gardened roof planes float above rama architects' M house in australia

gardened roof planes float above rama architects' M house in australia

brazilian modernism arrives in coastal australia


Overlooking the forested coastline of Clareville, New South Wales, the M House is designed by Rama Architects with inspiration from Brazilian modernist design principles in both its form and function. The dwelling stands as a balance of bold brutalist character with an inviting sense of openness, which is thoughtfully tailored for privacy through the deliberate integration of the landscape and the architectural structure. The project was a collaborative dream realized for clients who had called the area home for an extended period. They sought a tranquil and secluded family residence that merged with the natural surroundings. To bring their vision to life, they turned to the local expertise of the Avalon Beach-based architects. The team notes that the home ‘recedes behind a green canopy cascading from the rooftop down and growing up from below blurring the lines between outside and in.’

rama architects m houseimages © Anson Smart



rama architects fills the home with gardens


Rama Architects’ reverence for the land extended to the ancient bangalay trees that inhabited the site. Protecting and celebrating these trees became a central theme in the architectural response. An internal courtyard embodies the architects’ pursuit of moments concealed and revealed, connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces. ‘The strong shelter becomes one with the trees, plants and water surrounding the home,’ explains the design team. The M House is shaped by the need for openness and privacy, and a celebration of nature. The gardened courtyard was designed around the existing bangalay trees, while floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors ensured a fluid extension of the house into the north-facing indoor-outdoor space. This design both embraces subtropical design principles and invokes the Brazilian modernist philosophy of prioritizing natural light and ventilation.

rama architects m houseclosed-off from the street, the home opens broadly to the sea



m house interiors extend into nature


Rama Architects locates the main living area of its M House toward the front of the site, providing unobstructed views of the water and the horizon beyond. The threshold between indoor and outdoor spaces is virtually seamless, an effect facilitated by the continuous use of slender timber battens along the ceiling, which draw the gaze outward. To balance openness and privacy, the architects leverage the surrounding landscape. Existing trees together with planter boxes filled with lush greenery envelop the home, creating a leafy buffer that disrupts sight lines and softens the linear architectural form.

rama architects m house
slender timber battens along the ceiling continue between the interior and exterior rama architects m house
an open plan lends cross-ventilation and ocean views throughout the homegardened roof planes float above rama architects' M house in australia
materials include warm tallowwood and locally-quarried gray sandstone


a sunken lounge is fronted by an uninterrupted frame of the water and horizon beyond

gardened roof planes float above rama architects' M house in australiathe ceiling’s linear texture draws the gaze outward toward the tranquil bay


deep eaves block the harsh summer sun, passively cooling the interiors

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