Located in Venice, Caliiornia, a beachside community characterized by small lots (30′ wide x 120′ wide), an eclectic mix of architecture and a unique blend of personality. While the tight square footage of the lot and an existing tree constrained the organizational possiblities of the home, the connection to community, the need for privacy and security, and interest in natural lighting offered endless possibilities
The 2,700 square foot singe family residence draws upon the site and context for inspiration by referencing a specimen pine on site and reinterpreting two other trees removed as part of the construction process.The trunk diameter of the pine is nearly five feet and the canopy over sixty feet across, so it clearly serves as the most dominant feature of the site (and nearly the entire block). Since removal was not an option for the clients, the parti of the house was organized around the tree’s location on site; near the back and virtually in the middle. This organization maximized the livable square footage of the house while minimizing the risk of damage to the tree. In reality. the plan of the house is quite simple and if left untreated could resemble any number of stuoco homes in the area. Exploring options through the exterior skin offered a dynamic expression of the client’s taste and character as well as the sculptural qualities of architecture.
Walnut Residence, Venice, Caliiornia, by Modal Design
A simple brief and programming requirements, teamed with a dramatic site characterised by a steep slope and a single tea tree, enabled the design to become an exploration into enclosing the basic rituals of domestic life within restrained building forms…the form of the building becomes driven by the clients desire to separate the public and private zones of the residence.
In stark contrast to the surrounding houses, which attempt to cancel out the sloping topography by creating a podium level at which the outdoor areas sit exposed high above ground level, our design for this house adopts a gentler strategy, with the building form spilling down the slope to terminate in a series of terraced decks.
These low lying decks aim to provide privacy from the golf course below, whilst the surrounding native landscape will shelter the outdoor areas from the harsh prevailing winds.
Varying levels of interaction and connection with the landscape, both real and perceived, drive all aspects of the design, from the channelled views of the horizon upon entry, through to the double height picture window that captures the full proportion of the tea tree, and the direct and intimate connection provided by the low level decks.
Ridge Road Residence, Mornington Peninsula Australia, by StudioFour
Designed for a client who spent years looking for the ideal location for a residence, the house sits on a steep slope off the side of a wooded road. The north-facing side of the residence boasts extensive glass walls allowing natural light to filter through and offering gorgeous views of Mount Asama in the distance. Wood panelling on the outside gives the residence an elemental look and helps it to blend in with its surrounding natural environment
House in Asamayama, Japan, by Kidosaki Architects Studio
Setting amidst the nature reserve that bounds the Upper Seletar reservoir, the bungalow at Mandai area is bestowed with the serenity and repose rarely found in the island of buzzling Singapore. In the island where every inch of land is dear, the owner’s brief for a single-storey bungalow house is unusual, and reflects a nonchalant attitude towards the mainstream practice of maximising the allowable buildable area granted by the authority. The house is designed in an orthogonal ‘doughnut’ shape, with the interior spaces surrounding a central open courtyard. The ‘doughnut’ configuration allows the owner to enjoy a secured outdoor space inside the building during the evenings after work, while the roof laid with timber deck above the living/dining space is an ‘outdoor living/dining space’ during parties and gathering. The living/dining space make up the front of the house that opens up to the road along the front boundary. A wall-to-wall timber deck strip aligns each side of the living/dining space where one could sit to enjoy the front garden and the courtyard, not unlike the ‘engawa’ concept of the traditional Japanese house, which is a transitory space between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’. Full-height glass sliding panels open the interior and the central courtyard to the public unapprehensively to blend the exterior into the interior. Natural light abounds the interior and constant breeze of fresh air is a given for the abode. An overhanging canopy floats in front of the entrance door to create a weightless statement in contrast to the grounded house form. The white colour with black colour such as ‘gargoyles’ and window frames as accentuation is a tribute towards the black and white colonial bungalows which are significant in Singapore.
Through the water fall as a entrance gate, the road leads you to the main house extending east and west on the left, and on the opposite side, a glass house in the forest as a guest house. The main house is simply composed of a white cube and 2 horizontal plates of 11m wide by 150m long.
All rooms for owner family are put linearly between the plates, opening to both north corridor and south deck terrace. A glazed room for spa & fitness at the east end, 6 bedrooms with exclusive bathroom and living room, a family living/dining room, and storages or maid rooms at the west end. This extremely long planning takes advantage of the beautiful landscape, gaining a panoramic view and a dynamic scale space as the very long deck terrace. At the same time, it regards a airy comfortable living environment.
Above the private rooms, there is a roof top terrace covered with sand and the swimming pool of 40m long. It’s like a floating sky beach surrounded by mountains. The white cube as formal living/dining room has 6M high ceiling. The stairs from the hall below divides the large room into southern living space and northern dining space.
150m weekend house — the longest house in this century — was born by admiring the mountain scenery as a given condition and imagining a seascape as the contrastive view.
150 m House, Khao yai, Thailand, by Designer, for Shinichi Ogawa & Associates, Photography © Pirak Anurakawachon
We raise high stone walls built of the same stone as the Zamora Cathedral, that follow the outline of the site, like a box open to the sky. We thus achieve a secret garden in which we conserve and plant leafy trees, aromatic plants and flowers. And we open openings in these stone walls that frame, from within, the cathedral, the landscape and the surrounding buildings. And in this verdant garden we build a transparent glass box that makes it seem as if one is working within the garden.
For the stone wall, qualities and dimensions were studied to express the strength of the stone in the same way as it is in the Cathedral. The same stone in large dimensions and with great thickness that accentuate the strength of the proposal. For the building itself, a glazed and perfectly controlled facade was conceived, with maximum simplicity in its construction system. The facade works actively in regard to the climate, able to hold in heat in the winter (Greenhouse effect) and at the same time to expel the heat and protect the building in the summer (Ventilated facade). It is a stone box open to the sky that holds a crystalline box and protects it and tempers it, immersed in the midst of a wonderful garden.
Offices for Junta de Castilla y León, Zamora, Spain, by Alberto Campo Baeza, In collaboration with Pablo Feméndez Lorenzo, Pablo Fledondo Diez, Alfonso Gonzalez Gaisan and Francisco Blanco Velasco
The story of Can Manuel d’en Corda is a very happy one. In a stunning plot in Vénda des Cap de Barbariain in the West of the picturesque island of Formentera, Spain, sits a traditional and pretty special house called Can Manuel de’n Corda. The house, which encapsulates the domestic vernacular architecture developed in Formentara between the late eighteenth and mid nineteenth centuries, was crying out for some tender love and care. Sitting pretty, surrounded by a forest of pines and junipers, it sat tight, waiting to be noticed and transformed. And one day, that’s just what happened.
Architects Marià Castelló and Daniel Redolat realized the potential of Can Manuel de’n Corda and set out to preserve the house, whilst adding volume to create a home that embraces its location without necessarily impacting its habitat. Whilst the house’s common areas have been maintained, the limited palette of materials used in the design, acts in turn to showcase the house’s traditional features. And so alcoves, stone walls, sloping ceilings and striking beams really stand out in the fresh minimal scheme. Like the original beams, the external joinery is made from solid iroko wood, and additions such as a striking steel fire place in the living room really complement this home’s existing character. The featured furniture includes Mediterranean design classics such as the Torres Clavé armchairs and Miquel Mila Cesta luminaire, as well as the traditional esparto skating chairs made by local artisans, thus enhancing the sense of this house’s rustic native roots.
Can Manuel d’en Corda, Vénda des Cap de Barbaría. Formentera, Spain, by Marià Castelló + Daniel Redolat, Photography © Estudi Es Pujol de s’Era, via: Yatzer
Consisting of an office & a residential space the division of the two lifestyles has been executed with symmetry and complete severity. The small architecture studio is present in the north side and repeated on the south side in the form of a space of identical dimensions in the small but smart dwelling. One of the greatest features of indication for these two divisions is the subtle niche present exteriorly on the two sides of the structure subtly indicating the division between work and play. This is a great detail representing continuity beyond the walls of the structure and onto the landscape. Wanting however to achieve the perfect harmony between earth & man the small setback around the edge in section creates the sensation that the building is floating over the site.
Moving inside the interior follows the exact same language of harmony. Dividing the two type structures from within is a nucleus of services consisting of bookshelves, bathroom, kitchen, fold out beds, cupboards and two sliding walls which divide these main areas in order to create more intimate spaces such as an annexed office or guest room. The interiors are both bright and pure where one’s focus is drawn to the outside views. The main internal presence is of course the Iroko wood element, which in combination with the naturally white interiors, is portrayed as the dominant feature. With its horizontal and vertical presence, it dominates the areas and successfully brings together all the relations.
More about this project: Home-Office in Formentera