Montecito Residence is a single-family home set in the fire-prone Toro Canyon. The owners wanted a house that minimized its use of scarce natural resources and recognized the challenging environmental conditions of the area. The design solution is a house that functions as an umbrella to shield the house from the sun and allows naturally cool offshore breezes to move through the space. The house is made of simple, fire resistant materials. Steel will be allowed to oxidize and concrete will be toned to allow the house to blend into the landscape.
Montecito Residence, California, USA, by Olson Kundig Architects
“It’s all about the lake,” was our clients’ direction when we began designing this vacation home. Located in rural Iowa, Lake Okoboji is a part of a glacial lake system surprisingly located amidst endless cornfields, 2.5 hours from the nearest metropolitan area. The house sits on a diminutive lot on the dense shoreline where old cottages and new McMansions sit tightly together. Our strategy resulted in a deceptively simple footprint that minimized the size of the house on the site while allowing for a series of spatial frames within the house that focus on the view while excluding the neighbors. This allowed for a sense of total privacy within the house itself. Additionally, the lake itself is ringed by numerous oak trees which form beautiful a canopy around the lake, separating it from the corn fields.
Volumetrically simple from the exterior, opaque and slatted vertical Ipe clads a stacked set of spatial tubes (the primary living spaces) that are open to the lake and woods views, but visually closed to neighbors on the sides. We formed the house’s spatial tubes around view axes running through the site, perceptually linking the lake through the forest to the fields beyond.
High-end Hollywood property developer Steve Hermann has completed The Glass Pavilion, designed inside and out for buyers that include A-list stars and entertainment executives. The house comes complete with a personal showroom with enough floor space to house a respectable car collection.
The Glass Pavilion, Montecito, California, by Steve Hermann Hermann Design & Development
Following the success of the Hansjörg Göritz Architekturstudio in an international European competition in 2000, seven years of planning and implementation are now completed. Today the built exterior and interior spaces manifest not only his interpretation of democratic separation of powers within the Alamannic cultural region of the Alps’ Rhine River valley. They also stand for a conscious understanding of an architecture of urban contiguity, whereby the original masterplan of Luigi Snozzi has been newly reinterpreted.
The plot assimilates a sequence of different levels, that can be seen from the higher city, in different points and moments. Its position marks the transition between the urban landscape of the city of Santo Tirso, and the natural landscape of a cultivated valley.
The project is conceived starting from these existing values: the topography and the border condition. A clear system is organized inside “telluric” volumes gravitating around a big central space. The patios and openings between the volumes register the experience of light during the day.
This detached house is built schematically by two intersecting longitudinal bars, two floors each, with a glazed façade, which is orientated towards the spectacular view. The angles allow for a more enclosed interior environment. The side spaces of the house are landscaped and incorporate access to the garden, the top of the land has been urbanized for access to the garage of the house, keeping an existing majestic tree.
The Atelierhouse Bardill replaces an old barn in the protected centre of the village Scharans. The building permission was granted by the local authorities only under the condition that the new building would have exactly the same volume as the old barn.
The client, Linard Bardill, who lives in a house a very short walking distance away from the site, needed only one single space, a room to work in. This working space occupies not even a third of the stipulated volume. The rest of it constitutes a courtyard that is monumentalized by a huge round opening to the sky. This is where the house expresses greatness and clearness in contrast to the arbitrary geometry of its external appearance and to the small-scale environment of the village.
The Danish Pavilion is a monolithic structure in white painted steel which keeps it cool during the Shanghai summer sun due to its heat-reflecting characteristics. The roof is covered with a light blue surfacing texture, known from Danish cycle paths. Inside, the floor is covered with light epoxy and also features the blue cycle path where the bikes pass through the building. The steel of the facade is perforated in a pattern that reflects the actual structural stresses that the pavilion is experiencing making it a 1:1 stress test.
“Sustainability is often misunderstood as the neo-protestant notion “that it has to hurt in order to do good”. “You’re not supposed to take long warm showers – because wasting all that water is not good for the environment” or “you’re not supposed to fly on holidays – because airtraffic is bad for the environment”. Gradually we all get the feeling that sustainable life simply is less fun than normal life. If sustainable designs are to become competitive it can not be for purely moral or political reasons – they have to be more attractive and desirable than the non-sustainable alternative. With the Danish Pavilion we have attempted to consolidate a handful of real experiences of how a sustainable city – such as Copenhagen – can in fact increase the quality of life.”
- Bjarke Ingels
The House 6 project was thought out after the client had made an important request. The family wanted a covered external space to be used for everyday living. This space should be used to organize all the social life of the house. The Brazilian tropical climate suggests ample use of these solutions in vernacular as well as in modern architecture. Beginning from the colonial, Brazilian architecture has usually incorporated a space that was known as the veranda. Verandas are covered linear spaces in front of the living room and bedrooms which act as the intermediary between the interior and exterior.
In the House 6 project, the idea of the veranda has been reinvented. The veranda is not exactly in front of the living room, disposed longitudinally, but, rather, perpendicular to it. The wooden pillars that give support to the structure and the clay tiles of traditional verandas have been substituted by modern pilotis that support a volume of flat slabs. The veranda of House 6, nonetheless, still remains an open space and, simultaneously, opens to the garden and the pool. It is a living room, a TV room and an extension of the internal kitchen.
This space, then, structured the entire architecture of the house, organized in two transversal volumes and an annex in the back that holds a home office. The lower volume houses the utilities, the kitchen and the living room with door-frames that can be recessed into the walls, and thereby entirely opening the internal space to either side. This sets the cross-ventilation and an unfettered contiguous view of the garden. The upper volume has the private area of the house with the bedrooms and, on the third floor there is a small multiple-use living room alongside an upper deck.
Architecturally, the space of the veranda, located under the bedrooms, would have a low ceiling-height, to create a warm feeling. The sum of the structure of the two perpendicular volumes and the living room ceiling-height would result in a very high ceiling. Thus, it was decided to make the living room lower in relation to the veranda and the garden. This result made it possible to have a house with elongated proportions and the viability of a covered external pleasant space to be used on both warm and cool days in the city of São Paulo.