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.


23 comments:

Susan said...

i agree! possibly the best house ever! glad that you are back, my quest to find all of iwanoff's houses has been stalled temporarily, but I cant wait till i stalk this one!

N. said...

Thanks Susan - good luck with the hunt!

drumrats said...

That letter box is ill!

feldhusen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
acc521 said...

I like it all, except for the letterbox!

N. said...

Hey acc wassup - just in case its not clear, the letter box is from a different house (the Feldman House. Letterboxes such as this one, are an Iwanoff trademark. Not to everyone's taste, but, very unique, and a nice little extra that builders these days usually neglect. Personally, I'm with drumrats on this one - I freakin love that letterbox! Reminds me of a Tiki...from the front, it appeared to be guarding the house ...it had the feeling of being alive - amazing for an inanimate object which is essentially a pile of bricks. He needs a name!

N. said...

Fedlhusen - send me an email, I'm not willing to publish addresses on here. Cheers.

feldhusen said...

feldhusen's details:
Jeremy Feldhusen
jf@architecture-ejo.com

Frank-Peter Schmidt-Lademann said...

Wonderfull to see some recent pictures. Nice to hear that you still like it.

mayrhofer said...

I tried to look at the house recently and it's not easy to see much of it from the street. Those pictures are much better :-) On the other hand, our family album also has inside views :-D

Where is it? -31.934221,115.781539

Wolfgang Schmidt-Lademann

N. said...

OK - stop teasing me, Schmidt-Laderman family!!! Please send me an email, my address is on the "about" link. I have some interesting news for you.

the boss said...

does he always use leftover material to produce the letter boxes? always love the outdoor living areas he come up with...

N. said...

Hey Boss - yes, normally the letterboxes are unique creations made from the same materials as the house. As for the outdoor areas, I agree. Of the houses I have seen, they all seem eminently liveable, and the outdoor areas are a big part of that feeling.

Leigha said...

Yes, it's gorgeous! Seriously lovely.

Leigha

Anonymous said...

Wow! I ll say it again WoW! I never knew there were so many! Someone should organise a house tour....

Anonymous said...

I saw the menora house when it came on the market recently and it was gorgeous!!

Anonymous said...

If you're into architecture and you want to see some really cool art deco houses, see the movie 'love in limbo' . it was all filmed here in about 92 and supposedly based in the late 50s. heaps of lovely loud houses and a high school campus from that time that had just been abandoned then (It's not mentioned in film and I haven't ever been able to work out which one it is, I'm thinking maybe Greylands or Swanbourne or one of the others that was torn down to be amalgamated into Shenton college derno) anyway I know one of the houses (well probably mansion as they are all double storey) was in Applecross , but got torn down in about 95 . I think one of the others might be in Inglewood, also I think the factory he worked in is just on harborne st in Wembley just after cambridge st. Anyway, if anyone has seen this movie and knows any of the locations - please post them back, churzaye.

Frank-Peter Schmidt-Lademann said...

I have compiled some more information about this house under
http://www.schmidt-lademann.de/perth_lifford22/

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

i found your blog whilst on an iwanoff search. i'm getting suspicious that my home (that i bought last year) may be one of his. going to look into it more with the council, try and look at the original plans.

thanks for all the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

How come this house a best house in the universe??
You may go to overseas and give a look some houses there and compare yours...your house is terrible i had ever seen.

N. said...

lol

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for sharing - I have never heard of Ivanoff but I freakin love this house . I am now on the search for more - easy since I now live in Perth.
Thankyou Thankyou
Sharyn

shoominati said...

much kudos to this site for opening up my eyes to these unique quirky gems of modern architecture. Wouldn't you know it, I'm 99% sure that the home of one of my childhood friends was one of Iwan's and I visited it 0000's of times and was never cogniscent to the fact, until the dint of happenstance bought me here of course. Unfortunately you can't see it because it's completely hidden behind the rather austere 50's housing commision chic style house in front - in it's own private oasis. but it's on the esplanade in mount pleasant, just near the corner before deep water point.

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