Roy Burman Grounds was an Australian architect born on 18 December 1905 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia at St. Kilda. Sir Roy was one of the Australia’s famous and leading architect at that time. He built Academy’s first building and after the five years of completion of the building, the Academy building became the meeting place for fellowship venture. Academy’s architectural distinction enhanced its pride.
Roy Grounds completed his secondary education from the Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne. Before this, he attended many schools at Melbourne. His graduation degree was completed from the Scotch College. In 1927-28, at Brighton Technical school, Roy took night classes. He developed his interest in Bauhaus and modern architectural designs. He also attended the Melbourn University Architectural Atelier during the same year.
Roy found difficulty in searching employment and eventually he started doing work with his brother, Haslett. He also joined the architectural firm of Foster, Blackett, and Craig. Royal Victorian Institute of Architects awarded him in 1928. He won this prize for his innovative and fresh ‘Architectural Style’. In 1932, he was also awarded for his contemporary architectural developments in England and United States. Roy Grounds met Virginia Lammers, née Marr, an American divorcee, and married with her at the office of Los Angeles registrar.
Grounds returned to Australia and make partnership firm with Geoffrey Mewton. They both work on making Melbourne architecture modern and by the time they succeed to introduce the international style to Melbourne. They ended their partnership in 1936 and Roy traveled to England, he worked there, until 1939. In1939-1941, Roy Grounds designed four apartments building in Toorak, which attracted the attention of over Australia and all the world.
Roy designed Clendon and Clarendon Corner were stylish and graceful in stripped neo-Georgian mode, open plans, mews paving and with flat roofs. He built Moonbria and Quamby which clearly reflects the Californian citation in their lanai sundecks and terraces. All projects were completed with the company of Robin Boyd, as Boyd saw him as the essential partner for building up ‘modern house’ in Australia.
Roy was registered as an architect in 1940. He also served himself and finish as the temporary flight lieutenant in the Royal Australian Air Force, there he did work and camouflage duties in the South-West Pacific Area, on 21 February 1942. In May 1945, Roys’ appointment was canceled and at Mount Eliza, he took orcharding, then he started dairy farming at Buxton, in north Melbourne.
During World War II, Roy worked on Department of Defence building. During 1939- 1942, Roy started practicing by himself and designed so many flats and houses, which help him to earn and established a reputation. After the war ended, Roy quit his architectural practice and engages in the formulating curriculum for the School of Architecture at Melbourne University. He started giving a lecture based on architectural designs. After resuming his practice, Roy became interested in geometrical and formal-based designs.
At the University of Melbourne, Grounds became the senior lecturer in the faculty of architecture during 1951-53. As he was retained to be in private practice, he undertook 35 projects in the following next six years. His modern and traditional architectural style as well as geometric form of style, help him to gain great reputation all over the world. A triangular design, Leyser House at Kew built in 1950-51 and a circular design, Henty house at Frankston built in 1951-52 are the major notable work. He won a prize for his own: circular courtyard having a set of rooms dividing within a square perimeter and three adjacent flats.
With the collaboration with his university colleagues Fredrick and Robin Boyd in 1953, they designed some ultimate modern buildings in Australia for over the eight years. As he was working on the different projects at Toorak, Brighton, and Mount Eliza, he mainly concentrated on the large projects. In 1955, he designed Alcorso’s first circular house and second in 1965. He had also designed for Claudio Alcorso’s Silk and Textile Printers Ltd. a workers’ village at Glenorchy, Tasmania, in 1957-58.
Roy’s first Commission for the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra, a concrete dome, won Canberra Area Committees’ Meritorious Architecture Award of the Royal Australian Architect (RAIA) and Sulman Award for Architectural Merit. Later, at the Forrest Townhouses, Grounds opened the Canberra Office by himself in 1959. For this, Grounds was awarded as the architect in charge of designing the National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre.
Roy had designed lodges for masters and vice masters for the Ormond College, University of Melbourne, in 1962. Grounds was continuously gaining commission for large projects and houses. In 1976, he designed George Street cinema Complex in Sydney, a spectacular Blackwood Hall having rose window at Monash University in 1971 and in 1973, he designed Wrest Point Cassino and hotel complex at Hobart, it was the first biggest this type building in Australia.
Roy Grounds was elected as the life fellow of the Royal Institute of Australian Architect in 1969. At the Moorilla Estate, an innovative Roy plan for the library was completed in 2010.
In 1957, Currawong Ski Lodge at Thredbo.
In 1968, Botany Building Australian National University, at Canberra.
At St. Kilda Road, Art School – National Gallery.
In 1971, Robert Blackwood Hall, at Monash University.
1959- Shine Dome, at Australian Academy of Science in Canberra.
In 1971, Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement and Folk Museum, at Victoria.
In the 1970s, Myer And Nicholas's families home at Toorak in Melbourne.
1969-84, Arts Centre Melbourne at St. Kilda Road in Melbourne.
RAIA Gold Medal in 1968.
Sulman Award for Architectural Merit in 1959.
RAIA Meritorious Architecture Award in 1959.
Victorian Architectural Medal for his own house in 1954.
Winning Entry in Royal Victorian Institute of Architects in 1928.
Knighted in 1969 by Queen Elizabeth II.
Sir Roy Burman Grounds died on 2 March in 1981 at Parkville, Melbourne. He was modern as well as traditional Australian architecture. As a social active personality, he likes to be sociable in discussion groups and in clubs, like Melbourne Club, he also appreciates the Halftime Club where Melbourne’s architects and students emerge together. He has two children, a younger daughter, and a son, from the first marriage. He also had a daughter who died in early age.