73 National Circuit, Deakin was designed by E J Scollay for Mr and Mrs P Bailey in 1958. Construction was completed in 1959. John Scollay was a prominent local architect who formed the partnership of Scollay, Bischoff and Pegrum in the 1960s. The house was an example of the post-war Melbourne regional style of architecture with its low pitched gable roof, widely projecting eaves, long unbroken roofline, glass walls with regularly spaced timber mullions and narrow edge of roof.
73 National Circuit was listed on the ACT Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Register of Significant Twentieth Century Architecture and was regarded by the RAIA as being a good example of the post-war Melbourne regional style.
The house was originally an ‘L’ shaped split-level design with the living areas along the south wing and the bedrooms down three steps along an east wing. An extension in 1967 added a main bedroom to the west, making the house a ‘C’ form.
The house was set centrally on the 1511 square metre block. It was constructed of cavity brickwork, timber framed floors with concrete slabs to the bathrooms, timber roof framing and galvanised steel roofing. The ceilings mostly followed the slope of the block.
A porch and four circular steel posts delineated the entry, which was to the west facing the street. These posts were set close together and echoed the spacing of the dining room glazing mullions in the same facade. The living room west wall was angled towards the entry. The front door was set between two glazed panels and opened into an entry lobby.
The 1967 extension increased the size of the living room, making it a large split-level space with full height glazing opening out on to the rear garden. In the centre of the west living room wall was a fireplace designed by Scollay which allowed outside air to be piped across the fire and into the room through side vents. The brick chimney, expressed as a single block, was a significant element of the building. The ceiling was canite sheeting.
Access to the lower bedroom level was through the kitchen, which overlooked the rear garden. The first space entered at this level was originally a large playroom, bedroom and study area for three children with built in wardrobes and desks. The room was about 35 square metres and this early post-war design feature allowed the maximum use of limited space for the area. Each bedroom recess space had its own east facing window and glass doors that opened out into the north facing rear garden. However, this room was later modified and the northern third of the room closed off to form another bedroom.
Sources and further reading
- Royal Australian Institute of Architects RSTCA Citation No. R113
- The post-war Melbourne regional style