Historical information

This Japanese journal features a photographic article on Boyd's Walsh Street home. It was written by a Japanese architecture student who visited Walsh Street with a group of 6 such students in 1961. A translation of the text follows.
"An Architect’s House in Melbourne, Australia
Author: Tamon Okubo

This house was built by architect Robin Boyd as an experimental work. Although in a residential area of Melbourne, the site is a 40 x 126 ft rectangle in a corner of a former park with high rise buildings on either side.

Due to its location, the design focuses on protecting the privacy of the house from the outside and on the composition of the interior space, creating a somehow introverted plan. However, the interior is not completely closed from the outside; it is cleverly designed to provide both views of the rooves of nearby houses as well as the mountains in the distance.

Firstly, the couple’s room and the children’s rooms are in separate buildings. These two independent structures are connected by a courtyard. The ceiling of the courtyard is partly open, so one can look out from the second-floor terrace of the couple’s room. The walls on both sides of the courtyard are of opaque glass to ensure privacy from outside.

In both buildings brick walls with three-inch steel pipe inserted into the brick cavities form the structure and separate each room. The roof is connected to pairs of 3/4-inch thick cables, spaced four feet apart, attached to the brick walls of both buildings and supported by wooden posts that separate the glass panels in the rooms. The cables are not tightly strung together but are loosely suspended from the front structure, where the entrance is, to the rear one. The upper cable in the courtyard is covered with vine.

The materials used are insulation board for the roof, raw timber for the structural materials, native jarrah for the timber sections of the interior walls and white eucalyptus for the joints.

Robin Boyd – A Brief Personal History

1919 Born in Melbourne, Australia

1947 As an architect, was the first director of the Small Homes Service, a public housing research institute established to provide homes for needy Australians.

1960 Wins the American Institute Architects Prize (the Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange, was awarded the same prize in 1959). In the same year he was elected an honorary member of the Institute.

Mr Robin Boyd is currently writing a book on the history of Australian architecture, The Walls Around Us, as well as a book on Kenzo Tange. He is a frequent visitor to Japan to exchange ideas with Japanese architects and is quite a Japanophile. "

Physical description

This is a photocopy of the article from Japan Interior Design No 17. Pages 4-5 are glued together, and pages 6-7 are glued together, p8 p9, p10 are separate.

Inscriptions & markings

There is writing on it (not Robin Boyd's hand). Geoffrey Serle, Robin Boyd's biographer, may have given it to Patricia Boyd.