MCK architects wedges this angled 'acute' house along the australian coastline

MCK architects wedges this angled 'acute' house along the australian coastline

house acute: architecture shaped by its site


Australian architecture firm MCK Architects has designed this House Acute, a weekend getaway for a family of six on the rugged New South Wales coastline. The unique wedge-shaped design responds to the challenging site conditions — exposure to the harsh ocean elements, bushfire risk, and a small, oddly-shaped plot. The architects responded to the site’s limitations by creating the house itself as a wedge, formed by two long concrete pavilions that overlap at the sharp corner. This robust concrete shell protects the home from the environment while providing a solid foundation.


The playful geometry of the house, with its sharp, acute angles and solid concrete walls, creates a canvas for the ever-changing shadows cast by surrounding foliage. The raw, unrefined texture of the concrete structure reflects the construction process, adding an element of industrial character.

MCK Architects house acuteimages © Brett Boardman



mck architects tops the home wth a rooftop escape


For its House Acute, the design team at MCK Architects organizes the ground floor as the main entry point. This level houses a bedroom wing with bathrooms along with a secondary living area tucked into the acute corner. An open-plan carport sits beneath the first floor, offering convenient access to the house. The heart of the home lies on the first floor above. Here, a large covered terrace extends over the southern part of the house, while a cantilevered balcony on the north side overlooks the street. A self-contained master bedroom suite offers privacy for the owners when visiting without their children.


Meanwhile, a hidden rooftop terrace can be accessed by an interior staircase. This private space is a sunny retreat for taking in distant views of the Australian landscape. Designing the project, the team worked with landscape architect William Dangar who integrated the new gardens with the existing vegetation, creating a sense of spaciousness beyond the physical boundaries of the wedged property. A private courtyard between the two pavilions allows light and ventilation to reach the ground floor.

MCK Architects house acute
House Acute is a weekend retreat designed for a family of six on the NSW coastline in Australia



Materiality and Connection to Nature


By taking advantage of the sloping terrain, MCK Architects creates four distinct levels within the House Acute’s two overlapping pavilions. This thoughtful design ensures generous space for the family to spread out and find moments of solitude. The highest point of the house is positioned on the southern, lower part of the site, maximizing views. The acute corner sits prominently at a bend in the road, creating a sculptural landmark. The concrete facade transitions from a solid form at the corner to a more open design with windows as you move towards the entrance.


House Acute is built with off-form concrete, offering a robust and low-maintenance exterior. The ground floor features a smooth finish, contrasting with the textured first floor created using rough-sawn boards. Existing Angophora trees were carefully preserved along the western boundary, providing natural privacy screening.

MCK Architects house acute
MCK Architects designed the house to be a wedge shape to respond to the challenging site

MCK Architects house acute
the house is built with robust concrete to withstand the harsh ocean elements and bushfire risk

MCK architects wedges this angled 'acute' house along the australian coastline
the layout features separate living areas on different floors to maximize privacy and relaxation


the use of sloping terrain creates four distinct levels within the house

MCK architects wedges this angled 'acute' house along the australian coastline
a rooftop terrace offers a private escape with distant views


the materiality combines smooth and textured concrete with natural wood accents


project info:


project title: House Acute

architecture: MCK Architects | @mckarchitects

location: Australia

design team: Steve Koolloos, Jarad Grice, Natalie Brcar
builder: Cochran Constructions
landscape architecture: William Dangar
interior design: Briony Fitzgerald Design
structural engineer: Halcrow & Associates
geotechnical engineer: Don Katauskas
hydraulic engineer: ITM Design
bush fire consultant: Clarke Dowdle & Associates
photography: © Brett Boardman | @brettboardmanphotography

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