Robin Boyd designed Walsh Street for his family in 1957. As an exemplar of Australian modernist architecture, this iconic residence continues to influence design thinking today.

Boyd used Walsh Street as an opportunity to reject domestic conventions and contribute a house of programmatic and technical innovation and mastery. The residence consists of two open-plan pavilions unified by a glazed internal courtyard garden. Boyd employed an innovative tension roof structure of six steel cables suspended from two large I beams at the front and back of the house. Beneath this sweeping canopy, the master bedroom occupies a dramatic mezzanine and doubles as a living area. The design affords a high degree of flexibility for modern entertaining and the varying degrees of privacy necessary for day-to-day family life.

The house remains unchanged from the time it was first designed and occupied by the Boyd Family in 1959. Walsh Street is furnished with pieces designed by Boyd, Grant and Mary Featherston, BKF (butterfly chairs), Maruni60, Thonet and Bertoia. Adorning the walls are works by Asher Bilu, Arthur Boyd, Dorothy Braund, Kevin Connor, Don Laycock, and Tony Woods. The residence provides a unique insight into local and international design and art leaders of the 50s and 60s.

Walsh Street was the winning nomination for the RAIA (Victoria) 25 year Award in July 2006, and also the winner of the National 25 year Award, announced in October 2006.

Today, Walsh Street is the home of the Robin Boyd Foundation. It provides a unique setting for the Foundation’s public programs that promote good design and explore the enduring legacy of Robin Boyd. The residence is also available as a venue for hire. For those unable to join us onsite, we encourage you to explore our Walsh Street 3D tour and Walsh Street Archive.

Walsh Street, along with Rose Seidler House, Sydney, are the two Australian representatives of the Iconic Houses Network, which connects global architecturally significant houses and artists’ homes and studios from the 20th century that are open to the public as house museum.

Images: Walsh Street/Boyd House II. 1959. Photographer Mark Strizic. 2019. Photographer John Gollings AM.
Image: Walsh Street/Boyd House II plans.


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