Springing from the established pre-war practice of architect Charles Lacey, the Melbourne firm of Boileau, Henderson & Lodge was formed in the late 1950s by Harold Boileau (1909-1994), Charles Henderson (1911-1994) and Keith Lodge (1931-2016). In the early 1960s, the firm had a fourth partner, Charles Dentry, and was briefly known as Boileau, Dentry, Henderson & Lodge.
The son of an Anglo-Indian public servant employed by AB Railways, Harold Eric Aston Boileau was born in Chittagong, in present-day Bangladesh, on 1 December 1909. Until the mid-1920s, he attended St Edmund's College in Assam, but had moved to Australia by 1931, when he was residing in Caulfield and working as a draftsman. From 1936 to 1938, he completed the diploma course at the University of Melbourne Architectural Atelier, where his classmates included Trevor Bain, Grenfell Ruddock and Roy Simpson. He became registered as an architect during 1941, at which time he was employed in the Collins Street practice of Frederick Morsby. In August of that year, Boileau enlisted with the RAAF and served at Laverton with the Transit, Demobilisation & Recruiting Section (TD&RS). Discharged in June 1947 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant, he resumed civilian life and was admitted as an associate of the RVIA in 1948.
Born on 25 November 1911, Charles Robert Alexander Henderson was the son of architect William Alexander Henderson (1885-1949), who had joined the office of Robert Haddon as a teenager in 1903 and, in 1919, became Haddon's final partner in the firm known thereafter as Haddon & Henderson. Although Henderson's son opted to follow in the family profession, there is no evidence that he became registered as an architect; in several sources, he is listed as a draftsman. Little else is currently known of his pre-war career.
Born 12 April 1931, Keith James Lodge was educated at St Kevin's College in Toorak (where he excelled in amateur athletics) and then studied architecture at the University of Melbourne, graduating in April 1955. At the time that he became registered as an architect in 1956, he was working in the office of Charles H Lacey & Associates at 325 Collins Street. There, his fellow employees included the aforementioned Harold Boileau and Charles Henderson.
A leading city architect in the pre-war period, Charles Henry Hackett Lacey was best known for work produced in the partnership of Alder & Lacey. After Lacey's sudden death in January 1957, staff members Harold Boileau, Charles Henderson and Keith Lodge appear to have taken over the practice. Within a year or so, they had established their own partnership as Boileau, Henderson & Lodge, while also retaining the name Charles H Lacey & Associates. The two entities existed in parallel thereafter, headquartered in the same office at 325 Collins Street. In this way, they could undertook work under both names; their continuation of Lacey's practice allowed them to secure repeat commissions from some of the late architect's pre-war clients, most notably textile manufacturers Davies, Coop & Company (later Bradmill Industries). One of Boileau, Henderson & Lodge's first projects under that name was Keith Lodge's own house in Kew (1959), a structurally adventurous elevated dwelling that garnered notable publicity.
Around 1960, the partnership expanded with the addition of a fourth partner, Charles John Dentry, who graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1953. The firm was subsequently re-badged as Boileau, Dentry, Henderson & Lodge, although this proved a short-lived incarnation; after Dentry left in July 1962, the partnership was dissolved and then re-formed under its former name. By the mid-1960s, the firm had embraced larger-scale apartment projects that included preparing the documentation for several highrise blocks proposed by the Housing Commission of Victoria, notably the 35-storey Park Towers in Park Street, South Melbourne. Harold Boileau, who was elevated to RAIA fellowship in 1964, retired at some point in the 1970s, whereupon the firm's name was further abridged to Henderson & Lodge. Its output in the 1980s and '90s included several new buildings at Lodge's alma mater, St Kevin's College in Toorak. The practice remains in operation today, still known as Henderson & Lodge.
Two of the firm's co-founders both died during 1994: Charles Henderson on 26 February, and Harold Boileau on 26 December. The last of the three original partners, Keith Lodge, died on 26 January 2016. He lived long enough to see his own house in Kew, which he still occupied into the twenty-first century, granted heritage protection at the local level.
Select List of Projects
Charles H Lacey & Associates
Boileau, Henderson & Lodge (first incarnation)
Boileau, Dentry, Henderson & Lodge
Boileau, Henderson & Lodge (second incarnation)