Rama Architects’ new M House makes the most of a stunning beachfront plot of land in Garigal, an area north of Sydney. Overlooking the shores of Pittwater Bay, the new two-storey Clareville Beach home, commissioned by a local family, was designed to intersect with views and landscape, with plantings flowing through the structure and glazed facades opening to the waterside. .
The architects describe the project as having “hints of Brazilian modernism”, most evident in the central concrete core, with deep cornices gracing the floor plan to shade the outdoor courtyards, as well as the use of solid wood cladding and slender steel columns. Another focus is sustainability. The design and orientation of the rooms and openings allow for natural light and ventilation.
The exact location of the house was marked by two large Bengali trees, belonging to the eucalyptus family. By preserving them, as well as creating deep plantings on the terraces and ground floor, the architects ensured that the house fit seamlessly into the green NSW landscape. Each room enjoys a view of the landscape, while plantings allow greenery to extend down the façade.
“We played with the idea of hard and soft,” says director Thomas Martin. “The feeling of being outside while remaining protected by a compositional structure was key.” The “hard” in Brazilian modernist design is represented by the use of concrete, stone and tallow wood… The “soft” is represented by light, spaces, landscape and glass.
M House combines solidity of form with playful transparency; The ground floor living spaces seem to extend into the boat-filled bay, while the master bedroom is nestled in the tree canopy. Wood cladding on the ceilings unifies the spaces, while the steel columns and window frames are painted black to provide a strong contrast with the wood, concrete and stone.
Martin founded Rama Architects in 2019. The studio is based in Avalon Beach, NSW, and has been shortlisted for a number of architectural awards. The office includes an architectural team and an interior design team, with work reflecting the diversity of traditional and contemporary homes in the area.
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