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.
Located in Woollahra, Sydney, this existing free standing Victorian Italianate villa was re-designed and extended to accommodate a Sydney art dealer, and family. A white rendered modern pavilion has been added to the rear of the house, replacing a series of haphazard earlier additions. The house has been designed to function as a home, gallery, workplace and venue for large gatherings. The new interiors and architecture form a canvas for the changing art collections. The original four room Victorian plan, with central hall, iron lace detailed verandah and Italianate chimneys and parapets, have been retained. A large open kitchen and dining space dominates the new extension with a dramatic seven metre long fixed central table.
Woollahra Residence, Sydney, Australia by Katon Redgen Mathieson
In the Boros residence – a former Second World War air raid shelter built in 1942 in central Berlin – visitors can easily lose their way in the maze-like corridors of bare concrete.
Bullet holes from the Second World War testify the historical significance of the building. The heart of this hermetic concrete cube contains an exhibition of contemporary works from the private collection of ad agency founder and publisher, Christian Boros. In order to create a suitable space for the collection, architect Jens Casper deconstructed the 3,000 square meter bunker, which was once devoid of natural light, transforming it into a complex room arrangement. The glass superstructure of the penthouse is the polar opposite of the cube’s massiness.
There, Christian and his wife, Karen, live with their son amidst paintings by Elizabeth Peyton and a series of installations by groundbreaking artists such as Olafur Eliasson. It is a dream home that once seemed impossible to realize, but has now become an art manifesto for Berlin’s historical Mitte district, where change is the norm.
Boros Collection, Edited by Boros Foundation, Photographs by Noshe, German, English, 2009. 198 pp., 68 color ills. 24 x 32 cm, hardcover, ISBN 9783775724784
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