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Roy Grounds

1905 – 1981

Sir Roy Grounds (1905-1981) was one of Australia's leading modernist architects. In 1932, while apprenticed to a Melbourne architectural firm, Grounds won an award that enabled him to travel in England and the USA. Returning to Australia and setting up a partnership in the mid-1930s, he introduced the International Style to Melbourne. After the war, he consolidated his reputation in the city with a series of houses and blocks of flats, the latter amongst the city's earliest. During this period he was involved with curriculum development for the School of Architecture at Melbourne University, at which he subsequently took a degree himself and at which he lectured in design. In 1953 Grounds entered into partnership with other leading Victorian architects Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd. Three years later the firm won the competition to design the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra. Grounds was the sole architect of the Sulman award-winning landmark (soon nicknamed the Martian Embassy) which was completed in 1959 at a total cost of £260 000 including furnishings, fittings and landscaping. That year Grounds Romberg and Boyd won the commission to design the National Gallery of Victoria and Cultural Centre, with Grounds in charge. In 1962, when the partnership was dissolved, Grounds took the commission with him; he was to spend the next twenty years on the project. Grounds was awarded the RAIA gold medal in 1968 and knighted the same year. In 1969 he was made a life fellow of the RAIA.

Updated 2018