Australian Mid Century Modern: Courtyards in Melbourne #One

Today I want to introduce you another one of you that from now on will contribute to Mid Century Home with his view on Mid Century Modern: Darren.

We already met Darren few months ago when I published his amazing mid century modern house in Melbourne. From that moment on we stayed in contact and with this post he will guide us to the mid century modern movement and its main protagonists in Australia!

Today Darren will show us around some very special courtyards. Enjoy!

Darren Says

On a pleasant and sunny Melbourne Sunday in December last year, the Robin Boyd Foundation held another one of their renowned open days.

Robin Boyd was one of the pre-eminent Australian mid century modern architects, and the Robin Boyd Foundation itself has, since 2005, continued Boyd’s commitment to introducing people to good design and encouraging the wider community to understand the benefits of it.

To this end, the foundation conducts seminars and lectures, publishes books, arranges exhibitions and hosts a regular series of public open days in privately owned homes.

robyn boyd

These open days provide a unique opportunity for people to view and experience the design qualities of some outstanding buildings.

The open days regularly include buildings designed by Robin Boyd together with the work of Boyd’s colleagues and contemporaries whose work Boyd admired.

The theme for this particular open day was “Courtyards” with all mid century homes featured and open for inspection on the day, showcasing the use of these wonderful open spaces as part of a home’s design.

In total, there were six homes as part of the program, but today we’ll start covering the first of the four most interest to mid-century fans. All the homes were within close proximity to each within the adjacent suburbs or South Yarra and Toorak, placing them within some of the most expensive real estate in Melbourne.

Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street House

robyn boyd house

The first one we’ll cover is in fact one from Robin Boyd himself. Built in 1958 in South Yarra, an early initiative of the Robin Boyd Foundation was to purchase the home which Boyd designed for himself and his family, and which now functions as the foundation’s headquarters.

Widely recognised as one of mid century modern Australia’s architectural icons of the Twentieth Century, Walsh Street is acknowledged as one of Boyd’s most acclaimed projects and was the winner of the 2006 AIA ‘National 25 year Award’ and was recently invited to join the international Iconic Houses Network.

robyn boyd house

The house remains unchanged from the time it was first designed and occupied by the Boyd family. Furnished with pieces designed by Boyd’s associates, Grant Featherston, Clement Meadmore and others, it provides a unique insight into Melbourne’s mid century design leaders of the 50s and 60s.

Robin Boyd himself was known not only as an architect but also an architectural writer, educator and commentator.

robyn boyd house

Born in 1919, he came from a creative family background of sculptors, painters and architects.

It’s said that Boyd wanted to create a “private indoor-outdoor environment despite the narrowness of the allotment and the congested surroundings of the inner suburb.”

The plan of the house was designed so that most views orient inwards, to the internal courtyard which features an innovative draped roof slung over cables, sheltering a house split into zones.

robyn boyd house

Keep on following Mid Century Home for the SECOND PART of this amazing mid century modern courtyards tour but, in the meanwhile, don’t forget to leave your commet about the Walsh Street House and check other amazing house tours here.

The pics on this post come from here, here, herehere, here and here.