There are few styles of architecture that make you smile with delight, but Art Deco must surely be one of them. The optimism and whimsy of that era is unfailingly attractive, its bold curves and wide picture windows reflect an overt optimism of a generation – and perhaps a fascination with the sophistication of ocean travel.
On Whale Beach Rd, just north of the Norma Rd intersection, sits a little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it garage and front door. The only clue to what lies below is attached to the wall in scripted metal: Orcades.
Constructed in the 1930’s this three to four level home is steeped in the art deco style, that was once referred to as ‘P&O’ – which in this case would have been appropriate as the Orcades is the name of three ocean liners, two of which belonged to the P&O Orient lines.
Once inside this rather snug house the nautical theme becomes immediately apparent with the shiny chromium handrails and balustrades around the stair that leads downstairs from the foyer entry.
There are lots of interesting angles and cupboards and hidey holes in a design from this era, but an absolute show stopper is found off the sunroom. Here is an undercover one person sized balcony looking out to sea. If ever there was a place designed for meditation, and clear positive thought, this is it.
The other extraordinary feature on this level is the original black tiled bathroom, with porthole windows and some sort of sea creature’s mouth acting as the bath spout – but then again, how could you go past the cute as a button blue kitchen, or the hidden Turkish bath?
It’s got a price tag of around $6million which takes into account the three land titles that guarantee this coastline beauty.
Prue Miller is a journalist with Manly Daily