Architectural gems up for grabs in Armadale and South Yarra
Rare property gems in buildings designed by leading architects of a bygone era are up for grabs in Stonnington.
An Armadale apartment that’s 1930s Moderne on the outside and styled by a leading homewares retailer on the inside will head under the hammer on March 16 with a price guide of $650,000-$710,000.
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The two-bedroom pad at 4/537 Orrong Rd is in a complex of eight designed by architect Stuart Hall and has been owned by Hunting for George homewares and furniture shop co-founder Lucy Glade-Wright for the past decade.
Hocking Stuart Armadale director Lauchlan Waterfield said the apartment had generated “outstanding” interest from potential buyers.
The building’s striking Moderne facade is complemented by Art Deco features and a rooftop terrace with city skyline views.
“It was always keynoted as one of those premium, architect-designed apartments back then,” Mr Waterfield said, noting its style was admired in magazines at the time.
The building is of local architectural significance, according to a City of Stonnington heritage statement.
Apartment No. 4 has high ceilings, decorative cornices and polished hardwood floors. The living area features a characteristic curved window and flows out to a courtyard.
Ms Glade-Wright has put her stamp on the interior, including fresh paint, a refitted kitchen, clever storage, plantation shutters and styling to complement the original character.
“The numbers of people going through it are outstanding,” Mr Waterfield said.
He said faced with higher-rise, higher density modern apartments, many buyers were being drawn to classic blocks of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.
“Back then they appointed leading architects to design quality buildings, which are now the desirable ones in the market,” he said.
The market for apartments and townhouses in the area was “very active” with three to five bidders at some recent auctions, Mr Waterfield said.
“Below $1 million is travelling really well,” he said.
“It’s being driven by first-home buyers and young professionals — they haven’t been spooked by the market slowing down.”
In South Yarra, an apartment in the circa-1941 Yarrabee flats building, designed by renowned architect Frederick Romberg, has hit the market with a $2.25-$2.475 million price guide.
With style and size rarely seen these days, 3/44 Walsh St spans two levels and has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a single garage.
“It feels more like a house,” Jellis Craig Stonnington director Elliot Gill said.
The pad’s large rooms, character, and position on one of South Yarra’s best streets made it popular among prospective buyers — mostly downsizers.
Expressions of interest close March 21.
Romberg designed Yarrabee and Newburn flats on Queens Rd with Mary Turner Shaw. He also designed the landmark nine-storey Stanhill apartments on Queens Rd, then went on to partner in a practice with the famed Robin Boyd and Roy Grounds in the 1950s and ‘60s.
And in Windsor, a more modern double-brick apartment with an architectural edge is up for grabs.
The two-bedroom pad at 7/31 Upton Rd boasts a character-filled renovation by architects Splinter Society.
Listed with McGrath St Kilda, it has a March 16 auction date and $590,000-$620,000 price guide.
The custom fit-out includes exposed brick and polished concrete floors, a sleek Smeg-equipped kitchen and timber-lined study space.
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