The Lantern House
Timmins+Whyte Architecture and Design
North Melbourne, VIC, Australia
A small footprint housing an open plan living space can be challenging to avoid cramped functions. Our clients wanted to live, cook, gather, and lounge, read and socialise in one sunny externally connected space. In order to give the functions definition, ceiling volumes and textures were utilized to create zones. A double height void space connects the landscaped spaces to the east and west both visually and physi-cally, and a balcony area becomes a part of the space to read or converse. The scale of the void is grand like the original heritage listed part of the house at the front. But unlike its Victorian, heavy dark street address the extension is a light, bright breathing space of calm.⠀
Lantern house extension is passively cooled in summer with the use of openable skylights, fans and lou-vered windows on the ground floor. The extension has been designed to play with light, it allows the space to bathe in it, or retreat from it through the remotely controlled blinds on the upper level expanses of glass. The project incorporates a large water bladder under the front verandah to water the gardens and solar panels on the roof for energy.
A shell has been formed with Matte white Colorbond cladding on a lightweight timber structure to pro-tect the honey coloured local timber (Tasmanian oak) interior linings, windows and doors from the weath-er.⠀
The house is a series of choreographed spaces with views to the outside from every angle. There is a sense of calm, like being at a day spa. It feels soft, it feels light and unfussy. The main living and kitchen now feel part of the whole site, and will evolve and change with seasons as the garden grows.