Jack House | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

About us

Jack House

Item details

Name of item: Jack House
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Location: Lat: -33.70593897 Long: 151.12745309
Primary address: 62 Boundary Road, Wahroonga, NSW 2076
Parish: South Colah
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Ku-Ring-Gai
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT C DP 371361
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
62 Boundary RoadWahroongaKu-Ring-GaiSouth ColahCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
 Private 
 Private 

Statement of significance:

Built in 1957, Jack House is of State significance as an excellent and intact example of the work of mid-20th century Australian modernist architect Russell Jack. An early proponent of the modern movement in NSW, Jack is attributed with developing the principles of the modern movement into a locally adapted, site responsive architecture which became known as the Late Twentieth Centure Sydney Regional style of architecturel. Together with Pamela Jack he designed a house which responded to its environment with sensitivity, keeping the natural bush as garden and retaining the creek that runs through the site.The house interiors include cabinetry designed by Jack, selected wallpapers and other furnishings of importance to the overall significance of the house.

The house is highly regarded by the architectural profession and is considered to be an influential piece of mid-twentieth century Australian architecture. Its research value as a resource that demonstrates many features of Late Twentieth Century Sydney Regional style of architecture and design in theory and practice, and its capacity to illuminate the work of Russell Jack is proven through the ongoing use of the house as a teaching tool. It is also of State significance as an excellent representative example of the modern movement adapted specifically for the Australian environment in a domestic dwelling with intact interiors and garden setting. It is also a rare surviving and intact example of an award winning mid twentieth century modern house.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: Russell Jack and Pamela Jack
Builder/Maker: Donald W Taylor (Bob Ellis?)
Construction years: 1956-1957
Physical description: 'The Jack House is composed of glass and brick planes, yet is defined more by the skeleton of the post and beam framing which steps down over the sloping site. The house presents a blank wall to the street but it opens up with large planes of glass on to the elevated verandah on the opposite, the north side. The floor on the uphill side relates to the ground level while that on the down side is freely suspended. The pattern of the elements of the dark stained frame against the walls of the white bagged and painted brick towards the street, and against the glass on the private side, emphasizes the order of the module'.

The house is a single storey flat-roofed dwelling with extensive use of glass and brick panes utilising post and beam construction. The timber frames are set according to a 10-foot module, with this order being reinforced in the partitioning of the rooms and through the use of the dark stained timber frame against the white painted brick front walls. The building occupies a steeply sloped site with frontage to Boundary Road, with the house oriented away from the street and faces northeast towards the bush. A carport, also with a flat roof, is located on the south-eastern corner of the building. The carport is accessed via a driveway from the street. (Taylor, 1984, p.33-35)

Entry to the house is through an arched opening in a bagged brick wall that screens the house from the street. The archway was considered reactionary at the time, with modernity typically demanding right angles. Jack defended his design choice, reasoning 'a logical, natural opening in a brick wall is an arch' (McCartney, 2007, p. 81) The bagged brick wall protects the house's public face from both the street and the neighbours. A timber bridge provides access to the entry space from the carport and the street.

The house has a simple L-shaped plan, which centres on a small creek which runs through the site and becomes a hinge to the two wings. The entry space is at the junction of the wings. To the left is the family space, containing the living room, dining room, kitchen and study. To the right is the bedroom and bathroom wing. (Metcalf, 1997, p. 89)

The house was designed to allow for expansion with the growing family, facilitated by the use of non-structural internal walls. Despite its economical size, the house was intended to feel as 'psychologically expansive as possible', using a free-flowing plan and floor-to-ceiling glass allowing the rooms to open to the bush (McCartney, 2007, p.81). The house is a series of continuous spaces, broken up into specific rooms but without the use of interconnecting doors. The roof and floor planes extend beyond the glass line to increase the sense of space and create unity with the landscape. The same materials were used inside and out for the same reason.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The house and interiors are in excellent condition. The garden is a bush setting which is largely intact.
Date condition updated:09 Jul 13
Modifications and dates: Initially there was no door on the study, allowing the entire living wing to be open. A door has since been added, enabling the space to be made private. The veranda between the main living area and the study has been closed in and two bedrooms added. An initially external wall of grey weathered timber now forms the interior wall of the main bedroom area. All alterations were made by the architects who lived in the house until recently.

In the kitchen a set of overhead cupboards similar to those existing on the south wallnhave been added to the northern wall by the original architect. Otherwise all materials and finishes remain.

In the laundry the original washing machine recess and its adjacent bench were reversed when a new maching was installed by the architect.
Current use: Domestic dwelling
Former use: Aboriginal land, timber getting

History

Historical notes: Wahroonga is Aboriginal land:
The meaning of 'Wahroonga' - an Aboriginal word - is 'our home'.

Material in rock shelters reveals that Aboriginal people inhabited the surrounding region at least from the last ice age some 20,000 years ago. Several different languages and dialects were spoken in the Sydney Harbour area before the arrival of the First Fleet. 'Kuringgai' was the language spoken on the north shores (DEST & DUAP, 1996, 42, 135, 138). When Europeans chose the south side of the harbour for the settlement of the First Fleet in 1788, they chose the territory of the Darug-speaking people, who inhabited the region from the southern shores of Sydney Harbour west to the Blue Mountains. Both the Darug and the Kuringgai groups suffered catastrophic loss of life in the smallpox epidemic that swept through the indigenous population in 1789, with a death rate estimated to have been between 50 per cent and 90 per cent. Over the following century there were numerous documentary recordings of the movements of surviving Kuringgai people within the Ku-Ring-Gai locality, both attending Aboriginal gatherings and collecting European rations such as blankets. There are also several oral history accounts of small clans travelling through the district in the late nineteenth century. In the 1950s at least a few local Aboriginal people were known to be still living within their traditional territory (Ku-Ring-Gai Historical Society, 1996, 12-13).

Early Europeans in the district
Before the railway (constructed late nineteenth century) and later the Sydney Harbour Bridge (opened 1932) made the north shore easily accessible, the Kur-Ring-Gai area was remote from Sydney Town and consisted mainly of isolated white rural communities earning their livelihood from agricultural activities such as timber-getting and market gardening. Wahroonga first experienced suburban development after the railway line from Hornsby to St Leonards was opened in 1890, when the first suburban roads were constructed followed by the first homes, built around 1896. The Shire of Ku-Ring-Gai was first constituted in 1906 with just six councillors, who took temporary offices in the grounds of St John's Church at Gordon (ibid, 1996, 12-18).

George Caley (1770-1829), a botanist sent to the colony in 1795 by Sir Joseph Banks from London to collect flora specimens for Kew Gardens, was one of the first white men to explore this bushland area. In 1805 he walked along a cattle path on the ridge towards Fox Valley, near the 640 acres that were later granted to Thomas Hyndes by Governor Darling (1825-31). The north-western part of the grant, known later as Pearce's Corner extended past the present Sydney Adventist Hospital (today this area marks the boundary of three suburbs: Normanhurst, Waitara and Wahroonga) - and honours an early settler whose name was Aaron Pierce. He arrived with his wife in 1811, received a conditional pardon and worked as a timber cutter along the ridge from Kissing Point to the present Pacific Highway (formerly Lane Cove Road). Three tracks converged at this point and Pierce built a hut to house his family and set out an orchard. He was said to reside there by 1831, and the corner was then known as Pierce's Corner). A village developed on the opposite corner (Pearce's Corner Township, later renamed Normanhurst)) around St. Paul's Church (which today is in Wahroonga).

On Hyndes' death the grant was bought by John Brown and became known as Brown's Paddock. When he died in 1881, it was resurveyed and the larger portion became Fox Ground Estate, purchased by a Francis Gerard (Pollen, 1988, 260-2).

Before the railway (late nineteenth century) and later the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) made the north shore easily accessible, the Ku-Ring-Gai area was remote from Sydney Town and consisted mainly of isolated white rural communities earning their livelihood from agricultural activities such as timber-getting and market gardening (ibid, 1996, 12-18).

The harbour barrier delayed suburbanisation of the district and in the early 1880s the tiny settlement was judged too small to warrant a railway line. Access to Milsons Point remained difficult although a coach service plied that route from 1881 to 1887. By 1885 it was also possible to travel to Sydney via the 5 bridges road crossing the water at Fig Tree, Gladesville, Iron Cove, Glebe Island and Pyrmont (AHC - indicative place listing - Mahratta Avenue Urban Conservation Area).

Railway and tramway plans for the area were discussed by the authorities in the 1880s (Scobie, 2008, 9). The single-track North Shore railway line that went from Hornsby to St Leonards in 1890 finally reached Milsons Point in 1893. The North Shore Ferry Company had been carrying passengers from Milsons Point to Circular Quay since the 1860s and by the 1890s around 5 million people crossed the harbour by this means every year. Offering suburban subdivisions along the railway line in advance of the stations, speculators developed Ku-ring-gai well before completion of the North Shore Bridge in 1932 set off another flurry of real estate promotion. Ku-ring-gai grew slowly in the 19th century, its population being 4,000 by 1901. However, over the next two decades its population quadrupled. By this time, with its large residences in beautiful, leafy surrounds, it had changed from a district with a dubious reputation to one that attracted people of high socio-economic status, 73 per cent of whom were home owners.

When the railway line came through the North Shore from St. Leonards to Hornsby, a station opened in this area on 1/1/1890 and was called Pearce's Corner. The construction name had been Noonan's Platform because the property belonging to Patrick Noonan came within the new railway's boundary. The name was changed to Wahroonga on 30/8/1890 (AHC - indicative place listing - Mahratta Avenue Urban Conservation Area). The section between Hornsby and St. Leonards was built by E.Pritchard & Co. contractor (Scobie, 2008, 9).

Wahroonga first experienced suburban development after the railway line from Hornsby to St Leonards opened in 1890, when the first suburban roads were constructed followed by the first homes, around 1896. The Shire of Ku-Ring-Gai was first constituted in 1906 with six councillors, who took temporary offices in the grounds of St John's Church at Gordon (ibid, 1996). The post office opened on 15/10/1896. In 1898 Abbotsleigh School for girls moved to Wahroonga. In 1899 when only 3 houses stood in Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga, the Seventh-Day Adventists purchased land there and erected a large building by 1903. This evolved into 'The San' or Sanitarium hospital (Pollen, 1988, 260-2).

During the interwar years of 1921 to 1933, the population increased by 45 per cent from 19,209 to 27,931 with a 68 per cent rise in the number of occupied dwellings, the proportion of brick to weatherboard being 5:1. The same sort of increase occurred from 1933 to 1947 when a further 43 per cent of people moved into the district bringing the total population to 39,874 and adding 3,564 houses. Even greater restriction on the use of timber and fibro occurred in this period so that 3,182 of these were brick. Clearly, Ku-ring-gai suffered less in the 1930s depression than other municipalities where development was much slower. Its people also encountered less unemployment - only slightly behind Vaucluse with 16 per cent unemployed, Ku-ring-gai and Mosman registered 18 per cent unemployed in 1933 - although the proportion of owner occupation did fall to 68 per cent (AHC - indicative place listing - Mahratta Avenue Urban Conservation Area).

Jack House
62 Boundary Road, Wahroonga is part of what was previously a 2000 acre grant to John Terry Hughes in 1842. Hughes was shortly afterwards declared bankrupt. The land was purchased by the Mayor of Glen Innes, Valentine Sachs in the 1890s with the proceeds from his mining ventures.

When Russell and Pamela Jack purchased the site from a Mr Wayland in 1955 the land was the last undeveloped block on the street;. Jack believed it remained unsold because of the steepness of the site and the creek running diagonally through it. (McCartney, 2007, p. 78). Its location on the north side of Boundary Road meant the council restrictions were not as strict as on the southern side. The northern side permitted the use of timber construction and materials other than tiles for the roof. (The Jack House has a flat roof of bituminuous membrane).

The Jacks originally intended to construct a steel framed house along the western boundary but abandoned the idea due to the high cost involved. This change of approach, with the Jacks opting instead for brick and timber construction, led to a design that harmonised as much as possible with the existing site, even to the extent of accommodating the small creek. As well as the final design being driven by the challenging site, the Jacks also had a commitment to produce economical but human buildings. The war loan house (low interest loans for returned servicemen and women), controlled in both budget and size, reflected a change in direction by many architects during the period. In designing the house for their own family, Russell and Pamela Jack, combined post and beam Japanese aesthetics with North American influences of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, incorporating the natural aspects of the site, utilising exposed construction, natural materials and a modular plan. (Jahn, 1997, p. 161).

1950s Sydney Architecture
Residential construction in Sydney after WWII was limited to residences using brick and fibro single, double or triple fronted bungalows, with pitched roofs and usually facing the street, regardless of the orientation. Each house was equally spaced from its neighbours in accordance with local regulations. (Taylor, p. 12) At the same time Australian architects who had returned from Europe began to embrace the ideas of the modern movement and adapt them to suit the unique Australian climate and environment.

The 'Sydney School', a term introduced by Robin Boyd in 1967 (later classified by Richard Apperly as the Late Twentieth Century Sydney Regional style) refers to architecture of the 1950s and 1960s concerned with aesthetics and a rejection of technology. In expanding upon the term, Jennifer Taylor identified the style as first being discernable in 3 Sydney houses, by Peter Muller, Russell Jack and Bill and Ruth Lucas. Although working separately, they shared a sympathy of materials, economy and simplicity, with appreciation of nature. They each drew inspiration from the sandstone outcrops of Sydney, water views to the harbour and steep terrain. A need for climatic appropriateness and an Australian style was being addressed through modest residential designs, such as the Jack House, using post and beam construction that fully explored breaking down barriers between inside and outside, and achieving a harmonious union with nature (Urford, 2012, p. 676) Sites previously considered unusable, such as the Jack House site, were ideal to use the cost-effective solutions of post and beams construction, which could be carefully placed to cause minimal disturbance to the site's rocks and trees. An important precedent to natural siting was provided by Sydney Ancher's Maytone Avenue houses in Killara, NSW (1948-49) where the natural rock outcrops were retained.

According to Jennifer Taylor,1957 was a significant year in domestic design in Sydney. 3 important houses were put before the jury for the Sulman Medal. All three were designed by architects as their own residences; Sydney Ancher's house in Neutral Bay, Bill and Ruth Lucas' house in Castlecrag, and the Jack House in Wahroonga. They were all post and beam structures and all expressed an increased awareness of the potential use of outside space (Taylor, 1984, pp. 11-23)

The Jack House was most notable for its treatment of the site. The Jacks positioned the house perched on the brink of the two principal levels on the site and it is regarded as signifying a change in domestic architecture in Sydney in this regard. (ibid, 1984, p. 83) Faced with a difficult site densely covered with native trees and outcrops of sandstone, Jack House showed what was achievable within a modest budget and without making a significant impact on the site (AIA). The design incorporated the challenges of the site without removing them, allowing the small existing creek to run beneath the structure, and perching the house out over the slope of the site so as to sit amongst the trees.

Russell and Pamela Jack
Russell Jack studied architecture and planning at Sydney Technical College after returning from active service in the Royal Australian Air Force. He worked for Rudder, Littlemore & Rudder during his studies and graduating in 1950 was awarded the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship. He sailed to England in 1952 and met his future wife Pamela Purves Lyttle (1928 - 2006) on board. Lyttle had graduated in architecture from the University of Sydney in 1951 and worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works in Canberra prior to heading overseas.

In England, Jack worked for Tripe & Wakeham and Lyttle worked for Stillman & Eastwick-Field. Like many young Australian architects, they travelled around Europe looking at buildings. They married upon their return to Sydney in 1954, and Russell returned to work for Rudder, Littlemore & Rudder until 1956 when he left to set up practice with Denis John Wigram Allen (1926 - ), which lasted until 1976. Allen and Jack were joined by architecture student Keith Cottier in 1957. The firm became Allen Jack + Cottier in 1965.

Upon her return from England, Pamela Jack worked for Baldwinson and Booth until 1958, when she went into practice as Pamela Jack Architect. She later studied ceramics at East Sydney technical College and established herself as an accomplished ceramicist. Russell Jack left the practice of Allen Jack + Cottier in 1976, joining the staff of University of NSW as a lecturer, becoming visiting professor (Scott Robertson, 2012, p. 358).

Major works by Russell Jack include the Carroll House, St Ives (1959), the Palmer House, Turramurra (1959), the Waterhouse House, St Ives (1962), the Tuckson House, Wahroonga (1961), the Jacobs House, Wahroonga (1963) (Wilkinson Award), the Forsaith House, Pymble (1971), the Griffin House, St Ives (1961), the Selby House, Warrawee (1961), all in NSW, and the Cater House, Canberra, ACT (1965) which won the Canberra Medallion in 1965l and the Canberra RAIA 25 Year medal in2011 (ibid, 2012, p. 358).

Jack House was the winner of the 1957 Sulman Medal for Domestic design. The Sir John Sulman Medal for Architectural Merit in NSW is an annual award presented by the NSW Royal Institute for Architects. Established in 1932 by Sir John Sulman, the original award conditions allowed for domestic and non-domestic entrants. In 1960 a separate category was developed for residential design with the creation of the NSW Wilkinson Award. The Jack House was featured in Architecture in Australia, July/September 1958 (pp. 76-78).

Comparative Items
Bill and Ruth Lucas - The Glass House, 80 The Bulwark, Castlecrag 1957
Robin Boyd - Lyons House, 733 Port Hacking Road, Dolans Bay, 1966
Peter Muller - The Audette House, Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag, 1953
Sydney Ancher - Maytone Avenue Houses, Killara, 1949
Arthur Baldwinson - Simpson-Lee House, Roland Ave, Wahroonga, 1959

Jack worked closely with his partner, John Allen on the design. The house received enthusiastic coverage from 'The Australian Womens' Weekly' in 1958 (Twentieth Century Heritage Society, 2020).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Gardens-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Unseen but Present-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and gardens of domestic accommodation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes used for self reliant recreation-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Significant tree(s) providing urban amenity-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Landscapes and parklands of distinctive styles-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Owning and occupying a house-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Building for seclusion-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. housing (suburbs)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. gentlemen's residences-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Housing professional people-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. Architectural design-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. A Picturesque Residential Suburb-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal 1820s-1850s land grants-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Housing-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Sub-division of large estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Administering and alienating Crown lands-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Land tenure-Activities and processes for identifying forms of ownership and occupancy of land and water, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Changing land uses - from rural to suburban-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Subdivision of rural estates-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages 20th century Suburban Developments-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Railway Suburbs-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Creating landmark structures and places in suburban settings-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Houses-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages A Picturesque Residential District-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Garden suburbs-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Suburban Consolidation-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Suburban Expansion-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing suburbia-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Role of transport in settlement-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Developing towns in response to topography-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages living in the suburbs-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impact of railways on suburban development-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Local government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - administration of land-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Adaptation of overseas design for local use-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Creating an icon-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - 20th century post WW2-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Designing in an exemplary architectural style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to climate - verandahs-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Building in response to natural landscape features.-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - 20th c bush garden style-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Architectural styles and periods - mid 20th century modernism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Landscaping - artists gardens-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Artists, bohemians and intellectuals squat or gathering point-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Patronising artistic endeavours-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - Modernist-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. Interior design styles and periods - late 20th century contemporary-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Ways of life 1950-2000-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a bushland setting-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in suburbia-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Domestic life-Activities associated with creating, maintaining, living in and working around houses and institutions. Living in a new house-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Outdoor relief-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Activities associated with relaxation and recreation-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Gardening-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Leisure-Activities associated with recreation and relaxation Visiting heritage places-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Russell Jack, architect-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Jack House is of State significance for its role in the history of Australian architecture and house design. The house demonstrates mid-twentieth century architectural practice in Australia and particularly in the Sydney region. One of the early examples of the Late Twentieth Century Sydney Regional style of architecture, Jack House demonstrates the early application of the modern movement in architecture integrated with an Australian setting. An exemplary piece of modernism, the house reflects an increasing respect for the natural landscape in residential design and is indicative of the evolution of Australian architectural design in the mid 20th century.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Jack House is of State significance as the family home designed by and for Australian architects Russell and Pamela Jack. A highly regarded Australian architect, Russell Jackwas a founding partner John Allan and Russell Jack which subsequently became the firm Allen, Jack and Cottier; the practice continues to be one the most successful architectural firms in Australia. The partnership of John.Allen and Russell Jack was awarded the Sulman Medal for Jack House in 1957
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Jack House is of State significance as a seminal work of residential modernism. The house design exhibits the influences of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese architecture. Russell Jack, somewhat disappointed by European modernism, was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's approach and the nature focussed architecture of pre-War Japan. The house is modest in scale with a strong connection between the bush setting and the house, an honest expression of materials expressed through exposed construction, natural materials and a modular plan utilising a primary structure and infill walls. In 1957 Jack House was awarded the Sulman Award for architectural merit in the domestic building category.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Jack House is significant at a State level as it is held in high esteem by the wider community for its cultural values. In particular Jack House is held in very high esteem by the architectural profession as demonstrated by how widely it has been published and through its recognition by the Australian Institute of Architects who have classified Jack House as nationally significant for its humanist sensibility and respect for the natural conditions of the site. The house is regularly used as a teaching opportunity by the owner and others and opened to the public as an excellent example of modernism in Australia.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Jack House has State significance for its research value as a resource that demonstrates many features of Late Twentieth Century Sydney Regional style of architecture and design in theory and practice, and its capacity to illuminate the work of Russell Jack.
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
Jack House is a rare and substantially intact example of an award winning mid century modern house.
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
Jack House is of State significance as an excellent, intact mid-twentieth century example of modernist residential design. Jack House is an excellent, representative and intact example of the work of Russell Jack, one of Australia's early proponents of the modern movement in architecture applied within an Australian context which became known as theLate Twentieth Century Sydney Regional style of architecturel. The house is a defining example of the outstanding design skills of a well-regarded Australian architect and clearly demonstrates his design principles of modesty of scale and connection with the natural landscape.
Integrity/Intactness: Jack House is highly intact including some interior finishes such as wall paper and it retains its original bush setting with its creek.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0191024 Jun 13 763049

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written Robertson, Scott, in The Encyclopaedia of Australian Architecture, Goad, P and Willis, J (Eds), Melbourne: .2012Russell and Pamela Jack
WrittenAustralian Institute of Architects2010Jack House - Nationally Significant 20th-Century Architecture
WrittenJahn, Graham,1997Sydney Architecture, Sydney:
WrittenKu-Ring-Gai Historical Society Inc1996Focus on Ku-Ring-Gai
WrittenMcCartney, Karen200750/60/70 Iconic Australian Houses
WrittenMetcalf, Andrew1997Architecture in Transition: the Sulman Award, 1932-1996, Sydney
WrittenPollen, Francis, in The Book of Sydney Suburbs1988'Wahroonga'
WrittenTaylor, Jennifer.1984 An Australian Identity: Houses for Sydney 1953-63. Sydney
WrittenTwentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW and the ACT, Inc.2020Russell Jack House: modernist yet distintively Australian View detail
WrittenUrford, Jacqueline in The Encyclopaedia of Australian Architecture, Goad, P and Willis, J (Eds),2012The Sydney School

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez rez rez rez rez
rez rez rez rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5061645
File number: 12/17931


Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.