• Street view of the Mueller house (Max Dupain).

24b Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, NSW, 1958–63

Several years after Sir Theo and Lady Nancy Kelly moved to their Snelling-designed first house at 24a Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, they expanded their staff flat to become a large residence, then subdivided and sold that land parcel (as 24b Victoria Road). Built in white rendered concrete, this house occupied most of its small, sloping, triangular site facing northwest.

Above a two-car garage at street level, a dramatic covered staircase rose to a large square living zone opening to a full-width terrace. A large kitchen, laundry and breakfast area were installed at the corner of the L-shaped living and dining area. Behind this, a large new bedroom suite was provided, and a new passage connected with the more bedrooms in the old staff flat.

In 1963, Snelling (as the original architect) was approached by new owners, Lucas and Sigfrid Mueller, to again revise the house. They inserted a new rectangular swimming pool to occupy most of the front terrace, digging out large quantities of sandstone to provide footings, a storage and wine cellar, and a new basement recreation room, which was partly illuminated by a window set into the side of the pool at its deepest end.

Upstairs, the main bedroom was removed to form a new hallway and staircase down to the basement facilities. In 1968, Robertson & Hindmarsh completed more significant renovations for the Muellers. They enlarged skylights and windows, added a new main bedroom suite, reorganized storage areas behind the swimming pool, and raised some room heights to insert clerestory windows. These produced the appearance of a cluster of structures around the pool.

Sources

—Apperley, Richard, and Peter Lind. 1971. ‘Item 309’, 444 Sydney Buildings. Canberra: Royal Australian Institute of Architects, p. 44.

—Jahn, Graham. 1997. A Guide to Sydney Architecture. Sydney: Watermark Press.

—Pemberton, Gary J. 1984. Douglas B. Snelling: A Monograph of His Works (B. Arch dissertation). New South Wales Institute of Technology.

—Stapleton, Ian and Meg Quinlisk (eds.). 2005. ‘Comparative study of houses designed by Douglas Snelling’, report by Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners, with Davina Jackson, for the Woollahra Municipal Council, Sydney.

—Sydney Morning Herald, The. 1960. ‘Today’s living: neighbor can’t be seen’, 12 May, p. 4.