Like its Moniker, Cloud House in Bondi Beach Feels Light as Air
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Like its Moniker, Cloud House in Bondi Beach Feels Light as Air

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By Anna Squier
A breezy courtyard connects soaring, minimalist spaces in this home by Akin Atelier.

Designed by Sydney–based practice Akin Atelier, this Bondi Beach abode is comprised of two volumes connected by a central courtyard that draws in natural light. The orientation of the 2,010-square-foot home allows for a playful rhythm of light, shadow, and air that gives it its atmospheric name, Cloud House.

The internal courtyard is the heart of the home.

The internal courtyard is the heart of the home.

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From the street side, the first floor hovers above a paved carport, reaching out to the Bondi streetscape, while providing a buffer to the light-filled living spaces beyond. The simple composition conceals the layered elements beyond. 

From the street, the house appears as a simple, white structure with timber elements.  It’s not until you enter that the lightness and porosity of the home becomes apparent.

From the street, the house appears as a simple, white structure with timber elements. It’s not until you enter that the lightness and porosity of the home becomes apparent.

Simple in form, but built of multiple layers, this contemporary home plays with light, function, and form.

Simple in form, but built of multiple layers, this contemporary home plays with light, function, and form.

The public and private spaces are separated. Open living spaces are located on the ground floor, where the internal courtyard fills the double-height room with sunlight throughout the day. 

The two simple volumes are intersected by an internal courtyard that maintains visual transparency between the front and back of the home.

The two simple volumes are intersected by an internal courtyard that maintains visual transparency between the front and back of the home.

Subtle curves introduced throughout the design, such as in the built-in casework and stone plinth, soften the  geometric plan of the home.

Subtle curves introduced throughout the design, such as in the built-in casework and stone plinth, soften the geometric plan of the home.

White brick walls provide a textured backdrop for light and shadows to play.

White brick walls provide a textured backdrop for light and shadows to play.

The subdued palette blends warm timber tones with white interiors and stone accents.

The subdued palette blends warm timber tones with white interiors and stone accents.

Bedrooms and secondary living spaces are located above, linked by circulation spaces that wrap the central courtyard.  Openings capture the morning sun and are filtered by sliding wood screens for privacy and comfort. 

A large skylight mirrors the plan of the stairs, allowing light to fall into the corridors.

A large skylight mirrors the plan of the stairs, allowing light to fall into the corridors.

The hallway wraps around the courtyard below.  Sliding windows blend the divide between the interior and exterior spaces.

The hallway wraps around the courtyard below. Sliding windows blend the divide between the interior and exterior spaces.

Layered elements, including a movable wood screen and interior curtains, provide plenty of options for comfort and privacy.

Layered elements, including a movable wood screen and interior curtains, provide plenty of options for comfort and privacy.

Mobile timber privacy screens allow for openness and transparency, or privacy and quiet.

Mobile timber privacy screens allow for openness and transparency, or privacy and quiet.

Shop the Look

A restrained color palette of warm wood, whites, and grays connects the home to its coastal location. Thoughtful features like movable wood privacy screens, a curved concrete plinth and rounded casework, unexpected skylights, and a pivoting circular steel window  add moments of playfulness to the refined design. 

A large, marble island is the focal point of the all-white kitchen.

A large, marble island is the focal point of the all-white kitchen.

The wall of built-ins elegantly curves to meet the wall behind it.

The wall of built-ins elegantly curves to meet the wall behind it.

 Warm wood tones balance with bright whites to create elegant and refined interior spaces.

Warm wood tones balance with bright whites to create elegant and refined interior spaces.

Even the master bath fully embraces the Bondi Beach location.  A large picture window and skylight create the feeling of being outdoors in this marble oasis.

Even the master bath fully embraces the Bondi Beach location. A large picture window and skylight create the feeling of being outdoors in this marble oasis.

The skylight above provides a rhythm of light and shadow across the shower walls.

The skylight above provides a rhythm of light and shadow across the shower walls.

Resembling the qualities of a cloud in the sky, this private Bondi Beach home animates light and shadows across elegant materials.

Related Reading: Living Screens Conceal a North Bondi Beach House and a Semi-Indoor Pool

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Akin Atelier / @akinatelier

Builder / General Contractor: Robert Plumb Build

Structural Engineer: Partridge

Civil Engineer: Partridge

Landscape Design Company: Dangar Barin Smith

Lighting Design Company: Akin Atelier

Interior Design Company: Akin Atelier