Cloud House by Akin Atelier

PHOTO:

image ©Murray Fredericks

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Bondi Beach, Australia

Cloud House is a private home located at Bondi Beach. The concept maximises the opportunity for light to interact with the surfaces of the house like the facets of a cloud. Two interconnected volumes are pierced by a central courtyard and selected apertures, establishing a play on air and light. The home is designed as two structures interconnected by the internal courtyard on the ground level, and the open walkway on the upper level. The rectilinear volumes are punctured with apertures that address both programme and context, each providing a different play on light. The planning of the house is split between flexible living spaces at ground floor, and private bedrooms and secondary living at the upper floor; the levels connected with circulation that flanks the central courtyard. Inside the house, the rectilinear geometry of the exterior is softened through a rhythm of subtle curves in the interior elements; a pivoting round window; a curved concrete plinth, and custom joinery which tapers flush into the wall. A restrained colour palette of warm timber, whites and greys fosters a connection with the coastal context of Bondi, whilst wall finishes such as lightly bagged brick capture changing light throughout the day. The north-east orientation of the site informed a building massing that pulls light deeper into slender site. From the street the first-floor volume cantilevers over the paved carport, engaging with the Bondi streetscape through selected, yet playful, apertures. It creates a buffer to the house beyond, where the key living spaces are privately positioned and anchored between the internal courtyard and rear landscaped garden. The eastern façade contains openings which capture the morning sun, filtered with sliding timber screens for privacy from adjacent neighbours. Landscaping was integral to the design from conception and collaboration with Dangar Barin Smith allowed for outdoor spaces such as the rear garden, outdoor shower and timber courtyard to be seamlessly integrated throughout the ground-floor, while a planter bed softens the edge of the Master Bedroom at the first floor. The project was one of simplicity and was realised through a combination of rigorous design detail and the craftsmanship of the building team. Collaborations with specialised contractors saw the realisation of bespoke elements such as a curved concrete plinth, pivoting circular steel window, and operable timber privacy screens.

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