After being rather impressed when it was presented at the Presentations to Juries for the Victoria Architecture Awards I finally got the opportunity the other weekend to have a look at the Lyon Housemuseum in the flesh.
For those that are interested the house is open every Sunday for guided tours and it was one of these tours in which I found myself on. It’s not so much an architectural tour but an art tour as Corbett Lyon, whose house it is, shows off his rather impressive Australian contemporary art collection (aside from a having a little too much Patricia Puccini for my liking). However, there is some discussion of the ideas behind the architecture, in particular the idea of a ‘housemuseum’.
In essence what is being explored here is the idea of combine of the family home with an art museum/gallery something that aforementioned Corbett Lyon claims has never been done before. As a series of gallery spaces the building works extremely well but because the family spaces are very much private spaces and thus it is difficult to really ascertain how they work. But in terms of maintaining the privacy of the occupants it certainly does work.
In terms of a building it is an extremely highly finished product with its black zinc cladding particularly eye catching (my photos on a rather dull day don’t do it justice). This combines extremely well with the interiors whose main feature is the plywood lined ceiling that has had text digitally printed onto its surface.
So overall I would say as a small gallery it works extremely well but without a proper viewing and experience of the private spaces it is difficult to conclude as to whether it works as a housemuseum.