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Mollymook House

Mollymook, Australia

Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight


Mollymook Beach House is a private residence nestled behind the sand-dunes overlooking the pristine Pacific Ocean. Designed as a weekend retreat, this two-level residence combines minimal architecture, natural materials and lush tropical landscaping.

The lighting concept is built on integrated refinement and controlled subtlety. Our goal was to create a night-time experience which feels intimate, natural and unforced. Every part of this project feels like it fits and is inherently part of the built form, existing as one with the architecture and landscape, providing illumination organically throughout the blurred combination of internal and external volumes.

Awarded: IES Lighting Design Award of Commendation 2017 – NSW Chapter

Our client provided a simple brief: “We don’t want fancy or decorative, but we see lighting as critical in creating the right mood. We want it to be stunning, but welcoming and simple, and we don’t mind a bit of natural darkness”.

We embraced this brief and set out to create a night-time experience which worked within the architecture to fashion a magical transformation at night. Using controlled darkness, brushstrokes of light accentuate the dramatic character that is night. Luminaires were kept minimal or concealed, located with succinct purpose.

The architecture is understated, yet beautifully structured and detailed. Raw concrete and timber make up the bulk of materials, while open glazed atria and landscaping is woven through the building.

Over 80 detail drawings provided clear direction on integration of light within the built form. This project is an example of refined collaboration, with interaction between the architect, lighting designer, builder and electrician.

Custom details such as cast-in-concrete wall and downlighting, and cove detailing provide useful lighting which feels part of the structure.

The First-Floor exists as one open space, combining kitchen/dining/fire-pit/living/outdoor-dining, surrounded by operable-glass. This vast space risked being perceived like a hall at night. Controlled lighting and selective darkness to produce sub-spaces within the larger volume, creating a sense of depth, intimacy and separation. Soft indirect illumination of the floating ceiling provides a warm glow throughout, carefully tapered to darkness at the perimeter to limit reflections in the glass.

Near invisible trimless low-glare downlighting create controlled pools of light. The joinery-box is left un-lit, promoting depth and framing views to the volumes and landscaping beyond.

The client is a young couple with children and this project was to represent their special place where they could bring friends to relax for weekends of surf, relaxation and entertaining. The architecture gives the impression of a tropical resort, with 8x self-contained bedrooms and a number of separate living spaces intertwined with the natural landscaping. At night, the lighting would create a natural ambience, where darkness is allowed to take it’s place alongside intimate but functional illuminance.

A combination of standard and customised LED luminaires are used, with a consistent colour temperature of 2700K. Controls are kept void of complexity, with a preset high, medium and low setting for each space, as well as a small number of special scenes for the main living spaces. Motion-sensing and time-schedules provide subtle automation for energy-saving and movement through the night.


More information
Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight
Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight
Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight
Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight
Mollymook House lighting design by Electrolight