Iona House Beginnings

As the grand-daughter of a Koo-We-Rup East Iona pioneer, my mother Hayden Ritson (Kavanagh) inherited all sorts of land around Iona.

In the late 1950s, my parents decided to build a brand new house in the modern style. It would be right next door to the Iona Post Office. They called it “Carlowrie” after the home of one of Hayden’s maternal Scottish relatives.

My parents had heard about the respected Melbourne architectural firm Godfrey Spower Hughes Mewton & Lobb and proceeded to brief them on a new home.

A young architect working for the established architectural firm was given the design job.

John Davidson had just returned from a three month study tour around the world. He had seen the modernist wonders of Corbusier, Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, and was particularly attracted to the work of Richard Neutra.

So he proceeded with vigour on the design of our family home. And the build began.

This solid brick wall became the back-bone of the house. The two recesses on the left are cabinets with the fireplace on the right.

| Iona House, designed by John Davidson, c1959 |

| Iona House, designed by John Davidson, c1959 |

| Iona House, designed by John Davidson, c1959 |

Here is the house very near completion.

| Iona House, designed by John Davidson, c1959 |

Julia Ritson

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