1 Astley Place, Garran was designed by Dirk Bolt and Associates in 1967. The house is a late example of the post-war international style with its simple, cubic form, large sheets of glass, plain smooth wall surfaces and deep overhang for shade.
Although the house has been extended twice (in 1973 and 1979), it has maintained its original design qualities and interesting features. In September 2000 the house was awarded the ACT Chapter of the RAIA’s Twenty-five Year Award for its contribution to the cultural heritage of Canberra.
The house is located on a steeply sloping corner block with views of the Brindabella Range to the west. The siting takes advantage of these views, with glazing the full width of the house. Construction is of grey concrete blocks, flat metal deck roofing and marine plywood for fascias, soffits and wall cladding.
The simple form and detailing continues in the interior, with the arrangement of spaces and detailing in the full height doors and panelling. The design of the house is based around a central service core which contains the kitchen and a passage leading to the sleeping areas.
The western facade features a frameless, cantilevered plate glass wall held in place by a system of adjustable cables. On the underside of the protruding glass wall is a system of shutters which provide natural ventilation throughout the living areas. The house demonstrated a great deal of innovation for its time.
Sources and further reading
- Muse, Canberra Art Monthly, September 2000
- RAIA ACT Chapter Bus Tour of Modernist Houses, 7 April 2001
- The post-war international style