Behind The Listing: Boyd Baker House
There are few opportunities to own a piece of Victoria’s mid-century architectural history, let alone a Robin Boyd residence. The Boyd Baker House located in Long Forest is currently on the market and offers up an opportunity to own a heritage-listed mid-century gem by one of Australia’s most influential architects.
Here, we go behind the listing and speak to the vendors about what makes this home so special.
The Boyd Baker house, located in Long Forest, Victoria, was named after architect Robin Boyd and its original owner Dr Michael Baker (a mathematician). The house was devised through a mutual love and understanding of geometric calculations and is now listed as one of Australia’s most iconic residential properties.
Set amongst beautiful native bushland, the 35-acre property holds a collection of three dwellings; the main house, a smaller ‘Dower House’ and the ‘Sir Roy Grounds Library’, which was designed by Roy Grounds and built to house Michael’s large collection of books.
Whilst originally the construction was planned in concrete, the house instead was made with locally quarried stone from Bacchus Marsh. As with all of Boyd’s projects, the materials are warm and robust. These tough and low maintenance materials further reflect the conditions of the surrounding Australian bushland on the block.
We sat down with current owners Peter & Mary to discuss the proud history of their property.
You purchased the Boyd Baker House and the two additional dwellings on the land in 2006, what was the key driver in your purchase?
"The Boyd Baker House, together with the Dower House designed by Robin Boyd and the library designed by Sir Roy Grounds which sits on the property were purchased by us in 2006. The key drivers in the purchase was the absolute awe we had for the organically designed buildings and what we perceived was their perfect setting amongst the Australian native bush. We saw them as fantastic getaway from Melbourne, a resting on the eye and the soul."
Tell us about your first impressions?
"A unique memory from the first time we visited the Boyd Baker House, before we purchased it, was that these buildings needed to be preserved and celebrated as part of the Australian milieu. They were breathtaking in their juxtaposition amongst the native flora."
The dwellings are some of the most iconic examples of Robin Boyd architecture in Australia, what legacy do you think the mid-century designer leaves in his buildings?
"These buildings were given birth by the thought processes of Robin Boyd who understood that this country needed to create structures sympathetic to the surrounding flora and fauna and the weather conditions. It is not surprising that he surrounded the buildings with proper functional water storage tanks dressed in locally quarried stone and created spaces to be cool in summer and warm in winter. Sir Roy Grounds followed suit with the design of the library, a very functional space for the owner Dr Baker, who commissioned the building of the structures. The library was used by him for the storage of his extensive library but also as an art studio where he could retreat to express his creativity."
What are three words you would use to describe the property?
Sublime, Unique, Spectacular.