A bright new suburbia? G.J. Dusseldorp and the development of the Kingsdene Estate

Publisher:
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Green Fields, Brown Fields, New Fields: Proceedings of the 10th Australasian Urban History, Planning History Conference (CD-ROM)., 2010, pp. 1 - 13
Issue Date:
2010-01
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While the ongoing development of suburbia in Australia has undoubtebdly seen many key moments, few have been as radical and iconic as that represented by the design and marketing of the Kingsdene Estate in Carlingford, NSW. Initiated by the Lend Lease Corporation under the impetus of founder and managing diretor G.J. Dusseldorp in 1960, and included in the RAIA 20th Century Register of Significant Buildings in September 2006, the Kingsdene Estate marks an important innovation in the history of speculative suburban development from three particular perspectives. Firstly, and responding to the considerable migration rates of the late `50s and early60s, and to the increased demand for home ownership at this time, Dusseldorps intention, though still aimed at the consumer `off-the-peg market, was to go beyond the `standard spec-built house of the period to produce repeatable model houses of superior quality. To this end he employed as his designers a group of young and forward-thinking architects whose work here effectively launched the `project home into the commercial market. Secondly, and from a planning and sub-division perspective, Dusseldorps strategy was based on a strict commitment to rational and testable criteria for the efficient use of land. Finally, and from a marketing perspective, the Kingsdene Estate adopted a campaign that has rarely, if ever, been equalled. Undertaken as a joint venture between the Lend Lease Corporation and Australian Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd (ACP), the developers drew heavily on the resources of The Australian Womens Weekly, The Daily Telegraph and TCN Channel Nine to offer blanket publicity for the venture. Drawing on a range of contemporary newspaper and magazine sources, and on unpublished interviews with key protagonists conducted by Mr Geoff Ferris-Smith in the early `90s, the paper explores the unique combination of these three key strategies in the making of a major Sydney suburban subdivision.
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