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Prev ownership inscription. pp. xiii, 143 Illustrated #0217 Mud brick houses.
Knox studied architecture and building construction at Melbourne Technical College. While he did not complete the diploma, the course influenced him: in 1948 he resigned from the bank to explore the possibilities of building his own style of house. With the postwar shortage of building materials, and encouraged by an enthusiastic client in Frank English, he created his first earth building, a simple rectangle, at Montmorency. His next project was a study for William Macmahon Ball in the same materials at his Eltham home. For Knox, mud-brick was becoming his means of both survival and creative expression.
Drawn to the Montsalvat artists’ colony centred on Justus Jorgensen, Knox moved with his family to Eltham in 1949. His developing architectural style was showing the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, the inspiration of Francis Greenway and Walter Burley Griffin (including the latter’s preference for planting indigenous flora) and his admiration for the modernist work of Robin Boyd and (Sir) Roy Grounds. Buildings, landscape and environment began to merge in his work; as Bruce Mackenzie noted, a Knox house `grew in the landscape in the way that trees adapted … to inevitable forces’. In landscape design he was particularly impressed by the work of Ellis Stones and Gordon Ford, whose espousal of `bush gardens’ he helped to promote.