On The Market

A Family's Magical Mid-Century ‘Treehouse’ Is For Sale In Kew East

This mid-century home in Kew East is one of those properties that rarely comes on the market. In fact, it’s remained in the architect’s own family since he first built the residence in 1959.

Designed by Melbourne architect Keith Lodge, the modernist abode has evolved over time to meet the needs of his family and six children – who say they’ve loved growing up in their dad’s amazing ‘treehouse’.

The unique gem has stood the test of time and now, it’s for sale for the first time ever!

Christina Karras

The retro Lodge House is on the market for the first time ever! Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

Melbourne architect Keith Lodge’s design is filled with Modernist features from the era. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

Despite having been renovated an extended multiple times, the property has a heritage overlay from the National Trust. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

Amazing, triangular windows fill the home with character! Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

It’s a been configured with a large family in mind, to accomodate the Lodge family’s six children. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

The light-filled kitchen. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

Further bedrooms were added to the home’s cosy undercroft in 1973. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

‘Every material was considered and it created a relationship for us between the house and the family,’ the vendors children say. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

One of the four bedrooms. Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

A look at the sweeping facade and balcony, which hovers above the ground on a steel frame! Photo – Courtesy Kay & Burton

Christina Karras
6th of October 2022

There’s a lot that feels magical about the home at 24 Lister Street, in Melbourne’s Kew East. Built and designed by owner-architect Keith Lodge, it features all the characteristics of a coveted home from the modernist era – from its use of geometric glass to its amazing structure, elevated above ground by a traditional steel frame.

But perhaps even more special is the story behind it, having been lived in and cherished by Keith’s family for an incredible six decades. Until now!

‘Our father designed and built this home in 1959,’ one of the vendor’s children Fiona Lodge says. ‘He was a young enthusiastic architect who conceived the home at the age of 26, which has become more remarkable to me in my adult years, for him to demonstrate such a bold and yet effective home, which frankly has stood the test of time.’

It was originally built as a ‘humble’ two-bedroom home set in farm-like surrounds and unmade roads, with views through to the Yarra River and beyond. ‘As the precinct matured and grew, so did the family and in turn the house,’ Fiona explains.

In 1967, the house was extended out to the east with two additional bedrooms, and in 1973 a playroom and two further bedrooms were added in an under croft which is linked to the main living floor by a spiral stair. Inside timber features bring additional warmth and charm, while an original 12ft granite wall featuring an open fireplace has been the literal heart of the home for the family to gather around.

The owners say its strong architectural bones have been adapted to modern living over the last 60 years, even changing the interior colour schemes of the four-bedroom home several times. But one of the Lodge’s favourite features is the facade and triangular windows, which frame the 1575 square metre block’s established native gardens.

‘To think that the beautiful, landscaped garden that looks more like parkland, was planted by our parents, every single tree,’ she adds. ‘Unbeknown to me, as a child, we were living amongst the treetops, with views across parkland, within suburban Kew. Our father never tired of pointing out: that no window was the same, the way the light would stream through the windows at the right time of the day and the magical feeling of living within the treetops. He used to say, “look we live in a tree house”.’

Now, the nostalgic Lodge House is finally on the market, and the family’s hoping to hand the property over to someone who will cherish it for decades to come!

24 Lister Street, Kew East is listed with Kay & Burton Hawthorn with expressions of interest closing October 25 at 5pm.

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