The location of this house, in the heart of a bustling resort town, demanded special consideration of the acoustic sense. The house is comprised of a series of parallel walls that provide layers of privacy and insulation from the sound of the village. The walls project beyond the living spaces and ascend in height, building from a human-scale wall at the entry to a high wall along the center of the house. The walls diffract the sound waves moving past them, casting an acoustic shadow over the property to create a quiet outdoor gathering area.
The walls are built with insulated concrete forms: a wall assembly nearly twenty inches thick, comprised of a poured concrete core, continuous from footing to roof, wrapped in insulating foam, that also serves as formwork during construction. These walls provide excellent thermal insulation and an extremely low sound transmission coefficient. Due to the strength of their concrete cores, the walls act as structural beams, enabling them to span over the gathering space at the center of the house and the covered deck.
Inside, variations on the clips are utilized as robe hooks, cabinet pulls, and hinges for an adjustable sound baffle in the central gathering space. The hinges hang cedar boards in front of a felt panel with spaces between them. Sound waves pass through the gaps between the boards, are trapped behind them, and absorbed by the felt. The hinges allow the spacing of the boards to be adjusted so the room can be acoustically tuned for intimate gatherings or boisterous parties. The stair is also tuned to create a subtle acoustic experience. The stair treads taper in thickness, changing the pitch of footfalls as one ascends from the woodshop in the basement, past the main floor with public spaces, guest room, and master bedroom, and up to the childrens’ rooms on the upper floor.
Elizabeth II, by Bates Masi Architects
Marcel Wanders’ newest timepiece creation, his grandfather clock. A literal monument to artistry, this stainless steel beauty towers at 2.10 meters tall and defines what it means to set the standard for meticulous design and mechanical luxury.
Grandfather clock, by Marcel Wanders, for Christofle
The project comes out of the need to reorganize the space and to solve structural problems related to the age of the building located in the centre of Milan. The structural refurbishment affects the whole pavement and the load-bearing beams of the ceiling, which have been replaced and implemented for a correct load distribution. The bearing wall that divided the living area from the bedrooms has remained the only pre-existing item of the old dwelling and actually it still divides the two macro areas of the house.
Nevertheless, the entire layout has been redesigned according to the needs of the new ownership, in detail, the kitchen has been added on the living room, optimising spaces. Kitchen is composed by a unique monolithic volume, made out of burnished steel plates. The kitchen cabinets have been replaced by a Carrara marble shelf, which enhances the room, making it an installation. Great attention is put in the choice of the all the materials and in their composition. Marble and burnished steel interact with a third particular finish: a cement effect, which dresses the whole architectural volume made of corridor, kitchen and living room, creating a perceptive unit and a clear separation from the sleeping area.
A particular attention has been given to the development of the bathroom, that becomes a wellness area, characterised by a wide space and precious finishes. Its presence is no longer hidden behind a latch, but it interacts with the living and with the rest of the apartment thanks to a built-in divider in resin.
The bedroom is separated from the rest of the apartment by means of an invisible door with a pivot hinge. Inside it, there’s a wide walk-in-closet, whose walls are made out of panels rotating up to 360 degrees, which can be completely opened, guaranteeing an optimal natural lighting, and which can become at the same time dividers and large containers.
Sought After, Milan, Italy, by AIM studio
Photography by Simone Furiosi
The development at 24 The Esplanade, Brighton, has been designed to provide four contemporary buildings of outstanding architectural quality, as a possible prototype for medium density housing in Melbourne. The siting, formal composition, and materiality of each building gives consideration to contextual issues such as surrounding building form and size, the waterfront promenade, and views within and from the site.
The proposed design is a mix of typologies, including terrace town houses, apartments and penthouses. Each is arranged in a way to maximise views to the beach, from apartments and semi-public areas, or capitalise on views within the site, towards the proposed landscaped areas. All four buildings are individually sculpted and provide an engaging dialogue through their juxtaposition.
Esplanade 30, Melbourne, Australia, by Wood Marsh Architecture
Photography by Lynton Crabb Photography
Italian-Danish duo GamFratesi and Swedish trio Front have designed beautiful pieces of furniture for furniture brand Wiener GTV Design (part of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna historically renowned for its iconic No. 14 Thonet bistro chair).
This timber and glass pavilion is the second house in the development and continues the theme of coastal modernity. Following the principles of the InForm ‘Retreat’ design, but on a larger scale, the house includes a double garage, four bedrooms and a lounge, as well as an open plan kitchen, meals and living space.
The characteristic long lineal roof plane caps the entire building, protecting the loggia and deck that extends the length of the northern exterior. A full height vertical timber screen protects the loggia from the west, and creates a dynamic front façade. Large full height black aluminium doors connect the living areas and master bedroom to the deck and sweeping lawn beyond. The black aluminium provides a striking contrast with the smoky grey oiled timber cladding and crisp white fascias. A white concrete brick blade wall separates the entry from the loggia and extends into the living area to form the fireplace. White oiled oak floors add an appropriate contemporary but rustic sensibility to the interior palette, which also includes stainless steel and marble bench tops, oak joinery and a white mosaic tiled splash back.
Blairgowrie 2, by InForm
Photography by Hilary Bradford & Derek Swalwell
Few architects have imbued a community with as much design spirit as has Donald Wexler for Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. One of the first impressions of this spirit was the house he designed for himself and his family, in which they lived for 38 years. After expanding the home in 1960, he assisted in its 2008 restoration, consulting and designing alongside the owners, with painstaking attention to quality and detail. This restoration – which he considered to be the final evolution of his aesthetic – was awarded MOD COM’s 2009 Preservation of the Year.
A privacy wall surrounds the house and newly-landscaped grounds, by William Kopelk and Marcello Villano. The pedestrian gate opens to reveal a gem-like transparency of floor-to-ceiling glass walls and wide overhangs, all engendered by the post and beam construction. Taking cues from his mentor, Richard Neutra, Wexler “pinwheels” the floor plan so rooms open readily to the many terraces and salt-water pool.
Open living and dining room, a kitchen modernized with stainless steel appliances, library nook, three bedrooms, two baths, car port. Terrazzo and T111 panels crisply unify the whole, while creating intimate spaces. The elegant Master suite is thoughtfully separated from the guest wing, which opens to private outdoor spaces, flanked by spectacular mature pine trees and the original Wexler spa. Sophisticated yet relaxing, the Wexler House stands as a testament to the marriage of design and livability found in Mid-Century architecture.
The Wexler House, Palm Springs, California, by Donald Wexler
Photography by Lance Gerber
The house consists of three volumes stacked in a pyramid shape, whereby the two lower ones contain the living areas and the upper volume houses three bedrooms; these three ‘blocks’ were made to stand out by using different materials on their facade, namely stone and metal for the lower ones and wood for the upper one. On top of the whole house sits a pavilion with a barbecue area and a sunbathing area which also acts as a viewing platform, offering a 360-degrees view of the city.
Casa Lara, São Paulo, Brazil, by Felipe Hess
Photography by Ricardo Basseti
Lines & Dots is a pendant light fitting in which the light, its basic element, relinquishes all its importance to the material, the metal, in this particular case working as would a sculptor.
Lines & Dots has its origins in dozens of ink drawings. From those abstract silhouettes there emerged a series of eight shapes, given form using folding rods and soldered by hand by local craftsmen. Eight different modules which are combined using the cable as a pivot. Sculptural light fitting that creates a contrast between shadows and light, transparency and opacity, movement and immobility and whose source of light is an adjustable led, which gives off a warm light and incorporates state of the art technology.
Lines & Dots, by Goula / Figuera
The discreet polygonal volumes of the two buildings are the result of ideas of visual privacy and vantage points, and with their slanted roofs they constitute a single entity. The concave and convex recesses enter into a dialogue with the exterior space. A sculptural quality is generated, lending the buildings plasticity and a certain lightness. The form and the expression of the buildings therefore aim to fulfill both contextual and formal aspects. The arrangement of the facades follows the same principles. The concept involved is not one of houses with roofs, but rather of building shapes in which the surfaces of the roofs represent a “fifth” facade.
Both houses are reached by a footpath through the garden that connects the two exterior levels to each other. A “promenade architecturale” leads from the shared underground garage on beneath skylights to each of the vertical circulation cores of the houses. The polygonal form of the floor plan enables a differentiated spatial distribution. This means that the living areas are arranged around the orthogonally organised circulation cores. The rooms between these orthogonal structures and the folded progression of the facade form a spatial continuum that extends onwards to the upper storeys. The two houses differ in terms of the contrasting alignments and situations of the volumes. A further underground connection to the two volumes leads through the wellness area.
Villa Ensemble near Zurich, Switzerland, by Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler
Photography by Valentin Jeck