Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Dods' house, New Farm

In the last post we were looking at medium density rental properties in New Farm. Today I am showing you another purpose-built rental property in the same suburb. This one is a house that was built in the year 1900, and it was designed by iconic Brisbane architect RS (Robin) Dods as an investment property for his mother. Robin Dods' built his own house was next door to this one, although unfortunately it no longer exists. It has been replaced by a block of flats.

Here are a couple of views of the house.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

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(Photo: DERM)

Robin Dods was born in 1868 at Dunedin in New Zealand of Scottish parents. The family moved back to Scotland, but when Robin's father died they emigrated again - this time to Brisbane. On the sea journey to Australia Robin's mother met the ship's surgeon, Dr Charles Marks, whom she later married.

Robin attended Brisbane Grammar School and then in 1886 he went back to Scotland to study architecture. He moved to London in 1890 to work in a few architectural firms. Early evidence of his talent can be gleaned from several awards that he won in the years after being admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1891. When he returned to Brisbane briefly in 1894 to visit his mother, he entered a competition to design a nurses' home for the Brisbane Hospital and won that too. This success urged him to come back to Brisbane to live in 1896. He joined fellow architect Francis Hall to develop the firm Hall & Dods.

There is no doubt that Robin Dods was a talented designer. He was successful through a tough economic cycle in Brisbane after the terrible 1893 floods, and this was also due to his impeccable connections. His stepfather, Dr Marks was a well-known doctor and member of parliament and his uncle was also a politician. Dods, like them, was a member of the influential Queensland Club. He obtained commissions from several of the best corporate clients, such as AMP, Bank of NSW, the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Unfortunately some of Dods' work perished through the "development" era in Queensland, the Bjelke-Petersen dominated 1970s. But there are still some fine examples left, many of which we have already looked at: St Brigid's at Red Hill, the Bishopsbourne chapel and Dods' House for example. Here is a photograph of another of his works, All Saints at Tamrookum, west of Brisbane.
(Photo: JIGGS IMAGES @flickr.com)  

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  1. Hi mal E here
    I hope you have Bob Riddel's new (deluxe) book on Dodds? My copy has the Richard Stringer pic but I also bought two large prints recently from Richard, well I did a long case repair and swapped one . . .
    Love yer work . . .

  2. Hi Mal
    Thanks for the kind words.
    I haven't yet seen that book, but I have ordered it at the local library & am looking forward to seeing it.


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