Real Estate

Meet Alison Scarborough — SA’s ultimate modernist style lover

Written by The ReReport
As seen in the Source link, written by on 2018-12-14 13:46:34

If you’ve ever spoken to someone about modernist architecture, you would know it can evoke a deep passion within those who love it.

For Allison Scarborough, this love stemmed from a young age and saw her eventually study interior architecture, purchase a modernist home and begin an Instagram page, @thelocalmodernist, highlighting Adelaide’s hidden treasures.

“I have loved mid-century architecture for as long as I can remember,” Allison says.

“I think it stems from my childhood and my grandparents’ home, although built around the 1960s it wasn’t modernist by definition but had elements that I had always found fascinating.”

Ranging between the 1940s to early 1970s, the modernist movement was a period that saw homes being built with huge expanses of glass, natural materials, clean lines and a connection to the natural environment with an open plan design.

This movement has seen many modernist homes scattered around Adelaide’s suburbs, which initially sparked Allison’s idea to create a social media platform showcasing hidden gems, homes for sale and properties facing demolition.

“I have always taken notice of modernist homes around Adelaide, if you have ever seen someone prying over a fence to catch a better glimpse at one — chances are it would have been me,” she says.

“I started up the account as I noticed there wasn’t anything at that time that celebrated South Australia’s mid-century history and it was also a reaction to the housing market and my own sadness at what was happening to our beautiful mid-century homes Australia wide.”

Living in a modernist home with her husband, Brendan, Allison says the moment they laid eyes on their 1969-built home with its flat roof, partly exposed brick walls and timber beams they fell in love with the design.

“We had been searching for a modernist home to buy and this one ticked all our boxes, it’s a very simple design, basically a rectangle,” she says.

“The roof leaks and there is an endless list of things that need doing to it, but it just has a hold of me and I’m determine to finish this project!”

This passion for refurbishing rather than demolishing has led Allison to take the discussion to social media as she brings awareness to the housing market’s focus on knocking down homes for the land and then creating ‘McMansions’ instead of preserving local history.

“I hoped that in growing the account it might raise awareness of the plight to save our mid-century homes and perhaps act like a Tinder, if you will, for real estate — finding the home a new loving partner!”

However, the 37-year-old believes there’s a sweeping change in many potential homebuyers’ perceptions as her account with more than 1200 followers continues to attract a large community of avid mid-century enthusiasts.

“I have discovered such a passionate group, there is a real community of like-minded people who are determined to raise the awareness of our modernist history,” Allison says.





“When my husband and I discuss our own home, we know how expensive it would be to build from scratch to the same specifications these days, it would cost double for a completely bespoke house like ours made with similar materials.”

Although mid-century interiors and furniture are very much on trend at the moment, Allison believes it’s becoming a passion for many people — a passion which she hopes will save many existing Adelaide homes from destruction.

“Most modernist designs are still so relevant today, it has such a timeless feel that attracts people to it,” she says.

“They offer well considered design, beautiful natural materials and usually with thoughts as to how the building is sited on a block — a modernist home is definitely worth the consideration.”


Clean lines, often with flat or low-pitch or single pitch roofline

Large expanses of glass to frame views and draw natural light internally

Roof lines appear floating, glazing is often floor-to-ceiling

Stone, brick and timber used internally and externally

Open plan living spaces

Custom joinery

Working with the land aspect, often on sloping blocks

A strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces