The small and narrow lot extends dramatically down a steep slope to beautiful Flowing Lake in Snohomish County, Washington. Giant fir trees occupy the western half; the eastern half was marred by the previous removal of a fire damaged cabin. Our challenge was to create a home for an active, young couple which preserved the trees and the remaining native landscape while extending toward and maximizing views of and access to the lake.
The solution was to first establish a path to the water alongside which a house was then placed. The path begins at an auto court with its detached garage/office. It then descends past the bedroom wing alongside the giant firs to mid-slope where a glass corridor/entry blurs the line between interior and exterior. From here the living areas open and cantilever toward the view, its glass façade maximizing both openness to the lake and the limited quantity of light. The upper level Master bedroom with its roof terrace hovers amongst the trees. These lake related portions of the house are all embraced by the wood clad wall providing privacy to the neighbors and focusing attention to the view. Downslope from the entry, as the house bridges over the path, is a covered porch, then a bunkered patio and finally the lake edge itself with its restored wetland. The materials of the house are honest and natural. This allows the house to meld with the natural landscape so that by day it is difficult to isolate when viewed from the lake, while at night the home glows reassuringly from within.
The project is articulated basing on two really simple spatial typologies. The first one, a compacted and pure single-storied level with huge window panels that open to the Alps, framing the beautiful view. The glazing surfaces on the entire level structure the façade in a generous way. The panoramic window panels fold inside, providing a special expression to the ensemble, while forming the terrace-covered area. The difference of enclosure between North and South façades is two faces: “behind” the street and “on the front” The Alps as a visual limit. The “courtyard” typology is composed of an open terrace bordering on one side of the dwelling, a vertical wooden enclosure and by a “green wall”, which at the same time separates the dwelling from the street. The garage, which protects the dwelling from the winds crossing the “Jura” from the East, permits a prolonged use of the terrace during the year. The dwelling is buried on its North side down the steep ground. The volume of the lower ground floor retracts from the façade line in the first floor, which produces a floating effect over the natural prairie. The interior is arranged in 4 individual rooms, including wet and comunal areas, which are defined by the concept of open space. Both the garden and interior rooms, with their glazing façades, open onto the valley.
The vision was a customised building, incorporating the impressive panorama at the foot of the Alps with a lifestyle demanding variable solutions. The owner’s specifications were a house combining living and working areas under one roof. The entire design of this compact house conforms to the location and it was built into the slight decline. As the hill side of the house is embedded, the east facing cellar area could be naturally illuminated and used as an office, for example. This office has direct access, via covered outdoor steps between the main entrance and the carport. Due to its ideal positioning, the building profits from the optimal use of the mountain sunshine.
In spite of being highly original and very chunky, looking almost fortified, the building does not appear out-of-place in its surroundings. The nearby 150 year old, heritage-protected, typical Bregenzerwald farmhouse is reflected in the Haller house. Local tradition has been reinterpreted, focussing on aesthetic details without cutting back on functional aspects. The entrance area is generous and includes a guests’ cloakroom. It is also possible to enter the house or the office from the double garage. The central staircase divides the ground floor into a living area and a kitchen area. The bedrooms and an extra bathrooms for guests are situated on the first floor. The owner’s bathroom has a separate terrace, which is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the magnificent views. The ridge and pitch of the roof give each first floor room an individual character. The internal walls and ceilings are covered with local silver fir wood, which gives the rooms a cosy feeling despite the large glass windows. The outside façade and the roof have been finished with local silver fir shingles. Here we can see how the architect as made use of a single material, testing its possibilities and confinements. What was once considered confined to traditional buildings appears here as experimental.
Located at the top of Nichols Canyon on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home has been strikingly modernized yet remains faithful to the confident, unfussy simplicity of Fickett’s original aesthetic. It is sited on a handsomely landscaped knoll above the street, flanked by the original carport. Through the double entry doors one is struck immediately by the open living plan and dramatic glass atrium and pond that anchors the center of the home, bringing the peaceful sound of water flowing over rocks indoors and filtering light throughout. Cool white limestone floors play against the heft of the double-sided river rock fireplace and the geometry of a cinder block feature wall. Floor to ceiling Fleetwood doors allow the entire rear of the house to be opened to the pool and deck, creating a seamless flow between indoors and out.
Articulating defined spaces in retrofitting a 20-year-old residence through a punctuation of natural daylight, exterior spatial relationships and a reduction in use of finishes. Desert House is a modern, sustainable intervention in the desert. The single-family residence renovation represents a forward thinking approach to desert life. The one-acre site is within a single-family residential neighborhood, surrounded by textured desert mountains to the south, west, and northeast. The pure structure cuts a clean sharp edge through the revegetative desert landscape.
The newly added program focus in the renewed design is to perforate the original frame of the existing home to allow a vibrant, natural daylighting experience. A large overhang on the South façade screens the plane of glass from the harsh summer sun, while allowing winter light to wash the interior walls. The east elevation is shaded by mature vegetation, while the west face of the residence has limited, strategically placed openings protected with large overhangs. Views to the surrounding mountains and desert sky naturally radiate through the home. The additive program refines the circulation experience and relationships between uses for a spontaneous and organic residential experience.
A sixteen acre farm located on Salt Spring Island, an island in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, the site of this house is bisected from east to west by a long row of mature Douglas fir trees. There is a gentle slope falling across the site from south to north. The south half of the property is an orchard containing a variety of fruit trees; the north half of the property is a hay field.
There was an existing cottage on the site which has been sold and relocated to a neighbouring property. The existing barn, garage and studio buildings remain. The new house, called Villa Klaathem by the owners, extends 276 feet in a straight line along the south side of the fir trees. The orchard has been made more regular with the addition of further fruit trees so that the clarity of the juxtaposition of cultural landscape to the south, and natural landscape to the north of the new house is reinforced.
The new house is subdivided by a breezeway into a principal dwelling and guest quarters. The exterior of the house is clad in charcoal-colored fibre-cement panels which render the house almost invisible when seen against the dark green foliage of the fir trees. Interiors are described by a luminous inner lining made of translucent acrylic panels. Over forty skylights bring sunlight into roof and wall assemblies during the day which causes this interior liner to glow softly; while at night, fluorescent lights mounted within the skylight openings turn the entire interior into a luminous field. Areas within this overall luminous surround are subdivided and defined by the insertion of reinforced concrete fireplace masses and wood cabinet-like service spaces. Glazing within window openings, the largest of which is 78 feet wide, is fully retractable, so that during the prolonged fair weather of Salt Spring Island the house can be transformed into an open-air pavilion.
Villa Klaathem, Salt Spring Island, Canada, by Patkau Architects
House in Utsunomiya is for parents and their son. They desired a commodious “doma” (dirt floor) and a flow line to their parents’s house neighbored on the south. The site faces the street northerly and is surrounded by four houses in other sides. Light was able to come through from the south side through small void between the other homes.
We arranged the doma at the center of the site and made it pass through the house. The three-storied doma with three large windows brings in natural light into the next four rooms; living room; dining room; master bedroom; and guest room. On the other hand, the doom is the penetrating void connected to the void of the south outside. So the floor of the doma is troweled with the charcoal mixed concrete as well as of outside, and the wall lightness level is brought closer to external wall. Some rooms are connected with the doma, and once the Japanese shoji (sliding paper screens) is opened, all rooms become one. The two stairs in the doma are made of light steel rods and laminated timbers, which prevent the relations between some rooms from disconnected.
The residence is located on a gently sloping site facing the sea and Tagomago Island, a Mediterranean landscape of pine and cedar trees. The proposed organization positions the living space at the core with independent small structures located around it. Given that the house is intended to be a vacation residence this allows for more flexible use, depending upon the number of occupants. The articulation of the house along a longitudinal axis provides ideally individual units independent from the core.
Tagomago House, by Carlos Ferrater
Combining ground breaking design, fantastic cuisine and stunning locations, The Cube by Electrolux is taking fine dining to a new level. Travelling across Belgium, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden, two spectacularly designed restaurants will be popping up at some of Europe’s most famous landmarks, inspiring guests with wonderful meals, events and once-in-a-lifetime views.
The Cube is fully transparent and consisting of glass encased in a white, laser-cut aluminium layer. Everything apart from the floor is pure white.
The interior is white Corian in combination with matt and glossily varnished wood. The wooden floor and carpet under the tables give it extra warmth and atmosphere, while the terrace outside provides an exclusive view across the Jubelpark, the centre of Brussels, the Atomium, etc.
The Cube is sited on top of the triumphal arch at a height of 45 metres. The entire structure has a surface area of 150 m2 and weighs 60 tonnes. The guests are taken to the top of the arch by lift.
Embracing the challenge of a relatively tight inner suburban location, and restrictive building envelope, the designers worked closely with the client to rationalise their “wish list” into a concise and deliverable brief. Little was lost in this process and even less in the translation to a finished home for the builder / client and their young family.
The house’s finely detailed bold rectilinear form is set back from the street amidst a carpet of natural ground cover. Entrance down the side of the house is made via a subtle path formed from old railway sleepers embedded into the ground. Whilst sitting comfortably in its street context proportionally, and with setbacks respectful of its neighboring properties, the view from the street confirms immediately that this house is quite different to those around it. The project is realized through a series of simple intersecting and overlapping rectangular forms. Each “box” represents a distinct portion of the overall program. A sleeping / study zone, a living zone, a garage / workshop, and cantilevered above all of this, a parents retreat, complete with its own living area and secluded outdoor terrace.