Architect Peter Zumthor designed this memorial on an island in Norway to commemorate suspected witches who were burned at the stake there in the seventeenth century. The Steilneset Memorial in Vardø comprises two structures, one conceived entirely by Zumthor and a second housing an installation by the late Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). The first structure comprises a pine scaffolding framework, inside which is a suspended fabric cocoon containing a long oak-floored corridor. Inside this corridor, light bulbs hang behind 91 windows to represent each of the men and women that were put to death during the witch trials. A plaque accompanies each lamp to record the individual stories of every victim. The installation by Bourgeois, entitled The Damned, The Possessed and The Beloved, occupies the smoked-glass-clad second structure. A circle of mirrors within surround and reflect a flaming steel chair inside a hollow concrete cone.
Steilneset Memorial, Vardø, Norway, by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois,
Photography by Andrew Meredith, via: dezeen
With distant views of alpine peaks, the hillside site overlooks rolling farmland. The site faces north, directly into the blazing sun of the southern hemisphere. Strict agency requirements limited both the size and form of the home in relation to the slope. The climate is one of extremes with very hot summers and freezing cold winters.
The approach to building on this barren hillside was to merge with the slope, rather than to stick out from it. In response to the climactic extremes, a distinctive roof form protects the home from the sun with generous roof overhangs. Inspired by the form of the hillside, the roof is shaped like an upside down checkmark. A long, thin footprint allows for views of the mountains from every room. Entry is through the side of the house with circulation along the back wall. Upon entering the rooms, the strong horizontals of the roof and deck frame the view.
The massing consists of two volumes, public and private, that are linked by a staircase. The first volume contains the “great room” including the kitchen, living room and indoor/outdoor dining rooms. At the back of the great room, a wood wall conceals the study, bathrooms, refrigerator and ladder access to a sleeping loft. Sliding glass doors open to the pool and exterior lounge area. A retaining wall, constructed of a local stone called Gibbston Valley Schist, runs from the living room to the exterior patio and incorporates an outdoor fireplace and benches. The second volume is the private wing containing the master suite and children’s rooms.
New Zealand Residence, Wanaka, New Zealand, by Marmol Radziner, Photography by Emily Andrews and Marmol Radziner
Modest houses on small lots comprise the Quillen’s Point neighborhood, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay in Ocean View, Delaware. An eclectic mix of houses, gravel roads ending at the bay and wooded lots provide a nostalgic, informal setting for this new house. The project site is near the end of Burbage Lane, the second lot from the bay with expectations that the adjacent waterfront lot will eventually be developed.
In an effort to integrate living spaces with the outdoors while maintaining privacy from Burbage Lane and neighboring houses, the scheme is organized around a centrally located garden. With sixteen foot high ceilings, the eastern volume contains the public living spaces. Continuous clerestory windows assist in providing an abundance of natural light into the space, allowing views to the treetops and sky while minimizing the close proximity of the adjacent houses. A twenty foot wide glass wall slides into a pocket, enhancing the relationship to the outdoors, and provides a sense of living in a garden. The two story western volume is comprised of bedrooms and a small second floor living space. A one story glass link connects the volumes and visually opens to the central garden.
The house was conceived as two simple, flat-roofed volumes, varying in height, intersecting and overlapping a one story circulation space which connects the volumes. The east volume is constructed with cement board, the west volume with corrugated siding and the one story connecting space with the ground face concrete block. The exterior material palette is quiet and subdued. Materials are selected for their expected long term durability, ease of installation and initial cost. The impact of the one story horizontal volume facing the street is intended to reflect the scale of neighboring structures while the narrow two story volumes are oriented perpendicular to the street reducing their apparent scale.
This house is designed in strong counterpoint to many of the houses built in the last era of abundant resources, expensive materials, and limitless floor area. The house is not large; it comprises three bedrooms and 2400 square feet. The house is constructed with modest materials that include concrete floors throughout the first floor, oak flooring on the second floor and plastic laminate and oak millwork.
The house was designed to achieve a balance between recognition of the picturesque Chesapeake Bay landscape and a more intimate, secluded garden environment. Expansive openings to the private garden combined with smaller, selectively oriented openings toward the greater landscape allow for a sense of privacy while maintaining a sensibility of direct connection to the rhythms of nature.
Verdant Avenue perfectly showcases the modern RMA aesthetic – form, function and detail alongside nature at its finest. This example of sustainable architecture dispels the myth that being sustainable requires the sacrifice of glamour, luxury and pleasure. The client’s open brief simply commissioned a ‘luxurious, contemporary inner city family home’.
An 80 year old pin oak tree serves as the focal point for the ground floor living and first floor bedroom areas. A striking 3.5 metre wide sculptural staircase anchors ground to first and second floors, complete with floor to 3.5 metre ceilings glass windows, opulent alpaca carpet, internal lift and motorised oversize exterior windows louvers.
Verdant Avenue Residence, by Robert Mills Architects
The house is built along a wall with the intention to meet the lack of light and reflect the presence of the forest. The overall low height is due to the use of split levels, visually minimising the impact in its surroundings. The 50m long wall functions as a backdrop for the transparent volume. The wall is not only visible at the outside, but also continuously visible from the inside. Given the transparent character of the box, the inside space is filled with clearly defined boxes and volumes that incorporate the structural elements.
The glass box is indented at three sides: To give access to the underground parking space, to develop the swimming pool and to give access, at the backside of the house, to the master bedroom and annex bathroom. The ground level, on full height, includes the income, kitchen, dining room and a living room with fireplace. The kitchen can be separated from the dining room with a big sliding door. The bedroom section of the children and the master bedroom are situated one above the other, both on split-level towards the living room. In front of the master bedroom there is a secondary sitting room which spatially makes the transition to the handled levels. A slope connects the living room and the bedroom section of the children.
Villa Roces, Bruges, Belgium, by Govaert & Vanhoutte Architecten
This project involves the design of a new 2240 sq ft custom home and lap pool on a 22 acre site with rolling hills and a steep wooded ravine. The building site is located on a hill top permitting expansive views of the Russian River Valley. Sustainable design was a high priority and every attempt was made to utilize the most energy efficient systems and materials. This project participated in the ISGBC LEED for Homes program and has been certified at the Platinum level.
This home and separate studio sits high on a lava flow overlooking the ocean. At night from the lanai, the red glow of Kilauea crater is visible reflected on the clouds. The house is entered from a cut lava terrace by crossing a bridge over the pool onto the 40′ x 40′ lanai. A glass enclosed living room sits in the south of the lanai with an uninterrupted view over the lava flow. Directly off of the lanai are a sitting room, the kitchen, the dining room and a guest room. A cantilevered stair of mango wood slabs leads to the upstairs master bedroom, bath, and study.
Lavaflow 1 – Robert Trickey House, Big Island, Hawaii, by, Craig Steely
Located on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, this four level house occupies a narrow infill site, and has been designed to maximise its’ compact 120m2 site and capitalise on views across Icebergs to the beach. The ground level accommodates the entry hall and two bedrooms; one, on the beachside opens onto a courtyard with a cut-out that frames the sweep of the beach, the other opens onto a garden courtyard planted with a stand of bamboo. A marble clad stair leads to the open plan living level with a central kitchen of bronze and dark brown stone. At each end three massive glass panels slide up and down to access light, ventilation and views. To the east, one of the double height openings leads to a terrace with views to the ocean. The Master Bedroom above, leads to a dressing room and spacious marble ensuite. An internal lift connects to a basement level with 2 car garage, laundry, wine cellar, and service areas. A limited palette of high quality finishes are used throughout; white terrazzo, Calacatta marble, American Walnut timber and dark bronze. Externally, the street elevation is dominated by its dramatic glass and white marble faade.
Bondi House, Sydney, Australia, by Katon Redgen Mathieson, Photography by Romello Pereira
With reinforced concrete structure made of plastic shapes for waffle slab module in 90 x 90 cm and metal anchors, your plant is solved in a square of 16.20 x 16.20 m with a central void that contains the stairs and lights service environments. Resting on four pillars it is high off the ground so that makes a similar area under it and another on top. As a backyard in the sun and another shade. But the characteristics of the relief these three levels are always the land, as if all levels were on the floor.
All the walls of the house were made in mortar, all glass is free of frames, the internal floors in graniteware and external concrete sanded. The roof slab is protected with a water surface. The outer walls are shaded with a panel made of industrial wood and cement pressed.