Domain Park Flats is a 20-storey apartment building located in Melbourne, Australia overlooking the Royal Botanic Gardens. The now iconic residential tower was designed in 1959 and built between 1960-1962 by the practice Grounds, Romberg, Boyd with Robin Boyd being the architect in charge. The practice is no longer in operation.
The apartments are a renowned example of modernist architecture in Australia, with Boyd taking influence from Walter Gropius’s 1957 International Bauausstellung in Berlin. The building uses materials as they were intended with little-to-no ornament. Each apartment has a North-facing balcony, with a mixture of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units on each floor. The floorplate is separated into 2 sections with internal access via 2 lifts. Boyd positioned the apartments on an east/west axis simultaneously taking advantage of the views to the Botanic Gardens on the north and views to Port Philip Bay on the south.
The apartment was the first of its kind in Melbourne and was the tallest residential tower for over a decade after opening. The initial reception to the building was mixed with initial sales being quite slow, locals were opposed to the towers obstruction over the Botanic Gardens. However the apartments started to gain interest and later developed waiting lists.
Each apartment was designed with custom made walnut joinery, a feature that some apartments still have today.
Recognition and Modern context
In 2015, 53 years after completion, the apartments have been recognised by winning the Victorian Chapter Enduring Architecture Awards.
Interest and appeal in the apartments continues today with flat 4.3 selling for $1.2 million (AUD) in 2014.