Wednesday, 24 June 2015

More from Castlecrag

So just in case you missed the answer to my question posed on Monday: my (very poor) photos were posted from a place called Castlecrag, which is a suburb embracing Sydney’s Middle Harbor that was developed, designed and laid out in the 1920s by former Frank Lloyd Wright architect Walter Burley Griffin

He and his wife Marion Mahoney (another Frank Lloyd Wright alumni) designed 40 delightful stone and “knitlock” houses for the “natural subdivision,” of which 15 were built.

You might call it “Walter Burley Griffin’s Australian Eden.”

His aim was a community of modest houses sharing a natural landscape, with few boundaries between.

The Griffins personally undertook the design of the roads and allotments with the winding roads following the contours of the landforms. Communal areas were linked together with a network of walkways to provide open spaces, retain views and achieve maximum amenity for all residents. Equally important was respect for the native Australian landscape which the Griffins had come to understand and admire. In Castlecrag they set out to demonstrate that architecture and landscape should be integrated so that '…each individual can feel that the whole of the landscape is his. No fences, no boundaries, no red roofs to spoil the Australian landscape; these are some of the features that will distinguish Castlecrag.'

You can still experience the vision in parts of the place.

The all-but fully restored Fishwick House, above (from its neighbour) and below (from the street).
The current owner resisted the temptation to restore the former fish-tank skylights
that were originally part of the dining room ceiling. Yes, actual fish tanks.

Hard to photograph, and seemingly very interior, these remain beautiful houses to be in…

… and around.

Wilson House with Ula Maddocks and daughter Deirdre and three others, 1930s

[Pics from GriffinSociety website and National Library of Australia]


FULL DISCLOSURE: I may well be offering advice on the restoration of one of these beauties.

1 comment:

  1. Gems... living like a upgraded caveman. Congrats on going international.


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