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Tim Ross has designs on the suburbs

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Danielle McGrane

Comedian, TV host and former radio presenter Tim Ross reveals his obsession for architecture in his new series on the ABC, Streets of Your Town.

"I suppose I've always had a fascination with the great Australian homes of the 1950s and 60s and I always felt like they needed to be seen on screen in some ways to help people appreciate them because people keep knocking the down," Ross said.

It was a time when suburban architecture was at its most inspiring, particularly in Australia, according to Ross.

"When we grabbed modernism and made it our own, that's when I think Australian architecture was at its peak in terms of taking an international style and adapting it to our regional needs," he said.

"It's mostly about being connected with what's going on outside and the simplicity of modernist design. It's not particularly ornate but that simplicity gives it a beauty."

Employing good design could work as a solution to Australia's housing crisis, according to Ross.

"When we start talking about housing affordability the one thing no one is talking about is how we can solve the problem with better design. We can use space in a better way," he said.

"There are these big suburban homes on big blocks of land, and it makes total sense that if you grew up on a big block of land and your family home is at the front, build a granny flat or a different version of that on the land. If you build a petite house on the space there, suddenly you can afford a house. I think that's the way forward."

He hopes the show will give people a greater understanding of why it's important to hold onto these places from the past.

"I hope that when people see an ad for a 1960s house that their first idea isn't 'we'll just bulldoze it and make something new' instead they say `well how can I adapt that house to make it work for me today'," he said.

"Also hopefully it challenges the people who are buying those houses that don't say anything about Australia or aren't particularly well designed for our climate. That they question why there aren't more choices when it comes to new homes in the suburbs, so they demand a better standard of design."

*Streets of Your Town will air on November 8 and 15 at 8.30pm on ABC and iview.

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