Robin Boyd’s first home goes to Committee hearing on Heritage Status

Following a challenge to its heritage status, one of Robin Boyd’s earliest works, and the first home he designed for his family at 666 Riversdale Road, Camberwell, will go to a hearing in early 2021 to determine its fate.

Built shortly after World War II, and classified by the National Trust as a place of state significance in 1987, 666 Riversdale Road is significant in its existence as a home owned and occupied by Boyd and his family for a period of twelve years, and included staged renovations, prior to the construction of his more well-known family home on Walsh Street, South Yarra.

Added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1991, an application was made to the Heritage Council of Victoria in 2019 to have it struck off the register, citing a dispute of the uniqueness of the house on the grounds that Boyd’s Walsh Street house is more well-known.

666 Riversdale Road Exterior

The house is of architectural significance in that it demonstrates innovative design with regard to response to site, informality in planning, flowing spatial arrangements, innovative use of materials and incorporation of built-in features.

Heritage Victoria Executive Director, Steven Avery

Heritage Victoria filed a report in July 2020 responding to this application, rejecting the application and suggestion to remove the house from the register. The report opines that although this was not the earliest known house designed by Boyd, and indeed is less well-known than Walsh Street, it sits in a framework of contextually unconventional residential architecture, and is a prime example of early modernist housing in Melbourne suburbia.

The hearing will take place in early 2021, on a date to be determined.

Header Image Credit : Mark Strizic, State Library of Victoria
Intext Image Credit : Mark Strizic, State Library of Victoria