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Helen Street by mw|works architecture + design

The clients were living on a rural property east of Seattle but were drawn back to the vibrancy of the city. This new project would distill their way of living into a smaller footprint, specifically tailored to their tastes and activities. Early design discussions focused on a simple modern structure with a quiet palette constructed on a modest budget. The home should be open and light filled but also provide privacy. Above all, the owners described a quiet design integrated with landscape that would create a tangible calmness in the home. The concept grew from this premise, drawing complexity from the opportunities and constraints of an urban corner lot. A courtyard in the center of the site brings light and private outdoor space deeper into the site and serves as an organizational hub. The result is a project that is simple but very intentional and serves as a backdrop to the landscape and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

Helen Street, Seattle, WA, USA, by mw|works architecture + design

Villa Ypsilon by LASSA Architects

Located in an olive grove in southern Peloponnese, this summer residence is characterized by an Ypsilon shaped green roof that acts as both an accessible extension of the terrain, while framing the most significant views from the inside out. The project was designed by London and Brussels based architects Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Dora Sweijd from LASSA architects. The roof’s bifurcating pathways define three courtyards that form distinct hemispheres with specific occupancy depending on the course of the sun. The house is located on the top of a hill which provides vistas towards the bay of Schiza and Sapientza as well as mountain views towards the east. The height of the house is limited to the tip of the olive trees to enable its integration with the surrounding landscape.

The interior spaces are organized in two main parts: A more private area containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms with views towards the east and a more common area towards the south containing the kitchen area and the living room which provide continuous access to all three courtyards. The circulation through, around and on top of the house forms a continuous promenade comprising indoor and outdoor activities. The form of the concrete shell coupled with the planted roof and cross ventilation strategy provides an environmental response which prevents the need for mechanical cooling systems. The remote location of the project in combination with the limited budget and non-standard geometry induced a construction strategy that called for a large amount of off-site prefabrication and self-assembly which allowed to reduce the construction time to 7 months without compromising anything in terms of quality or exceeding the budget. “We decided to buy a CNC machine that allowed for extensive prototyping and the production of non-standard elements. This included the concrete shell formwork, the livingroom lost formwork/acoustic ceiling, custom window frames, interior furniture and partition systems as well as landscape and pool formers.” Theo Sarantoglou Lalis This ‘hands-on’ approach allowed for a minimal use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ products while instead favoring locally sourced materials such as concrete, terrazzo and marble.

Villa Ypsilon, Messenia, Greece, by LASSA Architects

Casa Maria & José by Sergio Sampaio Arquitetura

The owners – an elderly couple with four children – require that the house should be single-story due to the reduced mobility of some family members, demanding attention to accessibility standards – ramp, lift, accessibility bars in bathrooms, etc. The main program of social housing, leisure, and intimate areas – were distributed in a single pavilion that subtly lands under the ground, without effectively touching the ground. Such subtlety is due to the structuring of pillars and metal beams.
 
The service and garage areas are located under the main pavilion, occupying the void coming from the natural slope of the land. At the same time that the facade of such a volume presents itself as a closed box for its surroundings, internally there is a large patio that allows the visual integration between the environments of the house, besides ensuring the entrance of permanent natural lighting. The large pool made of prestressed concrete connects to the main volume of the house with the purpose of integrating leisure activities with the social life of the house, facilitating the circulation and access of the residents of the house.

Casa Maria & José, by Sergio Sampaio Arquitetura
Photography by Leonardo Finotti

Waterside Buddist Shrine by ARCHSTUDIO

This is a place for Buddhist mediation, thinking and contemplation, as well as a place satisfying the needs of daily life. The building is located in the forest by the riverside. Along the river, there is a mound, behind which is a great stretch of open field and sporadic vegetable greenhouses. The design started from the connection between the building and nature, adopts the method of earthing to hide the building under the earth mound while presenting the divine temperament of nature with flowing interior space. A place with power of perception where trees, water, Buddha and human coexist is thus created.

To remain trees along the river perfectly intact, the building plan avoids all trunks. Shape of the plan looks like branches extending under the existing forest. Five separated and continuous spaces are created within the building by two axis, among which one is north-south going and another one goes along the river. The five “branches” represent five spaces of different functions: entrance, Buddhist meditation room, tea room, living room and bathroom, which form a strolling-style experience together.

Waterside Buddist Shrine, Tangshan, Hebei, China, by ARCHSTUDIO
Photography by Wang Ning, Jin Weiqi

Harpel House by John Lautner

High up in the Hollywood Hills sits the Lautner Harpel House, an unrivalled example of signature Californian architecture. Since it was built in 1956, the design of architect John Lautner, an apprentice of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright, the building saw dramatic changes, including a second storey addition and other features deemed ill-fitting to its style.

After acquiring the house in 2006, design restorer and Resurrection Vintage co-founder Mark Haddawy took on the mammoth task of restoring house to its original glory. For the latest episode of In Residence, Haddawy invites director Victoria Hely-Hutchinson into the expansive, impeccably restored hilltop pad where he talks through the poetic nature of the forensic refurbishment.

Harpel House, by John Lautner, Film Directed by Victoria Hely-Hutchinson
via: NOWNESS

Lake Cottage by UUfie

Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house where nature is an integral part of the building. In a forest of birch and spruce trees along the Kawartha Lakes, the cottage is designed as a two storey, multi-uses space for a large family. The structure composed of a 7m high A-frame pitch roof covered in black steel and charred cedar siding. A deep cut in the building volume creates a cantilever overhang for a protected outdoor terrace with mirrors to further give the illusion of the building containing the forest inside.

Lake Cottage, Bolsover, Kawartha Lakes, ON, Canada, by UUfie
Photography by Naho Kubota

E20 Private Residence by Steimle Architekten

Facing the street, the new building presents only a few openings cut deeply into the solid concrete shell. While the crystal-shaped house still relates to the existing built context due to its parallel elongated sides, it contrasts distinctly with the neighboring buildings by virtue of the tapered ends formed by its shorter sides. It is this oblique arrangement of the facades that enables the building to open out to the surrounding outdoor spaces and to offer its inhabitants unexpectedly expansive views in the distance. A conventional gable roof and the gently rising terrain reinforce the angular, sculptural effect of the house, which is designed on a hexagonal ground plan.

Upon entering the house through its entrance cut deep into the concrete mass, you first reach the garden room. From here, a single-flight stair leads up to the residential level. The quite narrow and high entrance area morphs into a space that opens upward but is clearly bounded by the multiple folds of the roof form: as you move through the house, constriction and expansion, enclosure and openness enter into an exciting, constantly shifting dialogue. The window openings set horizontally into the 50 cm thick concrete shell create a framed view of the surrounding, gently undulating landscape. All the rooms of the house correlate with its crystalline form: the trapezoidal layout of the walls yields a diversity of new spatial relationships that have a special character induced by the upward-sloping ceiling surfaces. The individual rooms for the children and the parents lie directly adjacent to the living space and, as opposing parallelograms, divide the open floor plan into zones for the kitchen and the dining area. The result is a sensuous, atmospherically dense place of dwelling.

In its minimalism and robustness, the insulating concrete is a monochrome, massive shell that defines the essence of the house both inside and outside. Outside, thanks to the rough-sawn wooden board formwork, the concrete has the appearance of a solid, lively textured, and protective enclosure. Inside, the folded concrete surfaces are smooth by design and contrast with the warm hues of the solid oak fixtures.

E20 Private Residence, Pliezhausen, Germany, by Steimle Architekten
Photography by Brigida González

The Valley House by Superkül

Built for a family of five, this house in Toronto’s Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood occupies a deep lot on a reverse ravine, with a heavily forested slope rising steeply behind. superkül’s renovation and addition respects the legacy of the existing bungalow’s Mid-Century Modern heritage while establishing a deeper connection to site. Consequently, the existing motif of courtyards and enclosures has been amplified to focus attention and activity to particular zones of the house, and the smooth integration of interior and exterior spaces has been achieved.

The Valley House,Hoggs Hollow, Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Superkül

Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion Posters by Blackhaus

This project starts as a small fragment of our new audacious project called “Iconic Architecture” which will be splitted into several chapters being each chapter a new reading of famous architectures which branded our culture.

About the pavilion
As part of the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona Spain, the Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe, was the display of architecture’s modern movement to the world. Originally named the German Pavilion, the pavilion was the face of Germany after WWI, emulating the nation’s progressively modern culture that was still rooted in its classical history. Its elegant and sleek design combined with rich natural material presented Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion as a bridge into his future career, as well as architectural modernism.

Iconic Architecture: Barcelona Pavilion, by Mies Van der Rohe, at Blackhaus

Sticks & Stones Home by Luigi Rosselli Architects

Hunters Hill is an attractive, historic peninsula that lies between the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. The suburb, a precursor to the Garden City movement, was subdivided in the 19th century with sandstone mansions and Victorian timber cottages sitting side by side, with large gardens and private parks containing centuries old trees.

It was natural to choose stone and timber to build a new house on the edge of one of these private parks. Sydney sandstone has a slightly yellow hue that darkens and becomes more attractive over time. The timeless materials provide a warm colour palette in an otherwise contemporary construction.

Behind the sandstone walls, huge, double glassed (Skyframe) windows with minimal framing are pocketed out of sight. Post tensioned concrete slabs have been cantilevered with minimal steel post support to cover the main garden terrace. Behind vertical timber shutters, curved glass windows span from floor to ceiling.

Designed for an uncluttered and relaxed family life the house layout is very simple and quite cartesian in plan except for one sinuous wall overhanging the driveway. Every room opens to a terrace or the garden through large glass doors that slide on ball bearings; one can step outside without noticing the thresholds. Additionally, one can move fluidly from the entry to the open plan living space while hardly noticing the floor to ceiling timber door that, when open, is entirely hidden in the wall but when closed completely separates the open plan area from the rest of the house.

All this modern machinery for easy living could end up being sterile and boring without a dark side: take the stairs to the basement and you will find a subterranean level housing a car collection, a home theatre, workshop, and wine cellar.

Sticks & Stones Home, Hunters Hill, NSW, Australia, by Luigi Rosselli Architects
Photography by Edward Birch

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