"Cloud House" billows from unassuming Edwardian home
June 26, 2012
As home extensions go, this eye-catching extruded cloud is certainly something different. Completed earlier this year, the "Cloud House," as it is now known, is the result of both the renovation and extension of what was once a traditional double-fronted Edwardian house in the Fitzroy North suburb of Melbourne Australia. It's now anything but.
The projects architects, McBridge Charles Ryan (MCR), describe the cloud itself as the final of a series of "distinct and unexpected episodes" which follow the unassuming Edwardian front, which still looks much as it did when the house was originally built nearly one hundred years ago (the Edwardian architectural period actually continues a little beyond the death of Edward VII in 1910).
Though the original house has been renovated and redecorated (note the carpets), it's in the extension where things begin to get interesting. Nested within the cloud-shaped extension is a red cube: the Cloud House's new kitchen.
This cube-kitchen has the effect of extending the visual funnel through the property , so that visitors won't see the cloud itself until they're more or less standing in it.
The cloud extension itself is sort of part-dining room, part-conservatory. The obvious visual talking point of the development, the cloud form creates a multi-barrel vaulted ceiling, which, with its wooden finish, looks really rather good.
Though that vast expanse of glazing would often be a point of concern, the fact that it faces south (in the southern hemisphere) mitigates the problem of a greenhouse effect from direct sunlight. That being the case, there's reason to hope that the vents in the floor shown in the interior shots are for heating only, and not a combined heating and cooling system. Green architecture should avoid mechanized air conditioning as far as humanly possible. In domestic architecture, that should be almost always.
As for the cloud itself it's hard to say whether it's inspired more by the weather or the rise of cloud computing. Given the time it takes architectural projects to come to fruition, we'll put the resemblance of this particular form to the logo of a certain fruity cloud-based service down to coincidence.
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