A Time Capsule in Adelaide. The Robin Boyd Walkey Residence


Robin Boyd was an internationally acclaimed, visionary Australian architect, writer, educator and social critic. Born in Melbourne in 1919, he was part of a very creative and influential family including painters, novelists and artists. Along with Harry Seidler, Robin Boyd stands as one of the foremost proponents for the International Modern Movement in Australian architecture.

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

His most influential works as an architect, and for many the best of his works, are his numerous and innovative small house designs. A wonderful example of Robin Boyd’s vision of modernism is situated in Adelaide, Australia, the Walkey Residence.

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Boyd first came to notice in the late 1940s for his promotion of inexpensive, functional, partially prefabricated homes incorporating modernist aesthetics. Most of his architectural output was residential, although he also designed some larger buildings. Robin Boyd was fond of International architecture, in particular the functionalist manner.

In his designs he envisioned open plan living, and the idea of allocated areas for the adults and children in the one home. He had a keen eye in choosing material, structure and details, combining them into one harmonious concept. The Walkley Residence renders an image of the inside out, having large window panes with uninterruptive views into the front garden.

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

In the living area just off the entryway spacious bookshelves are placed below the ribbon windows. The open concept plan overlooks the dining area but the best feature of this part of the house is the imposant copper hooded fireplace in the center of the living area wall.

It is a most distinguished characteristic of the home. Throughout the house, copper is also used for the bannisters, handrails and a chimney flute rising up from the living area to warm the upstairs.

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Downstairs are the living quarters plus the kitchen and upstairs the three bedrooms are situated along the front of the house while an office space and the maid’s room are in the rear. The lower sections of the bedroom windows in front have textured glass to ensure privacy while maintaining the sense of inside out throughout.

The  is a simple brick construction in a lattice pattern with part of the upper floor cantilevered to create a cool breeze effect along the rear windows and providing privacy for the bathrooms. This way the harsh afternoon sun is also shielded.Do you live in a mid-century or modernist-inspired contemporary house and want to be featured on MidCenturyHome? Contact us: [email protected]

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Walkley Residence - Robin Boyd - darren bradley

Photos by Darren Bradley

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