Yarraville Light House exterior

Yarraville Light house is the renovation and extension of a Victorian cottage to embrace contemporary living and make the most of a narrow site.

One of the biggest challenges was needing to bring light into a house on such a long, narrow site. The site measures 50m long and 6m wide, with an existing partial wall on the northern boundary. These factors combined meant the existing house received almost no direct sunlight.

Design response

Yarraville Light House courtyard

The primary solution is the creation of a courtyard in the middle of the plan to bring light into the house.

Large two-way sliding doors were used to allow direct access to the courtyard from the second living/play space on one side, with a window seat on the opposite side in the kitchen/dining space. A glazed panel was also placed at the end of the corridor to ensure views to the courtyard all the way to the front door.

Yarraville Light House interior

As the clients wanted an emphasis on outdoor living, the extension was designed to feel like an outdoor garden room. The space is surrounded by full-height doors and windows, and with the doors open it feels like part of the garden.

It was also important to maintain the character of the existing home in its renovation.

During construction, plaster was removed from the original party wall to the hall, revealing original brickwork in excellent condition. Instead of re-plastering, the decision was made to restore and paint the brick wall. An original fretwork arch was also carefully restored, enhancing and celebrating the charm of the existing house.

Yarraville Light House Victorian arch

Key products/suppliers


  • Timber Slats: Alpine Ash 
  • Render: RMAX Thermalwall 



  • Lysaght trimdek, zincalume finish 



  • Worktop: Aster Maximum, Mercury ceramic tile by Maximum Australia 
  • Kitchen cupboards: Laminex charcoal 
  • Living room storage wall: Polytec legato, crisp white 
  • Bathrooms: Laminex Sublime Teak