Stanhill Flats, Albert Park
Image: Architectural Model - Stanhill Flats
Source: Museum Victoria
Stanhill is one of the masterpieces of modern architecture in Australia. This block of flats is also a rare and glamorous example of large-scale flat building in the immediate post-war period of the late 1940s. Like a huge ship with deck-like walkways, portholes and flags, this ship of homes - with shops at ground level - was built in reinforced concrete, steel and copious amounts of plate glass, all scarce materials in a time of financial and material shortages after World War II. Designed by Swiss emigre architect, Frederick Romberg, Stanhill epitomizes post-war visions of high-rise living adjacent to parkland. For most Victorians however, living in a flat was a novelty and little more. Major experiments in flat building in the post-war years in Melbourne were not to occur until the Housing Commission experiments in high-rise living went into full swing after 1956. By then, prefabricated concrete-panel construction had been perfected to permit large-scale towers to be built. The social implications of such experiments were not be questioned for at least 15 years.