Paraty House’s two reinforced concrete boxes, sit atop each other, connected on the mountainside of one of the islands of the colonial city of Paraty and Angra dos Reis (between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), like two modern prisms between the large colossal stones of the Brazilian coast. The building projects outward from the mountain, almost onto the beach, in an 8m cantilever. The house finds balance in the topography of the land, creating an extensive open doorway and living space in the practically untouched nature. Paraty House features a furniture collection showcasing 20th century design, including works by many well-known artists.
The residents arrive by boat. After stepping out onto the sand a metallic bridge positioned over a crystal-lined reflecting pool leads to a set of stairs connecting to the lower volume. This volume contains the living room, kitchen and service area. The continual internal area has a 27m span and huge glass windows to take advantage of the view of the sea.
The client’s desire for the home to have a perception of substantial private space has resulted in the development of a spatial program that internalizes spaces such as pools and gardens normally regarded as external to the envelope of the house. By zoning spaces such as the bedrooms and servants’ quarters on alternative levels, i.e. 2nd storey and basement levels, the ground plane is freed from walls that would have been required if public and private programs were interlaced on the same plane.
The site is approximately 25m wide by 48m deep, and because of the intermingling of internal gardens and column-free vistas, there is a continuous and unbroken visual depth of 40m that ties together the entrance foyer, swimming pool, formal living area, internal garden court and formal dining areas.
Environmentally, the contiguous and interconnected space encourage the slightest breezes, whether they are prevailing and therefore air-movement is horizontal, or convectionally circulated, which the courtyards help generate. For the owner, it is the experiential serenity that unencumbered space, a gentle breeze, dappled sunlight and the hush of water rippling on a pond that is priceless in our dense and busy urbanscape.
Enclosed Open House, Six Ramsgate, Singapore, by Wallflower Architecture + Design Photography: Albert Lim
This house produces a spatial experience that excites the senses by promoting light open plan living which is unusual to this type of terrace house. This residence brings a balance between nature and contemporary living in a renovation of an Art Deco style terrace.
São Paulo, January 21, 2002
“It is ten o`clock at night. Very hot. I use this moment of rare calm and solitude to design the new house. I look through the window and parked in front of the building is a BMW X5. A young man of about 27 slides out of the car with a stunning blonde fearfully clutching her Prada bag. An almost-black, almost-beggar approaches asking if he can watch the car for R$ 5,00. They go into a Japanese restaurant. On the radio, which I will turn off within ten seconds, there is talk of the most recent kidnapping and a prison rebellion. I read my notes of the first meeting with the clients, a couple in advertising. We spoke of an enormous library in the living-room with double high ceilings, enormous windows opening completely to the garden, a pool 3 x 30m, a kitchen with an orange lunch table in the center, two symmetric marble staircases lit by focused natural light, a precisely detailed work studio, spaces of rare and elegant proportions which always relate to the exterior differently, white textures, an Eero Aarnio ball club chair, minimalism, the 60’s, electronic music, Stockhausen Cage, the latest issue of Visionaire magazine, a recipe for spaghetti al mare and finally “My Uncle” by Jacques Tati.”
“I think of a single enormous volume wrapping everything: a white box. In São Paulo, we don’t need to be concerned about environmental coherence; it is total chaos, the most absolute chaos. In this city, the world’s ugliest, which overflows energy, vibrant like no other, loved and hated, anything that is projected will be totally integrated into the city. Ah, yes, don’t let me forget an enormous wall protecting the house, covered in natural wood (maybe from the last tree of the Amazon), and which, certainly, will be completely covered by graffiti, giving the final touch in perfect harmony with the environment.”
From a humble architect of the third world. – Marcio Kogan
A glass house cut into a rocky slope emphasizes simple geometry and indoor-outdoor relationships.
Catskill Mountain House, West Shokan, New York, by Audrey Matlock
The limestone, steel and aluminum house was built on the foundation of the original house also designed by the architect. The expanded house with a prime location needed to conform to subsequent zoning which required it to be built within the same footprint of the original house.
Georgica Pond, East Hampton, New York, USA, by Designer, for Bates Masi
Guanyin-hall, Dule-monastery Tianjin, Jixian (Liao Dynasty 916-1125)
Chunyang Hall, Yongle Palace, Ruicheng, Shanxi Province (Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368)
Bracketing Cluster (Dougong) (Song Dynasty 960-1279)
Hall of a Thousand Buddhas, Temple Zhihua, Beijing (Ming Dynasty 1368-1644)
For about three centuries, almost all public buildings in China were built according to a hardly ever changing construction system: an enormous, curved hip roof rests on wooden posts with wide overhanging eaves and tile covering, supported by an elaborate wooden construction.
In the 20th century, documentation and teaching models of the highest accuracy were made of the most important buddhist temples and palace complexes. These large-scale models precisely show all the details in order to enable their study and a possible reconstruction of the historical buildings. The exhibition at the Architekturmuseum shows 19 of these models, among them detailed models of the bracket system (Dougong) and reproductions of the oldest timber constructions existing in China.
The holiday house in located in the middle of the village of Vnà in the Lower Engadine. The particular challenge of the project was to bridge the divide between the old-world charm of the village and the modern flair embodied in a holiday house for an internationally successful art gallery owner. The aim was to develop a formal language which had a certain proximity to traditional Engadine architecture and yet remained immediately recognisable as contemporary without being conservatively romanticised.
House 53 was conceived as a wood and mortar monolithic block with another concrete and glass volume upon it. Due to the ground’s small front and volumetry, the box’s two edges had to make the most of light’s entrance, which explains the large windows. It was also desirable that these windows would make it possible to darken the internal environment whenever needed.
The house’s inferior volume, which comprises the living room on the first floor, and the bedrooms on the second floor, is a glass box with wooden brises that open as folding doors. The rooms’ front and back facades were designed to be completely closed or opened.
Kübler House is surrounded by golf courses and green areas near the Andes. The project seeks to incorporate the landscape into daily life, following the client’s request to spend a long time throughout the year in the exterior spaces.