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Okinawa House by John Pawson

The site for this family home is a 414sqm cliff-top plot on the island of Okinawa, where the clients wish to spend their summer and winter holidays. As they live in a box-shaped house in Tokyo, the brief was for somewhere with a sense of vertical and horizontal expansiveness and the fluidity of the catenary curve came up as a visual reference. The design traces the diagonal footprint of the plot, combining single and double-height spaces within a form that is closed and tapered to the rear, but to the front flares and opens like an eye over the headland, with the ground floor level raised to optimise sightlines to the ocean.

Okinawa House, by John Pawson
Photography by Nacasa & Partners

Shulman Home and Studio by LOHA

LOHA’s restoration and modernization applies contemporary measures of performance and design to a historic building, enhancing its continued life as an exceptional family residence.

The Julius Shulman Home and Studio was originally commissioned by photographer Julius Shulman, designed by Raphael Soriano, and completed in 1950. It is one of twelve remaining built Soriano projects, the only with an unaltered steel frame, and a City of Los Angeles Historic–Cultural Monument. LOHA was engaged to not simply restore the significant home, but to update the space so that it could meet the specific needs of a young family.

For this project, LOHA undertook extensive research into the materiality and design intentions of the original structure, as well as other buildings from the period. As a notable landmark, the Shulman Home was restored under strict preservation guidelines supervised by the Los Angeles Office of Historical Resources. Due to the home’s status as a residence and not a museum, LOHA was granted more flexibility in upgrading the residence with essential contemporary features and important amenities. LOHA’s sensitive and light approach brought out the timeless nature of the Soriano’s elegant design.

Shulman Home and Studio, by LOHA, via Plastolux, Photography by Iwan Baan
Buy the book: Julius Shulman Photographer of Modernism

Arboretum House by Bruns Architecture

Designed as a peaceful dwelling amid an opus of bird songs, Arboretum House grows out of its forested site within the diverse landscape of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum neighborhood as a cultivated collection of forms that combine to create an architectural ecosystem.

Arboretum House, by Bruns Architecture
Photography by Tricia Shay Photography

Casa dos Claros by Contaminar Arquitectos

Single-family house with two stories – ground floor and basement – designed by Contaminar atelier, located between the rural area surrounding the Lis River and the urban periphery of the city of Leiria. Positioned on a small plot, this house is located in a small-scale chaotic urban area, surrounded by greenhouses and cropland. Occupying the entirety of the space, the house itself represents the borders of the plot, living around small patios. These in turn provide privacy and transport the user to a different type of space with a more introspective atmosphere, creating a composition of occupied and empty spaces on the plan and elevations.

The general geometry of the house, which appears to be rigid, is interrupted by circular openings that afford a poetic aspect to the spaces. The various axes are based on a 3,5 x 3,5 metres grid, organizing and providing discipline to the space. In the centre there is a patio that extends to the basement, delineating the separation of the social and private areas on the upper floor. In the more private area, another patio separates the suite from the other rooms.

Adjacent to the kitchen is a third patio lined with sucupira wood, interacting with the exterior and creating a permeating effect between the inside and outside spaces. The same effect is achieved with the suite patio, as the spaces are hybrid, distinct and comfortable.
The two central patios of the house converge through a unique garden space in the basement, interacting with the gym space and a social space. Part of this garden extends to a mid-floor level and creates the separation between another patio and the basement, reserved for more technical functionalities. The basement space is characterized by the presence of concrete and zenith lighting, creating a more dramatic atmosphere.

Casa dos Claros, Leiria, Portugal, by Contaminar Arquitectos
Photography by Fernando Guerra

Tropical Beach House by Renato D’Ettorre Architects

A small one bedroom beach house. The primary design elements are shutters made out of low-maintenance native hardwoods that will age and eventually blend in with the surrounding tropical landscape.

Tropical Beach House, Far North Queensland, Australia, by Renato D’Ettorre Architects
Photography by Willem Rethmeier

Platypus by Robinson Architects

Platypus House, Noosa Hinterland, by Robinson Architects

Azuris by Renato D’Ettorre Architects

The design of the house responds to its spectacular location near the edge of the ocean and its site falling steeply away towards the water’s edge on hamilton island. Simple, clean spaces are carved out of robust masonry, ensuring longevity and low future maintenance in the sub-tropical climate. The design philosophy is based upon the emphasis on the eternal elements of sun, sea and air in combination with the materials’ textural quality and honesty which makes the house invisible from the surrounds. Internal spaces wrap themselves around water and courtyards, capturing not only ocean views but also inward looking private vistas.

Azuris, Hamilton Island, Australia, by Renato D’Ettorre Architects

Seascape Retreat by Pattersons Associates Architects

A romantic beachside cottage is set into a rock escarpment in a tiny boulder strewn South Pacific cove. It is a shelter designed as a honeymoon retreat for paying guests consisting of just three rooms, a lobby, living/sleeping and a bathroom. This retreat is built using all local materials and is constructed largely from rock quarried near its site with in-situ poured concrete floors and an earth turfed roof. The structure is integrated into the escarpment above to protect occupants from falling debris. The cottage is self-sustainable in respect to on-site water harvesting and wastewater treatment. The project incorporated an extensive reforestation and re-vegetation sub project.
Its plan is an interlocking geometry responding to both near views of the Bay and far views out to Rocky Spires. It is lined with horizontal macrocarpa wood. This timber forms integrated joinery, wall and ceiling panels behind double glazed low e-glass in storm and shatter proof steel mullions which utilise earthquake resistant sliding heads.

Seascape Retreat, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, by Pattersons Associates Architects
Photography by Simon Devitt

Cliff House by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

This project is the first of a series of projects for a large 455 acre site on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast. This pure box in the landscape is precariously perched off a bedrock cliff to heighten one’s experience of the landscape through a sense of vertigo and a sense of floating on the sea. This strategy features the building’s fifth elevation – its ‘belly’.

This modest 960 square foot cabin functions as a rustic retreat. Its main level (16×44) contains a great room with a north cabinet wall, along with a service core. The open loft (16×16) is a sleeping perch. A large south-facing deck allows the interior stage to flow outward through the large windows.

This is a modest, affordable cabin that is intended as a repeatable prototype. A large, galvanized, steel superstructure anchors it to the cliff. A light steel endoskeleton forms the primary structure expressed on the interior. The envelope is a simple flat form framed box, which is clad in cedar shiplap.

Cliff House, Nova Scotia, Canada, by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Photography by Greg Richardson

Holyport Berkshire by Foggo & Thomas

This single-storey house, located on a small private estate in the heart of the sought-after Berkshire village of Holyport, is one of a group of three of the most notable 20th century architect-designed residences in the UK. Originally designed in the early 1960s by Peter Foggo and David Thomas, the house is of steel frame construction with the structure clearly expressed both inside and out. Standing on eight pilotis almost one metre above the grounds, the strong horizontal planes of floor and roof-line are emphasised by the exceptional transparency of the elevations, a result of the remarkable 60%-40% glass to wall ratio.

The house has undergone an extensive programme of restoration and extension since being purchased by the current owners in 2009. Great care has been taken to preserve the integrity and forward thinking nature of the original, influential design whilst also significantly improving the energy efficiency of the building. A deliberately disciplined palette of materials – restricted to granite, maple, linoleum, stainless steel, western red cedar and painted plaster- has been employed both internally and externally.

Holyport Berkshire, by Foggo & Thomas, at The Modern House

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