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Rooiels Beach House by Elphick Proome Architects

This vacation beach house located near Cape Town, South Africa, is carefully crafted to respond directly to the brief from the client, a maverick businessman from Johannesburg. Primary requirements were to create an extraordinary living experience, conceptually capture the client’s brief to create a single space vacation house and fully embrace the remarkable seaside location.

Capitalizing on its unique context with panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, the house is thus conceived as a minimal steel framed glass box with a hull shaped hardwood clad roof to facilitate distant views to the surrounding mountains. All the external walls are frameless sliding folding glass doors and are filtered by slatted hardwood shutters which open hydraulically to become verandas when open and a continuous secure screen when closed. To ensure minimum environmental intrusion to the sensitive fynbos vegetation and dunes that form the site, the house is elevated to allow the fynbos to be extended under its footprint. All interior walls dividing living and sleeping spaces are sliding ash clad doors which slide away during daytime hours to create a single large living space which flows out on all four edges on to broad cantilevered decks made of Garapa hardwood.

The effect created is thus an umbrella, connecting isotropically to the amazing environment that cradles the house. This building significantly evolves the seaside vacation house typology by dematerializing the notion of cellular space, burring the traditional regime of private and semi-private space and offering variant connection and refuge. The house is counterpointed by a freestanding elevated pool and subterranean entry court and garage clad in unhewn beach stone and Garapa. The elongated pavilion with a floating curvilinear roof displays a minimal architectural language rendered in steel, glass, raw concrete and all powerfully juxtaposed with warm hardwoods deployed in the ceilings, furniture and all joinery to deliver an extraordinary outcome.

Rooiels Beach House, Cape Town, South Africa, by Elphick Proome Architects

House in Alentejo Coast by Aires Mateus

Among the pines trees, a stone plateau is drawn to a scale that can no longer be understood as a courtyard. The space embraces a wide area of trees. The house and its services define a recognizable solid border. The interior of this boundary is inhabitable and characterized by light. The more open side of the house creates a water tank through the connection of geometries. A space that embraces its context is created through this closed extension.

House in Alentejo Coast, by Aires Mateus

Life House by John Pawson

From the beginning, the thinking behind the Life House was an uncompromisingly modern design where it would be possible to inhabit a different sort of architectural space. Experiments with massing and orientation have produced a composition that is bedded into the fall of the land. The proliferation of blackened gorse in the surrounding heathland is reflected in the dark exterior brickwork, whilst the rough moor grass provides a reference for the lighter bricks used inside.

The house’s programme is arranged as a series of self-contained folds, opening off two corridors. Meeting at a right angle, these passageways generate extended internal vistas and a plan designed to allow groups living in proximity to spend time together and apart, in a spatial arrangement that shares certain characteristics with the monastic cloister. The corridors — one light, one dark — represent more than just the means to get between the different parts of the house, they are key architectural experiences, each charged with its own distinctive character.

In the spirit of creating a contemporary Walden, communal and private quarters are shaped by the idea of supporting and enriching specific rituals and activities. Across the Life House this translates into optimised inventories of equipment and functional conditions, but also into a series of finely calibrated atmospheres.

Life House, Llanbister, Mid Wales, by John Pawson
Photography by Gilbert McCarragher

Beachyhead by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

A set of living spaces is held in a dramatic concrete box that floats over the site. Connected to a garden on the street side, the building sits above the pool level on the beach side.

Beachyhead, by SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

No-No tables by Note and Norm for Menu

No-No tables are a result of two Scandinavian design studios meeting and being inspired by an old patinaed Italian marble floor during a visit to Milan. “The tilting of the floor was put together from leftover pieces of stone. Almost randomly the different slabs of marble in a variety of qualities and colors came together in a beautiful disordered patten, that made it into the most beautiful graphic artwork.”, Kristoffer Fagerström explains. The thought of using this normally elevated and luxurious material in a more casual way became the starting point of this collaborative project between Note and Norm. Later the same day, Note Design Studio stumbled into Norm Architects somewhere in Milan and a discussion about the beauty of the random qualities of the floor – which you also find in the traditional Japanese landscape architecture – morphed into to a product idea for the design company Menu.

No-No tables, by Note Design Studio and Norm Architects for Menu

Bronte Restaurant by Design Research Studio

Under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, Design Research Studio (DRS) have created the interiors for Bronte, a new restaurant located on the Strand overlooking Trafalgar Square. Inspired by the history of the Strand, Victorian explorers, extraordinary collectors and Cabinet of Curiosities, BRONTE is DRS’s first standalone restaurant since Eclectic in Paris.

The restaurant boasts striking architectural features such as an arched glazed facade leading from the traditional colonnade terrace into a double heighted space with a mezzanine level and a more intimate dining room towards the back. Floor to ceiling windows bathe the pantry area in natural light, with a subtle and stylish palette travelling through to the main restaurant.

Bronte Restaurant, Strand, London, by Design Research Studio

Vallès Oriental Residence by YLAB Arquitectos

Located in a beautiful valley in the south of the Maresme Mountains, this home was designed to capture the magnificent views of the coastal mountain range with pine and holm oak forests. The clients, a Scandinavian family, wanted to create a dream holiday home with accommodations for their kids and guests: a unique, warm and comfortable contemporary space that would host an inviting and harmonious atmosphere. The home was planned as two different volumes connected by a large terrace with a swimming pool and the front garden. The secondary volume consists of the garage and the guesthouse. The primary one is an elongated two-storey volume containing the main house that faces the terrace.

The main house captures the owners desire for luxury and transparency to enjoy the views. On both floors, a large corridor along the main façade connects the spaces and allows an elongated view through the whole house. Natural light is pulled into the plan via large windows and a central patio.

The street level is comprised of the living room with an integrated dining area and the kitchen, both separated by a central entrance hall with the staircase. The upper level is composed of three children bedrooms with a play room and the master bedroom at the opposite side. A beautifully complementary rich material palette of taupe colored concrete floors, tobacco-colored wood paneling and cabinetry, sandstone walls and elegant furnishings create a contemporary, sophisticated and warm environment. Color is introduced subtly through brass elements, as part of the custom-made furniture and décor, rich fabrics and the landscape views.

The spacious sun-drenched living room is formed by different settings that encourage get-togethers. A tobacco wood custom-made wall unit with integrated black steel fireplace, TV and sound system dominates the space. The living area displays a cozy arrangement of light colored sofas and chaise longues, paired with black marble coffee tables, armchairs and ottomans over a beige silk rug. In the adjacent dining area, under a set of magnificent brass suspended lamps, a dark lacquered table is flanked by brass legged chairs. Grey natural sandstone wall claddings, adjustable wood slats and natural silk taupe curtains complete the living room, which connects with the inner patio decorated by an olive tree.

In the kitchen, a central unit with two side sliding doors, separates the kitchen from the rear located kitchen auxiliary areas. A large central island contains a cooktop and serves as an informal dining space. The bespoke kitchen is finished in a dark coffee lacquer finished with a Neolith worktop and backsplash in the same color.

The master suite contains a dark coffee lacquered custom-made bed with leather headboard, brass side lamps and a silk rug that become the room’s major element. On the opposite side is a grey sandstone paneled wall unit with a brass covered opening and wood drawers, which hides the tv and storage space. A large wood sliding door separates the sleeping area from the bath and closet. The central standing washbasin with mirror and two black tinted glass side doors give access to the more private areas.

Vallès Oriental Residence, by YLAB Arquitectos

LSD Residence by Davidov Partners

This new house was designed to accommodate a couple of soon to be empty nesters. Built on an irregular block the ground floor of the house was conceived as 3 distinct zones punctured by 2 glazed interstitial areas. This allowed the linear arrangement of the house to be perceived as contained and expanded. The entry to the house enters directly into the first of these interstitial areas which contains the staircase and views beyond, allowing the modest proportions of the size (varying between 8-12m) to be maximized. The second interstitial area is occupied by the kitchen island executed as a simple black box containing some of the kitchen facilities. The other cooking and cleaning facilities as well as a walk in pantry are located adjacent to the island concealed from view. The first floor master bedroom is conceived as a hotel suite. Entered via a dressing area that overlooks the entry void via plantation shutters, the open rooms contains the sleeping and ensuite facilities within a single space. The WC and shower are housed within a curved module rendered in the same cement render as the exterior of the building. The curved wall of the shower animates the stark façade of the building, which, depending on the lighting levels and time of day emerges and submerges from view from the street. The limited palate of natural materials, namely cement render and unfilled travertine are used throughout the house both internally and externally. Over time the contrasting effects of external wear and internal protection will allow the inherent nature of these materials to become more pronounced adding another layer of interest and subtle contrast.

LSD Residence, Toorak, Victoria, Australia, by Davidov Partners
Photography by Andrew Wuttke, Robert Davidov

Peter’s House by Studio David Thulstrup

The renowned photographer Peter Krasilnikoff commissioned architecture practice Studio David Thulstrup for his private residence and studio in the Islands Brygge harbour-side district of Copenhagen. The guiding inspiration for the project evolved from worn-out warehouses and factories with their blackened steel and old bricks; a concept direction which was sparked by the desire to retain the three raw-brick walls of the original garage building on the site. Retaining the brick walls which sit to the boundary of the narrow site, revealed the challenge of permitting light into the new building structure. The task was solved by a simple gesture with a slight twist. A glass-walled atrium was dropped down through the center of the building volume and floods all three floors of the residence with natural light. The atrium contains expanses of dark mirror paneling creating the appearance of a far larger internal space and enhanced lighting effect. Specially selected greenery has been planted in a manner of a natural Scandinavian woodland. The atrium is the central green heart of the house.

Peter’s House, Denmark, by Studio David Thulstrup
Photography by Peter Krasilnikoff

Architecture Model Museum: Archi-Depot

Japan is getting its first museum dedicated to miniature architecture models. On June 18, 2016, Archi-Depot will open on Tennozu Isle in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district. Boasting a 450 sq m (4840 sq ft) space with 5.2 m (17 ft) ceilings, Archi-Depot will be lined with over 100 shelves all dedicated to the permanent display of architecture models. According to Fashionsnap, the organization has already secured models made by architectural luminaries like Kengo Kuma, Jun Aoki and Shigeru Ban, as well as a younger generation of architects like Wonderwall and Torafu. And they’ll continue to add to their collection.

Each model will be accompanied by a QR code that you can scan with your smartphone to bring up more information like photos of the completed work. The space itself is operated by Terada Warehouse, a company that specializes in the storage of valuables like art and wine. Tennozu Isle, where Archi-Depot is located, was previously an industrial hub for airlines and freight companies because of its proximity to the water and Haneda Airport. But the area has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years in an attempt to rebrand itself as an isle with “art & heart.”

Archi-Depot, 2-6-10 Higashi Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan, via: Spoon & Tamago

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