Buildings at Risk

Building at Risk: Danne House Melbourne




The Danne House was once the most eye-catching modernist houses in the Studley Park area. It is being auctioned on 12 April, at 12 noon, by Woodards. (Tony Nathan 0412 285 066)

It is now disguised by the external alterations and additions of the early 1980s, but has the potential to regain much of its original character. While the original building envelope has been subsumed by additions facing the street, most the original structure has been retained. This includes the striking original feature, the curved rear wing, built over two levels in stone salvaged from the burnt out shell of Wilson Hall. It is has a curved highlight window wall built in diagonal framing, and original circular skylights, one of the earliest uses of skylights in residential use in Melbourne. Circular skylights such as this, with internal lights, were a feature of many buildings by Alvo Aalto in Finland at this time. These features are shown in this recent photo showing the rear view of the Danne House at the left.

The architect Geoffrey Danne designed this house for his own family. It demonstrates how architects built experimental and innovative houses for their own use. The striking design was recorded as the feature house in the June 1957 edition of Australian House and Garden, which is attached.

Another distinctive house by Danne is the Muspratt House, located nearby at 14 Carnsworth Avenue, featured on the National Trust News in May 2010, an issue devoted to modernism. By contrast, it is very intact and has many design details used for the Danne House. See the link to Studley Park Modern website

Commenced in 1954 and completed in 1956, the Danne House comprised two main sections. Facing the street was a lightweight third floor that cantilevered over the two storey car space and entry. This anticipated Sean Godsell’s own dramatically cantilevered house, also in Studley Park. The steel columns and support beams were clearly expressed, and complemented by the vertical rods that defined the entrance and provided a balustrade for the cantilevered entrance stairs. Lightweight concrete panels were used for the cladding of this section.

Download the full Pdf  with information, photo and documentation and floors plans on the house

The Danne House (PDF 630k) (pdf by Nigel Lewis Pty Ltd)


News, NSW, talk

TALK/Icomos 3: Public Sydney: drawing the city



Public Sydney: drawing the city

by Philip Thalis and Peter John Cantrill


Historic Houses Trust of NSW and Content, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales


Public Sydney: drawing the city makes a major contribution to understanding our shared architectural heritage. It provides the fundamental knowledge required for the ongoing conservation and heritage management of key heritage sites from the late 18th century (the site of first Government House) to the present day. It encompasses Sydney’s history and present state but also anticipates its future, providing an invaluable resource not only for architects and planners, but also for 21st-century government agencies and corporations in their management of Sydney’s public places.

In drawings, images and commentary, the book presents all the significant public places and buildings in central Sydney – among them Circular Quay, Customs House, Hyde Park, Central Station, the cathedrals, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, Town Hall, State Library, Hyde Park Barracks, Art Gallery of NSW and Queen Victoria Building – studying their genesis and evolution, and in some cases examining their individual public rooms. The book affords a comprehensive overview of the growth and evolution of public buildings in Sydney.

Public Sydney thus becomes a guide for those who will define the city’s future urban character. Knowledge gained from the drawings and the authoritative consideration of the forces behind urban change will positively influence the city’s future. Contemporary planners and designers from every discipline can readily use this material in their assessment of new proposals in any urban context, and teachers, students, researchers and historians of all disciplines related to the built environment can use the understanding of Sydney’s evolution it provides to develop critical thinking skills in the design of public places.

Members of the public are welcome!

Time & Date: Thursday 22nd May 2014, 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.

Venue: Godden Mackay Logan, 78 George Street, Redfern, NSW, 2016.
RSVP: Miss Jane Vernon or 02 9319 4811. RSVP is essential as places are limited.


Download Flyer
ICOMOS DOCOMOMO NSW CHAPTER Flyer Thalis & Cantrill May 2014 draft

Events, News, Victoria





2013, Dir. Dieter Reifarth, 116 mins, German with English subtitles

16th April 2014, Wednesday at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 with nibbles and drinks)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s modern masterpiece “Villa Tugendhat” created for clients Greta and Fritz Tugendhat, has seen many guises.  Built between 1928 and 1930 in Brno, Czech Republic, the house represented the open-minded upper-class life design of the clients with its atypical construction methods and use of luxurious materials.  In the years following the forced displacement of the Tugendhat family in 1938, the building has been used as military quarters, various schools and a physiotherapy centre.

Haus Tugendhat tells the story of a unique building and its inhabitants: from the spirit of optimism in the affluent Western Moravia between the world wars, the occupation by Nazi Germany and the post-war years, to the restoration and conservation work that saved the building from dereliction.

Avant-gardists, bureaucrats and visionaries all have a place here. One learns of expectations and disappointments in a complicated process between artistic utopia and politics, appropriation and dispossession, renunciation and restitution.

Print courtesy of the Goethe Institut Australia.

Trailer HERE

The screening will be introduced by Rohan Storey, a heritage consultant and vice-president of the Melbourne Heritage Action, who are currently fighting to save Total Carpark and other unfashionable but important Modernist landmarks in Melbourne. Rohan has a degree in architecture from Melbourne University gained when postmodernism was new and existing. After discovering that leaning over a drawing board wasn’t as rewarding as first thought, he took up a temporary job with the National Trust, and ended up there for 20 years or so as Heritage Consultant. Enough time to learn about the Burra Charter, what ‘the planning system’ really meant, and best of all, he had time to browse through some of the thousands of files covering all the rich variety of the stuff we call heritage in Victoria.

For more information, please visit:

Event location: Robin Boyd Foundation, 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra, Melbourne VIC 3141 Australia

Event organiser: DADo Film Society





Online Video: Total House Short

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 8.10.04 am

Total Brutal Short

by Jacques Sheard

Total House is one of very few examples of what is known as Japanese inspired Brutalism in the city of Melbourne. Certainly a polarising style it is nonetheless an important part of Melbourne’s built environment and adds considerably to the diverse and varied texture of our city.
As with many post-war ‘modern’ buildings its future is uncertain.

This film can be viewed at

Buildings at Risk

Building at Risk: Kamakura Museum (Japan).

MoMA of Kamakura
Jnuzō Sakakura, Kamakura, Japan, 1951
DATE: 11/12/2013
DOCOMOMO International Chair, professor Ana Tostões, addressed a letter to the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, 〒231-0021 神奈川県横浜市Naka Ward, Nihonodori, concerning the conservation of the remarkable Museum of Modern Art of Kamakura built by Sakakura Jnuzō, a major historical work of Modern Movement architecture.

Image captions:
MoMA Kamakura
Le Corbusier and Jnuzō Sakakura  at  the MoMA Kamakura

Buildings at Risk

Building at Risk: Shukhov Tower (Russia)

The Shukhov TV Tower in Moscow

The hyperboloid tower was built by the pioneering engineer Vladimir Shukhov during the Russian civil war.
Photograph: Celebrity/Alamy

In another part of the world, it would likely be a prime tourist attraction. But in Moscow, where rusting Soviet architectural feats are a dime-a-dozen, the 160m-tall Shukhov television tower faces a demolition decision before the end of the month.

Read Article on the Guardian



AIA NSW/ArchiTour: Hunter Region Coach Tour

ArchiTour: Coach Tour

NSW Chapter presents a Hunter Region coach tour of two iconic early Blacket award winners:
Saturday 5 April 8:00am to 6:00pm


  • Tocal College by Ian McKay and Phillip Cox, Architects in Association; and
  • The Rothbury Estate Winery by Allen. Jack & Cottier. Architects (Partner in Charge Keith Cottier)

Russell Lee from Cox Architecture and Keith Cottier from AJ+C will be our special guests on the tour.  Registrants will receive a resource booklet prepared by NSW Heritage Officer Noni Boyd and Heritage Expert Margaret Desgrand.

Meeting Point: Corner of Macleay and Manning Streets, Potts Point. The coach will also pick up at Hornsby and Morisett. Pick up location is requested at time of booking.

Non Members $150 | Members $130
Includes morning tea, lunch with a glass of Hunter Valley wine, afternoon snack; resource booklet, expert guides and luxury coach.

Click here to register online.

NB:  Please advise your pickup location, email address and mobile number to

Pictured above:  image by Max Dupain of the internal timberwork of the spire at Tocal College (CB Alexander College)

News, NSW, talk

TALK/Sydney: Jackson on DOUGLAS SNELLING, 27.3.14





Douglas Burrage Snelling (1916-1985) was one of Asia-Pacific’s most significant interpreters of
California modern design and architecture innovations from the 1930s to the 1970s — particularly
luxury lifestyle themes popular in Beverley Hills and Palm Springs and ‘Polynesian pop’ aspects of the
tiki style. Inspired by a stream of apprentices from Frank Lloyd Wright – notably Richard Neutra,
Harwell Hamilton Harris and Gordon Drake – he was briefly employed by Beverley Hills architect
Douglas Honnold and received technical instructions from John Lautner on how to build the southern
hemisphere’s first ‘infinity’ (spill-edge) swimming pool. Snelling was a fore-runner (from the mid 1960s
to the mid 1970s) of the ‘indigenous modern’ (pseudo thatched roofs) thrust in luxury Asia-Pacific
resorts and residences. This movement peaked with Peter Muller and Kerry Hill’s hotels in Bali and
Amanresorts from the 1970s to the 1990s and included Sydney residences with tribal-style roofs in
corrugated steel by Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury during the 1980s and 1990s. Snelling
can be regarded as ‘the missing link’ practising architecture and multi-disciplinary design in Sydney
between the departure of Wright’s former students Walter and Marion Griffin in 1935 and the 1950s
career beginnings of a new generation of organic modernist architects and designers who later
became known as ‘The Sydney School’.

This talk will cover Douglas Snelling’s pan-Pacific career from birth in England to adulthood in NZ, his
two working stints in Hollywood, his successful professional life in design and architecture in Sydney,
schemes for resorts and houses across the South Pacific, retirement to Hawaii and role as a diplomat
for the King of Cambodia. Snelling’s eldest son Christopher will show and explain key family
memories from the late 1960s to Douglas’ death in 1985.

Davina Jackson M.Arch (history and theory) is a visiting research fellow with Goldsmiths College of
Art at the University of London and an associate editor Arts Music Architecture with Berlin science
publishers De Gruyter Open. She is the Sydney author of an RMIT PhD thesis on Douglas Snelling
and author of the Australia-Pacific architecture summary in the forthcoming Routledge World of
Modernism anthology.

Christopher Snelling is the eldest of Douglas Snelling’s three sons and Manager of the Powerhouse
Discovery Centre at Casula. He is a former marketing director for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Members of the public are welcome!

Time & Date: Thursday 27th
Cost: Members $7, non-members $12 payable at the door. Wine and nibbles will be provided.
Venue: Godden Mackay Logan, 78 George Street, Redfern, NSW, 2016.
RSVP: Miss Jane Vernon or 02 9319 4811. RSVP is essential as places are limited.

March 2014, 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.


DOCOMOMO AUSTRALIA ICOMOS TALK Davina Jackson on D Snelling 27 March 2014 (PDF)



the Kelly House 1 at 24a Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, won the 1955 House of the Year Award from Melbourne’s progressive Architecture and Arts magazine. Photo Max Dupain. – See more at:



Buildings at Risk

AT RISK: ‘Michelides Tobacco Factory’ in Northbridge, WA


The City of Perth has recently approved demolition for the former ‘Michelides Tobacco Factory’ in Northbridge. Located just north of the Perth CBD and with a prominent Art Deco styled facade constructed in stages through the 1920s & 30s, the landmark building has a lengthy frontage to the railway line, and operated as the Peters Ice-cream Factory in the second half of the 20th Century. The application to be recognised on the State Register of WA has been declined despite classification from the National Trust and recommendations from the Heritage Council of WA. The building has also been recognised by the Art Deco Society of WA and features on a number of social campaign websites, including:

Other events

DOCOMOMO Victoria FIRST Meeting 2014

DOCOMOMO Victoria MEETING. FIRST Meeting 2014
Monday 24th February, 6.00 @ Walsh Street Boyd Foundation.

Please join us for belated new year drinks to complete the Victorian significant sites list that we have been compiling, homework fiches and planning of activities for 2014.
Hopefully we will also have a mystery modern slide show.


2014 AGM to be held in Sydney on 19 March.

1_Docomomo Australia Notice for AGM 2014

2_Docomomo Australia Form of Proxy AGM 2014

3_Docomomo Australia Nomination Form for AGM 2014

4_Docomomo Australia AGM Minutes 2013 North Sydney


Exhibitions / Talks: ‘Cultivating Modernism’ | SA



Cultivating modernism: reading the modern garden 1917-71

17 February – 31 March 2014

Exhibition at Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, Hawke Building, City West campus, University of South Australia

Cultivating Modernism comes alive at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery through a kaleidoscopic mix from rarely seen books, prints, and ephemera charting garden making during a turbulent period from pre-war European functionalism to a more relaxed post-war Californian modern. A vital journey into our recent past.


Cultivating modernism: French garden style of the 1920s and 1930s

17 February – 31 March 2014

Exhibition at Architecture Museum, Kaurna building, City West campus

The Architecture Museum will host an exhibition drawing on rare art deco prints and publication of French exhibitions. Cultivating modernism: French garden style of the 1920s and 1930s will provide a rich coverage of Cubist and other decorative approaches to garden design.


Join author and curator Richard Aitken for a Public Lecture

18 February 2014 at 6pm in the Bradley Forum, University of South Australia, City West campus

In this forum session, Richard Aitken, curator of the exhibition Cultivating Modernism: reading the modern garden 1917–71 and author of the accompanying book, will introduce aspects of the exhibition and book.


Exhibition viewing will follow this session from 7pm – 8pm.


Register FREE via website or phone RSVP line on 8302 0215



Visit the website at

News, Publications

Links/Books: The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings

Preston Bus Station



The chief executive of English Heritage tells Stuart Jeffries why he’s no fogey and why he’s proud to be English brutalism’s greatest champion

Interview on the Guardian



The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings
by Simon Thurley


News, talk

ICOMOS/TALK Sydney – Le Corbusier serial site nomination for World Heritage Listing.



2014 ICOMOS/ Docomomo Lecture Series

Wednesday 19th February 2014 at 5.30 for 6.00pm.

Professor Yoshiyuki Yamana of Tokyo University of Science

Le Corbusier serial site nomination for World Heritage Listing.

The Architectural and Urban Works of Le Corbusier were proposed for World Heritage listing in 2008, and widely supported by architects and designers, but did the selected 22 properties nominated have what it takes to be World Heritage listed as a serial site?

The World Heritage Committee initially referred the nomination back for improved management and further assessment of its conceptual foundation. In 2011 a revised nomination was submitted of 19 properties, as the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier. The revised nomination was deferred by the Committee, and although commending the improvement of most management issues, the nominators were requested to better define the Outstanding Universal Value of the selected group as a serial nomination. The state party nominators have since been working on a second revised nomination, this time with just 16 sites in 6 countries.

Read the Full Text »

Events, Heritage, News

Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Heritage Conservation


Throughout Asia and the Pacific, cultural heritage sites are under threat. As heritage buildings and properties are largely in private ownership, the role of private individuals and institutions in protecting these vulnerable sites is paramount.

Read the Full Text »

Buildings at Risk

BUILDINGS@RISK: Total House Demolition Update

Total Carpark from Russell Street, with Total house office above

Total Carpark from Russell Street, with Total house office above

A planning application for Total House, 170-180 Russell street Melbourne has now been lodged with the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure. Comments are currently being taken, but action needs to be taken quickly.

Read the Full Text »


Docomomo wishes you a happy New Year 2014


News, NSW

ICOMOS Sydney Talk: Cultural Landscapes and Cultural Routes

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 5.37.53 AM

DOCOMOMO / Australia ICOMOS / NSW Chapter AIA – Sydney Talk Series
Hear from two International Experts on Cultural Landscapes and Cultural Routes:

Time & Date: Thursday 24th October 2013, 5.30pm for 6pm start
Venue: Godden Mackay Logan, 78 George Street, Redfern

Mónica Luengo Añón & Guo Zhan

Read the Full Text »

News, Victoria

LECTURE | Melbourne: California Design 1930-1965

Buff, Straub & Hensman, Recreation pavilion, Mirman House, Arcadia, 1958
Photo by Julius Shulman, 1959 © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography

California Design 1930-1965 – Living in a Modern Way

NGV Collection, International art

21 Oct 2013 |
06.30pm – 07.30pm |
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road |
 Free entry

Read the Full Text »

News, Victoria

FILM | Melbourne: Living Architecture Series


Presented by Melbourne Festival

Capitol Theatre | 12 & 13 October 2013

Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine (France/ Italy)

Living Architectures

What’s it like to live inside a work of art? Living Architectures offers fresh and highly entertaining perspectives on some of architecture’s greatest hits.

Cult figures in the contemporary architecture world, Paris-based filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise
Lemoine have developed a new cinematographic approach to architecture. Lively, provocative and thoroughly delightful, it lets architecture talk to us from a point of view that is personal and subjective, rather than removed and analytical.

Living Architectures is a series of seven films that examine masterpieces of contemporary architecture – from Koolhaas’s Bordeaux villa to Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – from a unique, humanistic perspective, bringing us into the everyday life of the buildings, experiencing them from the point of view of the people who actually use or maintain them every day, from grumpy housekeepers to adventurous glass cleaners.

Read the Full Text »