Singapore-based practice Ong&Ong has recently completed JKC1, a single family residence in Bukit Timah, Singapore. Visitors enter through a series of elevated wooden platforms which lead to a swimming pool deck. A void within the stacked stone perimeter wall leads into the ground level dining and living area. Resting above the windowless solid enclosure, textured concrete bands beginning at the first level floor plates and roofline frame an upper level veranda which extends to overlook the front and back yards. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows border the bedrooms, providing privacy with moveable wooden screens while sliding doors allow direct access to the continuous balcony. On the first floor, a vegetated outdoor courtyard partitions with glass panels introduces streams of natural light to the surrounding interior corridors as well as the staircase from the dining and living areas. a spiral steel stair within the rock garden leads to a roof terrace with panoramic views into the canopies of nearby trees.
Between forest and meadows lies a varied landscape. High, dry, sandy dunes interspersed with heather, willow bushes and grasslands. An ideal setting if you like the outdoors, like the inhabitants of this villa in Hattem. The living area of this bungalow with woodland is orientated to the south. So lovely, that sun out on the terrace. The glass wall of the living area towards the spacious patio is designed transparent to minimize the boundary between inside and outside. From the inside of the house this provides a maximum experience of the garden and the rest of the surroundings. Because of the large canopy and floor heating, it is also nice to be on the terrace on autumn days.
From the entrance side the carport of the bungalow appears to be hovering. It is a simple architectural approach with a great visual effect. The house looks sleek and abstract on the outside, but has a warm and cozy interior. The furniture in the living room is all custom designed. The kitchen, storage space, fireplace, piano and audio equipment form an integral part of the wall unit.
The client was aiming for country house – ‘a dream in a wood’, a peaceful place to relax, regenerate, and think of new ideas. So the architects created with a linear design that has picked up on the building form – the ‘long cottage’ found along Iken Common, and one can see the design as an evolution of the longitudinal cottage. The site is located in Suffolk two miles inland from Aldeburgh, and lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site itself forms part of an overall land ownership of 2.5ha surrounded by agricultural land.
The current site has foundations, ruins and some low walls from a house that burned down eight years ago. There is also an existing outdoor pool. Immediately to the west of the pool and ruins, there is a small area of open grass that runs up to the edge of a beautiful copse of mature oak trees. The site is located on the edge of flood zone 2 and 3, and requires a raised floor level 1.5m above the old cottage. The existing site with the pool, its ruins and low walls has a very strong presence, and we wanted to keep this as an important part of the site.
The building sits above the ruins and the edge of the pool, as to respect the current site, but also to deal with the floor level that is required, due to the potential flood risk. The building is also set like this so that it can be read on its own, and thus touch the existing site lightly. The building is orientated towards the west-south-west, and sits on an angle above the existing ruins facing the best views as well as creating a clear juxtaposition of geometry to the ruins.
The Pitched Roof House evolved from a strict interpretation of planning codes that require new houses to have pitched roofs. The new house reinterprets the traditional pitched room. Unlike a traditional pitched roof, the triangles not only pitch up, but also invert to form a faceted roof plane. The triangular geometry of the roof is continued down onto the facades of the house, and became the basis for articulating openings. The variability of the triangular geometry gave us the freedom to push and pull the building form as required to suit the brief of the client, the local town planning codes, the scale of the neighbouring roofs, and the requirement for solar access to the living rooms. The living rooms are located on the top floor to take advantage of the sculptural roof plane, the views across Sydney harbour, and sunlight. Bedrooms are located on the lower levels were outlook and solar access are compromised by neighbouring houses.
Cascading Creek House was conceived less as a house and more as an outgrowth of the limestone aquifers of the Central Texas geography. The roof is configured so as to create a natural basin for the collection of rainwater, not unlike the vernal pools found in the outcroppings of the Texas Hill Country. These basins harness additional natural flows through the use of photovoltaic and solar hot-water panels. The water,electricity and heat which are harvested on the roof tie into an extensive climate conditioning system which utilizes water source heat pumps and radiant loops to supply both the heating and cooling for the residence. The climate system is connected to geothermal ground loops as well as pools and water features thereby establishing a system of heat exchange which minimizes reliance on electricity or gas.
Beyond the technological, the form and siting of the house subtly addresses the social issues of American suburbia. The surprisingly low profile of the house in relation to the street offers a critical alternative to the morphology of massive suburban homes in Texas–one looks down upon the water-collecting roofs of the house upon entering from the street. In contrast to the unassuming face towards the street, the residence presents itself generously towards the wilderness below, embracing nature without overwhelming it.
The primary formal gesture of the project inserts two long native limestone walls to the sloping site, serving as spines for the public wing and private wing of the house. The walls and the wings they delineate shelter a domesticated landscape that serves as an extended living space oriented towards the creek below and protected from the torrents of water draining from the street above during sudden downpours characteristic of the area. The siting of the boundary walls and building elements was informed by the presence and preservation of three mature native oaks.
Against the constant datum of the imperceptibly sloping roof, the floor terraces along the contour of the land to define the interior into discrete spaces increasing in volume height away from the relative compression of the entry hall. Each wing of the house terminates with the roof cantilevered from a single column that frees up the exterior walls to be fully glazed, flooding the tall and open volume of the living room with daylight and offering generous views of the pool deck and the wooded silhouettes of the Texas Hill Country beyond.
Cascading Creek House, Texas, by Bercy Chen Studio
Mews 03 is a single residence set in fashionable Notting Hill Gate. Andy Martin wanted this existing 2 levels modest mews house to be redeveloped into a 4 levels family home, and to be a private cocoon but open to the elements. An important aspect of this building is the way AMA have managed to capture the available light creatively, using glazed and wooden screens, and even natural vegetation screens giving all the spaces a unique atmosphere throughout the day and night.
One of the abutting walls is clad throughout with Douglas Fir giving one the impression that the building is some fixed back to neatly constructed barn. Andy Martin Studio are architects of strong powerful contrasts. The architecture not only lives with but is positively by its contradictions: elegance and texture, weight and weightlessness and, above all, light and dark.
House VK1, a single family dwelling by South African practice Greg Wright Architects is situated between the lion’s head cliffs and the sea in camps bay near cape town, South Africa. The common areas of the house are elevated to provide impressive ocean views. A wall comprised of large sliding glass doors may be opened entirely to lead to a veranda and pool. Inhabitants access the private rooms of the lower level via cantilevered concrete stairs. Wrapping a central courtyard, natural light permeates the ground floor from above. The material palette comprised of polished concrete floors, textured concrete, stainless steel with accents of natural gray stone and glass creates a canvas background for the dynamic activity occurring within.
A private residence built in the center of a historic avenue and at the very heart of Haifa’s French Carmel neighborhood. The avenue is studded with a number of residences designed in the Bauhaus style. The Bauhaus style gained its hold in Israel in the wake of international styling trends and is a ornament free design style, both simple and down to earth. The style celebrated the aesthetics of the machine and was characterized by uniformity of color and by unassuming and simple finishes and facades. The style faithfully represented the spirit of the age and the location. This project, designed decades later, creates a line that connects contemporary styling with the spirit of that bygone era. The project emphasizes and sharpens the differences between apparently similar design styles of contemporary minimalism influenced by Japan and the austere moderation of the modernism that characterized the end of the 1950′s. Both of these paradigms translate into a way of life, to the Israeli environment and climate. The sophistication and the minimalism that existed at the heyday of the Bauhaus period have been translated, in this latest reincarnation, into a special purity and prestigious restraint. In his design, the architect has expressed his own, localized interpretation for free planning in which there is a special continuity achieved through light, appearance and movement and the placement of secondary spaces around one, large and open central space.
Haifa House, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architects, Design Team: Pitsou Kedem, Irene Raz, Hagar Arad, photography by Amit Geron
The house for a family with two children is situated on a former hillside vineyard that had remained undeveloped. On the northern slope of the hill adjoining a non-developable zone, the house is surrounded by large old trees. In order to be able to even use the site it was necessary to terrace the immediate surroundings, and the house was developed along the lines of the formed topography.
In the process, the four terraces themselves function as exterior spaces, each corresponding to a specific interior space. The unusual topography is also mirrored in the construction of the building. The connection to the terrain is a stepped, largely subterranean basement storey made of internally insulated exposed concrete, above which is a prefabricated wooden construction with a ventilated Eternit façade. The large-format plates are a prototype with a textile-like embossing, producing a raw and haptic appearance.
Inside, a stairway core constitutes the centre of a spatial sequence that unfolds over three storeys. At the entrance level are the children’s rooms, with the cellar rooms at the back. The floor above is set back, creating differentiated spatial heights for the different areas of the house. The doorways on the intermediate level with the living rooms and the parent’s bedroom allow a free circular movement. Due to building regulations, the roof above the living room slopes parallel with the terrain, and runs directly over into the flat roof of the studio and the guest room in the upper storey. A roof light running the entire width of the building creates a studio-like character at the top, simultaneously lighting the high living room.