Ahhh Warrandyte you’ve done it again! Just when I was thinking to include more houses on Isiiad (particularly after the experience of Lascelles), I saw an ad for the Robin Boyd Foundation’s Open Houses in Warrandyte. So on a cloudy, wet Warrandyte day last Sunday, I joined around 500 others and visited five houses designed by Robin Boyd, plus his family home called The Robins, designed and built by his father Penleigh Boyd. Robin Boyd lived in this home until 1922.
Each house offered it’s own undeniable delights. The approach to The Robins had me fumbling for my camera. You can understand Robin’s later preoccupation with “The Australian Ugliness” when he grew up in such an exquisitely beautiful environment.
The Robins looks like it would be very comfortable in the English countryside but this arched entry and inside the enormous arched windows, provide views of the garden and bring the Australian environment inside.
For another reason altogether, my next Boyd ‘stopoff’ proved to be worth the walk up the steep drive. Owner Ann Knox- Arnold was playing a beautiful piece- “Lotus Land” by Cyril Scott, which rang through every room.
Later, she clearly enjoyed reminiscing about her collaboration with Robin Boyd and particularly how efficiently he managed the design and build of her house. The Yarra River upstream of Isiiad was immediately evident from the wide balcony off the living area. As with all of Boyd’s houses this one was designed with the site and the client’s needs as paramount. So the music room and the Yarra River feature within the plan. Given that the original house on this site was burnt down due to bushfire, Robin Boyds design specified that all external posts and beams be steel. Galvanised ribbed steel sheeting is used on the roof and walls.
The house is built on two levels. The access to each level is via an undercover rock garden.
Two other houses on the day tweeked my interest. Happily, I have made arrangements with one of them for an interior photo shoot later this week. Understandably, photography was not permitted inside the houses on the day. All being well, I should be able to bring you that one next week. It’s a stunner…I’m in love.