Australia post will recognize the legacy of architect Robin Boyd with a commemorative stamp to mark the centenary of Boyd’s birth.
The stamp features a photograph of the Walsh Street House, also known as Boyd House II, which was designed by the architect for himself and his family in 1957. Walsh Street House is now the headquarters of the Robin Boyd Foundation.
The house is widely recognized as one of Boyd’s best works and also one of the most innovative houses built in Victoria in the post-war period.
The photograph is taken by globally renowned San Diego-based architectural photographer Darren Bradley who is particularly known for his love of modernist architecture. The stamp, designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio, will be available from 12 February 2019.
Walsh Street House comprises two pavilions at the front and rear of a suburban block, divided by a glass-lined courtyard garden.
At the front, the two-level pavilion includes a floating platform that contains a combined living area, main bedroom, a study and a cantilevering balcony, while the lower level includes a family, dining and kitchen space with access to the courtyard. The rear pavilion contains the children’s bedrooms, bathroom and a study.
The house is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and, in 2006, it received the Australian Institute of Architects 25 Year Award for enduring architecture.
“Boyd’s own house remains an exemplar of this highest ambition of domestic architecture,” the jury citation reads. “It explores a series of innovative propositions. The plan arranges the parents’ and children’s quarters into discrete use zones, an organization that is facilitated by the unusual double-storey courtyard which is the essence of the plan.
“As a typology, the courtyard flew in the face of the prevailing Australian convention of the suburban villa on the quarter acre block. Similarly, the idea of supporting the roof on a flimsy catenary structure was the opposite of the heavy hipped tiled roof.”
Boyd was awarded the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1969 and in 1971 he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). Later that year, Boyd died unexpectedly from an infection he caught while on a world tour.
See also ArchitectureAU’s round up of four Robin Boyd-designed houses.