The Loss Of Local Modern Architectural Heritage Through Ignorance
This particular blog is something that i've been pondering for some time but until recently i sadly hadn't given it much thought other than enjoying the post war modern homes i see as i wander my local streets. Now there aren't a vast number of these homes but there's enough of a spattering of them in my local area to have them considered as part of the neighbourhood character and thus making them relevant to new infill architecture as an appropriate alternative to that ever boring pitched roof rubbish that is springing up in vast numbers over recent years. That is not to say pitched roofed structures don't have their place but when you see poorly designed, poor quality and faux heritage style homes given the green light from local council it shocks me that highly sustainable low or no pitched roof modernist inspired high quality homes are overlooked & in almost every case refused by local council as not being consistent with neighbourhood character.
My issue with this is thus, that usually planning will simply suggest "stick a pitched roof on it and we can let it through, leave the flat roof and we will refuse" as noted above the refusal is always that flat roofed homes "do not" form part of the local neighbourhood character of the area in which i live and produce a high number of my works. While the issue had been simmering underneath for some time, recently when i presented a new planning application to council with yet another flat roofed design that was created based on sustainability, orientation, eco products and high thermal ratings due to the design something in me kicked over a gear and decided "enough is enough".
For if my local council considered flat roofed homes wasn't insult enough to all those architects/builders and designers who created a wonderful array of homes throughout the post world war 2 era up until current times, the sheer fact that i discovered that early in 2013 a "Roy Grounds" designed local house was demolished and the land subdivided was the insult to end all insults when we are talking about a council ignoring an entire generation of housing. For those who don't know Roy Grounds is the much celebrated Melbourne Architect who designed our rather amazing and architecturally brilliant "National Gallery Of Victoria" and to see one of his residential commissions demolished without any thought to having it retained in some heritage form goes a long way to showing the current issue at hand. It also makes me wonder, "how many more post war modernist homes are out there and are they in any way protected from demolition?"...
Taking that question in deep considering it spurred me into action and over the past few weeks i have been researching local history through the two councils that now share the area that in post war times was covered by one larger shire. Sadly however i have come to find that after rummaging through all of the local archives at the council of current concern i found very little if any information on architecture in the local area post WW2, which i find rather alarming, it's almost like anything built after the 1950's in the local area isn't relevant historically. Thankfully at the second local council that shares coverage of the old single shire i have found a rather good source of information that i am beginning to sift through and through all of the research i have done thus far i have made a decision that if i can source enough information and images i will put together my first book on the architecture of my local area.
So if any one out there happens to have some information or images of modernist residential architecture between the years of 1945 & 1980 from the Glen Eira Council or Kingston Council areas which now make up a vast majority of the old Moorabbin Shire i would appreciate you forwarding it onto me. :) Hopefully one day this country of ours will respect its heritage like the UK does, for now i will do what i can to preserve what is left of my beloved modern architecture in the local area to me and perhaps throughout this great big land of ours. Let the journey of architectural discovery begin.
Below Is A Gallery Of Local Residences I Consider To Fit The Post War Modernist Style.