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A Pristine Mid-Century Family Home Buried In Greenery

Modernist Australia

The real estate market has been hot hot HOT at the moment with so many great properties for sale, but this has to be one of the best we’ve seen recently!

Built in 1957, this North Balwyn home has impeccable wood detailing, soaring ceilings and panoramic greenery all around it! The design also includes so many unique architectural features, including *that* floating study. As Trish Callan from Modernist Australia said on Instagram, ‘We are not worthy!’

Read more of her expert take below.

29th November, 2021

The tiered courtyard at the rear. Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

Timber detailing decks the floors walls and ceiling. Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

The study is secreted in the floating timber body above. Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

The volumes are incredible! Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

The view from the study captures greenery from all angles, courtesy of the panoramic windows. Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

Even on the exterior this house retains its sparkle. Photo – Courtesy of Fletchers.

Trish Callan
Monday 29th November 2021

‘It makes us nervous that this unprotected legacy sits within a suburb terminally afflicted with the blight of McMansions… we cross our fingers and hold our breath.’ – Trish Callan

Sometimes in life, heretofore unknown pleasures hove into view like they were always right there, just waiting for you.

Case in point; this slice of secret architecture embodying such elevated sophistication it holds its own among landmarks from contemporaries of some 60 years ago; Boyd, Clerehan, Kagan, etc. Yet the architect in question, Alan Nance, poses a mystery and his output seems to have been limited.

What we do know is that this family home has passed through time with little updating – though that (squeee!) yellow kitchen was clearly a 70s flourish – and maintains every aspect of its masterful conception, from the in-built joinery cleverly hiding away appliances, to the outdoor access afforded every bedroom, to the star of the show; the office mezzanine a split level wonder under which one can sit and watch the moon track across the double-height glazing.

And don’t get us started on the timber in a multitude of gorgeous applications, nor the lighting reflected off the panelled ceiling, bouncing the glow out onto the street, calling all those who understand and overcoming some with such desire that the present owners have been door-knocked by local design aficionados seeking a peek.

Sadly, it makes us nervous that this unprotected legacy sits within a suburb terminally afflicted with the blight of McMansions, though we remain quietly confident the transcendent beauty of this house overrides any ideas of disfigurement or worse. We cross our fingers and hold our breath.

149 Mountain View Road, Balwyn North will be sold on December 11th at 12pm by Daiman Kane and Nick Fletcher at Fletchers. See the full 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