Oogarding, A Heritage-listed Mediterranean Villa In Bardon

With its timeless Mediterranean beauty, Oogarding is considered one of the most charming homes in Bardon. Get to know some of the most interesting details about this heritage-listed villa, designed by Mervyn Rylance, a renowned Brisbane architect in the mid-20th century.

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Oogarding was built in 1941 for entrepreneurs James Gervase Joyce (also known as Gerb Joyce) and Edith Joyce who wanted to have a house on a one-acre allotment from Pen-y-lan, their subdivided property in Bardon.

The two-storey house was designed by Mervyn Hamilton Rylance, who was known for designing a number of expensive and substantial homes in Mediterranean style during the interwar period.

Photo credit: Queensland Heritage Branch staff

Rylance made a name not just in the world of architecture but also in the world of sports. He represented Australia against New Zealand in rugby union in 1926.

It was built by Jan Cupka and it seemed to have been built on the basis of a negotiated contract because no tender was advertised. The Joyce family regarded Mr Cupka as a “dedicated professional,” because he would attend the site every couple of days throughout its nine-month construction period.

Photo credit: Aussie~mobs/Flickr

The name Oogarding came from the Aboriginal equivalent of Helidon Spa Water Company, where the family got their wealth from. Gerb Joyce is one of the two sons of John Joyce, who was the managing director of the Helidon Spa Water Company. When John Joyce died, he passed the business to his brother and his sons Gerb and Joseph Patrick.

Today, the house is considered as one of the best surviving examples of Rylance’s works and of Mediterranean style architecture in Queensland.

The house underwent major renovations in 1965 when a new garage, front terrace, and other landscape works were added, along with remodeling of the kitchen based on the designs of Hayes, Scott and Hnederson Architects. 

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The house is located at 100 Simpsons Road, Bardon and was entered on the Queensland Heritage Register on 23 June 2000.

Published 3-March-2023