How to Create a Moon-scape While Demolishing Great Design Opportunites

It is really, really devastating to walk the streets of Beaumaris and witness first hand a bleak future for my beautiful suburb.

As I am constantly writing, there are so many amazing examples of great mid-century architecture and style in this suburb.  Unfortunately, so often these homes are bought and demolished without thought to how they could be revived or improved.

One street in particular is bookended by two such properties, recently sold and demolished.

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The above house featured an interesting second storey living area accessed by a spiral staircase!

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You can see that while requiring a bit of cleaning up, there is definitely potential for an amazing family home here.

At the other end of the street, this home was in need of some love, however offered plenty of opportunity for another great home.

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Sadly, both blocks now look like this.

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While the demolition of the homes is sad, I can understand that mid-century modern style is not for everyone.  It is the absolute moon-scaping of these sites that is the most disturbing.

As a landscape architect, I am constantly being asked why new plants cost so much.  If this is of such concern, then why do people remove all the existing vegetation on their site?  There is amazing value in the existing trees and with clever design, a new home can even be designed to accommodate (and embrace) them!

The great philosophies of Mid-century modern design include working with your existing landscape and creating a home that becomes a part of the site.  I think back to the 10 Forgotten Lessons of Mid-Century Modern Design which included: Modestly nestling the home into the site, creating harmony with the site and letting nature do the work.

These sites are off to a poor (and costly) start.

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5 thoughts on “How to Create a Moon-scape While Demolishing Great Design Opportunites

  1. Great article Jason. It’s sad to see established gardens, often 40-50 years old, ripped out and replaced months later with rectangles of lawn with hedges around the edge and with no shade or variety. It’s terrible for the environment, urban and natural.

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    1. Thanks! I think it is really about getting people to see the value and potential in an existing garden or even an existing building. Surely it could be a more economical option to work with the existing features of the site rather than tearing them out and starting from scratch. It is so disappointing to see when real estate ads just focus on the size of the land as the key selling point. You can see this is quite an issue for me!

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  2. I live in Brisbane Jason and see the same thing again and again, and like you it really gets to me. It’s such a shame that people can’t see through what needs fixing up, to recognise the original design and potential for improvements. I don’t want to live in a sea of generic houses and gardens. Keep up the good work on your blog. I’ve just stumbled on it and am really enjoying it.

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    1. Thanks Maria, I’m glad you like my work here! My articles have been a little negative of late, but it is sad to see some of these beautiful places demolished. I had a look at your blog and I especially love your last post on the MCM glassware! These houses are definitely designed to entertain in (my wife and I had people over yesterday and it was great)!

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