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A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

Homes

This Hawthorn, Melbourne house is as much a piece of art as it is a functional family home.

Owners Andrew Jaques, director of lighting design consultancy The Flaming Beacon, and Christina Chiodo recently worked with Layan to renovate the original Edwardian home, creating a minimal and refined interior wrapped in a custom polycarbonate screen. This dimensional screen on the upper facade casts an array of dynamic shadows across the home throughout the day, while illuminating at night from within. 

The completed home, known as Light House, has a calming, hotel-like feel—an extension of Layan owner Johannes Hart and Andrew’s long-term partnership designing boutique hotels!

23rd November, 2022

Refurbished Ligne Roset Togo sofa in cognac leather. Custom light designed by The Flaming Beacon. Coloured glassware made by Amanda Dziedzic. Mirror faces by Cole Italia. Commissioned artwork by Bec Smith. Custom rug from The Rug Collection. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Homeowners Andrew Jaques, founder of lighting design consultancy The Flaming Beacon; and Christina Chiodo, people and culture manager. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Cheminees Philippe cast iron wood fireplace. The arrangement of the bricks was adjusted at the last minute to allow for airflow requirements. John Olsen artwork. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Refurbished Ligne Roset Togo sofa in cognac leather. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Commissioned artwork by Bec Smith. Six metre long hanging kitchen shelf light turns into an indirect light at the dining table. Leftover veneer edging strips were positioned in tension as the reflector. Refurbished Ligne Roset Togo sofa in cognac leather. Butterfly chair in brown sheepskin from Cuero Design. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Hanging shelf with integrated uplight designed by The Flaming Beacon and Layan, and manufactured by Rock Martin. Timber panels are American oak veneer by Allboard, with Osmocoat natural oil finish. All joinery custom designed by Layan. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Six metre long hanging kitchen shelf light turns into an indirect light at the dining table. Leftover veneer edging strips were positioned in tension as the reflector. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Photographic artwork by Huang Yan. Painting by Patterson Parkin. Black marble Tulip dining table. Danish ’60s pendant brass dining lamp bought from eBay. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

American oak veneer panels form a neutral yet warm backdrop. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Photographic artwork by Huang Yan. Black marble Tulip dining table. Danish ’60s pendant brass dining lamp bought from eBay. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Art Nouveau original pendulum clock made by family member in 1910. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The sculptural screen cladding the upper facade is the crowning jewel of the home’s recent renovation. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

A repeatable translucent 3D module diffuses light to soften and direct light into the interiors. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

‘Timeless, calm and seamless’ were often-referenced words throughout the renovation. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Andrew and Christina appreciate how their home, nicknamed the Light House, changes depending on the season, weather, and time of day. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The house is arranged around a central courtyard, with strip skylights and a small winter garden to maximise light penetration. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The design of the screen was inspired by ‘60s sculptor Erwin Hauer. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

As well as being a decorative feature, this screen works to control the north sun and satisfy overlooking planning requirements. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd November 2022

‘I always wanted the screen to have a three-dimensional quality as this would create dynamic shadows.’ – Andrew Jaques

What first appears as a purely decorative element—a sculptural facade cladding—plays an integral role in the way this Melbourne home functions.

The screen is the crowning jewel of the home’s recent renovation, designed by Layan for homeowners Andrew Jaques, director of lighting design consultancy The Flaming Beacon, and Christina Chiodo. 

Andrew and Christina purchased the home with their child Lola in 2016, as a near-original Edwardian built in 1913. It was previously owned by the one family for 100 years, and occupied for the last 40 years by a woman who was also born in the house. 

The couple have since completed a major renovation and extension of the property, which is essentially a new home beyond the facade and front two rooms. Andrew and Christina worked to preserve the original detailing of these rooms, even replacing a front window installed in the ‘50s with a more sympathetic style. ‘Although the replacement windows from the Edwardian era did reduce some light in the front rooms, it brought the façade back to life,’ says Andrew.

Layan designed the renovation, arranging the house around a central courtyard, with strip skylights and a small winter garden to maximise light penetration.

Andrew has collaborated with Layan owner Johannes Hart for many years on boutique hotel projects, and the pair teamed up once again to design the distinctive screening for this home. As well as being a decorative feature, this screen works to control the north sun and satisfy overlooking planning requirements. 

Andrew explains the design process, ‘Johannes and I worked on many options, from simple aluminium vertical blades to customised breeze blocks. I always wanted the screen to have a three-dimensional quality as this would create dynamic shadows. I was also inspired by the work of ‘60s sculptor Erwin Hauer and his anticlastic forms, and decided to try and invert what he did.’

Seeking a lighter effect, the pair eventually settled on a repeatable, translucent 3D module that could ‘diffuse light, allow soft and hard overlapping shadows, some transparency to outside, and ultimately self-illuminate at night in a monochromatic amber wavelength to aid melatonin suppression,’ Andrew explains!

‘Timeless, calm and seamless’ were the often-referenced words throughout the renovation, as reflected in the material palette. American oak veneer panels, terrazzo and walnut flooring, cream bricks, and surfaces painted Dulux Antique White U.S.A. form a neutral backdrop, allowing interest to come from the way light sculpts the spaces.

Andrew and Christina appreciate how their home, nicknamed the ‘Light House’, changes depending on the season, weather, and time of day. ‘The east sun is best appreciated upstairs as it filters through the screen, while the north sun grazes the brick walls through the skylight in the lounge, and the west sun is best appreciated from the study,’ says Andrew. ‘The best place depends on a combination of time of day and activity.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net