The house is comprised of a series of parallel walls that provide layers of privacy and insulation from the sound of the village. The walls project beyond the living spaces and ascend in height, building from a human-scale wall at the entry to a high wall along the center of the house. The walls diffract the sound waves moving past them, casting an acoustic shadow over the property to create a quiet outdoor gathering area.
The walls are built with insulated concrete forms: a wall assembly nearly twenty inches thick, comprised of a poured concrete core, continuous from footing to roof, wrapped in insulating foam, that also serves as formwork during construction. These walls provide excellent thermal insulation and an extremely low sound transmission coefficient. Due to the strength of their concrete cores, the walls act as structural beams, enabling them to span over the gathering space at the center of the house and the covered deck.
The custom stainless steel clips that attach the wide cedar board siding to the walls were designed to prolong the life of the siding. Traditional wood siding eventually fails because the natural expansion and contraction of the wood is constricted by the screws or nails that rigidly fasten it in place, slowly pulling out the fasteners or splitting the wood. The spring-like clips, however, hold the boards in tension against the house while allowing freedom for the natural movement of the wood.
Elisabeth II, Amagansett, New York, by Bates Masi + Architects
The client wanted a cabin for the whole family, but at the same time it needed to be divisible in some way. The solution was a cluster of three structures, which can be used individually. Each of the buildings is defined as a clarified geometric volume, organized around the outdoor area that binds them together as one unit. Toward the northeast, a hill borders and defines the site, together with the view in the opposite direction. The spatial interaction between landscape and the structure creates a beneficial microclimate. This is reflected by the structures’ southwest orientation, where the gable end is glazed. In the other directions the buildings appear more closed.
Micro Cluster Cabins, Norway, by Reiulf Ramstad
Photography by Gessato
The Loftcube based on the new urban concept to establish rooftop living on high rised buildings around the world has now been installed on top of the Hotel Daniel in Graz. The interior of the 1950s hotel building has been designed by studio aisslinger in 2005 and won in 2006 the expo real “hotel of the year” award. Now finally the unique 44 square meters loftcube featuring all-round panoramic views like to the Graz clock tower or Schloss Eggenberg has found its way to the rooftop. A unique nomadic architecture on an iconic building will be a new Graz attraction. The special Hotel Daniel – loftcube also tops everything in terms of its furnishings and appointments, including a specially made bed measuring 2,20 x 2,20m, a jungle feeling in the huge raindance shower, a comfy sofa unit and a superb home cinema experience.
Located on the Alentejo Coast, the Monte Novo da Cruz is a rural property strongly characterized by a gently undulating land with slopes sometimes relevant. The presence of a curtain of high trees along the south-eastern perimeter of the site and a dense vegetation near a south-western stream stand out in the landscape. In the centre of the property, in a high position, there is an old rural construction in an advanced state of degradation.
The proposal for the Monte Novo da Cruz seeks to establish a contrast dialogue between the existing and the new building which sometimes merge with each other, creating a smooth transition between the past and the present. This relationship is materialized through two types of intervention, placed at different levels on the ground: In the upper level, the intervention consists on recovering and expanding the existing building for owners’ house. The planimetric composition is made up by a succession of spaces, which ends with a double height common lounge with a central fireplace. On the north-west side are located the main entrance and supporting spaces intercalated with small garden courtyards for natural lighting and ventilation. On the south-east side, to the contrary, are located the main spaces overlooking the garden and pool.
In the lower level, the intervention results in a new independent building that adapts to the topography of the site and uses the slope of the ground to differentiate the owners’ house of the guest areas. This long volume, half-buried and perpendicular to the line of trees, preserves the scale of the house and reinforces the verticality of vegetation. Its unique façade is characterized both by a wide opening framing vistas of the landscape as well as by a stand-alone pergola reducing the amount of direct sunlight coming inside the rooms and providing privacy for guests. At the level of arrival the building is almost imperceptible to the eye, only a long terrace with seating areas for contemplation of the surrounding nature is visible.
Pe No Monte Rural Tourism, Odemira, Portugal, by [i]da Arquitectos
Photography by Joao Morgado
Based on the genetic of the place, the intervention holds, as the main goal, the creation of a contemporary space without disturbing the peace of the countryside area. A pure volume, with rectangular base, is adjusted to the ground and opens into the green landscape. The volumetric purity, desired by the customer, sets the mood for the project and the new inhabitant of the place is, now, one of the terraced fields of the perfectly balanced ground. Thus, the act of inhabiting unfolds through the volume of concrete, pure, raw, adjusted to the ground, just waiting to grow old as the days go by reflecting the life of the countryside.
Sambade House, Penafiel, Portugal, by Spaceworkers
Photography by Fernando Guerra, FG+SG
Two thin parallel concrete planes stretch over a gently curving topography acting as floor and roof, floating slightly above the terrain. The large rectangular footprint provides a 360-degree experience within and around the home, with a large concrete mass perpendicularly projecting out into the site containing the pool. Within the framing elements indoor and outdoor space are separated only by a transparent operable glass membrane that slides to connect the two states.
Structural materials are present throughout the interior and exterior lending to its conceptual purity. At the other end of the house, opaque volumes clad in closely-bound slender wooden slats offers privacy for the bedrooms and bathrooms and much needed shade during the day. Existing as individual forms within the horizontal concrete extents, hallways penetrate through the program so each room has a unique connection to the outdoors be it through immediate access to the site or through exposed patios formed from varying setbacks on the foundation slab. The floor of circulation through the spaces essentially dictates the location and size of each internal element so the home becomes more about ones movement through the site and through the structure.
Redux House, Brazil, by Studio MK27
Photography by Fernando Guerra
Inspired by early Modernist and Bauhaus era architecture, this one room deep house is organized along an L-shaped window wall which offers each space a connection to a central courtyard and a balance of natural light from multiple sides. The street facing courtyard and transparent first floor are made private as the house is perched on a plinth above passersby. With little protection from shading trees, exaggerated overhangs help protect the transparent façade and provide continuous outdoor living space between interior and courtyard. Simple, well-crafted details are carefully edited so as not to compete with the texture and reflections of the true divided lite steel windows.
Courtyard House, Austin, Texas, by Tim Cuppett Architects
Photography by Whit Preston and Atelier Wong Photography
A glass box makes up one of the lower volumes and the transparent structure contains the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors fully open letting the space continue outdoors. The picturesque swimming pool wraps around the glass volume making the water super enticing. The upper volume houses the master bedroom wing that’s designed as an open floor plan. It hovers over the pool and gives the owners views of the ocean. When the sliding glass doors are open, it’s almost like you’re living outdoors. The glass volume is attached to a structure that contains the garage and a guest wing above. Landscaping plays a key role in the design of the house making it feel like the home is meant to be there.
Interior design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (Lucien Rees Roberts, Partner, Kate Rizzo).
Landscape design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (David Kelly, Partner).
Surfside Residence, East Hampton, New York, by Steven Harris Architects
Photography by Scott Frances/OTTO
The municipality of Wemmel, situated on the outskirts of Brussels, is well known for its green areas with their monumental villas of the upper class. After a search of several years, the principal saw a house situated in one of those quarters. It was not his dream house but because of its marvellous location and the south orientated garden, he decided to buy it.
DmvA was commissioned to turn the rather classical house into a contemporary edifice. No sooner said than done, but the fact that also the neighbours had to approve the design to get a building license, as prescribed in the building regulations, had a great impact on the design. So no total ‘methamorphosis’ of the existing house, just small interventions. The façades of the existing house were painted white. The interior was furnished in black and white. The swimming pool was renovated and framed by an illuminating glazed ‘retaining wall. Finally, two sculptural white volumes were added connecting inside and outside, linking house, pool and garden.
House LS, Brussels, Belgium, by dmvA
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse
The residence was designed to take advantage of the site’s striking features, including majestic oak trees and large boulders. The house is divided into two wings. A public wing includes living, dining and kitchen areas and opens up to the main outdoor dining and lounging areas. The second, more intimate wing, contains bedrooms, bathrooms and a library all of which open up to small outdoor courtyards and terraces. The property also includes a lap-pool and an existing guest house.
The building is constructed of exposed steel, glass, concrete and insulated metal panels. The Montecito Residence takes full advantage of the indoor-outdoor living made possible by California Coast’s mild climate. Designed specifically without air-conditioning, the house is cooled exclusively by cross-ventilation. Large operable sectional glass doors, sliding doors and windows can be opened and closed to quickly adjust to the climate conditions and the occupants’ comfort. In addition, the house’s radiant heat system is fed by solar collector panels. Other sustainable features include highly efficient boilers, photovoltaic panels and an Energy-Star rated “cool” roof.
Montecito Residence, Montecito, California, by Barton Myers Associates
Photography by Ciro Coelho