3 Wilmot Crescent, Forrest was designed by Malcolm Moir in 1936. The two storey house is an early example of the inter-war functionalist style and followed Moir’s own residence at 43 Melbourne Avenue (1935). It exhibits features typical of the functionalist style: asymmetrical cubic massing, simple geometric shape, roof concealed by parapet, metal framed corner and ribbon windows and cantilevered balcony and hood.
The house is one of the first that Moir worked on with Heather Sutherland, who joined his practice in 1936. Various Art Deco style details are of interest: the rounded chimneys, diagonal brick course around the upper parapets, cantilevered balcony and chevron-like sloping glazing bars in the balcony door.
The house is listed on the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Register of Significant Twentieth Century Architecture. It is regarded by the AIA as a good early example of the inter-war functionalist style designed by Malcolm Moir, one of Canberra’s leading architects of the middle period of the twentieth century.
The house is sited facing Wilmot Crescent to the west on the large 3107 square metre block. The ground floor entrance is through an ante-room (added in 1946) which leads to an entrance stair hall. This opens to the north living room which in turn opens into a dining room, which was originally occupied by the kitchen. On the western side of the ground floor is the kitchen, converted from the original maids room; a shower room converted from the original laundry and water closet; and a family room converted from the original double garage.
The most significant rooms in the house are the living room and the main bedroom. Features of interest in the living room include the corner window and large fireplace of narrow, textured cream bricks. Both rooms have unusual v-jointed canite ceilings which are recessed above the plaster borders. Although the house has undergone a number of modifications, the important features of the inter-war functionalist style are intact.
Additions designed by Colin Stewart Architects were made to the residence in 2005. A new house was built on the same block, along with an addition to the existing house at the far side of the street frontage (pictured above). The separate residence is a contemporary interpretation of the Moir house in the form of a white rendered sculptural box. The project highlights and compliments the honey brick and parapet roofs of the existing house.
The intention was to make a modern interpretation of the Moir forms while leaving the original house intact. The result is an unusually sensitive and thoughtful example of urban infill that meets modern needs yet respects the original architecture. The additions were nominated for a 2005 AIA ACT Architecture Award.