Margaret River resident/architect/surfer Theo Mathews built his dream home on a challenging block on the banks of the Margaret River in ’73.
This is Theo’s story and photos of the building process at Marg River.
In 1973 I bought 80 acres of half-bush/half-paddock on Burnside Road & sold in 1994 having raised a family in an idyllic location. The property has 1.5km of frontage to the Margaret River with steep cliffs, which as an adventurous architect is of course where I chose to build.
As a newly graduated architectural student, there was no way that I wanted a gun tradesman dictating how I would build the house. My trusted assistants were Howard Johnson, a Marxist political economist from Murdoch University and Horny Campbell, the one eyed electrician.
Groups of architectural students and visiting friends and their friends helped with the construction. The house was packed to the rafters for the opening party with lots of dancing. The stiletto heel marks were eventually sanded out many years later.
The Margaret River building surveyor at the time was Tony Stone, an alternative life-styler himself, who basically encouraged owner builders to do what they wanted. The period is affectionately known as the Stone Age.
All photos courtesy of Theo Mathews.
1. BUILDING PHOTOS
Photos 1.1: Early site work
Top: (Left) Blocking clearing (Right) Lee Verios surveying.
Bottom: Theo Mathews.
Photos 1.2: Workers.
Top: (Left) Theo. (Right) Lee Verios, unknown, Theo & Theo’s mum.
Bottom: (left & Right) Theo.
Photos 1.3: Workers
Top: (Left) Lee Verios (Right) Lee Verios, unknown, Theo & Theo’s mum Maria.
Bottom: (Left) Howard Johnson & Theo. (Right) Theo
Photos 1.4: Workers
Top: (Left) Patrick Bloomer. (Right) Howard Johnson.
Bottom: (Left) Howard Johnson, Theo & Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell. (Right) ‘Horny’ Campbell & Howard Johnson.
2. SOCIAL PHOTOS.
Photos 2.1: Margaret River
Top: (Left) workers lunch (Right) Annie Brown
Bottom: (Left) Noelene & Chris Willcox. (Right) Chris Willcox, Annie Brown, Peter Hodge, Theo & Barbara Hodge.
Photos 2.2: Margaret River
Top: (Left) Katherine Kalaf. (Right) Leslie O’Dywer, Peter & Barbara Hodge
Bottom: (Left) Howard Johnson, Theo & James DeLestang. (Right) Theo.
Photos 2.3: Dunsborough
Left. Unknown, Parisse Kailis, Denise Gaudi, Peter McDonald, unknown & Peter?
Right Unknown, Peter?, Parisse Kailis, Denise Gaudi, Peter McDonald, Janine Mackery
3. HOUSE PHOTOS
Photos 3.1: Exterior & garden.
Photos 3.2: Exterior with view of Margaret River
Photos 3.3: Interior kitchen & living area.
4. NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
In July 1992 the Augusta Margaret River Mail published an article on Theo’s house title ‘At home amongst the gum trees”. This image courtesy of AMR Mail.