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Rail House


Clare Cousins Architects


CBD Contracting


Adbri Masonry

Products Used:

Grey Block

Building Contractor:

Bedrock Construction Group

Photography Credits:

Peter Bennetts

With one length of the site flanking a busy metropolitan railway, the robust Rail House project presented a number of unique challenges. Would it be possible to produce a habitable, comfortable family home in such close proximity to trains and a level crossing?

Rail House is a new build in a Heritage area. The material language of its urban location was drawn upon to create a contemporary civic yet mute face, which allowed maximum privacy for its inhabitants, who sought a reductive sanctuary.

A double-skin concrete block wall measuring 37 metres long and five metres high forms a fortified acoustic facade to the rail line, effectively minimising the significant noise pollution into faint ambient noise within.

The bunker-like concrete mass is broken up by a blockwork and- steel screen, with a subtle detail distinguishing its entrance, allowing porosity into an otherwise windowless facade. Beyond this first threshold is a small open-air courtyard, a contemplative transitory space offering a valuable connection between bedrooms and a study to the outside elements.

Rail House succeeds in transforming a challenging site into a nuanced, purpose-built family oasis within densely urban surrounds.

"The crafted blockwork in this bunker-like home was executed with exceptional technique. The project demonstrates innovative responses to challenges relating to noise, privacy and the heritage context."
- Jury 2017 -