Avenue Court


64 Victoria Avenue,, ALBERT PARK VIC 3206 - Property No B7295

File Number




Statement of Significance

What is significant? 'Avenue Court' was designed by the prominent Victorian architect, Illiffe Gordon Anderson in 1934. It is an early example of the introduction of a 'radical change' in residential architecture known as 'Functionalism', resulting from the perceived influence of European modernism. This is evidenced from an architectural critique in The Age newspaper in May 1934 which speaks enthusiastically about how "deeply the machine era is impressing itself on residential work".
The building is a three storey block of nine residential flats built as three somewhat separate blocks of three flats each. There is a central open court that provides access to the rear flats, and the stairs at each end are open. It is a brick building, with a rendered front section. The facade features unusual overlapping curved balcony/planter box and sun hood elements, integrated with the stair landings at the front, contrasted by a vertical rib. The notable wrought iron balustrading features horizontal bars accented with short sections of flat bars on the vertical supports, a motif carried onto the front fence and gate. The building remains remarkably as originally designed, retaining all original external decorative elements, and is in good condition. It has been in continuous occupation since 1935.
How is it significant? The block of residential flats at 64 Victoria Avenue designed by I.G. Anderson is significant for aesthetic reasons at a State level.
Why is it significant? The 'Avenue Court' flats are significant as one of the earliest examples in Victoria of an influence on residential architecture of the style known as European 'Functionalism'. The design of the building is aesthetically very successful, combining horizontal and vertical elements in an elegant, asymmetrical composition which results in a vibrant interplay of light and shade. Consideration of privacy, ventilation and circulation were a major feature of the plan, which made excellent use of a restricted site and provided for all 'modern' amenities. The strong separation of the flats from each other is a notable feature of the design, as is the distinctive ironwork. A more light-hearted element in the form of a 'look-out' tower was incorporated in the design.
Stylistically, 'Avenue Court' marks the beginning of a significant change in the work of the prominent Victorian architect, I.G. Anderson. The building is less formal and more sculptural than earlier work, exploiting asymmetry and curving forms. This new style showed further development in 'Ostend' (1934/35) and was fully realised in the Garden Avenue complex of 1939/41.
Classified: 29/11/2004


Residential buildings (private)