melbourne light house exterior
This Australian home plays with light in an innovative and effective way.

This stunning Modernist abode was built in 2019 by international architecture firm Layan Architecture. The 2400 sq. ft home is located in the middle of Melbourne, Australia, and there’s much more to this surprising house than meets the eye.

melbourne light house living area
The main living area has an indoor-outdoor feel thanks to the nearby courtyard.

The first secret of this ‘light house’ lies in its exterior facade— from the street, it looks like a Victorian worker’s cottage! Because of local city and historical regulations, the existing facade had to remain, so the house we see above is actually an ‘addition’ to the cottage.

The living spaces of the home are flanked around a large, open courtyard and the lower floor contains full -height sliding doors to create a dynamic cross-breeze throughout the space.

melbourne light house bedroom light
The screens allow the light to be gently filtered in, creating a cascade of sunbeams on the opposite wall.

But the showstopper of the home is found on the second floor. The exterior walls of the upper level are surrounded by a custom polycarbonate screen, which does a number of things. First, it provides privacy (an important feature in glass-walled homes!) as it can be adjusted to block nearby sight lines.

Its customizability also means the screen can be adjusted to let more or less light in, depending on the temperature and season. The screen also creates a beautiful pattern of filtered light, creating dynamic shadows on upstairs walls.

melbourne light house at nighttime
Notice how the wall screens gently light up the second-floor interior.

And perhaps the screen’s most innovative feature is its ability to light up the interior it surrounds. Thanks to small bulbs placed within the individual elements of the screen, it’s able to provide light to the inner rooms during the night.

The Australian home has so much focus on lighting as its owner is a director at a nearby lighting studio: “The client… worked meticulously in selecting and designing the lighting system and fittings,” said the architects.

melbourne light house kitchen
The sleek lines of this modern kitchen make us want to move in ASAP!

The textures of the home aren’t something to be ignored either— the architects used American oak, white glazed brick and travertine tiles. “The design [of the home] is both current and timeless at the same time,” said the architects.

Read more about the ‘light house’ at Architect Magazine. Want to know more about light filtering? Check out this article on breeze blocksAnd of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram Facebook and Pinterest for more Mid Century Modern inspiration!