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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

Cefn Castell by stephenson STUDIO

The site is remote occupying a spectacular panoramic view location overlooking Cardigan Bay. The clients’ brief was to provide a family home with three bedrooms maximizing the views and unique nature of the location. The clients’ passion for art and sculpture was to be referred to in the design. The house plan is abstracted as a Mondrian inspired painting, which is hung at the heart of the house. The stone remains of a 400 year old cottage were re-used for the new boundary wall offering privacy and textural contrast of the ‘traditional’ juxtaposing ‘the new’. The new house separates from the wall with a glass slot roof, visually suggesting the house delicately “kisses” the wall.

All rooms enjoy a view to the panorama beyond the site as well as intimate views internally visually linking spaces through the floor plans inside to out. Visual links are abundant through the plan via pivot doors which compartment spaces down on their closure. A sliding glass screen opens to the external secluded courtyard into the plan of the living spaces. Two bedrooms have been arranged to provide closure of the plan to the private inner courtyard. The bedrooms are located to act as a retreat away from severe weather conditions.

At first floor is a master bedroom and en-suite. A glazed wall overlooks the sea and coastline. The en-suite bath projects out from the plan for sea and sky views. From the bedroom, further views back across the fields, to the mountains and Criccieth Castle are on offer from the stairwell via glass slot windows.

The new house is a defining and epoch making change to what existed previously. The Local Planning Authority were fully supportive from the pre-planning consultation and duly granted consent by delegated powers. They recognized the rigor of the design and theory which fully complied with current planning policy. Elevations are about framing, layering of materials and solid and void. A steel frame structure and combination of rendered masonry and lightweight timber frame construction allowed for the large expanse openings to be created. The extrusion of the first floor references the maritime theme of coastal observation stations, whilst massing up the approach view of the house set within its own private walled courtyard.

A parking courtyard provides hardscape surfaces with views out onto the large lawned garden area to the sea view. The plan of the house is extruded out to form an external terrace area with a level change of approximately 300mm.

Cefn Castell, Criccieth, United Kingdom, by stephenson STUDIO
Photograph by Andrew Wall photography

Parquet Patterned Pool and Spa by Claesson Koivisto Rune

A spa with two pools has been completed adjacent to a 1796 mansion in south Sweden. The spa has one indoor pool for wintertime and one outdoor for summer. The outdoor pool sits on a podium, which levels the slope on which the mansion sits. It thus creates a platform from which you have an elevated view over the estate towards the back. Yet, it sits discrete as seen from the approach to the main entrance. The indoor pool is hidden inside the podium so that one pool could be said to sit on top of the other. The two spa areas are each other’s mirrors.

The outside is protruding while the inside is hollowed out. But both share the same patterned concept. Lending inspiration from the Gustavian (Neoclassical) mansion in general and parquet floor patterns from the time in particular, the concept is built on the chevron (French parquet). Wood decking and custom precision laser cut tiles share the same chevron pattern in different scales. Two archetypically house-shaped structures stand, extrusion-like, on the podium next to the outdoor pool. The larger house makes for a roofed outdoor kitchen and dining place. The smaller and narrower house conceals the stairwell down to the indoor spa. The spa harmonises with the mansion in proportions but does not recreate the historic style. House shapes and pattern are contemporary interpretations of classic composition.

The oversized (in comparison with normal parquets) tiles are white which allows them to be coloured turquoise by the depth of the water. Each step down into the pool thus is a deeper hue of turquoise. The water itself is not treated as a transparent ”nothing” but as a visible element and one of the materials on the palette. A material with the added function of beautifully lifting the tile pattern from the bottom of the pool to the surface, refracted and distorted by ripples.

Sauna and showers behind a dark tinted glass wall flank the indoor pool. The tint makes the glass act with more reflection that amplifies the chevron pattern. The whole spa palette is complete with only four materials: Wood, tile, water and glass – the chevron pattern from wood is superimposed on tile, amplified and modulated by water and reflected by glass.

Parquet Patterned Pool and Spa, by Claesson Koivisto Rune

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