A mid-century modernist house in Melbourne designed by Russian-born architect Anatol Kagan is under threat of being knocked down. But the local council has already made its move to protect the 1959-built house. 

Potentially replacing the Lind House in Caulfield North are eight proposed townhouses – six double-storey and two triple-storey homes – that are planned to sit over a basement carpark. This follows the house being bought by the developer last July for over $2.1 million.

In response to the new proposal, the council has voted that the Victorian planning minister, Richard Wynne, “prepare, adopt and approve a Planning Scheme Amendment in accordance with Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for an interim heritage control over the property.”

Others fighting the redevelopment – and urging others to do the same – include broadcaster and comedian Tim Ross; editor of The Design Files, Lucy Feagins; and Modernist Australia founder Patricia Callan. For example, Feagins took to Instagram last week seeking heritage experts, contacts at Heritage Victoria, or contacts in the office of the planning minister to join the fight against the demolition of Lind House.  

The five-bedroom heritage house that currently sits at 450 Dandenong Road is “primarily composed of protruding bays and timber mullioned window walls, shaded by deep eaves, stone and brick construction with concrete elements”, reads Lind House’s Wikipedia page.  

“The upper level constitutes most of the glass with glazing at the rear and lower level, [and] it is one of the most significant design elements of the house as it floods most of the upper level with natural light.”

“The house does not demonstrate a [p]itched roof, [but instead] a raked flat roof with an overhang on the front fa├žade for shading onto the entrance.”

 “Two storeys in height, the upper level primarily [functions as] living quarters and dining where the lower level is [non-living] space and the lounge with access to the back yard.”

While there is no clear indication at this stage of how likely it is the home could be saved from demolition, reports suggest that the developer is planning to commence work on the site by the end of the year – that is, if the council are unable to attain the interim heritage control.