Architectural Trail

John Knox Trail

Located at Brighton North Road, the John Knox Trail is 3.9 kilometres long with a walking time of one hour. The trail path has gentle undulations.
Following are descriptions of the properties along this route.

 John Knox Architectural Trail (PDF, 1.20MB)


Kamesburgh (Anzac Hostel or Anzac Lodge)
Address: 74-104 North Road, Brighton
Style: Italianate
Architect: Lloyd Tayler
Date: 1874

• One of Brighton’s most architecturally significant buildings.
• Built in 1874 by David Mitchell, father of Dame Nellie Melba, for businessman William K. Thompson.
• Set on four hectares of land.
• Private estate until 1919 when it was purchased by the Repatriation Department and renamed Anzac Lodge.
• Residence for war veterans until acquired by Bayside City Council in 1996.
• Currently leased to the Star of the Sea College.
• Characteristics include impressive columned verandah on three sides; Doric columns on the ground floor loggia and Ionic columns on the upper level.
• Main entrance guarded by two cast-iron figures forms the base of the three-level tower which offered views to the sea.



St James’ Church
Address: 73 North Rd, Brighton
Style: Gothic Revival
Architects: E J Henderson (1891), Schreiber & Jorgensen (1924)
Date: 1891, 1924

• Built of Barrabool sandstone from Geelong and constructed in two stages.
• Stage one (1891) consisting of the nave was designed by architect E J Henderson.
• Stage two (1924) consisting of the transepts and chancel were designed by Schreiber & Jorgensen.
• Finely proportioned, with refined architectural details to the windows, buttresses and gable ends.
• Unusually elaborate interior with opus sectile mosaic scheme (1934) with coloured pieces of marble, stone and glass cut into regular pieces and laid in geometric patterns.
• Features a Fuller-Anderson Organ, built in the late 19th Century by Alfred Fuller and restored in 2001.
• Church was restored in mid 1980s.
• The presbytery, built as a typical double-storey symmetrical Italianate house with verandah, was transformed in 1908 to incorporate Edwardian Gothic red brick entry tower with arched entry and lancet windows.



Former Elsternwick Hall
Address: 3 Murphy St, Brighton
Style: Eclectic
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1888

• Unique in its eclectic and highly decorative Gothic style.
• Richly ornamented with detailing around and above the entrance incorporating Gothic pointed arches with Elizabethan curved elements topped by a scrolled pediment and attached pilasters.
• Walls are tuck-pointed red brick with bluestone plinth, rendered quoining and mouldings.
• A roof lantern running two-thirds of the length of the building for interior light is tucked behind the entrance facade.
• Lower wing to the north with a rendered parapet concealing a skillion corrugated iron roof.



John Knox Uniting Church & Manse
Address: 61–71 North Rd, Brighton
Style: Gothic Revival
Architects: Charles Webb (Church), Lloyd Tayler (Manse)
Date: 1876, 1880–81

• Example of an 1870s polychrome brick church, complemented by matching polychrome manse designed by Lloyd Tayler and built in 1881.
• Cream brick broach-spire is one of only three known in Victoria.
• W K Thompson and his wife donated exquisite main east and west windows.
• Fincham Organ inside the church installed in 1878.
• Now a private residence.



Julius Wachs House
Address: 5 Chatsworth Ave, Brighton
Style: Modernist
Architect: Peter Hooks
Date: 1962

Textbook example of ‘Mature Modern‘; coined as architectural style by Philip Goad to describe 1960s homes that were elegant, formal and minimalist.
Design focused on entertaining.
Open plan, stark planar surfaces and simple materials.
Pop-up lantern above the windowless kitchen punctures the flat roof, with its wide eaves.
Large areas of glazing create dialogue between interior and exterior, strengthening connections between interior living spaces and garden areas.
Recently threatened with demolition but retained and sympathetically renovated.



Address: 13 Chatsworth Ave, Brighton
Style: Moderne
Architect: Unknown
Date: c1936 (original)

• Typical Moderne house built of rendered brick and painted white.
• Curved corners and elements contrast with the strong horizontal elements are characteristic of the style.
• Sympathetically designed additions and alterations include prominent tower at the front; eastern and western extensions; new windows and the front fence.
• Illustrates popularity of the style and ability for residents to make alterations that reinforce architectural preferences.



Address: 12a Glyndon Ave, Brighton
Style: Neo Modern
Architects: BG Architecture
Date: 2005

• Built as a family home.
• Design relates effectively to the staggered facade of the streetscape.
• Formal living in the front section of the house and family living at the rear with windows positioned for light and privacy.
• Environmentally sustainable materials and water feature support cooling and ventilation.
• Landscaping closely linked to design with hedges to soften the scale of the building
• Various materials used to fragment the façade including Meteon, a composite laminate material, and Australian granite.



Alfred Abrahams House
Address: 3 Elwood St, Brighton
Style: Moderne
Architect: Unknown
Date: 1935

• Built for Melbourne solicitor Alfred Abrahams in 1935 as a grand Moderne residence.
• Set on a double block, cement rendered over brickwork and concrete painted cream.
• Front path sweeps around the garden to the entrance at the base of a cylindrical form, with narrow vertical windows and romantically patterned frosted glass.
• Verticality of the cylindrical form accentuated by tall narrow windows that run uninterrupted through both levels.
• Cylinder is contrasted by horizontal elements that are characteristic of the style.
• Horizontal bedroom and living area windows contrasted by the vertical entry cylinder topped by horizontal banding.
• Details include scalloping around the entrance and the curved corner at the eastern end and small ‘dip’ in horizontal window bars.
• What begins as a private enclosed building progresses towards extensively glazed public areas.



Address: 4 Orchard St, Brighton
Style: Neo Modern
Architects: Interlandi Design Group
Date: 2005

• Contemporary residence designed to respect the buildings around it, including adjacent Federation-style house next door.
• Exterior form kept blank with simple yet bold representation of forms.
• Emphasises the building’s private inner space against the solid façade.
• Exterior forms are fractured and compartmentalised, partly relieving heaviness of the façade.
• Walls are built of rendered masonry and lightweight construction painted in stark white.


Address: 29 Oak Gr, Brighton (cnr Cochrane St)
Style: Neo Modern
Architects: BG Architecture
Date: 2003

• Reminiscent of courtyard Modernist architecture of the 1960s
• Elegant example of contemporary design in Brighton.
• Design focused on creating zones instead of rooms in an open design to improve flexibility of use.
• Exterior reflects zoned design of the interior spaces, with block-like sections allowing for private courtyards that create cross-ventilation, light and a private oasis.
• Different colours and textures provide variation and depth to single-storey design.



Address: 50 Martin St, Brighton (cnr Foote St)
Style: Contemporary, Post Modern
Architects: Centrum Architects
Date: 2004

• Design influenced by free form buildings such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1997).
• Built of rendered brick and mass of solid forms, with three main components painted a slightly different colour.
• Central drum is a large entrance space forming the hub of the house and connecting two wings.
• Curves and other interlocking shapes create movement around the building.
• Large glass panels utilise morning and midday sun.



Address: 6 Thule Crt, Brighton
Style: Italianate, Queen Anne
Architect: Unknown
Date: c1885

• Built by Thomas Telford and named after his station property in New South Wales.
• Front room projects at a 45-degree angle to the rest of the house, with innovative details.
• Delicate leadlight windows on northern side of bold entrance, which is elaborated by pilasters and an entablature.
• Interesting cast-iron lacework featuring a Greek key pattern, also seen on Narellan, Moule St, Brighton (1889).
• Novelist Henry Handel Richardson (1870–1946) stayed at Thule and wrote the novels Australia Felix (1917); The Way Home (1925); and Ultima Thule (1929) in reference to the house and the medieval origin of its name (‘mythic island across the sea’).



Lee House
Address: 103 Head St, Brighton
Style: Neo Modern
Architects: Hede Architects
Date: 2005–06

• Typically large new home.
• Upper storey finished with steel cladding, which reflects colours of the sky.
• Windows designed to face north–south for privacy of owners and neighbours with walls on top level having peel-away effect when opened.
• Designed around two sections facing each other with a light shaft separating them.



Page last updated: 23 Jun 2015