Congratulations James Urlini winner of The Walls Around Us Student Competition!

James is a Master of Architecture student at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. As the winner, he will head to Venice for the Biennale Architettura Vernissage 2023!

“James’ entry ‘House in a Grassy Plain’ is a highly sensitive scheme and is outstanding for its understanding of the Walsh Street site – its limits and opportunities. The retention of Walsh Street’s ground plane and its materials have been retained and integrated with an entirely new ten-room linear duplex featuring a planting and water collection system. This innovative, understated and elegant design includes bricks, new and old, as part of its compelling message,” says Jury Chair Prof Philip Goad.

The jury awarded three high commendations, including ‘Ordinary Inside and In-between’ by Fynn Turley – a provocatively prosaic entry, daring future homeowners to live with less and experience the elements and the landscape as ‘enough’. Jonas Nutter’s ‘Walsh Street Terrace’ provided a pair of generously planned townhouses that challenged Boyd’s faith in material truths and the singular ‘idea’. ‘Weelam-ik’ by Rebecca Andre, provided a radical reimagining of the site as a submerged living place, the entry deeply engaged with its ground and its long history of occupation; the design proposed the return of the site to a garden featuring an indigenous and productive garden combined with brick retaining walls that create dark sleeping spaces and a central, open-air shared cooking, dining and living area.

The inaugural competition invited students to reimagine the site of Melbourne’s most iconic modernist residence while tackling contemporary concerns. Entries were received from undergraduate and masters students studying at 11 universities around Australia.

Shortlist Exhibition
9 – 15 March
Brickworks Design Studio
367 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000
9 am – 5 pm daily
Closed weekends and public holidays.

Some of the most interesting buildings are architects’ own homes.
Robin Boyd made a beautiful and experimental home Boyd House II/Walsh Street for his family in South Yarra.
Boyd tested things.
There were very different issues and concerns in 1957, and the world is not the same in 2022. No doubt Boyd would design something different if he was alive today. This competition asks you to reflect on the interests and ideas of Boyd and his contribution to architecture through the lens of his own home.
We ask you to consider ‘the walls around us’ and design a new way to live on this site.
We invite you to consider a proposition that speaks to our immediate concerns as a society, and we ask you that your design principally uses brickwork or blockwork in a way that demonstrates the unique qualities and possibilities of these materials.
Participants are invited to submit their designs for a reimagined development of the Boyd House II/Walsh Street site at 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra VIC 3141. Entries must:
– Design a place to live.
– Demonstrate an exploration into the ideas and interests of Robin Boyd.
– Demonstrate an understanding of the experimental vision of Boyd House II/Walsh Street.
– Respond to the site and context of 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra VIC 3141.
– Incorporate a proposition relating to one or more of: Sustainability; Reuse/repair/reimagine; Caring for Country; Housing Affordability; Increased density.
– Be a minimum of two dwellings (there is no maximum).
– Be a maximum of three storeys.
– Should principally be constructed of brickwork or blockwork demonstrating the unique qualities and possibilities of the materials.
The Jury will assess the merit of each Entry against the following Criteria:
1. Engagement with the ideas, vision, theories and research of Robin Boyd with particular focus on the Boyd House II/Walsh Street residence.
2. A proposal which provides a response to environmental, economic, social, and cultural issues through architecture.
3. Understanding and creative use of material qualities and possibilities provided by brickwork and blockwork.
4. A creative and viable response to the site and context of 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra VIC 3141.
5. Presentation, clarity and quality of graphics, text and submitted materials.
Stage 1 KEY DATES:
Entries open Friday 14 October 2022 9 am AEST
Entries close Monday 30 January 2023 4 pm AEST
Stage 2 KEY DATES (indicative):
Review by Jury February 2023
Winner announcement March 9 2023
The Competition key dates are subject to change by the Organisers.
– Return economy airfare to attend the Biennale Architettura 2023.
– Vernissage and Brickworks Austral Bar pass.
Eve Castle (QLD)
National Business Development Manager, Brickworks Building Products
Prof Philip Goad (VIC)
Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Chair of Architecture, University of Melbourne
Director, Robin Boyd Foundation
Simon Pendal PhD FRAIA (WA)
Principal, Simon Pendal Architect
Senior Lecturer, Architecture, School of Arts and Sciences, Fremantle, The University of Notre Dame Australia
The Walls Around Us Student Competition is open Australia wide to students enrolled in an architecture course in the 2022 year. Both under-graduate and masters students are eligible to enter. Please refer to the Conditions of Entry.
Josephine Briginshaw
Engagement Manager
Robin Boyd Foundation
Presented by the Robin Boyd Foundation and the Boyd Circle The Walls Around Us Student Competition is generously Sponsored by Brickworks Building Products.

Exhibition partner: Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, individuals can book to attend our public Guided Tours.
Hosted by Robin Boyd Foundation volunteer guides, the tour presentation lasts approximately 45 minutes and is followed by an opportunity to explore the house, ask questions and take photos.
Our usual rate for this is $28 per student.
Find out more and book your ticket HERE.
Guided Tours for university or private groups are available at request.
University and private groups can also opt to book a 20-minute site visit for which there will be no charge.
Guided Tour / Site Visit Enquiries:
Josephine Briginshaw
Engagement Manager
Robin Boyd Foundation

No, The Walls Around Us Student Competition is open only to individuals.

Imagine that the current house was never constructed and the site is empty, awaiting your new proposal.

The competition will be judged on only the content of the A2 project panels noted in the Support Materials, no physical submissions (including models) will be accepted. We would however love to see some photographs of your models or 3D renders embedded within the panel submission.

Please direct all further queries to:
Josephine Briginshaw
Engagement Manager
Robin Boyd Foundation

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