Tomich House


Town of Cambridge

Place Number



7 Dorking Rd City Beach

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1969

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 27 Nov 2018

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 29 Sep 2006

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 27 Nov 2018 Category 2

Statement of Significance

The place has aesthetic value as a large intact example of the late 20th century brutalist style and as a landmark in the streetscape. This residence and other examples of Iwanoff's work are a comprehensive and notable group of buildings which demonstrate a specific design style and period. The place has historic value for its association with prominent architect, Iwan Iwanoff who was influential in Western Australian practice for his non traditional approach to design and materials drawn from European trends. The place has historic value for its association with the early 1970s which was characterised as a period of affluence which was teamed with a willingness to experiment with new styles and materials. The place has social value as the house and others of Iwanoff's design are the source of study and interest amongst members of the community.

Physical Description

The Tomich House is one of a number of Iwanoff houses constructed in the area in the 1960s/1970s. This example stands three stories high and has a distinctive and intricate façade of curves. The house is of concrete block construction painted white. The windows are of varying dimensions and styles, with a combination of aluminium and timber frames reflecting different programs of work. The entry feature consists of a full height curved element containing five full height narrow strip windows separated by concrete pilasters. There are a lot of blank elements to the visible elevations of the house but due to their curved nature, the house presents as a dynamic form. Later additions to the place have continued the original style and detail of the residence although compromises to the original structure are evident. As was common with many of Iwanoff designs it features an individually designed letterbox which is consistent with the overall design.


Iwan Nickolow Iwanoff (1919-1986) was born in Kusstendil, Bulgaria. After studying architecture in Munich at the Technische Hochschule from 1941, Iwanoff worked for Emil Freymuth with the pair winning second prize in the competition to rebuild the central area of Munich. Migrating to Australia as part of the International Refugee Organization resettlement scheme, Iwanoff and his wife arrived at Fremantle, on 2 March 1950. He worked with architecture firm Kranz and Sheldon and also Yuncken and Freeman in Melbourne. In 1963, he established his own practice, The Studio of Iwanoff. A gifted architect, Iwanoff had exceptional drawing abilities, an innovative `expressionistic’ approach to design and detailing and, above all, a conviction that architecture was an art. In 1963-86 his small office produced work of high quality, including numerous houses. His creative use of concrete blocks drew richness out of every aspect of the utilitarian. The Iwanoff house, Lifford Road, Floreat Park (1965-67), a combination of architectural office and living accommodation, is a fine example. He also designed shop fronts and interiors in central Perth, and one larger project, the civic administration centre and public library at Northam (1969-74). The original portion of this residence, was designed by Iwanoff in 1969 for Mr and Mrs V Tomich, no information was found in this research about these owners. Archive plans held by the Town of Cambridge show that the original residence was two storey and smaller than the current configuration. The builder was Bonnville Homes and the engineer, Halpern, Glick & Lewis. In 1970, a pool was added to the rear of the property which was still owned by Tomich but by 1972, additions were designed by Iwanoff for the new owner P.C. Sullivan. These additions consisted of a carport, landscaping and extensions to the guest bedroom. Again the builder was Bonnville Homes and the engineer, Halpern, Glick & Lewis. In c1976, the property was transferred to local business man and entrepreneur Alistair Norwood who established the retail chain 'Jeans West'. Norwood engaged Iwanoff to design additions around the pool consisting of a pool house, cabana and new garden walls. Shortly afterwards, Iwanoff designed a new canopy over the front entrance. In the early 1980s, the property was transferred to T and A.S. Naidoo who engaged International Tasks, Project Managers in 1985 to design a substantial additions across the rear of the residence and a third storey for a new bedroom and ensuite accessed by a spiral staircase. This major addition sought to follow the Iwanoff style but it is unlikely that Iwanoff was involved in the design as he died in 1986. The interior spaces and external details were changed in this program of work. The property was transferred to the current owners, the Davenport family, in the late 1980s and they have undertaken minor alterations and additions to the property since that time.




Name Type Year From Year To
International Tasks Architect 1985 1985
Iwan Iwanoff Architect 1972 1976


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Aerial photographs, Landgate. Online Reference 1953-2016
Duncan Richards, 'Iwanoff, Iwan (1919–1986)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Online Document 2007
Goad, Philip; Willis, Julie 'The Encyclopaedia of Australian Architecture', Cambridge University Press, p. 357. Book 2012
State Library of WA, Iwan Iwanoff Collection. MN1401, Acc 4400A. Plans
Archived Plans, Town of Cambridge Plans

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RESIDENTIAL Single storey residence

Architectural Styles

Late 20th-Century Brutalist

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Innovators
OCCUPATIONS Commercial & service industries
PEOPLE Famous & infamous people

Creation Date

13 Oct 2006

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

26 Apr 2019


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.