15 April 2022

Rare opportunity to purchase a part of Canberra's architectural history in Red Hill

| Aiden Rothnie
Join the conversation
18 Monaro Crescent Red Hill

One of Ken Oliphant’s early houses is up for sale in Red Hill. Photo: LJ Hooker.

An early masterpiece of Kenneth Oliphant, one of the best known and respected architects in Canberra, has arrived on the market.

Though you mightn’t know him by name, you’re sure to have seen his influence on Canberra, with some of his works becoming heritage-listed buildings and inspirations for others. One of his first private practice designs was for Canberra’s first real estate agents, Calthorpe and Woodger, which has since become a heritage-listed museum, Calthorpes’ House in Red Hill.

Now up for sale, 18 Monaro Crescent in Red Hill is not just one of Oliphant’s earlier works, it is a superb example of why he would become central to the development of the capital.

Born in Victoria in 1896, Oliphant moved to Canberra in 1926 when he was posted here to supervise the construction of Canberra’s earliest homes in Forrest, which were being built for the first public servants moving to Australia’s then-new capital.

18 Monaro Crescent red Hill

Ken Oliphant’s design aesthetic has had a lasting influence on the capital. Photo: LJ Hooker.

Oliphant was one of Canberra’s first architects and became the capital’s first privately practising architect in 1927.

By 1930, Oliphant had designed over 30 buildings in Canberra, including private houses and commercial buildings, mostly in Red Hill, Forrest, Barton and Griffith.

His designs were unique and eye-catching, taking inspiration from many different sources to display his unique talents. He liked to work with locally sourced materials, including red brick and terracotta roof tiles. A consistent theme is the impressive garden plantings throughout his houses – on brilliant display in this home.

LJ Hooker agent Stephen Thompson describes the house as a classic.

“There’s just so much to like about it; it’s got a true 1920s design charm,” Stephen says.

“This listing is proving very popular. We took about 11 groups through the house on just one day last week, and they all talked about how much they loved the house.”

Completed in 1928, 18 Monaro Crescent remains one of Red Hill’s most sought after and impressive homes. Known as Brackenreg, the stately home sits on just over an acre of land, making it one of the largest properties in the area.

The ornate high ceilings, hardwood flooring, circular driveway entrance, outdoor suntrap and open fireplace showcase the eye-catching designs that Oliphant was known for, as well as his amazing architectural skills.

Ken Oliphant has been an integral part of Canberra’s history and is far and away one of the most talented and influential architects in Canberra and the surrounding regions.

During his distinguished career, Oliphant also completed a number of designs in the regions surrounding NSW, including homes in Cooma, Young, Goulburn, Crookwell, Kempton, Gundaroo, Binalong, Yass, Queanbeyan and Cooma.

He retired in the 1960s after 40 years of work. He died in 1975 but his legacy continues to inspire.

Stephen says Brackenreg is in superb condition and has been sympathetically enlarged and renovated by its current owners.

“The home offers generous living areas with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and, of course, the stunning gardens that include a mature rose garden, multiple alfresco areas and a tennis court.”

If you’re interested in securing a piece of Canberra’s history, contact Stephen Thompson on 0418 626 254 or Bill Lyristakis on 0418 626 593 to arrange an inspection of 18 Monaro Crescent in Red Hill and check out the latest listings on Zango.


Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Brackenreg was the name of the ACT’s first Lands Officer. His wife purchased some of the first blocks at Manuka.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.