• Rear of the Mulholland house, facing the Kensington Golf Course (Max Dupain).

146 Tunstall Avenue, Kensington, NSW, 1961–62

For Rex Mulholland, the CEO of
American cosmetics firm Max Factor, Snelling designed a two-storey brick house
overlooking a suburban golf course. From a site that sloped sharply down from
the street, he excavated substantial earth to create a lower floor and a  skylight-covered entry court, which was
accessed via concrete steps cantilevered from one brick wall of the two-car garage.
The garage’s other wall projected along the side boundary toward the footpath
and was embellished by a decorative panel formed with terra cotta drainage
pipes.

No plans have been located, but from photographs and a site visit, the house comprised two wings connected by a first floor footbridge from the garage to the house. On the upper level were a main bedroom suite with a balcony overlooking the Kensington Golf Course, two smaller bedrooms, a bathroom, and a study/TV room. Downstairs were a guest bedroom, laundry, living room, kitchen, and dining room. The living room featured an unusual (for Snelling) triangular sandstone fireplace projecting from one wall. The redwood and stainless steel kitchen, still largely intact, was in a galley format with sliding shoji screens at its doorways between the living room at the rear of the house and the dining room at the front.

A separate pavilion, beneath the garage, contained a rumpus room with simple kitchen facilities provided within a rear storeroom. This area was renovated and extended by architects Campbell Luscombe in the late 1980s. Externally, only the carport is seen from the street. Looking back to the rear façade from lower ground on the golf course, the house originally appeared L-shaped with a low-pitched gable end to the projecting main wing. On that façade, a balcony and ground floor terrace occupied the left side of the gable with sliding doors receding behind half-height windows on the right side of the gable.

Sources

—McEwin, Rocky and Betty. Personal communications and site visit, ca. 2003.

—Sydney: SLNSW MLMSS 8801 and the Snelling Estate, two photographs by Max Dupain.