What is significant? The Wright House, designed by Robin Boyd, and constructed in 1962, was built for James and Joyce Wright, commercial artists. It was the second house designed and built by Boyd for the Wrights on this site: the original house, built in 1951, was destroyed by fire. Two remnant stone walls from the original house were incorporated into the existing structure.
The house, constructed on an undulating site with views of the Yarra Valley, was designed to incorporate a studio/ workroom for the owners, and separation between work and living zones was achieved using fibreglass screens that retract into cavity walls around the sky-lighted central kitchen. The lower ground floor comprises a living room which is a two storey high void space, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a cellar, while the upper floor plan incorporates master bedroom, walk-in-robe, ensuite, sewing room, laundry, kitchen, studio and dining and living areas overlooking the lower level living area.
The house has a strong Japanese sensibility, largely as a result of the Wright's travels to Japan in the 1950s and Boyd's own interest in Japanese architecture.
How is it significant? The Wright House is significant for architectural, historic and technical reasons at the State level.
Why is it significant? The Wright House is architecturally significant as a rare surviving and remarkably intact example of a project displaying Boyd's interest in aspects of Japanese architecture, seen externally in the use of expressed structure and infill panels, and the overarching roof supported by regularly spaced posts, and internally, through the use of visible timber, sliding retractable screens and rough unfinished textures.
The house is technically significant as an unusual example of a building incorporating measures against destruction by bushfires, as evidenced by the use of steel for the external structure, cladding panels and roof deck.
This building is historically significant as one of the most interesting works of Robin Boyd, Australia's foremost architect of the 1950s and 1960s, and a prominent architectural critic and writer.