Hugh Buhrich, First House 1939-49 Edinburgh Road Castlecrag Alterations and Additions 2012

While working as an employee with Casey Brown Architecture in 2008 I was responsible for documenting the existing house and DA stages for alterations and additions. After establishing my own practice in 2009 I was approached by the owners in 2012 to provide construction certificate services with further design and detailing. This house was a research project during my university training and the suburb part of my undergraduate thesis on Walter Burly Griffin.

Hugh Buhrich’s first house built in 1939-49, plays an important part in Australian modernist architecture history. Therefore involvement in providing architectural services is of great interest.

Hugh Buhrich built two houses in Castlecrag. The second in 1968-72 is an acknowledged masterpiece, described by Peter Myers as ‘easily the best modern house in Australia, with no contenders unless one considers the lesser-known precursor that was built just up the road between 1939-49’. This first house, was one of the earliest examples of this modern style and became a testing ground for ideas, with experimentation in material and building techniques. There is a creative play between solid and void spaces to most facades where, balcony, concrete, steel and glass elements are all balanced in a tight but harmonious tension. The house also features fine built-in furniture including a hand-made spiral stair.