Cloud House / McBride Charles Ryan

© John Gollings

Architects: McBride Charles Ryan
Location: VIC,
Design Team: Rob McBride, Debbie-Lyn Ryan, Marie Chen, Cathryn Panaterri, Ben Inman, Gabriella Muto
Proyect Year: 2012
Photographs: John Gollings

Project Area: 220.0 m2
Extension Area: 70 sqm

Brief + Design

© John Gollings

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.

© John Gollings

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.

© John Gollings

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’.

Cite: "Cloud House / McBride Charles Ryan" 21 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Ok, now we can safely say: That rounded cloud icon all over the internet and now in full concrete expression is a total cliché…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -3

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +4

    One question, why this shape? It’s waste of money. People like to complicate their lives.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This seems like a lot of effort to create an essentially rectangular interior.
    On the other hand, it is unique and playful, two elements missing from most projects.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +13

    somebody took the revision cloud on the section drawing way too literally.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down -4

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    There’s nowhere to hang the inevitable RAIA for nebulous residential architecture in a suburb ending in the letter Y.

    Pistolphe de Brouhaha

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