Lyon Housemuseum

Lyon Housemuseum by Lyons won a National Commendation for Residential Architecture at the AIA's 2010 National Architecture Awards.

In this unique project, the requirements of a family home are combined with a public museum to display the owners’ large collection of contemporary Australian art.

The majority of the space is devoted to art display, with two dominant spaces, one white and one black. A white, light-filled, two-storey open cube with surrounding balconies allows for multiple views of artworks. The black room, by contrast, is closed for projection and video. Linking spaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, designed for specific artworks.

Intermixed between the gallery spaces is the owners’ space for private living. The blurred distinction between public and private space, between light and dark, and between large and small creates a compelling intrigue.

Finely detailed, elaborately crafted joinery pieces, pivoting doors and sliding panels provide flexibility in this experiment of combining the dual requirements of public gallery and family needs.

The external form is ambiguous, a wrapped skin of recessive dark zinc. Sculpture courtyards are formed between the museum and outer fences of textured brickwork, which relate to neighbours’ buildings in the suburban context.

Generous and ingenious, the Housemuseum explores a new concept of living with and displaying art.

– Jury citation

Products and materials

External walls
VM Zinc; Alucobond.
Internal walls
Custom-fabricated timber panels; Boral plasterboard.
Aluminium frames, clear glazed; Silent Gliss motorized blinds.
Aluminium frames; solid timber doors, painted.
Concrete floor with polished concrete topping slabs; Alpaca carpet.
iGuzzini low-voltage lighting.
Miele dishwasher and microwave; Viking stove and oven; Kleenmaid coffee machine; GE Monogram fridge.
Grohe tapware and fittings; tiled surfaces.
Mitsubishi fully ducted airconditioning; hydronic panel radiator heating.
External elements
Polished and honed concrete; bluestone pavers.
Custom-designed furniture by Lyons, manufactured by Xilo; Poliform, Cor and Space Furniture.


Lyons Architecture
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Acoustic consultant Marshall Day Acoustics
Audiovisual Urban Intelligence
Builder LBA Construction
Cost consultant Slattery Australia
Electrical consultant Umow Lai Melbourne
Furniture fabrication Xilo
Interior design Lyons Architecture
Landscape consultant Lyons Architecture
Lighting consultant Lyons Architecture
Panel lining fabrication and specialized joinery Mortice & Tenon
Polished concrete flooring LBA Construction
Structural consultant Bonacci Group
Town planning Urbis
Zinc cladding Academy Roofing
Site Details
Location 219 Cotham Road,  Kew,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Building area 1060 m2
Project Details
Status Built
Design, documentation 60 months
Construction 24 months
Category Public / commercial, Residential
Type Culture / arts, New houses
Client Corbett Lyon and Yueji Lyon
Website Lyon Housemuseum


Awarded Project

Published online: 30 Jun 2011
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2010
Images: Derek Swalwell, Dianna Snape


Architecture Australia, November 2010

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