Newburn Flats, Frederick Romberg bringing Euro Modern to Melbs, 1939-41.

#NewburnFlats in #QueensRoadSouthMelbourne were built in 1939-41, and was prob the most high-profile announcement of the arrival of European #Modernist multi-level living in #Melbourne – which is no surprise since it was designed by recently arrived German background Swiss trained architect #FrederickRomberg, who was also the developer, so he could do what he liked (almost). He’d arrived only the year before, aged 26, and built this and two other Modernist apartment developments when in partnership with #MaryTurnerShaw, one of Melbourne’s few female architects, who had worked at Stephenson Turner where Romberg got a job straight off the boat. These are the zippyest of all the early Modernist flats (others were by #RoyGrounds) with all flats angled towards the #AlbertPark across the (very busy) road, though really they face the large side garden, through huge windows with very thin #steelframes, also zippy. Found a photo from just after finished with that rooftop pergola which was soon infilled to become Romberg’s office. Nice place to work ! One of the earliest Modernist places added to the #VictorianHeritageRegister way back in 1984.

You can clearly see how #NewburnFlats in #QueensRoadSouthMelbourne was built, back in 1939, entirely in #reinforcedconcrete, using 600mm square metal panels, making a nice wonky grid pattern, and #corrigatediron for the crinkly balcony edges. #FrederickRomberg being very inventive. Apparently the window frames had ‘blue and yellow highlights’ wonder where or what, would have been more #Bauhaus/#DeStijl, only colour left is the front door. The place is being repaired and restored right now, the garden and fence just done, rear chequerboard garage doors reinstated, repainting next, and reinstate the yellow canvas blinds !

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