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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

Fairmile by BattersbyHowat Architects

This single family home is located on a steep West Vancouver slope with expansive views to the water of the Georgia Strait in the southwest and the city of Vancouver in the southeast. A series of basic transformations to a simple form embeds a rich and diverse experiential sequence focusing on privacy, light and livability. A raised portion of the main roof over the living spaces expands exposure to sunlight and southern views while incorporating north-facing automated clerestory windows for ventilation. This “lifted” roof is manipulated internally to drop into the box form, respond to structural spanning, and create angled planes that bounce light into the core of the house. A bend in the south-facing volume provides privacy from neighboring properties and differentiates the south-easterly view to the City of Vancouver and Lion’s Gate Bridge from west-facing views towards the Georgia Strait and Gulf Islands. Floors extending south create outdoor terraces that screen further development down the slope. The extension of the east and west side walls and substantial roof overhangs offer additional privacy, while mitigating solar gains. Two north-facing courtyards offer respite from
the sunny south terraces while improving ventilation and natural light.

Fairmile, West Vancouver, Canada, by BattersbyHowat Architects
Photography by Tom Arban Photography

Flynn Mews House by LOHA

Located in the heart of Dublin, Ireland, the Flynn Mews House seamlessly integrates into and celebrates its historic urban fabric. Sharing ground with an 1847 coach house, the design for this residence highlights and reframes the site through an unabashedly contemporary gesture that honors history while adding to it a distinctly new architectural strain.

This home engages with the historic core of Dublin in a uniquely intimate way. With its main entrance by way of a small mews, or alley, the site’s historic coach house façade was restored and incorporated into the new structure so that unobstructed views from the original manor remain unspoiled.

The house comprises two volumes that flank an interior sunken courtyard, creating a dynamic sequencing of exterior and interior spaces that is atypical in urban Dublin.This staggering of two masses best resolves the challenge of highlighting the preserved wall. Overlooking the interstitial courtyard, the historic façade is reflected across the contemporary glazed forms that surround it. A contemporary glass bridge is suspended across the central void.

As part of the Dublin Green Building Pilot Program, the house utilizes sustainable measures achieved through a holistic design approach: recycled and high performance materials, solar panels for domestic water heating, and radiant floors heated by an underground pump system that incorporates gray water. The Flynn Mews House was completed with an Irish firm, ODOS, providing services as executive architect during its construction documents and administration phases.

Flynn Mews House, Dublin, Ireland, by Lorcan O’ Herlihy Architects
Photography by Enda Cavanagh, Alice Clancy

MR House by Luciano Kruk Arquitectos

MR House, Costa Esmeralda, Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Luciano Kruk Arquitectos
Photography by Daniela Mac Adden

White Cave House by Takuro Yamamoto Architects

White Cave House is a massive lump engraved by a series of voids interconnected in the shape of a kinked tube. The connection of voids – we call it Cave – is the theme of this house. Internal rooms are designed to enjoy the minimum views of Cave characterized by its whiteness. At the same time, this concept is also the practical solution to realize a courtyard house in Kanazawa city known for heavy snow in Japan.

The client’s original request was a white minimally-designed house with many external spaces, such as a large snow-proof approach to the entrance, a roofed garage for multiple cars, a terrace facing to the sky, and a courtyard. Though a roofed entrance and a garage are desirable for snowy place, it takes so many floor areas away from the internal rooms for the family, while the space and the budget is limited. In addition, courtyard style itself is not suitable to the snowy country because courtyards would be easily buried under snow.
To solve the problems, we proposed to connect these external spaces one another into a large single tube, or Cave, and have each part serve multiple purposes in order to make up for the space limitations. We designed Cave unstraight because it prevents passengers outside from seeing through, though it is not closed. By this arrangement, Cave takes a new turn for each part letting in the sunshine while protecting privacy of the courtyard, the terrace, and the internal rooms. The family inside can enjoy the view of Cave changing its contrast throughout a day under the sunshine. Cave also serves as a route to remove snow from the external spaces in winter, otherwise you would be at a loss with a lot of snow in the enclosed courtyard.

In order to make Cave deserve its name more, we wondered if we could add the reflection of water to the house because we thought water is inseparable from white caves. We eventually figured out that the terrace was an appropriate site to place it. The terrace covered by white waterproof FRP holds a thin layer of water like a white basin. On the terrace reflecting the skyview without obstacles, you may feel that Cave has brought you to another world far from the daily life.

White Cave House, by Takuro Yamamoto Architects

Okinawa House by John Pawson

The site for this family home is a 414sqm cliff-top plot on the island of Okinawa, where the clients wish to spend their summer and winter holidays. As they live in a box-shaped house in Tokyo, the brief was for somewhere with a sense of vertical and horizontal expansiveness and the fluidity of the catenary curve came up as a visual reference. The design traces the diagonal footprint of the plot, combining single and double-height spaces within a form that is closed and tapered to the rear, but to the front flares and opens like an eye over the headland, with the ground floor level raised to optimise sightlines to the ocean.

Okinawa House, by John Pawson
Photography by Nacasa & Partners

Shulman Home and Studio by LOHA

LOHA’s restoration and modernization applies contemporary measures of performance and design to a historic building, enhancing its continued life as an exceptional family residence.

The Julius Shulman Home and Studio was originally commissioned by photographer Julius Shulman, designed by Raphael Soriano, and completed in 1950. It is one of twelve remaining built Soriano projects, the only with an unaltered steel frame, and a City of Los Angeles Historic–Cultural Monument. LOHA was engaged to not simply restore the significant home, but to update the space so that it could meet the specific needs of a young family.

For this project, LOHA undertook extensive research into the materiality and design intentions of the original structure, as well as other buildings from the period. As a notable landmark, the Shulman Home was restored under strict preservation guidelines supervised by the Los Angeles Office of Historical Resources. Due to the home’s status as a residence and not a museum, LOHA was granted more flexibility in upgrading the residence with essential contemporary features and important amenities. LOHA’s sensitive and light approach brought out the timeless nature of the Soriano’s elegant design.

Shulman Home and Studio, by LOHA, via Plastolux, Photography by Iwan Baan
Buy the book: Julius Shulman Photographer of Modernism

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