Boyd Baker House Australia’s Most Important Post War Building

Boydbaker house 1

Dr Michael Baker, a mathematician, demanded very particular mathematical and geometric rules. He had discovered the area of Long Forest near Bacchus Marsh, which was dense, untouched bush at the time. He commissioned Robin Boyd to build his home there in 1966. Both men were visionaries and the resulting property Boyd Baker House has been called ‘One of Australia’s most important Post War buildings’ by Melbourne University’s Professor of Architecture, Mr Phillip Goad. Robin Boyd is one of the foremost proponents of the ‘International Modern Movement’ in Australian Architecture. Dr Baker said “For Robin Boyd it was not just another project. He treated it as a masterpiece”.

Robin’s book ‘The Australian Ugliness’, published in 1960, is a critique of Australian Architecture in suburbia and the lack of a uniform architectural goal. He is the younger son of painter Penleigh Boyd and first cousin of the renowned Australian painter, Arthur Boyd. Dr. Baker was before his time, demanding a plan of the house prior to approving the build.

Boydbaker house plans

Michael Baker decided against a large English garden, saying “The flora and fauna of the bush are tied up together, they cannot be separated and each relies upon the other.  The koalas, possums, bull ants species, many small birds and the wallabies all rely on the delicate, struggling foliage of the mally trees and their under story for survival.  The relationship is age old, delicate and all too important to upset.” Thus trees that obstructed the views were never cleared with the house being the only manmade thing to disturb the calm of the bush.

Boydbaker house with trees

The roof became a low pyramid, 27.5 metres square over symmetrically curved stone walls linked by straight window walls.  The water tanks became stone cylinders supporting the edge of the roof.  Service rooms and children’s sleeping cubicles formed an inner ring around the court. The stone was quarried locally in Bacchus Marsh, floors were polished concrete and the roof was thatched.

Boydbaker house ext

In 1967 Rosemary and Michael Baker’s family had expanded to five children, all being home schooled, so they decided that they needed another house. Robin Boyd was once again commissioned as architect for the new dwelling, called the Boyd Dower House. By then the local quarry in Bacchus Marsh had closed down and Dr Baker started quarrying sandstone on site. He tells a story that he and his family and friends would busily quarry the stone by hand and cart it up the huge hill towards the Dower House ready for the builders to turn up on Monday.

Boydbaker house lounge

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WELL Is The New Focus Of Building Design

Indoor Park 480 Queen St Brisbane

Indoor Park 480 Queen St Brisbane

Wellness and the health of occupants in building spaces is now one of the growing focusses for building practice around the world.  The launch of the Wellbeing standard by the International Well Building Institute last year has been well received around the world and an office building at 480 Queen Street, Brisbane is an example of the type of innovative practice that a WELL build incorporates. From a roof top tree grove that offers spectacular views and a conveniently located green space for its occupants to a 1,400 square metre in-building park that spans workspace and environment to activity-based open area workspaces that encourage mingling and collaboration,  this building is a market leader in energy efficiency, environmental performance and support for human health.

Currently the WELL Building Standard v1 is applicable to commercial and institutional office buildings, but IWBI has pilot versions of the standard that can be applied to new building sectors.

The introduction of The Finishing Touch Planter Box range, using the same manufacturing processes as their architectural decorative mouldings, couldn’t come at a better time, with this growing focus on healthy buildings. Plants of course have long been known to create a better air environment, one of the first principles of the WELL standard.  With lightweight Planter boxes plants can be placed inside or outside and easily moved to catch the light with the change of seasons.

Finishing Touch Planter Boxes

Finishing Touch Planter Boxes

Clustering of plants to create mini forests is elegantly achieved using the different sized Planter Boxes.  Continuity of style is achieved with Planter Boxes available in the design style to complement the style of the building. Gorgeous inside-outside living spaces, healthy buildings and style integrity is on the doorstep with the Finishing Touch Planter Box range on sale in September 2016.