Summerland is a small town on Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia. It is located in the south-west corner of the island, close to a fairy penguin colony. Construction of houses has stopped due to threats to the penguins.
For the first residents at Summerland its large rooms must have offered a sense of secure privacy, with views across the bay and the gardens. Each flat had a screened porch, fully glazed sleep-out and balcony. Communal spaces such as a large accessible roof-top over the Acland Street section, for recreational, and clothes- drying use and the restaurant/dining room for residents’ use over Fitzroy Street. Flats had maid’s and service rooms accessed by their own tradesmen’s entrance and stair at the rear.
The accessible roof may have even been influenced by Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino system with its accessible roof of 1913-15, which was well-publicised, but it is particularly early example for Australia, even if it resulted from the Council’s requirement for 50% open space on a fully built-up site. The restaurant/dining room was directly accessible to all residents from two internal stairs. Diners overlooked Fitzroy Street through large plate-glass windows. This meant the apartments needed only a small kitchenette. Again this anticipated today’s expectations, when so many apartments offer small kitchens, in assuming frequent dining-out.
Summerland’s architectural design presents a strong presence to both Fitzroy and Acland Streets in a sophisticated blend of Stripped Classical, Mediterranean and English Arts and Crafts influences: a distinct departure from its architect, Christopher A. Cowper’s previous well-known Federation style particularly in the Grace Park Estate, Hawthorn, such as at 40 Crystobel Crescent and 62 Riversdale Road, built during 1903-12.