• Akolele's barbeque area and lake-facing facade, ca 1960s (Stephen Lyne).

306–308 Bermagui Road, Wallaga Lake, NSW, 1959

Built on a site sloping down toward a quiet reach of Wallaga Lake near Tilba Tilba on the NSW south coast, this holiday house was built for Leroy Brauer, the Texan managing director of Colombia Pictures in Australia, and his wife, Joy, a former model from Sydney. Built of timber and river stones, it was a horizontal box presenting one storey to the street and two storeys to the lake.

A curved, bush-lined driveway brought visitors to a carport beside the central front door, which opened to bedrooms and bathrooms on the left and a galley kitchen and living-dining room on the right. All rooms opened via sliding glass doors to a broad balcony facing the lake. The kitchen was equipped with Thermador appliances from the United States and included a breakfast counter (described by The Sydney Morning Herald as an “American bar”), with high stools on the living room side. Floors were timber in living areas, linoleum in the kitchen and tiles in the bathroom.

Most rooms were fitted with Snelling-designed redwood (cedar) cabinetry. Externally, timber stairs led down from the balcony beside the living room to a concreted barbeque area, partially enclosed by a riverstone retaining wall. The barbeque and wood stack were alcoves in a monumental riverstone wall that also formed the twin fireplaces for the living room upstairs; they were vented via a pair of cylindrical steel chimneys. Tucked beneath the upper floor on the lake side of the house were a workshop/storage area and a small guest suite opening to a concrete deck beneath the balcony. This area shaded barbeque guests from rain or excessive sun. The rest of the large property was grassed.

After the Brauers sold the house, the riverstone fireplaces were painted black with white mortar joints, the sundeck was fitted with windows, and the building structure and interiors were neglected until new owners began renovations in 2008. The house was heritage-listed by Eurobadalla Shire Council in 2014.

Sources

—Lyne, Stephen. Personal communications and site visit, 4 April 2003.

—Sydney Morning Herald, The (Women). 1964. ‘Chicken-raising amid glamour’, 20 February, p. 5.