Woy Woy, Elwood, early Modern in Melbourne

#WoyWoy, #MarineParadeElwood, #GeoffreyMewton, 1936. Amazing bit of almost #Bauhaus in Melbourne, designed by Mewton, who did a whole series of rendered or cream brick boxy houses too, all dem now except #JustinMadden’s house in Essendon. Woy Woy has just been renovated, it’s bright white instead of ochre, and the owner waved us in ! She’s going to have it in @openhousemelb next year so here’s a sneak peek. It’s a set of 6 tiny one bed #batchelorflats (there was going to be a second block behind, never built) smaller I think than his West StKilda block, but larger than the contemporary also wildy Modern #CairoFlats which are mostly studios. The exterior has changed a fair bit – the windows were all the size of the ground floor ones, but the upper floors were enlarged in the 90s (just before it was #heritagelisted ?) so they were tiny too, but from inside they were actually quite low so you got a good view at least when you were standing up. The front windows are actually bedrooms, the lounges are to the sides. Pre-war flats and even often postwar ones weren’t built for a view from the lounge room like we expect now, the lounge was for reading, listening to the radio, doing some knitting, if you wanted a view or some air, you went outside. That’s my theory anyway. The roof has amazing views, but wasn’t accessible until the front stairs were extended up in the 90s works (I reckon the back stairs must’ve gone up there, but at some point cut back), when they added that little glass lookout. Also, all the windows are new al, which is a surprise, they would have been timber or steel originally, but I think were to changed to al in the 90s, so now just better al ones.

Oddly low; I thought something was wrong, but it’s just that the lintel is just above door height, which isn’t up any steps, so the sign is just above eye height.

Update May 2020: Just found this old photo (1980s?) showing that the changes in c1990 were much more than I thought ! Not only most of the windows, but the frames too, and the whole top of the tower with the 1936 plaque isn’t original either! Had a more stumpy look actually. I must say I like it more now, but maybe reinstate the window framing esp the horizontal bars in the stair window.

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