What is significant? This was the second house built by Robin Boyd for his family. It was built in 1957 in the wealthy suburb of South Yarra, and reflects the acceptance of such modern structures even in the wealthy suburbs of Melbourne by that time. Robin Boyd in the 1950s and 1960s was known nationally as an architect, internationally as a critic and is most important in the history of Australian culture. This house was an expression of his architectural ideals, which were well known from his books and newspaper and journal articles. While Boyd was a strong supporter of the International Style, he considered that architecture should also be able to respond to site, client and region, and the house reflects this. The house is an example of the importance of structural functional ideas in architecture in Melbourne in the 1950s, the contemporary interest in open planning, and in indoor and outdoor living. It is also important as the home of one of the most well-known and influential architectural and social critics Australia has produced.
The Boyd House II is built on a sloping site in the wealthy Melbourne suburb of South Yarra. The house is a long rectangle roofed by a sweeping catenary of planks suspended on wire cables. The space beneath these cables is divided into three, comprising a two level parents' and living area closest to the entrance, a single storey children's area at the other end, and an open garden courtyard between these. In the open plan parents' section the first floor is a floating timber platform used as the parents' bedroom and study. The open area below contains the dining, living and kitchen areas. These still have their original furnishings. The children's area contains two bedrooms, a bathroom and a more open bedroom and sitting room area adjoining the courtyard. Both of these buildings have walls of glass looking into the courtyard, but no windows on the side walls. The paved courtyard is open above, with glass walls on both sides. Covered brick paths link the two buildings.
How is it significant? The Boyd House II is significant for architectural and historical reasons at a National level.
Why is it significant? The Robin Boyd House II is architecturally significant as the second house Boyd designed for his family. It is significant for its unique structure and as an exceptional example of the innovative houses that were being built in Victoria in the 1950s and 1960s. It is significant as an outstanding example of the domestic designs of prominent architect and critic Robin Boyd, particularly of his later designs for larger houses. It is significant as a material expression of Boyd's architectural ideas and writings, which were known internationally at the time. It is significant as an outstanding example of the buildings with designs based on strong structural-functional ideas which were an outstanding feature of Melbourne architecture of the 1950s. It is also significant for its integrity and intactness, of both its structure and the built-in furniture internally.
The Robin Boyd House II is historically significant as the home of nationally and internationally renowned architect and critic Robin Boyd, where he lived between 1957 and 1971.