A dynamic screen of illuminated, rotating polycarbonate discs shield the upper level of this home in Melbourne, completed by Layan for the director of local lighting design practice The Flaming Beacon.
Layan has extended and renovated a heritage-protected worker's cottage to create Light House. The Melbourne studio added new spaces to the rear and above the original structure and introducing a central courtyard to bring light and ventilation deep into the home, while preserving the original rooms at the home's front.
As the client was the director of a lighting design studio, light was considered extremely carefully within the project's design.
"The lighting for this project was considered more than most, and the client worked meticulously in selecting and designing the lighting system and fittings," explained the architecture studio.
A key part of this strategy was installing a screen surrounding the upper level bedroom, constructed from a total of 907 polycarbonate disks attached to 67 rotating steel tubes.
"The screen provided and opportunity to not only modulate the character of light throughout the year, but to also become the primary illuminated space at night for the internal spaces", explained the architects.
Set back from the front of the home to minimise its visual impact on the area, this new lantern-like upper level provides a bright counterpoint to the more intimate lower-level spaces.
During the day, the rotating screen casts patterns of shadow across the interiors, and at night, the single, low-level LEDs housed in each disc switch on to illuminate the interior.
At ground floor level, a large living, dining and kitchen space surrounds the courtyard, with more private living and studio spaces at the rear of the house overlooking a small winder garden.
"The various living spaces were oriented around the central courtyard to take full advantage of its natural light and ventilation benefits," said the studio.
"Full-height, glazed sliding doors play an important role in facilitating the building occupants' control over the cross flow ventilation."
Two bedrooms sit at the front of the home in the original structure of the worker's cottage, opening onto a veranda and garden spaces.
The ground floor draws on the original building's materiality, with thin white glazed bricks and American oak panelling lining the interiors.
Terrazzo flooring throughout the living spaces and travertine tiles in wet areas are designed to appear "both current and timeless at the same time", say the architects.
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Photography is by Peter Bennetts.
Architecture and interior design: Layan
Lighting design: The Flaming Beacon
Builder: Moreprime Constructions
Interior fitout: The Zimmermann Oz