“My life is my work and my work is my life…it has always been that way.” – Peter McIntyre.
We are extremely privileged to announce Peter McIntyre as our final panellist for our May 17th National Trust Heritage Festival event.
Peter is a survivor of Melbourne’s great modernist era, and close to ninety, still continues to work and thrive in his riverside dominion on the tranquil riverside slopes of the McIntyre property in Kew. It’s here that McIntyre and his wife Dione have called home for seventy years. A true modernist, he has availed himself of the latest technologies – and there is no evidence of him slowing down.
OUR PANELIST, Peter McIntyre.
Peter has lived to see his amazing body of work celebrated by a new generation of young designers and architects who have rediscovered Australian modernism and are keen to understand its underlying principles.
By 1952, at twenty-four years of age, he was on the team that won the major competition to design the 1956 Melbourne Olympic swimming pool. This prestigious project established his reputation and paid for his iconic River House.
In 1953, he and his new wife, Dionne, moved out of the caravan by the river and into the geometric A frame structure hovering on the steep embankment, a radical spectacle of modernist design and colour. Inside, the break-up of geometric spaces is accentuated with the strong red and yellow wall panels. A spiral staircase winds up through the centre, an elegant functional solution suggestive of a bird taking flight. The house was described by New York Vogue 1956 as “uplifting and full of musicality… like some exotic Bird of Paradise perched high on the densely wooded bank.”
Peter knows Melbourne inside out – its history, personalities and its institutions. He is particularly proud of his James Barrett Memorial Medal (1974) for his leadership in convening an international working party to develop the Melbourne Strategy Plan for the Melbourne City Council. It paved the way for more intelligent and flexible land use and development. Similarly, the Sir Zelman Cowen Medal (1986) recognised his ground-breaking design of the Dinner Plain Alpine Village, a milestone that set new planning standards for all Australian alpine developments.
He’s gained critical acclaim for architectural design throughout his career including the Sir Zelman Cowen Medal for his Parliament Station in Melbourne’s underground and his treasured Robin Boyd Medal in 1983 for the family holiday home ‘Seahouse’ on the Mornington Peninsula which he claims as his best residential design. In 2013 the Institute of Architects awarded his Tudor Centre Library at his beloved alma mater Trinity Grammar School.
His contribution to the University of Melbourne Department of Architecture as Associate Professor and then Chair, is regarded as pivotal to its revival in the 1990’s and his contribution to competition juries, committees and boards attest to a man completely dedicated to his profession. To this day he still pays homage to his life-long mentor by actively supporting the Robin Boyd Foundation.