Cloudview by Paul Uhlmann Architects

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Interior Design by Paul Uhlmann Architects
Landscape by Vessel and Green
Engineering by Westera Partners
Photography by Brock Beazley
Photography by Ravens at Odds

Set among the clouds that often form across the site, the aptly named Cloudview extends into the treetops and is wrapped in extensive glazing to optimise visual connections. Paul Uhlmann Architects adopts an unexpected refinement and crispness of form to an otherwise natural and untamed landscape, creating an offering of balance and calm.

Navigating the densely populated forest of Springbrook Mountain and its sloping terrain, Cloudview is a holiday cabin imagined through a highly crafted lens. By creating such an immersive experience with accentuated visual connections, Paul Uhlmann Architects celebrates the opportunity to live amid an uninterrupted natural setting. With such a lush backdrop, the two-bedroom retreat also blends an elevated lifestyle with the ability to disconnect. The design team takes advantage of the views that stretch out to the front by anchoring a more enclosed series of spaces to the rear and allowing the façade to remain open. By balancing both open and closed moments across the site, the feeling of being transported into the rainforest is accentuated while still allowing for places of retreat.

Taking advantage of the elevation, views stretch outward in multiple directions, accentuating the greenery as a balance to the darker recessive form.

While being set among dense foliage, the site also is positioned near the coast. In an approach that bridges the traditional Queenslander and beachside vernaculars, the main form is contained to one level, with a more lightweight structure underneath. With simplicity and restraint, each detail has been resolved with precision, ensuring the natural and the built are woven together yet feel distinctly different. With the natural elements the main focus, the encasing form is deliberately dark to position the building as a secondary and receding element within the landscape. A similar palette of darker materials and finishes continues inward, bringing a warmth to the home. Natural tan tones and the introduction of deep ochre pieces also act to highlight and define places of gathering and connection.

The U-shaped floor plan was developed to not only create unhindered views from the living room, but also to overlay privacy and a sense of separation within. The placement of the two en-suite bedrooms being at opposite ends of the central open space follows this principle, spreading the functions throughout. The inverted roof design further adds to a feeling of connection beyond the built form, drawing the eye upward and out. The profile of the roof sloping gently toward the central deck also simplifies the vital task of gutter cleaning – both reducing maintenance and, ultimately, ensuring cleaner water for consumption and use. With every facet of Cloudview strengthening the bond between architecture and nature, the result is a sanctuary where calmness and a slowing down of time is hard to avoid.

Bringing a warmth to the home are natural tan tones and the deep ochre of the main sofa, highlighting places to gather and connect.

As a balance of enclosure and shelter, Cloudview embraces its opportune location and siting with a respectful and light-footed response. In allowing an immersion in place and an engagement of the senses, Paul Uhlmann Architects has proposed a building that elevates a traditional rudimentary form through robustness and an endurance to the elements.