With an entrance garden, central courtyard, succulent garden, and side gardens Spring is in full bloom at Roy Grounds garden-cetric design icon.
On the 30th June 2017, 'Moonbria's' longest and revered resident Lesley Wheeler passed away.
She resided at unit 16 on the top floor for over 25 years, and passed away at the ripe old age of 93.
She adored this buildings form and function, and as a Royal Botanical botanist took great pride in planting most of Moonbria's gardens, adhering to the design philosophy Roy Grounds envisaged.
This was the last pot stand she planted out, in the hot summer of 2013/2014.
Thank you Lesley.
Its stands, as you stood. Proudly and honorably in your memory.
Away from the maddening crowds of Moomba, 'Moonbria' residents retreat to the gloriously designed wide balconies, that encourage this unique Moonbria community.
Its quality time and design that matters most.
Chin Chin Mr Grounds!
With over a 120 unique visitors a week, and a range topping 900 pages consumed our 'Moonbria' website is proving to be a terrific and valuable source to the world of Roy Grounds and the Moderne movement in general.
Students, architects and "Kinfolk-ians' are gaining a unique and well informed insight into the building from the people who know it and live in it daily.
Thanks for your support and your congratulatory comments and emails.
Moonbria's rear stairwell received some new LED lighting across all its three distinct levels.
The rear stairwell is slightly wider than the front foyer stairwell, allowing for easier access for furniture and trades people alike.
The noticeable change in lighting configuration was particularity evident at night, with the building's trademark curves taking on a whole new ambience.
This completes the buildings LED integration program with both stairwells now having been updated to the the more efficient LED platform.
There was a breathless sense of ‘the future is now’ in November 1941, when the Moonbria apartments were first advertised in the Argus newspaper:
Flat seekers! Here is the complete answer to modern living: MOONBRIA.
Compact living units:
Representing a new departure in flat living, Moonbria will instantly appeal to the flat dweller seeking something really modern and different. Special features include electric elevator, concealed kitchens, writing desks, cupboards and even beds, all of which spring from obscurity at a touch of the hand.
It pains us to say that if we were announcing Moonbria’s grand opening today, we’d have to strike out the mention of free hot water, resident caretaker, incinerator chute and free refrigeration – and labour-free kitchens remains open to interpretation. But the words novel, compact and modern remain as accurate today as they were 75 years ago.
Rather than listing the modern amenities, today’s real estate ads tend to highlight Moonbria’s superb location, just a few minutes’ leisurely stroll from the boutiques and cafes of Toorak Village. Other oft-used words in the lexicon of modern-day copywriters include lifestyle, easy-care, practical and low-maintenance. The canniest agents target their market by mentioning Sir Roy Grounds’ suitably groundbreaking design, inaccurately throwing in the term art deco rather than modernist.
As the high-rise cranes dotting the streets attest, and the air resonates with the judder of demolition crews and pile drivers preparing the way for apartment block elevator shafts and car parks, character is disappearing from our streets. Apartment buildings are increasingly faceless complexes and mini cities, with South Yarra set to join Docklands as an apartment hellhole, where the shadow of a designer let alone architect seems barely to have graced the blueprints.
The Better Apartments project managed by the mellifluously acronymic DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) and OVGA (Office of the Victorian Government Architect) is responding to the apparent dwindling of design standards since the days of Moonbria’s birth, understatedly noting that 'the lack of standard requirements for internal apartment amenity has resulted in some poor designs and inadequate long-term living environments'. Their consultative group of apartment dwellers has ranged the following as most important when pondering design standards: daylight, space, natural ventilation, noise, energy & resources. To which we’d add beauty, style and flair.
As Professor Michael Buxton from RMIT said so succinctly: ‘Heritage becomes incredibly important for liveability. If you pull down a highly valued heritage city and turn it into a city full of tiny apartments nobody in the city actually wants, it won’t cater to people in the city. If you replace a high amenity heritage city with a low amenity city with high rise canyons then that will reduce the liveability of the city dramatically and alienate a large number of people.’
And as a recent advertisement for a highly sought-after Moonbria apartment put it: ‘In a block that's quirky, retro and utterly unique, here's a studio apartment with a bundle of personality’.
"To shape buildings this is real architecture" -Roy Burman Grounds 1905 - 1981