Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105unknown to me. They once asked me for dinner—Patricia made a Steak Diane and potatoes baked in foil with veges. For me at that time, it was something I had never seen. When the potatoes arrived, I didn’t know what to do with the foil or that I was supposed to put sour cream on top. I don’t know why Doug liked to employ working class people, but that’s where all his staff came from. I was working just with Doug, John Hunt and the secretary at that time. The famous Kelly house was still being visited by architecture and engineering students. One of the first projects I remember working on there was the K13 submarine memorial out on Pennant Hills Road. He spent a lot of time trying to come up with a design for that—he had to think of it as a memorial and not just a sculpture. Only when the landscape guy came in and said I’ve got this fantastic piece of stone—let’s drive out and have a look at it in the Blue Mountains—did it all fall together as a kind of Eureka thing. We also did renovations of a French restaurant called the Normandie at Elizabeth Street—it was part–owned by Doug’s great friend, the Portuguese consul, Carlos Zalapa, and was being turned into a Spanish bistro. We also did Fletcher Jones at the Queen Victoria Building, near the main entry arch. Although this was an historical building, historical restoration was the last thing on his mind. He went in quite the opposite direction, to embrace modernism. He had a big concrete beam going across the top to enclose an existing arch on the shopfront and replaced the old windows and joinery with large areas of glazing—he just crashed across the arch and put in a nice big square opening. The project I remember most was Bibaringa—John Hunt and I were doing endless floor layouts a la Doug’s way. We had to put textures on the floor plans and woodgrain on the dining tables—he was doing endless proposals for the clients. Doug was a funny man. He arrived at a site visit one morning with half his face shaved and the other still with his overnight beard. But he was a very gracious, charming and charismatic guy. He was also a bit like an enthusiastic child—absolutely fascinated by the latest stuff, ways of doing things, and gizmos. He’d chase people who had these things and would be happy to sit and hear about them forever. Greg Banks (1962–1964), shared these recollections: I was a fourth year student doing a seven year part–time course at the Uni of NSW and I was writing parts of specifications and doing working drawings and details. I noticed that his details were not as fine as Richard village. After purchasing land behind the villa at 347 New South Head Road, they appointed Snelling to design the tallest building of his career—a 12–storey block of modern home units called Bibaringa. This had been the name of a rural property earlier owned by the Gales at Young, NSW—and meant ‘house on the hill’ in the language of Aborigines there. The steep site is a three–quarter acre garden of giant palms and semi–tropical plants thought to have been planted originally for Sydney’s first commercial nursery. Into this lush setting, Snelling planted an tower using the new technology of structural concrete framing, with exposed floor slabs and white face–brick walls. Circling around it is a one–way drive with diagonal parking spaces notched into a zig zag retaining wall at the rear. Occupants and visitors arrive at the fully glazed foyer via either the front or rear entrance—both reached by sandstone paths crossing rectangular pools landscaped with bush stones, water plants and fish, including koi carp. Rather than being a common block of flats, Bibaringa was designed and promoted as a ‘stack of home units’—two on each of the upper five floors and three on each of the lower levels. Most have private lift lobbies, storage rooms and laundries. Smaller units have separate guest toilets as well as bathrooms, while larger units also include ensuites and dressing rooms off the main bedrooms. Living rooms all face north–east, towards prevailing winds, opening to narrow balconies. Kitchens are fitted with stainless steel benchtops, and built–in ovens and cooktops. Under John Hunt as associate, three architecture students worked in Snelling’s office on the Bibaringa project—and they all recall a happy and productive environment, accompanied by Douglas’ Irish secretary, Cass, who worked three days a week and often used to mention her admiration for their employer’s ‘artistic’ hands. Longest to work there was Rein Jaaniste, (1960–63), who shared these memories: I was ending first year full time at the University of New South Wales when I went to work for Doug. My family was living in Glenfield county, way out west, so I had to catch the steam train to Liverpool, then the train to Central and then the bus to Bellevue Hill. ... I remember my salary was nine pounds a week and the room cost three pounds something, with no cooking facilities. I used to live on chocolates and hamburgers. I was from a westie refo family and my parents were working shifts in a factory, so the world I went into at Kambala Road was completely DOUGLAS SNELLING DOUGLAS SNELLING 66 67 1955–1966 1940–1955