Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons Architects

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Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

This building by Australian architects Lyons in Melbourne combines a family home with a museum.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Called Lyon Housemuseum, the project was built for the architects' own family and their art collection.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

It is open to the public weekly for tours and research visits, and also hosts a program of events.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The family's kitchen doubles as a cafe and a room for video installations can be used as a home cinema.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Artworks are on display throughout the home and in two dedicated spaces, while certain rooms are enclosed and made private for the residents.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The names of the two streets on which the corner plot sits are emblazoned in two metre-high letters in brickwork on the boundary wall.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Photographs are by Dianna Snape.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Here are some more details from the architects:


LYON HOUSEMUSEUM

The Lyon Housemuseum speculates on the conjunction of art and living, on conventional notions of ‘public’ and ‘private’

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

and explores new relationships between art and architecture through the development of a new hybridised type – a ‘housemuseum’.

Drawing on historical precedents such as the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and John Soane’s Museum in London the Housemuseum displays art in a combination of museum and residential scaled spaces which are juxtaposed and intermixed.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, the building accommodates the daily living needs of a family of four and the requirements of a fully functioning public museum housing a major collection of contemporary art.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The building is open weekly for public tours and for research visits by academics and students.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The Housemuseum also hosts an annual program of concerts, artist and architecture talks and other cultural events.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The juxtaposition of two seemingly conflicting programs presented unique opportunities and challenges for the design.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

These were resolved not by demarking separate ‘private’ and ‘public’ zones but by juxtaposing and interweaving the two programs and types.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Spaces in the building are intentionally ambiguous in their typological readings – the family kitchen doubles as the museum café, the black box showing video art is also used as a home cinema and for family sleepovers.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

The private study functions as a research library for visiting academics and students.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Internally, two large double height spaces - a ‘white cube’ and ‘black box’ - anchor the two ends of the building and are designed explicitly as public museum spaces.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Private spaces for the family, defined with enclosed boxlike forms, are dispersed across the two levels of the building.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Further spaces which are used by both family and visitors flow around and in between, creating scenographic spaces for the display of art.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

These are interwoven with the domestic settings of the house.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

Externally the building was conceived as a gable ended form (a primitive idea of ‘house’) which is extruded along the site as a long prismatic volume. A generous setback from Cotham Road and a re-entrant courtyard along the side street articulate the form through a series of volumetric shifts and deformations.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

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Side gables, a truncated chimney and deep roof overhangs add ambiguity and complexity to the hybrid housemuseum form which is tightly wrapped in a skin of dark zinc.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

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The building is contextualised within its suburban setting through use of corbelled brickwork on the street fences spelling out the names of the corner address – COTHAM and FLORENCE - in two metre high lettering.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

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As an experimental and speculative project, the Housemuseum uses a new hybridised typology to explore relationships between public and private, ‘museum’ and ‘house’ and the interrelationship of art and living.

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons

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Project Details:
Location: Kew, Melbourne
Size: 1100 m2
Architect: Lyons


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  • edward

    Can’t say this is my idea of a home. The dull exterior is not appealing at all. But the interior is very lively with their contemporary collection. This would be a very entertaining place to visit.

  • Laar

    What a rich starchitect!

  • Lex

    Programatically interesting (albeit a bit weird) but the architecture is terrible. Its almost as if the building itself should be a museum piece of architecture from 10 years ago.

  • zafar

    i don’t undersand of meaning trucks? is this home or museum ohh sorry dezeen cool realy cool!

  • ldwg

    what zafar? its so annoying to read your comments. meaningless… ? please weirdo, if you’re not able to contribute something meaningful, go take a shit rather.

  • LockStock

    I am lucky enough to live close to this house, and it looks amazing in the summer sun… Oh and that farnsworth 7-11 painting in one of the photos, is awesome!

  • APM

    I also live close to this home and also think that this place is truly amazing!!!
    It's great to see people indulge into Architecture that is different & refreshing and not be afraid to be individual.
    Enjoy & well done Lyons.
    PM