The Light House is nicknamed as such because natural light permeates every room of the home, and the owner is the director of lighting design practice, The Flaming Beacon.
Layan Architecture + Design were engaged to design the project, which is an extension of an existing single-storey, weatherboard Victorian in Hawthorn. The aim was to create a light-filled oasis, connecting the home to its central garden courtyard.
Tasked with blocking out views of the surrounding properties, and complying with local development provisions, the architects and client devised an innovative upper-façade screen. This design draws on their mutual love of modernist architecture – particularly Austrian-American sculptor Erwin Hauer – and features hollow, circular polycarbonate elements housing small LED fittings. The impact of the screen is threefold; enabling light to beautifully filter through the home during the day, while illuminating the façade at night, and screening out neighbouring properties.
‘Lighting changes constantly with shadows wandering over the well-crafted internal bricks walls. It is a very peaceful and beautiful space,’ says Johannes Hart, principal of Layan Architecture + Design.
The home’s design not only filters out surrounding properties, but also facilitates privacy throughout the interiors. ‘You can be anywhere in the building and not be affected by what goes on around the house,’ Johannes says.
The success of this project is a credit to the relationship between the architect and the client, who have a long history of collaborating on international high-end hotel projects.
‘As a result, I better understand the way the client is looking at light, and the effect this has on the wellbeing of the inhabitants,’ Johannes says. ‘As this aspect of the design took centre stage in all design considerations, we managed to get quality daylight into all of the spaces in the house, and connect the inside to the outside in a rather poetic sort of way.’
The completed Light House is a calm, sophisticated and well-resolved space, steering clear of fleeting trends to offer timeless and meaningful design outcomes. The excellent synergy between the parties underpins the entirety of the completed home. As Johannes puts it, ‘A shared passion for doing things well, despite the obvious budget challenges, is really critical to avoid taking short cuts during the execution of the design.’