September 15, 2010

Perth, Australia : Best House in the Universe as We Know It


Man. Where to start. Last blog post, I was forty stories up, in an abandoned skyscraper, looking down on a peoples takeover of Bangkok. Rocket launchers, tanks, death, destruction, and Pad Thai with spicy Papaya Salad. Yes, it was heaven. Unfortunately, as with all anarchic movements, eventually, they are beaten into submission by the man. So, I packed up, said goodbye to my new friend Sui Min, and left the land of smiles. This year, so far, I have visited more than twenty countries. Deep in the heart of Bulgaria, I couldn't but think of my favourite architect, Iwan Iwanoff. For those of you who need to get up to speed, Iwan Iwanoff, born in Bulgaria, built some of the best houses on earth, right here in Perth, between the 50's and 70's. Unique, ahead of their time, mesmerising, both timeless and un-date-able. First thing I wanted to do on my return to Perth was further research into this Honorary Herculoidian's body of work.

The Schmidt-Lademann House, in Floreat, is quite simply one of the best houses I have ever laid my eyes upon. Built in 1959, this is, as my architect associates would say "fuck off awesome". What can I tell you about? The elegant formalism, the modernist function, or the usonion simplicity and economy of locally sourced stone walls? Fuck it, I would rather just put it out there - this is Perth's best house. I haven't even seen the interior. I'm pretty sure if I did, I would simultaneously weep, quiver, and shit my pants. Perth's best house. Not to mention, it has held this title for over four decades. The Aldrich residence, currently under construction, will be the next contender for the title. More on this unbelievably complex project, another day.

Below the Schmidt-Lademannt pics, are photos of some other Iwanoff's not previously featured on 6000times. The brutal letterbox and wall detail were taken at the Feldman House, 1969, Dianella. Finally, the Frank House, also of 1969, Coolbinia wraps up a long overdue Iwanoff update. My thanks goes to the neighbour, who gave me a tour around the Frank property. The Frank House elevation is clearly not as impressive as Schmidt-Lademann, however, a quick walk around demonstrated the genius of Iwanoff.  Features such as central courtyard walled on three sides, and wooden louvres providing airflow built into many of the windows, quickly dispelled any doubts that this house is indeed special.

So, yep, back in Perth. There are a few things planned for this blog, all of which involve architecture, abandoned structures, art, and often, asians. A.A.A.A. Stay tuned, subscribe, bookmark. It's good to be back. Click Read More to see the photos. Enjoy.

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