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The Walter Burley Griffin Society Inc is very pleased that the Heritage Council of NSW intends to consider listing the Winter House (also known as Redstone) on the State Heritage Register. The Society fully supports listing the Winter House designed by Walter Burley Griffin and completed in 1935. It is a house of outstanding significance.

The Winter House is one of the most significant 20th century houses in western Sydney, and as the Heritage Branch’s nomination report states it has “exceptional intactness and integrity” retaining all its original interiors, fixtures and fittings. It is “the last Griffin house still remaining in the ownership of the family who commissioned it. “The family is praised highly in the report “for having employed high quality heritage advice in its maintenance and repair since the 1970s, ensuring that it has been conserved according to Burra Charter principles.”

“Redstone remains almost unaltered in its structure and layout” and “is of State heritage significance for its aesthetic qualities as a fine work of architecture and an outstandingly intact example of Walter Burley Griffin’s small-scale house design. It contains many of the features for which Griffin is highly regarded including open planning, juxtaposition of robust stonework with fine oiled timber joinery. … The gracious garden retains trees and other species planted by the original clients and its design has been largely unaltered since 1953.”

The house is an example of Griffin’s development of Prairie School principles that had their origin in the landscape-inspired houses of the early modern movement in Chicago. The house is sited on a rise in the Parramatta valley and has long views to the Blue Mountains, and responds to the broad, open site of the undulating Cumberland Plain at Dundas.

Further details on the nominated item, and making a submission (submissions close 19 November 2008) can be viewed at
www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/listing

Due to the generosity of the owners, more than seventy people enjoyed viewing the Winter House, its beautiful grounds and wonderful intact interiors on Sunday 26 October 2008. The Society’s twentieth AGM was held in the garden with heritage architect Ian Stapleton as guest speaker who spoke on the recent restoration work.

Winter House, 2008. © Eric Sierins photographer

The Society’s twentieth AGM in the garden of the Winter House, 2008. Photographer Michael Thomson 12. 11. 2008