When working with a narrow plot, it helps to build a structure that pulls in as much light as possible.

Such was the case with this home on Bondi Beach, a two-storey structure that stretches out from front to rear. To create a sense of spaciousness within the home, Sydney-based firm Akin Atelier fashioned a two-volume structure replete with white walls and multiple apertures that also help free up circulation.

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

The 2,110sqft abode, owned by a globe-trotting couple that live between Los Angeles, Singapore, Hawaii and Bondi, is dubbed ‘Cloud House’, for how the white surfaces bounce light around the space as clouds do.

A white brick texture wall adds character to the living room on the ground level. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
A white brick texture wall adds character to the living room on the ground level. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

“The client’s brief focused on designing a contemporary home that reflected its relaxed, coastal context,” says Kelvin Ho, a member of the Akin Atelier design team that worked on the project.

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

“Given its proximity to the street and neighbouring properties, the residence also needed to feel private, without forgoing a sense of space and light, which were paramount elements to consider throughout the design phase.”

Light filters into the home through glass enclosures around the house. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
Light filters into the home through glass enclosures around the house. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

The house features contemporary boxy exteriors with the main volume separated from the front by an open courtyard, while a landscaped garden features at the rear.

The house
The house's main entrance. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

Inside, the house’s public areas – living, dining, entertaining – are situated on the ground level, while the private areas are located on the second level.

The Cloud House
The Cloud House's multiple apertures invite an interplay of light from varying sources. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

A palette of timber, white and grey keeps the interiors’ aesthetic to a minimum – resulting in a more heightened sense of spaciousness – while soft features, such as a the custom-cabinetry and shelving by the staircase, counter the exteriors’ geometrical details. 

Skylights above the staircase and walkway. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
Skylights above the staircase and walkway. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

“Despite its contemporary design aesthetic, our intention was to create a comfortable and intuitive environment for the inhabitants. Our philosophy is found in striking that balance,” says Kelvin.

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

The living room, with its double-height volume, is the recipient of abundant natural light thanks to the floor-to-near-ceiling glass enclosures that separate the inside from the courtyard.

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

“This area demonstrates the way in which light interacts with its interior surfaces,” says Kelvin about the living room, which is also his favourite part of the house. “Direct sunlight creates a shadow play on the textured wall, and ambient light bounces from the aperture above the stairs.”

Sliding timber screens are another dominant feature throughout the home. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
Sliding timber screens are another dominant feature throughout the home. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

Upstairs, the sliding glass enclosure lines the corridors, directing more light in; left open, circulation is enhanced throughout the house, further blurring the delineation between interiors and exteriors.

The upstairs shower also features skylights of its own. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
The upstairs shower also features skylights of its own. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

Skylights add to the house’s outdoorsy feel, placed above the staircase and especially above the shower in the upstairs bathroom.

The homeowners
The homeowners' visiting friends and family get to stay in the home's multiple guest bedrooms. (Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

Meanwhile, the glass enclosures continue around the back, between the kitchen-dining area and the landscaped patio.

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)

As for what the homeowners liked most about the home? “The absence of boundaries between interiors and exteriors,” says Kelvin. “Each space of the house draws the outside in – a feature our clients are particularly pleased with.”

(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
(Photo: Murray Fredericks, courtesy of Akin Atelier)
Bondi Australia Sydney Akin Atelier

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