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Architecture: Cloud House

July 11, 2012

McBride Charles Ryan’s whimsical addition to an Edwardian home in Fitzroy North features a dramatic, cloud-like extrusion.

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 street facade has been left to demonstrate the clients’ respect for the evolution of the character of the area. The house’s 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. Beyond this lies 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’.

Team: Robert McBride, Debbie Ryan, Marie Chen, Cathryn Panettieri, Ben Inman, Gabriella Muto

  • Mark K July 11th, 2012 4:19 pm

    Three words. ‘Jumping the Shark’.


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