date of commission:
date of completion:
3 Tahara Rd, Toorak, Victoria
classification / typology:
Residential / Housing (RES)
VicHeritage, National Trust, Register of the Nation Estate
Designed in 1948 by architect J W Rivett, this flat block was in the manner of the 1930’s European and British work of Mendelsohn and Chermayeff, and the English architects E. Maxwell Fry and Connell, Ward and Lucas: it was built by 1951. The contractor was F T Jeffery and the consultant engineers Cyril Hudspeth and Roderick Ross and Traill.
Adopting steel-formed in situ reinforced concrete as the medium, Rivett created a highly successful, if derivative, juxtaposition of curved and rectanguloid forms where functional elements such as stairways are expressed in a plastic manner, as allowed by the structural medium.
A tower block becomes the focus of a gently curving three-storey block which counterpoints the former with strong horizontal emphasis. This is achieved in part by continuous steel pipe balustrading but is linked to it in a visually dynamic manner by a concrete bridge.
(Alterations include the replacement of the timber tower glazing with metal industrial glazing which parallels with the slim metal sections used in balustrading and thus improves the building.
[source: NT Database]