Atop a hill on Long Island removed from the fog of the shoreline, architect Wallace K Harrison in the early 1930s purchased land to design a house for his wife and himself. However, after the purchase of the land, the young architect had inadequate funds to pay for construction. Then, while touring the annual Architectural League show in Grand Central Palace, he paid around $1000 for what many consider the first prefab home, the Aluminaire House designed by A. Lawrence Kocher and Albert Frey. In 1931, Harrison designed what he considered a summer-use extension to the “Tin House” adding a series of circles, “an exercise in how to fit circles together”.
Around 1940, the Tin House was relocated on the property and a second, linear wing with bathrooms and baths was added to the former circular forms. The Harrison Estate, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, represents the leading edge of the International Style. It has now undergone a complete restoration and expansion, designed by SchappacherWhite Ltd., that honors Harrison’s original design intent while satisfying the needs of a 21st century family. The Harrison Estate was a laboratory for ideas Harrison expressed in his architecture. The home’s signature element, the circle, is found in the forms of the living room, small former dining room, pool, and even concrete pavers used for walkways, all of which have been restored by SchappacherWhite. Spaces were winterized and built to today’s sustainable standards.
The Harrison house was not only a place for architectural exploration, but also a home for many artists and a canvas for site-specific works. In 1942, Fernand Leger, escaping the war in Europe, came to the house and painted a canvas for the large round living room and also painted figurative swimmers on the bottom of the circular swimming pool. Existing and restored is the only remaining Leger artwork, a skylight located at the new dining room. Amongst the many artists and friends whom enjoyed the house were Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Mary Callery, Robert Moses, and Le Corbusier.
With interiors that defer to the elements of art, light, and views, Rees Roberts + Partners creates spaces that are tailored to both the context of each location and the character of the individual. While inventive and informed by a well-rounded knowledge of architectural styles, the designs of the firm remain true to the practical realities and varied lifestyles of its clients. The Company is known for its innovative landscape design, and in particular, its skill in integrating the built structure with its natural environment.
Montauk Residence, by Rees Roberts + Partners
In the Middle Ages, where the building is situated, was a cannon foundry. Client bought a site where stood the old yellow brick lodge with a basement. Cleaning the plaster of a house revealed that the lodge had been built by ancient bricks which were made in a old Vilnius brick factories. Because of a historical and physical value of a house were considered to preserve it by wrapping it with outer glass shape. The historical house structure have been carefully restored.
Math professor Dr. James Stewart, who is also a former violinist with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra near Toronto, Ontario, has made millions writing calculus textbooks. When he decided to spend most of his fortune on a residence, he could have used any architect anywhere in the world. Instead of an international star, he selected the then-relatively unknown pair, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe of Shim Sutcliffe to create his residence in a ravine in the posh Toronto neighborhood of Rosedale. Stewart was not looking to build just a residence, though. He also wanted a private concert hall and lots of curves. Other than that, he gave the architects unprecedented and probably never-to-be-repeated freedom. No schedule, and no design restrictions. A decade after the initial discussions with Shim and Sutcliffe, the $24 million US, 18,000-square-foot Integral House was completed. It does, indeed, have a multitude of seductive curves, massive amounts of floor to ceiling glass and a spectacular staircase. And, Dr. Stewart now gives concerts and throws parties and costume balls in his 150-seat concert hall.
Fogo Island lies outside of Newfoundland, Canada and is home to a gentle, independent people who have lived for centuries between wind and waves in pursuit of fish. Fogo Islanders live in the untamed landscape of the North Atlantic. The people are subtle and unpretentious yet have seen their traditional way of life by threatened by forces largely beyond their control.
The concept of the long studio responds to the transition of the seasons. The studio is organized in a linear from that consists of three different spaces. An open but covered area representing the spring marks the entrance to the studio and the beginning of the seasonal activity. The central portion is left open and mostly exposed to be fully immersed in all that is offered by the long summer days on Fogo Island. The end and main body of the studio is fully enclosed to provide an area of protection and solitude from the outside environment while still providing a connection to the landscape through a strategically framed view of the dramatic surrounding.
The long linear structure of this artist studio maximizes the amount of open wall and floor space. Large windows at either end and a skylight on the roof of the studio allows the maximum amount of natural light to flood the space. We have made one of the walls 1m deep to house storage, toilets and washbasins, with doors that are flush to the wall, thus avoiding any visual distraction inside the space.
The studios are placed on pillars at the end towards the sea, while the entrance area has a small concrete foundation for anchoring the construction to the landscape. With this type of construction, the studios can be placed in almost any place on the island. In addition, this allows for the studios to be pre-fabricated in a local workshop during the winter months, and then placed in the landscape in the spring.
The Bridle Road Residence is nestled at the base of the Table Mountain and just off the coast of the Atlantic ocean in the distance. Cape Town, South Africa represents one of the most ecologically diverse locales in the world, and the landscape consultants who developed this project focused on the local ecology for this home’s magnificent garden. The heart of Bridle Road’s landscape is the Fynbos, a collection of fine shrubs that are native to a small track of land encapsulating much of Cape Town. As Fynbos becomes increasingly threatened by fire and alien plants introduced by immigrants, the landscape architects for the Bridle Road project have created a safe commune for the plant around this home. The result, as you can see, is lush, beautiful and most importantly–local.
Beyond the landscape, the home itself an absolute dream. It is surrounded by naturally preserved land on three sides, providing privacy to its occupants. The public side is mostly hidden by design, while the bay-facing section of this home is open to the air and otherwise sealed by picturesque windows. The rear deck and garden features a natural swimming pool, ecologically balanced and self-cleaning using plants, sand, gravel and a waterfall built into the side of the home. Water in the natural pool circulates upward into a reflection pool in a private courtyard above, then washes over the side of the house in a waterfall that flows over the window of an indoor bathing room and sauna. The flowing waters provide a natural curtain for the privacy of the guests in the bathing room within.
Berlin-based photographer Matthias Heiderich recent work are abstract compositions of architectural elements in landscape.
ISO 3ERL1N, Meanwhile, back in Berlin, Color Berlin, by Matthias Heiderich
The Bahia House makes use of the old popular knowledge that has been reinvented and incorporated throughout the history of Brazilian architecture. The house was considered for where it is, for the climate of where it is, for Bahia. And, for this no “green” software was used, no equipment and no calculations were made. The builders of bahian traditional houses have long-known how to keep interiors cool even with a blazing sun of more than 40ºC, long before the corbusian ideas had been tropicalized or even before Sir Norman Foster had given a precise, technological and scientific dimension to sustainable architecture. These bahian houses have roofs of clay, a banal material made in a rustic manner, and wooden ceilings. The openings have large panels of wooden Mashrabiyas brought to Brazil by the Portuguese colonial architecture since the first centuries of its occupation of the American territories, and its origin is of an Arabian cultural influence.
The house is located in a housing estate, which lies on the other side of the Santander bay. It lies on a hillside which looks upon “Cubas” estuary. One enters the plot from a road which runs along the lower limit of the plot, parallel to the contour lines of the slope. It coincides with the good orientation and the sights. Whereas some designs have a complex development with drawings of different alternatives, this one happened in a very natural way, after the first visit to the place with the owner, during a late summer sunset.
First sketches insist on how to land the house on the plot so as to enjoy the beautiful sights to the south, with the estuary in the first term and the mountains in the distance, and also, on how to achieve a well orientated garden. The organization of the house results from these conditions and the adoption of the known L-shape floorplan. Day areas and night areas were assigned to each wing, with the peculiarity of arranging each wing at a different height which allows for a better adjustment to the slope.The topography makes it possible for both volumes to have a half-buried floor for complementary uses with openings to the south which look either directly or across an English courtyard. This solution obtains a large surface, which the owners demanded, with a reduced impact.
The elegant choice of the furniture, with diverse pieces of Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, Serge Mouille… and the plastic works of Elliasson, Lewitt, Nara and Uslé, help to characterize the house and facilitate a comfortable life.
House in Somoboo, Spain, by Eduardo Fdez.-Abascal Teira and Florentina Muruzábal Sitges via: archdaily
Richard Neutra is one of the noted architects of the 20th Century, most-known for his mid-century modern villas in California. However his final creative years spent in Europe have been less studied. Last year, Iwan Baan documented all of Neutra’s projects in Europe, focusing on how the projects are being used by people today. The exhibition shows many buildings that had never before been documented, including the Pescher House in Wuppertal, created five years before the architect’s death in the same city.
Pescher House, Wuppertal, Germany 1968 by Richard Neutra, Photography by: Iwan Baan