An arrangement of freestanding structures around a sheltered central courtyard rests in a saddle above Matiatia Bay. The natural undulations of the saddle have been subtly emphasized to form a natural setting for three roofed structures and freestanding raised pool. Inspiration for the site came from a study of lightweight, canopy- like structures, tensioned to the ground plane. Draped roof planes are tensioned to the surrounding landscape over interior and exterior spaces.
Island Retreat, Waiheke Island, New Zealand, by Fearon Hay Architects, Interiors by Penny Hay, Photography by Patrick Reynolds
Located in a neighborhood bordering Washington, DC, this suburban site has the advantage of being located adjacent to woodlands. A contemporary house surrounded by mature trees and manicured gardens anchors the site. A new swimming pool, stone walls, and terraces located behind the existing house organize the rear yard and establishes a dialogue between the existing house and a new pavilion. New paths, trees and structured plantings reinforce the geometry.
The new pavilion, intended for year round use, is strategically located to provide a threshold between the structured landscape and adjacent woodland. A low-pitched, terne coated stainless steel roof floats above a dry-stacked slate wall and mahogany volume. Five steel-framed glass doors along with frameless glass walls and mitered glass corners enclose the space, creating an environment that is surrounded by views of the structured landscape, pool and the adjacent woodland. The doors pivot to open the space much of the year while a large Rumford fireplace and heated floors provide a cozy counterpoint in winter months.
The interior contains a stainless steel kitchen component with seating, along with a small living space anchored by the fireplace. The blue stone flooring, stone and mahogany walls, and Douglas-fir ceiling create a warm, natural space. This new pavilion is intended to provide shelter from the harsh natural elements while simultaneously allowing the occupant to enjoy both the beautifully structured garden and the native, natural surroundings.
Nevis Pool and Garden Pavilion, Washington DC, USA, by Robert M. Gurney Architect, Photography © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural
The barn redevelopment project addresses the issue of the transformation of a disused farm, situated on the route leading out from the historical village centre, into a living space. The new architecture is related to the existing through a dialogue of tradition and contemporary, with the attention to a correct contextualization. The architecture is sober and proposes itself as a new project and, at the same time, as something that fits in with the existing village. The house is on three levels, the entrance is on the ground floor, with services areas and guest rooms overlooking the courtyard. The first floor is a unified space with kitchen, living room and study arranged around the block of the stairs and fireplace. Another room and a “loggia” are located on the second floor.
The facades are made of stone and wood, as the original texture, and have smooth concrete inserts, with a core of reinforced concrete, framing the new openings of the ground floor. The stone corner walls and roof are existed. The large openings are filtered by vertical oak axes, making up a manually moveable screen. The outdoor areas are arranged on three levels, as the natural slope, designed through a smooth concrete wall, that enunciating the theory of contemporary construction in continuity with the context.
Inside, the materials used are contemporary but not-compound and not-industrial. They are: smooth concrete, raw solid oak wood and hand- treated welded steel. The material has a rough appearance, but it is prepared and used not with improvisation and approximation, but instead with extreme accuracy, design and craftmanship. The smooth concrete has a static behaviour similar to that of a traditional brick wall. (There was not the possibility of using reinforced concrete inside because of the conditions of the construction site -the roof was maintained-). The new wall tries to merge with the old stone wall, as if it was its translation in the language of contemporary techniques. Everything is prepared before laying the concrete, switches, doors and window frames…
The implementation is experimental and derives from research through 1:1 scale models. All the oak used (25 cubic meters) was acquired and processed in the same place, so that material would have the same colour, behaviour and the same “patina”. The material used is a key element of this architecture. In this house the atmosphere is achieved through the care and culture of the craft, and materializes in line with the roughness of the place, and it is expressed in the designing of the details, in a homage to craftmanship, to know-how.
Barn Renovation, Soglio, Switzerland, by Designer, for Ruinelli Associati Architetti
Implemented in a slender lot from north to south, the project born with the aim of building a dwelling with a single floor. The typology was defined according to the best sunlight, as this is one of the richest of this Mediterranean country. So all rooms are oriented to the east, the living room (place more permanent) to south, the kitchen to west and garage to north where the functionality is the symbiosis of the project. The professional link of the owner to the forestry sector, led us to look for sources of inspiration in the region. We are in the west of the country, near the city of Leiria that is distinguished by loggers and mythical forests (created by King D. Dinis in order to protect the city from sand storms from the winds off the Atlantic ocean) this was the turning point of the project which allowed us to take advantage of traditional formwork pine boards used in the concrete in sight walls at core walls of the house.
This guesthouse was designed by Allied works for the family of an art collector in Dutchess County, New York. This commission included a residence, guesthouse and private gallery. Located on the eastern slopes of the Hudson River Valley, the site consists of rolling hills, open meadows and a dense hardwood forest. Each of the three buildings responds to a particular landscape. The images above are from the guest house. The main residence (preview below) is still under construction. The main house is situated at the head of a large meadow, providing sweeping views of the valley and mountains beyond (this is a 350 acre property by the way). The residence takes the form of an orthogonal helix sited at the intersection of three landscaped courts. These are bounded by a series of stone walls that extend into the landscape. Above, the helix is enclosed by a skin of glass panels — transparent, translucent and opaque — that mediates light and views and dissolves into the surrounding landscape.
Dutchess County Guesthouse by Allied Works Architecture, Photography by Jeremy Bitterman, via: Modern
Allied Works Architecture: Brad Cloepfil: Occupation, Published by Hatje Cantz, English, 2011. 440 pp., 481 color ills., 12 foldouts, 25 x 31.4cm, hardcover, ISBN: 9783775728386
Buy it here: Amazon
Rolling pastures, bordered with dark, stained fences interspersed in woodlands define the Albemarle County, Virginia countryside where this project is located. The new house is sited at the edge of woodland on the crest of a hill, providing vantage view points of the pastures and distant treetops.
The house is conceived of three gable-roofed pavilions that provide a threshold between the woodlands and the pastures, taking advantage of two very different scenic panoramas. The one room deep, central living pavilion contains large expanses of glass along two walls, affording views of both the woods and rolling horse pastures. This configuration insures the space will be flooded with light at all times of the day throughout the year. A screened porch and bluestone terrace, running the length of the house provides a stage to view sunsets over the pastures while a manicured lawn and dry-stacked slate wall provide an ordered transition from the house to the woods beyond. Gable roofs with black, standing seam metal, clapboard siding and the small scale of the separated pavilions evoke a familiar, comfortable rural vernacular. The large expanses of glass, cement board paneling and crisp, minimal detailing render the house decidedly modern.
Becherer House, Albemarle County, Virginia, USA , by Robert M. Gurney Architect, Photography © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural
Sited in the northeastern corner of the Singapore, the 2-1/2 storey house sits on a sunken piece of land facing a huge park next to the sea. It is a house designed for a middle-age couple that entertains frequently. The house is set low to the ground and all the bedrooms are placed on grade while the living spaces on the upper floors. The bedrooms on the lower floors gets the shade and privacy from the garden and the boundary walls while the communal space on top, connects with the park across the street. Capitalizing on the planning guidelines on Roof Eaves Setbacks, created a 2m wide apron all round the upper floor that stretches to form the car porch canopy. The band of cantilevered concrete is planted on top, elevating the garden to the upper floor while shading the bedrooms on the ground.
The Park House , Singapore, by Formwerkz Architects, Photography by Jeremy San
This rural home sits on an 80-acre agricultural site in California’s Central Coast wine region. The design directly responds to the wide diurnal temperature fluctuations of its arid climate. Masonry walls anchor the building to the earth and structure the primary living spaces, centering activity around a covered outdoor living room. The design integrates deep overhangs, passive ventilation, photovoltaic electricity, solar hot water and radiant heat.
Paso Robles Residence, Paso Robles, California, USA, by Aidlin Darling Design
A glissade is a manoeuvre deployed in skiing and mountaineering to control a breakneck plunge down a steep, snowy alpine slope. It’s an apt name to give a house like Maison Glissade, a rigorously elegant chalet in Collingwood, one of Ontario’s most popular ski areas, just an hour’s drive north of Toronto. Designed by Robert Kastelic and Kelly Buffey of Atelier Kastelic Buffey, the chalet is set almost at the base of a ski run. Standing in the spacious second floor, which combines a living room, a dining room, a kitchen and an office nook, all within a single sweep, one can see through the pitched windows to the blurred figures of skiers bounding down the hill, then drifting back up on the lift.
Triton Bar Stools by ClassiCon
Located in a Whistler neighborhood halfway up the mountainside, this house was designed for clients who appreciate the timber structure characteristic of a Whistler Chalet, but desired a unique family home for seven that would capture this ambience without its typical organization and aesthetic. Situated in a prominent site, the visual mass of the structure was diminished by making a substantial portion of the house appear to be below grade through the strategic removal of bedrock, and by the extension of the living room terrace over the garage. An upper courtyard deck area was also carved in to the massing to gather light centrally into the house. The result is a home that looks deceptively modest in relation to the neighboring properties.