Brisbane Open House Day 1

As soon as I discovered I’d be moving back to Brisbane in time for Brisbane Open House, I signed up to be a volunteer. In 2013, I volunteered at the State Library of Queensland. It was fine, but, this year I wanted to volunteer somewhere that I was really desperate to see, Eisenmenger House. Before delving too far into the architectural history of the house, here is a little bit of information on the overarching event.

Brisbane Open House

Brisbane Open House began in 2010 with the aim of showcasing the architecture and heritage of Brisbane. The event is mostly free – there are some talks and workshops that come with a small fee. In terms of what is open this weekend, everything is free for visitors to explore. Just imagine having the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of some of the weird and wonderful buildings in your city! There are quite a few similar events held worldwide, so, if you’re not from Brisbane, I strongly encourage you to see if your city offers an open day or weekend.

Brisbane Open House is an annual event held in conjunction with World Architecture Day. In 2010, approximately 12 500 visitors participated. Numbers grow each year and what’s really exciting is that this has encouraged more and more buildings to open their doors.

I have decided this year to try a bit of everything. Volunteer, explore places on my own, and join a couple of guided tours. The focus for today was on volunteering.

Here is the georgeous bag I received today for volunteering!

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Eisenmenger House

Before I post a whole album of photographs, that will hopefully make you want to live in this house as much as I do, here is some context.

Eisenmenger House is a located in the suburb of Carina. In 1959, a section of the suburb was subdivided for residential building and named the Stella Heights Estate. This is where Eisenmenger was built in 1961 for the Eisenmenger family, hence the name. It was designed by Barry Walduck who worked as an architect primarily during the 1950s and 1960s and is a stunning example of modernist architecture.

Eisenmenger was purchased by Chris Osborne and Susan Bennett in 2002 and restored to its original state. This original state was determined by a newspaper photograph that appeared in the early 1960s. As a sidenote, I met both Chris and Susan today and they are literally two of the nicest people. Susan and I were able to chat about how much we are in love with American modernism and I now have a list of objects I must look out for on eBay. This is not going to help my bank account.

Inside, the house is filled with mid-century designer furniture. This includes a Featherston couch, dining table, and armchair. It feels as though you have stepped into a time machine.

The house was small, but, had everything it needed. On the top level was a living room, kitchen, TV room, sewing room and bedroom. An extension was added to the house in 1972 including a veranda and storage room located beneath the original house. A pie-shaped pool was also added.

Now, let me take you on a virtual tour of the house.

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A small plaque installed by the current owners noting the name, architect, and year the house was built.

 

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The mustard, white and red all worked so well together! I particularly liked the little cactus garden at the front of the house and how the mustard colour repeats asymmetrically.

The first room you see when you enter the house is the kitchen and dining room.

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Featherston armchair

 

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Russel Wright dinner set.

 

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The neon sign says modern – you can see it reflected onto the kitchen counter.

The following are images from the rooms on the second floor.

 

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A tiny armchair in the TV room.

 

 

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Shelving in the TV room.

 

 

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Boxes filled with vintage patterns in the sewing room.

 

 

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I love this tote bag!

 

 

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The bedroom.

 

Finally, here are a couple of images of the pool.

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It is amazing to see this modernist architecture and furniture right on my doorstep. I would like to thank Chris and Susan again for their amazing hospitality.

I cannot wait for more Brisbane Open House tomorrow!

 

 

Author: Rebecca Lush

Curator at the Integrated Pathology Learning Centre.

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