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[highlight1]  Cloud House  [/highlight1]

The Cloud House is an addition and renovation to a double-fronted Edwardian house in Fitzroy North. Over the course of close to a century, this house has received several additions and modifications. McBride Charles Ryan’s work for the house is designed in three parts. This allows for a sequence of distinct and unexpected episodes, with glimpses previewing oncoming spaces and experiences as you move through the home.

The structure flows into into three distinct parts consisting of the rectangular front of the home, a square bright red center of the home serving as the kitchen and finally the cloud shaped nature of the back of the home. The striking red kitchen acts as the center, or heart, of the home as it contrasts with the mainly stark white walls of the first portion of the house. Wood panels construct the curvatures of the cloud shape walls and they are lined with silver metal.

A simple platform of kitchen, dining and living has been wrapped with an extruded undulating wall that – in cross-section at least – resembles a cloud. Hence the nickname. The curving walls – like the floor – are clad in strips of timber and the three- dimensional form suggests an inverted skate bowl. Inside and outside are mediated by a carefully detailed glass wall that all but disappears. But is this a cloud? It feels more like a caricature of a cloud, a diagram or a child’s drawing (or the kind of drawing of a cloud you might find on the ceiling of a child’s bedroom).

Say the architects, “The form of the ‘cloud’ conforms to setback regulations without appearing obviously determined by them. The extrusion creates a dramatic interior language where walls merge seamlessly with the floor and ceiling. The craftsmanship is remarkable throughout; it has a sense of care one typically associates with the work of a cooper or wheelwright. While the geometry is playful, the extrusion is essentially a contemporary barrel vault.”

McBride Charles Ryan Architects

The Cloud House is an addition and renovation to a double-fronted Edwardian house in Fitzroy North. Over the course of close to a century, this house has received several additions and modifications.

McBride Charles Ryans work for the house is designed in three parts. This allows for a sequence of distinct and unexpected episodes, with glimpses previewing oncoming spaces and experiences as you move through the home. The street facade has been left to demonstrate the clients respect for the evolution of the character of the area and the modest street alteration belies the extent of the comprehensive internal renovation work. The spaces within the original structure are largely white in colour, united by exotic floral hallway carpet. This journey through the space is followed by encountering a disintegrated red-coloured box. This is the kitchen, at the heart of the property, which acts as a bridge linking the major spaces. A cloud-shaped extrusion is the unexpected final space. Following the form of a child-like impression of a cloud it is a playful addition where family and friends can eat and have fun surrounded by the curved form.

The new living addition faces due south while allowing controlled north sun into the living area and providing effective cross ventilation. The form of the cloud conforms to setback regulations without appearing obviously determined by them. The extrusion creates a dramatic interior language where walls merge seamlessly with the floor and ceiling. The craftsmanship is remarkable throughout; it has a sense of care one typically associates with the work of a cooper or wheelwright. While the geometry is playful, the extrusion is essentially a contemporary barrel vault. It is our hope that this cloud has a silver lining.

McBride Charles Ryan is an architectural firm who has appended work to the Cloud House in Melbourne, Australia. The company has been creating new home and work options since 1988 and we have to say that the Cloud House is a home unlike we’ve ever seen before.

[highlight1]  Project Data  [/highlight1]

Project name: Cloud House
Location: Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia
Type: Modern House, Renovation House, Steel House
Floor area: 220 sqm
Extension area: 70 sqm
Total floor area: 290 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Completion Year: 2012

[highlight1]  The people  [/highlight1]

Client / Owner / Developer: Privat
Architects: McBride Charles Ryan Architects, Victoria, Australia
Project Team: Rob McBride, Debbie-Lyn Ryan, Marie Chen, Cathryn Panaterri, Ben Inman, Gabriella Muto
Text Description: © Courtesy of McBride Charles Ryan Architects
Images: © John Gollings

[highlight1]  Location Map  [/highlight1]

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