Dezeen Magazine

Kensington Lighthouse by Tandem Design Studio

Tandem Design Studio of Melbourne have completed a house with a wooden interior in Melbourne, Australia.

Called Kensington Lighthouse, the building is located on a long narrow plot.

It consists of two volumes clad in corrugated metal and connected by a central courtyard, all supported over a concrete base.

Light from windows running along the top of one side is reflected by plywood panels covering the opposite interior wall, which curves inwards to meet the ceiling.

Photographs are by Sonia Mangiapane.

Here's some more information from


“The Kensington Lighthouse is situated on a 160m2 strip of land between a former factory and its kitchen in a dense, mixed-use inner city context.

To the north, the neighbouring house presents a 4m high wall overshadowing the site.

North facing sunshells were created to capture and reflect natural light; articulated by exposed timber portal frames lined with veneered plywood panels.

On the exterior, the shells were clad in a lightweight metal skin of dark grey and deep blue corrugated metal; creating the roof and south façade.

On the north, west and east patterns of double glazed glass and translucent polycarbonate panels frame views and admit light while preserving privacy - the translucent skin capturing shadows of nearby trees, the variance of clouds passing overhead and filtering light to the interior.

The house is made from two sunshells connected around a courtyard - with a solitary coral bark maple - by a rectangular timber lined volume running the length of the north boundary.

Floating above a polished concrete platform; the west sunshell shelters entry, lounge, kitchen, double height dining space on the lower level - and study, guest bed and bathroom on the mezzanine.

The east sunshell; across the courtyard and on a mid-level spanning between V-column and north boundary wall; houses the master bedroom and en suite. Below is a double carport accessed from the rear lane.

Concertina doors open from the master bedroom and dining room across the courtyard; creating a series of continuously linked open platforms in summer.

To the west; 3 pivot doors connect the lounge to the front garden while creating privacy from the street.

Opening windows - on the lower, southern façade of the sunshells, and the upper northern glazed face - regulate naturally occurring ventilation across the shells; and combine with thermal mass of the heated concrete slab to control temperature and ventilation.”

Project title: Kensington Lighthouse
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Architects: Tandem Design Studio