Model of the Build As You Earn House, published in People magazine, 1950.

Address unknown, Palm Beach, NSW, 1949–50 (unbuilt)

From published photographs of the model and a floor plan, this scheme was for an L-plan house on a gently sloping site. It was designed to be built in two stages for a total estimated cost of $A5,000.

Initial works would provide a living/dining room, kitchen and bathroom with wide roof overhangs and pergolas over sundecks on three sides of the flat-roofed structure. The second phase would add a wing containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a smaller eating zone (perhaps for breakfasts and coffee) with sliding doors leading to sundecks. A swimming pool was proposed at the bottom of the site.

This project and the ‘Small house for a mid-suburban lot’ scheme were similar to modular concepts being built in California in the late 1940s by Gordon Drake, and being published in Melbourne newspaper The Age by the Victorian Small Homes Service. These designs all responded to the practical challenges, shortages, and building restrictions of the late 1940s, including Australia’s then-required maximum indoor floor area of 1,250 sq ft.


—People. 1950. ‘A young man with ideas’, 10 May, pp. 25–27.