Streamlined and Modern
Thankfully we are starting to see increased appreciation for the streamlined moderne style of architecture and even more importantly, successful restorations and additions. This house, built in 1948, has been locally listed. It is considered significant due to the fact that it is “a Post-war house with both typical and unusual features, a very good example of Art Deco styling, the exception for single dwellings in the Waverley area.”
The house presents as single storey to the street, but is two storeys to the south due to the fall of the land. It is unusual for its area due to its moderne styling and low metal roof behind parapets. The front is orange textured brick streamlined by curving corners and a scalloped edge flat concrete porch. Rendered and painted string lines contribute to its curvilinear form.
The house was converted circa 1990 into three separate flats. The subdivision was largely achieved by sealing doors to the upper level, easily reversible with minimal impact on the building’s fabric and heritage. The house had also been compromised by the addition of a glazed sunroom erected on the front balcony and a bathroom block tacked onto the rear.The design brief for architect Nick Bell was to restore the separate flats back into a single dwelling, substantially recovering the building’s original character and also also providing a contemporary addition complimentary to the Art Deco style.
To a large extent the front section of the house remains unaltered by the design. Bell resisted the obvious temptation to add a third level. Rooms were reconnected through the re-opening of original doorways and refurbished rather than significantly altered. In doing this room uses were re-defined for current living patterns. A double height addition was added to the rear. This new addition houses the main living spaces and connects to the three previously disparate areas of the house; the upstairs, the rear garden, and the less featured basement accommodation. Removal of the 90’s bathroom block to the rear allowed the formation of a new courtyard to get light and air into rooms that had been internalised by the previous alterations.
While respecting and celebrating most of the building’s original fabric, including the walls with curved corners and wide cornices, Bell has reworked it into a now solid and substantial five-bedroom family home, with a media room and study.
The contemporary is there too, in a new, almost full-width and double-height rear living, dining and kitchen addition with a roof that rolls in a soft curvature as an important nod back to Moderne styling.