-limits for any improvements.’ –Josh Crosbie

After nine years pining after the one Lorne house, architect Josh Crosbie made it his own in 2020.

The house was originally built in 1965, by the same family who eventually sold it to Josh. Its long, mid-century form sits elegantly in the landscape, perched directly above a small cliff on the Great Ocean Road.

‘This house was my favourite house along the whole Surf Coast for many years before I was lucky enough to purchase it… It had never changed hands previously,’ Josh says. ‘I’m extremely grateful and proud that my family are now the custodians of this beautiful home.’ 

Given Josh’s long-standing love of the home, he wasn’t interested in removing any original features – just making a few sensitive updates to better suit his family’s needs. Mainly, this meant increasing in-built storage, and enhancing outdoor recreation spaces.

The biggest change was the additional of a lower level, to increase space and storage, without disrupting the ocean-facing facade. ‘This repetitious and simple language across the front facade was one of my favourite aspects of the house when I first saw it 10 years ago,’ Josh says. 

Meanwhile, a full restoration was undertaken indoors, including new windows, skylights, and painting throughout, although many original features were preserved. Much of the previous owner’s furniture also remains in place, after Josh purchased a lot of it with the house! 

‘Many aspects of this beautiful home to me are very sacred to its original character and integrity – therefore were off-limits for any improvements,’ Josh says. ‘These include the main glass facade that looks straight over the ocean; the original hardwood joinery throughout the house; the original floor tiles through the kitchen area; the sandstone retaining walls that line the swimming pool area and driveway; and the exposed rafters through the whole house that line up perfectly with the hardwood window frame mullions.’

When selling this home, the original owners recounted countless party stories from their 50 years in the home – a tradition Josh hopes to uphold alongside his sons  Levi, Jude, and girlfriend Mish. ‘I enjoy entertaining also, so it’s very sweet that this home continues its legacy.’

Of course, one can’t talk about this home without addressing the STUNNING view of the ocean, which feels close enough to touch! ‘Certainly, my favourite aspect of the house is sitting inside watching the mood of the ocean and the sky changing regularly,’ says Josh.

Every room in the house has its own vantage point of the water beyond the iconic Great Ocean Road, but for the best viewing experience…. head to the outdoor bath!

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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