Robin Boyd was one of Australia’s most influential architects, an advocate for brilliant design and a champion of innovation in architecture. Now Dado, the film society of the Robin Boyd Foundation, is holding monthly film nights in the lounge room of Walsh Street House, his best-known work.
These screenings are a rare chance to get inside the iconic South Yarra house, which Boyd designed for his family. It was built in 1958, and today it’s unchanged – a time capsule of ’50s and ’60s Melbourne living, filled with furniture by Grant Featherston, Clement Meadmore and other modernist masters.
The first screening of the 2019 season premieres two fascinating documentaries on 20th-century architectural landmarks now facing their final days.
The Disappearance of Robin Hood is about the decline of East London brutalist council housing estate Robin Hood Gardens, which in the late 1960s represented a new frontier in urban living. Fifty years on, in 2018, things have changed and demolition looms. This meditative documentary looks as much at the estate’s community as it does the history of the building.
The second film on the bill, Off Season, takes us to Slovakia to another endangered building. Machnáč was once a popular sanatorium, one of many in former Czechoslovakia. Now it’s an abandoned, crumbling and endangered example of European functionalist architecture. This film captures it before it disappears forever.
Each session costs $20 and screenings are accompanied by guest speakers. Wine is available by the glass for a gold coin donation. The screenings will run monthly until September.
The Disappearance of Robin Hood and Off Season will screen at 290 Walsh Street, South Yarra on April 16.