Balwyn North icon Stargazer House designed by Peter McIntyre has stellar sale hopes

The iconic Balwyn North mid-century “Stargazer House” designed by acclaimed architect Peter McIntyre was originally viewed as looking like it had “come down from the moon” in the 1950s.

Balwyn North’s iconic “Stargazer House” designed by renowned architect Peter McIntyre is hoping for a cosmic sale.

The mid-century modernist three-level property at 2 Taurus St is known for its pitched roof and expansive windows looking to the heavens.

The residence also features a soundproof home theatre and 500-bottle wine cellar.

RELATED: Peter McIntyre: Blackburn mid-century house with Olympic bricks for sale for first time

Balwyn North: Mid-century house by Alan Nance for sale

Peter McIntyre designed Beremboke property for sale

Mr McIntyre, still practising at 95 years old, was made Officer of the order of Australia for services to architecture and urban planning in the 1980s.

He designed Stargazer House in 1951-52 for client Mervyn Castle.

“It was the first one (house) I ever designed, I had just graduated from university,” Mr McIntyre said.

Mervyn told the young architect he did not want a house with views of suburbia.

“It gave me the idea about looking up to the sky, it was the only other place to look,” Mr McIntyre said.

Along with fellow tertiary students Kevin Borland and John Murphy, Mr McIntyre won a competition to design the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games Swimming Stadium.

Mr McIntyre said an engineer who lectured at the University of Melbourne taught them about

using part of a structure to counterbalance another section, an idea central to both the stadium and Stargazer House’s design with the latter having “an enormous cantilever” connected to a steel cable secured in a concrete foundation.

In the 1950s, the then-Camberwell Council (now Boroondara) declined a permit to build the house “because it was too unusual”.

“It was like something to come down from the moon,” Mr McIntyre said.

Luckily, he convinced a councillors’ panel to approve the home, which is now included in a municipal heritage overlay.

Mervyn built the three-bedroom property himself and took about 20 years to complete construction.

Belle Property Balwyn director Robert Ding described Stargazer House as “an iconic home in the Balwyn North area”.

“What I love about the home is that it’s like camping under the stars,” Mr Ding said.

Owners John Pickham and Annette Briffa have renovated the house’s kitchen and bathrooms across the past two decades.

Mr Pickham said Mr McIntyre visited after their last renovation three years ago and was “delighted” with the work.

The home is for sale with a $1.4m-$1.54m asking price.

Sign up to the Herald Sun Weekly Real Estate Update. Click here to get the latest Victorian property market news delivered direct to your inbox.

MORE: Victorian budget 2022: State Government expects home prices to drop 4 per cent by 2023

Retro Bulleen gem a tribute to bygone era as Labor unveils Help To Buy policy

The Kath & Kim house is being demolished

Originally published as Balwyn North icon Stargazer House designed by Peter McIntyre has stellar sale hopes

Leave a Comment