Encapsulating the cleverness of small house design
Alistair McLean
Category: Heritage, Interiors, Real Estate

Going, going, gone, but not in a good way. Secret Design Studio knows of at least one under-bidder who wanted to save this home and who lost out at the auction yesterday against a buyer’s agent who proclaimed “I am here to buy, whatever it costs”, which he did for a cool $2.29 million, $290,000 over the reserve.mosman1

It was originally built by the 1950-1954 editor of Architecture magazine, Ms Stella Tottenham. The winning bidder plans to demolish the existing house and rebuild with a four bedrrom house and pool that takes advantage of the water views.


Ms Tottenham engaged architect Arthur Cozens who designed a two-level, flat-roofed house sited high above Middle Harbour, built in warm-toned face brick with white timber fascias, sun-break louvres and window frames, an open-plan living space lined with natural timber, a window wall oriented to the view, and a timber deck poised above the garden. The cleverness of Australian small house design was encapsulated here, and was proclaimed in issue after issue of Architecture.


Apparently house proud Ms Tottenham described her new small, delightful home as her “bijou” residence.


Definition of bijou
1 a small dainty usually ornamental piece of delicate workmanship : jewel
2 something delicate, elegant, or highly prized

Unfortunately the “highly prized” part of her bijou residence wasn’t shared by the new owners.