Demaine Partnership has a long and distinguished heritage. From R S Demaine Architects in 1938, our company evolved to become Demaine, Russell and Trundle in 1943, then in 1957 Demaine, Russell, Trundle, Armstong and Orton. In the mid 1980s the company adopted its present name, Demaine Partnership.
Here is a summary of the achievements of our former partners.
Robert S Demaine
Robert Snowden Demaine was born in 1895. He served during the First World War in Egypt and France, returning to Australia in 1919. He was admitted to the Victorian Institute of architects in 1923, working in various architectural offices including Stephenson and Turner, a leading health practice of the period. He commenced private practice under his own name in 1937. During the Second World War, he acted as locum architect to a number of Victorian architectural practices in implementing important wartime building projects, when directors were serving overseas. This experience provided a basis for development of a strong Victoria based practice during the post war period, and as early as 1945 Robert Demaine was considered an authority on hospital and industrial building design. In 1945 he was elected president of Royal Victorian Institute of Architects, and from 1952-1954 served as Australian president of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
Ailsa Merle Trundle (1916-2002)
Ailsa Merle Trundle was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, and was one of the first Australian women to be offered a partnership in an architectural firm (Associate,1946, partner, 1956). She specialized in designing for the welfare field, designing facilities for the Autistic Children’s Association, the Presbyterian Home for the Aged, the Greenvale Geriatric Centre, the Carnsworth Garoopna Nursing Home and the Dalkeith Home for the Aged, amongst others. -The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Lloyd Orton (1918-1996)
Educated at Camberwell Grammar and Scotch College, Lloyd Orton seriously considered becoming a sculptor until his parents persuaded him that this might not be the best way of making a living. in 1936, he enrolled in architecture at the Melbourne Technical College, graduating 10 years later from the University of Melbourne. when the war intervened, he served with the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers in the Middle East, New Guinea and the South West Pacific; he was discharged with the rank of Captain.
After finishing his degree, Orton travelled in Europe and the United States on a Haddon Scholarship, and extended his stay to study sculpture in an M.Arch course at Cornell University, New York.
Two years after returning to Melbourne in 1951, he co-founded the firm of Armstrong & Orton. In 1957, this office joined with Demaine, Russell and Trundle in an expanded practice which he co-directed until 1984. During that period, he also served as President of the RAIA’s Victorian chapter, president of the Swinburne Technical College and Mayor of the Melbourne municipality of Hawthorn.
After his retirement, he returned to sculpture and rapidly produced pieces in stone, wood and bronze which were exhibited in group displays around Victoria, and was awarded prizes by the Association of Sculptors of Victoria. Over eight visits to Zimbabwe, he worked closely with the Shona sculptors-displaying great humility and perseverance in working on his sculpture while sitting on a hard stump under a tree for many hours in blinding heat. Back in Melbourne, his passionate explanation of a Shona piece could move an audience to tears – Tony Armstrong.
Lloyd Orton’s legacy is also found in the Scotch College Orton Family Music Scholarship program, based on a substantial bequest to the school made in 2006 from the estate of Lloyd’s wife, Helene. The scholarship also commemorates Lloyd’s father, Albert Orton, a teacher and later in charge of admissions at the school.