Summer in the Greek islands is all about being outside. The aim of the Plane House is to merge internal and external space, maximising the benefits of both and minimising the impact on the surrounding landscape.
To avoid block volumes that split and dominate space, horizontal planes are inserted into the slope, immediately providing levels for sunbathing, sleeping and eating, as well as vast, open area of shade. They cool and shade the space beneath whilst allowing the flow of sunlight and maintaining the stunning 270 degree view over the coastline. Space between the planes is defined by various flexible panels and glazed screens. Designated cooking, eating and relaxation zones are offset from each other to provide cosiness without sacrificing openness.
The pool is strategically placed to enjoy the view but also to create a cooling breeze over the terrace and into the house as the north wind flows uphill and over its surface. Photovoltaic panels power the pool mechanics and grey-water is recycled and used for irrigation, toilet flushing and fire extinguishing. The landscape is respected and continues over the green roof plane, creeps up along the site boundaries and penetrates vertically through the roof as existing trees stand in the space, undisturbed.
The powerful identity of the concrete planes creates a strong narrative on approaching the house from the coastal road that winds below. From a distance the planes are distinctively separated but as you draw nearer and approach the house from the side, the perspective alters closing the gap between them. On arrival and on entering the space they part once more, opening to reveal the breathtaking view and let the fresh air flow through.
Plane House, by K Studio
Concrete envelops the building, like weathered skin tanned by Portugal’s climate. The skin has wrinkles and flaws that trap the light. This denotes its strength of character. Below the day zone exposed to air and light, lies an underground family room. It acts as a rest-stop before reaching the bedrooms. The sofa invites us to sit for a moment and unravel the secrets of the raw material, the only décor. The bedroom includes a bath and shower. Everything is incorporated into a single room to save on space. This is what counts. The central block of the day zone supports the roof, like an umbrella encircled by a crown of luminosity. In the dead of the night, you may well think a star has landed on earth.
Rainha, Portugal, by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners
Photography © Jean-Luc Laloux
Bob and Dolores Hope’s mushroomy Palm Springs house is hitting the market for the first time ever this month, but for even more than expected: $50 million (vs. the $45 million reported in November). The house was designed in 1973 (but not finished until 1980) by the magnificent John Lautner and “was built to resemble a volcano, with three visorlike arches and an undulating concrete roof, a hole at its center opening a courtyard to the sky,” according to the New York Times. The house also has a boulder that juts into the living room. However, Dolores Hope had ideas of her own and brought in a designer to change up the interior; while Linda Hope says they weren’t “major alteration[s],” Lautner “eventually distanced himself from the project.” Dolores also added a Garth Benton mural on the back wall of the bar and “a lush, greenhouse-like wall of plants in the spa, which houses a pool, a hot tub and an exercise area.” The house also has six bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms, three half-baths, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens, and a tennis court.
The Meadowbrook Residence is a space to observe the diurnal and seasonal changes of the desert light within the urban setting of Phoenix, Arizona. It is an exploration of what natural aspects remain within the constructed landscape. The residence is organized around three sculpted rooms-a bedroom on either end and a living room in the middle. Each opens in a different cardinal direction, and each receives light differently throughout the day and year. The rooms function as spaces of pure experience; curved walls record moments of light and shadow in daily procession. The north, east, and south sides are lined by a diaphanous screen that protects the interior and diffuses the bright Arizona light. The west side employs a solid block wall to protect from the afternoon sun, which creates the most intense heat of the day. A refuge from the desert, each space gently conveys the fluctuating seasons of light.
Meadowbrook Residence, Phoenix, Arizona, by Jay Atherton, Photography by Bill Timmerman
The Kearsarge Residence is a major renovation of the 1968 M.G. Residence by the Romanian-American mid-century modernist architect Haralamb H. Georgescu.
Located on a flag lot in Brentwood, California, the site for the Kearsarge Residence has a unique character as a forest within the city. The challenges of working on a historic architectural home is one filled with a unique set of choices. These choices arise from questioning what makes the house important as well as what elements deserve to be preserved and what can be changed to make the house comfortable and livable for years to come.
We don’t live today the way we lived forty five years ago and we will live differently forty five years from now. The goal was to honor Georgescu’s work by restoring the house to it’s true character where appropriate as well as updating the house in keeping with the original design spirit.
We began working on the house after decades of wear and tear as well as modifications by subsequent owners. For example, the open sight lines that are characteristic of Georgescu’s work was interrupted by an owner closing off of the office wall to create an additional bedroom. One of the first tasks was opening up this wall back to it’s original intent, so there is interaction between three levels: The Office, Loft and Living Room.
As we began to peel back layers of the existing building during construction, we discovered that the ceiling of the main space had a rich blue-grey tone that was simply painted over in white. With the uncovering of more elements, it was determined that the original architect extended this colored ceiling from from the Living Room to the the outdoor soffits, creating an indoor-outdoor effect when standing in the space.
Taking cues from the the original cabinetry, all casework was re-created in mahogany wood. The Dining Room Cabinetry was restored to the original details while most other areas used more modern detailing, but within the same language as the original design. Throughout the process we were constantly asking ourselves “What would Georgescu do today?” Picking up on the original white oak used on the stair treads, this became the species of choice used throughout. The new wood floors replaced large expanses of purple carpet and checkered linoleum.
On outside, a deteriorated wood decking was replaced with ipe wood while the wood railing posts and metal mesh was replaced with steel posts and a cable rail system. Under the ipe guardrail cap, an LED rope light gives a pleasant glow to the deck for evening and night time entertaining.
Kearsarge Residence, by Haralamb H. Georgescu, Restoration by © Kurt Krueger Architect
Connoisseurs architecture of the middle of the twentieth century, Michael and Gabrielle Boyd discovered a forgotten masterpiece of Oscar Niemeyer and brought him back to life.
Strick House, Santa Monica, California, USA, by Oscar Niemeyer
via: Architectural Digest
Read More: Strick House by Oscar Niemeyer I
The house is situated on a corner lot in the typical 30’s district ‘de Elzent’ against the natural landscape of the Dommel valley, in the center of Eindhoven. The existing main house is relatively small in structure, however, the lot size is sufficient enough to resist an carefully threaded extension. An extension where extra comfort is added to the existing house. The transparent addition to the house is a continuation of an earlier exterior expansion with thin floating concrete eaves. These overhangs give a balanced picture, allowing the spaces seamlessly to blend, and gives the garden an intimate enclosed character. The sightlines are important, creating separate spaces as a study niche, a lowered seating area with wide windowsills and a hanging fireplace. The roof connects the spaces seamlessly into each other. Much attention is paid to careful detailing. Positioning of roof lights, (curved) walls, steps, niches which store the curtains, floor heating and cooling ceiling, acoustic panels and lighting are seamlessly concealed and determine the appearance and character of the area.
House IV, Eindhoven, Netherlands by De Bever Architecten
Photography by Norbert van Onna
Casa Almare, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, by Elias Rizo Arquitectos
Photography by Marcos García
With the façade radically horizontal, the Lee House is organized in a single volume ground-floor site. All of the rooms therefore, establish a strong relationship with the external, opening out to the garden. The spatial continuity with the living room is larger: all of the windows are recessed creating an extension of the external space, with a large veranda. The living room then prolongs the pool deck and crosses to the other side of the lot. These solutions are fit for the climate, the interior of the State of São Paulo, in the Brazilian southeast, which has elevated temperatures almost every day of the year. Strategies of traditional ambiental comfort of vernacular architecture and even Brazilian modern was used. The living room has cross-ventilation, which greatly lowers the internal temperature and the other rooms are protected by wooden muxarabis panels placed on sliding doors which filter the Sun without removing the ventilation. The front veranda is delimited by a foyer in the façade revealing two wooden boxes divided by the social area. The kitchen opens to the living room, encrusted in one of the boxes that hold the utility areas. The bar opens out to the social area and is contained in the box that holds the bedroom as well. At the end of the corridor of the bedrooms, which can also be accessed from the outside of the house, there is a spa delimited by external walls and composed by a gym room, a sauna and a small outdoor pool encircled by the deck. Besides the wood of the wooden boxes, the house is clad by White mortar and the internal patio of the spa is encircled by stones. The few materials used by the Lee house and the simple organization of the program create a minimalist atmosphere that extends from the outer to the inner areas of the house.
Lee House, Porto Feliz, São Paulo, Brazil, by Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Eduardo Glycerio, Photography © FG+SG – Fernando Guerra