Robson Rak Architects Design Beautiful “Rammed-Earth” Walled House

Here's a beautiful, yet highly fire-retardant home built with 4-hour fire rated rammed earth walls in Merricks, Australia by Robson Rak Architects.
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Merricks House by Robson Rak Architects

This new home in Merricks North, near Melbourne, Australia, is a spectacular new design from Robson Rak Architects.

Aiming for simplicity and material honesty, the house has been developed with rammed-earth walls. Using local sand for the construction of these walls makes for efficient, natural work. Rammed earth is excellent for high fire risk areas, having a 4-hour fire rating. The majority of the internal walls consist of this material, with an attendant warm surface look and feel.

The central space here is the main living, dining, kitchen area, and includes the formal entrance. Large eaves were designed to shade the high level windows all around. Skylights and windows were specifically placed to assist in the constant glow this house is being bathed in, allowing indirect light throughout. The kitchen comprises two parts: front kitchen with large island bench and a more utilitarian rear kitchen decked out in stainless steel.

The main entrance is framed by 3 timber sleepers set into Lillydale topping on the ground. Entryway features a large timber paneled door flanked by full height windows, allowing for stunning and majestic views through the building. A joinery wall in the main living room acts as a services spine, housing the heating, cooling, television, and audio. This piece wraps around the corridor and down to the lower zone, linking the two spaces.

The lower zone of the house is the children’s area, consisting of two bedrooms with a shared bathroom, a second living space, and a laundry room. This level opens directly onto the pool and garden. The pool features an infinity edge facing South. An outdoor fire and wood store allow for outside enjoyment throughout the year.

The walls are 400mm thick with an internal strip of 100mm foam insulation, assisting the innate qualities of the rammed earth in maintaining a consistent internal temperature. This, combined with the double-glazing of all windows and doors, assists the building in extreme environmental efficiency.


The foundation extends onto this tiered patio, with steps leading down to gently sloping lawn. Floor to ceiling glass under the large eaves allow indirect lighting throughout.

The foundation extends onto this tiered patio, with steps leading down to gently sloping lawn. Floor to ceiling glass under the large eaves allow indirect lighting throughout.

This "plane" tree outside the master bedroom helped determine the orientation of the home. Low profile structure helps with efficiency and environmental compatibility.

This “plane” tree outside the master bedroom helped determine the orientation of the home. Low profile structure helps with efficiency and environmental compatibility.

This central outdoor view highlights the rammed earth construction and floor to ceiling glass, combining for structural efficiency.

This central outdoor view highlights the rammed earth construction and floor to ceiling glass, combining for structural efficiency.

The dark wood eave can be seen in detail here, standing over the outdoor dining space with firewood store at left.

The dark wood eave can be seen in detail here, standing over the outdoor dining space with firewood store at left.

Here's a view from the open front door with ornate handle, down central hallway, with service-containing wall at left.

Here’s a view from the open front door with ornate handle, down central hallway, with service-containing wall at left.

Central open living room space pictured here, with large grey U-shaped sectional centered around tiered circular coffee tables, over brightly colored area rug. Floor to ceiling glass affords view to outdoor space, while dining room and kitchen are pictured in background.

Central open living room space pictured here, with large grey U-shaped sectional centered around tiered circular coffee tables, over brightly colored area rug. Floor to ceiling glass affords view to outdoor space, while dining room and kitchen are pictured in background.

Head-on view of slim fireplace built into the wall in the living rom, with lengthy dark wood mantle and in-wall firewood storage.


Head-on view of slim fireplace built into the wall in the living rom, with lengthy dark wood mantle and in-wall firewood storage.

Wide view of central living space, showcasing sunlit kitchen area in background, with dining table to the right and main entrance to left.

Wide view of central living space, showcasing sunlit kitchen area in background, with dining table to the right and main entrance to left.

Here's a closer view of the kitchen space, with large hand-crafted tile island at center, beneath angled skylights.

Here’s a closer view of the kitchen space, with large hand-crafted tile island at center, beneath angled skylights.

Bathroom features white pedestal bathtub next to windows, with continuation of the kitchen tiles on counter to the left.

Bathroom features white pedestal bathtub next to windows, with continuation of the kitchen tiles on counter to the left.

Floating sink design mounts against dark tile wall, beneath vertical oriented mirror on rammed-earth-based wall.

Floating sink design mounts against dark tile wall, beneath vertical oriented mirror on rammed-earth-based wall.

The pool area features glass fence on three sides, maintaining the view.

The pool area features glass fence on three sides, maintaining the view.

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Here’s a full-on view of the house, fully opened in warm weather. Windows on all sides allow cross ventilation of fresh air throughout.

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