Cloud House / McBride Charles Ryan

© John Gollings

Architects: McBride Charles Ryan
Location: VIC, Australia
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

’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 27 May 2015. <>
  • CLOC

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

    • ben

      Cloud House was designed in 2008
      Apple iCloud was trademarked in 2011

  • Sarah

    Living in such a wonderful space is far from a cliche.

  • Sarah

    Living in a cloud is far from a cliche.

  • PiotrB

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

  • JK

    I can’t imagine that section is far off from the parti sketch…

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  • Patrick H

    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.

  • bLogHouse

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

  • M. B.

    Sorry this is NOT architecture.
    Horrible, anyway.

  • ben

    Cloud House was designed in 2008
    Apple iCloud trademarked in 2011

  • J.Y.

    Reminds me of the Big Duck.

  • ezequiel

    This house is inspired on the revcloud cad´s command, isn´t it???

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