Sir Roy Burman Grounds
), wasone of Australia
's leading architects of the modern
Melbourne, Grounds was educated at Scotch
College and then Melbourne University and worked for the architectural firm of Blackett,
Forster and Craig. In 1932 he won an award from the Royal Victorian
Institute of Architects (RVIA) and left Melbourne to work in
England and the USA for two years, gaining exposure to contemporary
On his return to Australia, Grounds went into partnership with
Geoffrey Mewton, and they introduced the international style to
Melbourne. Grounds ended this partnership in 1936 and travelled in
England until 1939, when he returned to Australia and worked on
defence buildings during World War
Grounds practised by himself between 1939 and 1942 and designed a
series of houses and flats (including Moonbria, 1940-41) which
established his reputation. After the war, Grounds was involved in
setting up the curriculum for the School of Architecture at
Melbourne University and lectured in design. He resumed his
architectural practice and became interested in formal,
geometrically based designs.
When Grounds, Frederick Romberg
and Robin Boyd
formed their partnership
in 1953 all were well established in Victoria. Each brought
substantial work to the practice and the firm became very
first large commission was for the Australian
Academy of Science in Canberra.
construction of its reinforced
dome was a considerable technical achievement. Opened
in 1959, it won the Meritorious Architecture Award of the Canberra
Area Committee of the RAIA
and the Sulman Award
for Architectural Merit. The Academy building also led to other
work in Canberra, initially for the firm and later Grounds himself.
Grounds opened a Canberra office in the Forrest Townhouses (1959),
which he partly financed.
the firm was awarded the commission to design the National Gallery
of Victoria and Cultural Centre, with Grounds named in the contract as the
architect in charge.
When Boyd and Romberg were mildly
critical of the preliminary geometric designs that Grounds showed
them, relations between the partners became strained.
In 1962 Grounds left the partnership, taking the commission with
him and setting up his own company. Under a building committee
chaired by the philanthropist Kenneth
, he devoted the next twenty years of his life to the
completion of the arts center. His longest-serving architectural
associates throughout this period, which included Monash University
's Robert Blackwood Concert Hall
were Alan Nelson, Fritz Suendermann and Allan Stillman.
gallery was brought in on time and budget, the complicated Yarra River site for the concert hall and theater complex
resulted in building delays and criticism.
Queen Elizabeth II
excavations shortly before his death. Much of the theaters'
interior designs were completed by John
Grounds was awarded the Royal Australian
Institute of Architects Gold Medal
in 1968 and knighted
in the same year. In 1969 he was elected
a life fellow of the RAIA. One of his last great design successes was
Hobart's iconic 18-story octagonal tower that is the main
part of the Wrest Point Hotel Casino complex.
He died in Melbourne in 1981.
Dome, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra (1959)
Building Australian National University, Canberra (1968)
- National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road, Melbourne (1959-68)
- Robert Blackwood Concert Hall, Monash University, Victoria (1971)
- Wrest Point Hotel Casino, Hobart, Tasmania
- Victorian Arts Centre, St Kilda Road, Melbourne (1969-84)
Gallery of works
Image:Shine dome.jpg|Shine Dome, Australian Academy of
Gallery of VictoriaImage:Wrest-Point-Hotel-Casino.jpg|Wrest Point
Hotel Casino, Hobart, Tasmania
- Jennifer Taylor, Australian Architecture Since 1960, RAIA,
- Philip Goad, A Guide to Melbourne Architecture, Sydney,
- Geoffrey Serle, Robin Boyd: A Life, Melbourne, 1995
- Eric Westbrook, Birth of a Gallery, Macmillan Australia,