Images: Peter Corrigan’s original; perspective drawing, 1964. Source Conrad Hamann, Cities of Hope, p 19.
Maroondah City Council is progressing a Planning Scheme Amendment to apply the Heritage Overlay to the Fromer Kenyon House in Croydon on a permanent basis.
The house was designed in 1964 for John and Maureen Kenyon by celebrated and award-winning Australian architect Peter Corrigan. The house is significant as it was the first architectural commission by Corrigan, then a fourth-year university student, and for its highly unusual architectural expression that, at the time of erection, would have defied conventional stylistic labels.
The heritage assessment undertaken by Built Heritage Pty Ltd found that the Former Kenyon House is of local aesthetic, rare, technical and associative significance. An extract of the Statement of Significance provides further details below:
Why is it significant?
The former Kenyon House is significant for the following reasons:
The house is significant for its highly unusual architectural expression that, at the time of erection, would have defied all of the usual stylistic labels. With an asymmetrical rectilinear plan (stepped to follow the slope of the site), its bold irregular roofline and rough finishes (ie bagged brickwork and recycled roof slates), the house represented a significant departure from the prevailing trends of Australian residential architecture of the mid-1960s. Rather, it anticipated the emergence of a more inclusive regionalist style of the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and the Post-Modernist movement from the mid-1970s, of which Corrigan would become a pioneering and pre-eminent exponent. (Criterion E, Criterion F)
The house is significant as the first architectural commission of celebrated and award-winning Australian architect Peter Corrigan, who was a fourth-year university student at the time. It is one of a small number of residential projects that he undertook before 1967, when he left for an extended period of post-graduate study and work experience in the USA. Retuning in 1974, he joined his future wife Maggie Edmond in partnership as Edmond & Corrigan, a firm that won considerable acclaim and press attention (nationally and overseas) and over thirty RAIA awards from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. As the firm is acknowledged as the progenitors and leading exponents of Post-Modernism in Australia, Corrigan’s early houses of the 1960s are extremely important as indicators of the development of his mature style.
Unique as the only example of his work in the City of Maroondah (since the demolition of his much later Ringwood Civic Plaza), the Kenyon House is rare on a broader metropolitan scale as one of only four houses that he built in the 1960s, of which only three now remain standing. (Criterion B; Criterion H).
We have written in support of permanent protection for this significant building, and we commend Maroondah City Council for undertaking this important work.
Image: Peter Corrigan’s original; perspective floor plan, 1964. Source Conrad Hamann, Cities of Hope, p 19.