Interview: Mick Moloney Co-Founder of Moloney Architects

4th September 2015

This week, we sat down with Mick Moloney Co-Founder of Moloney Architects to chat about lighting, design, and the sustainable approach he took to his recent project, the Ivermay House.

What were your original plans for the design?  

We started off looking at ways of reusing the property's original 1980s A-frame house. Unfortunately, it turned out to contain a high amount of asbestos and wasn't suitable for re-use. Demolishing the existing building gave us a clear building site and allowed us to re-imagine how the clients might live on the property and engage with the natural landscape. We also had the advantage of using all of the existing infrastructure and services (driveway, electricity, gas, water, etc) - which made it much easier to build the new works.   

How important was sourcing sustainable products for this project?

Sustainability is high on our list of priorities for our clients. We wanted to give them a house made out of low embodied energy materials, and a house that was efficient to run with low-energy lighting and appliances. We orientated the long axis of the house to face north, and then designed the floor plan so that it was only one room wide (plus a hallway on the south). This means that every room has excellent north light access and cross ventilation opportunities.  Given Invermay's cold climate, we also specified high levels of insulation in the wall, ceilings, and under the suspended concrete slab. 

How did you come to choose Brightgreen LEDs?

We specify Brightgreen LED fittings on all of our projects due to their low energy consumption, high CRI, and their refined aesthetics. We also love the long life of LED when we design lighting for high ceiling areas. We don't want our clients to have to hire a scaffold to change their lights. 

How do you think that Brightgreen lights contributed to the design?

In the Invermay house, we specified the D900 Curve as the general downlight for the entire house, but just after the tender you guys came out with the D900+. We ended up recommending the clients upgrade the downlights in the lounge, dining room, study and and rumpus room - we just couldn't go past the black fascia when used on a timber ceiling. 

We also used W900 Curves to solve an issue in the void area above the lounge. We wanted to up light the void area and timber screen, but didn't want to blind the clients as they were looking over the upstairs balcony. The W900 Curves recess subtly into the wall, and don't create a lot of glare. The light output is exceptional though and they made the space feel white and crisp (without looking like an ocean of downlights)

What are your favourite design details from this project?

There are so many details we love in this house, but if I had to choose my favourite it would be the large screen of timber battens we installed on the first floor. The battens provide shading, but also allow the upstairs bedroom to maintain access to the view. We wanted the house to visible from the approaching road, so we backlit the timber batten screen and the void behind it using Brightgreen W900 Curves. The result is very impressive - a glowing timber lantern emerging from the forest hillside.

We’d like to thank Mick for taking the time to talk to us, and the talented Michael Kai for allowing us to use his stunning photography of the Ivermay House.