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Beaumaris Modernism

Posted on: June 24 2014

One of the great things about being a real estate agent is that I get to visit and look around one’s home…….  And I’ve been to a lot of homes!  After seeing, inspecting and poking around in them, you start to eventually lean towards a favourite style of architecture.

Here in Beaumaris, the mixture is vast, from Federation & Californian Bungalow (thought, there’s not many of either of these), Cape Cod, Tudor, Contemporary, Georgian, and the list goes on……  but there is one style that is very reminiscent with Beaumaris, and this is the Beaumaris Modernist House.

Modernist Architecture in Beaumaris came about when Dunlop Rubber Company who owned most of the uncleared 180 hectares of Beaumaris sold it off to be subdivided into residential blocks, when building restrictions were lifted back in 1952.   The suburb then changed from being mostly a sandy area with indigenous trees and extensive heathlands to quickly becoming a suburb.  The Beaumaris Conservation Society which was formed in 1953 to encourage residents to maintain the indigenous trees, and to today, there are areas of Beaumaris that have retained this.  During this time interesting architecture appeared from respected architects including Robin Boyd, McGlashan & Everist, Chancellor & Patrick, John Baird, Mockridge, Stahle & Mitchell.  The 1956 Royal Institute of Architects Guide to Victorian Architecture reported that Beaumaris had ‘the largest concentration of interesting houses in the metropolitan area’.

The architects were known for large full height voids, cantilevered sections, flat or skillion roofs, wide eaves, full height windows to catch the sun, enclosed courtyards and pale bricks.

Over the years, much of this interesting architecture has made way to new houses and townhouse developments.  My hope is I can along with other modernist enthusiasts save this heritage.  Many of these beautiful homes have become collectable pieces to a small allegiance of Beaumaris residents, and with time will increase in value, far more than a new house (which depreciates over time).  So with every modernist house I can save and sell on will only bring joy to the next modernist collector to enjoy and own.

Some of the Beaumaris homes I have been privileged to see and sell are below:

Robin Boyd

The owner of this Robin Boyd home informs me, this is Boyd’s first ever full glass window wall.  The glass wall faces north, and originally had another room closing off part of the wall, the current owners have removed this to expose the full glass wall….. doesn’t it look fantastic!  And can I tell you, it’s even more breathtaking when you’re in the home.  These homes have a way of enveloping you into their past.

McGlashan & Everist

Here’s a different example of a glass wall that the architects used at the time.  This house on Beach Rd, had clever use of light, with the upstairs living room having glass on both sides to take in the morning sun from the internal side, and afternoon sun later in the day from the front windows overlooking the water.  This house I sold in 2013 to new owners who plan to renovate.

372 Beach Road Beaumaris

372 Beach Road Beaumaris

Web Links of Interest:

History of Beaumaris, on the Beaumaris Conservation Society Website:

Jason writes an interesting & informative modernist blog covering Beaumaris Modernist Homes on his website:

Australian Modernist Landscapes.

Two modernist architecture walking trails that you can do in Beaumaris.  Click on the following links to view the history of the homes with walking directions:

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