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Annear, Harold Desbrowelocked

(b Bendigo, Victoria, Aug 16, 1865; d Melbourne, June 22, 1933).
  • George Tibbits

Australian architect. He served articles with William Salway (1844–1902) in Melbourne and practised alone from the late 1880s to the early 1930s, with a circle of clients and friends drawn from varying levels of Melbourne society. As well as a commitment to the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, he aimed to create an Australian idiom and saw architecture as an art rather than a profession. His talent for sketching and his flair for writing on architecture were also recognized at an early stage in local building journals.

His earliest designs show the influence of H. H. Richardson, whom he greatly admired, but the Viennese Secession may have influenced the Springthorpe Memorial in Kew cemetery, Melbourne (1897). His well-known houses at 32, 34 and 38 The Eyrie, Eaglemont (1902–3), are free and decorative adaptations of a half-timbered, roughcast and Marseilles-tiled idiom fused with an Arts and Crafts approach, which he continued to develop in examples such as the Norman Macgeorge house at Alphington (1910) and 449 Glenferrie Road, Malvern (1920s). They are interesting internally because the principal spaces flow into each other but can be divided by closing sliding doors. Some of his designs with roughcast exteriors, such as Broceliande (1918; destr., see ‘Domestic Architecture in Australia’, pl. xxxi), have been misleadingly interpreted as proto-Functionalist forerunners of the International Style. They perhaps indicate an interest in Californian-Spanish designs, motivated by the desire to create an Australian architecture by adapting styles from countries climatically similar to southern Australia. Annear also designed buildings in a classical idiom, for example 1 Heyington Place (1925), and Cloyne, 611 Toorak Road, both in Toorak (1929).

Writings

  • ‘The Recognition of Architecture’, Art in Australia (1919), pp. 19–24 [special issue: ‘Domestic Architecture in Australia’, eds S. U. Smith and B. Stevens]
  • ed.: For Every Man his Home (Melbourne, 1922)

Bibliography

  • R. Boyd: Australia’s Home (Melbourne, 1962), pp. 160–63