This mid-terrace house in Ireland has been extensively refurbished into a contemporary live/work space. The new structure was conceived as a simple form which connects at ground level with the existing house. The tight site and strict planning constraints defined the form of the new extension from an early stage.
“In a place of profound silence, after a day of fog and mist, an intense light is mirrored off the still, deep waters of the majestic Hudson River. This is a place where the sunsets are a thousand colors and where water sparkles in millions of reflections. It is a place where the clean air is calm and mild. It is a place that seems very close to heaven. In building here, we wanted to create a structure that would be worthy of its surroundings, something that would not intrude on this space but only serve to enhance it. Since we would not attempt to embellish on this landscape, we decided we would simply underline it. To do so, we built a large box, measuring 122 feet long x 54 feet wide and 12 feet high, with strong concrete walls that have a solid relationship to the earth. Bedrooms, bathrooms, mechanical and service rooms reside inside this concrete box. In the center of the box and connecting the main entrance with the garden, there is a large luminous hall. The lid of the box is a stone and concrete platform with a roof measuring 100 feet long x 40 feet wide and 9 feet high. This is supported by a 20 feet x 20 feet framework consisting of cylindrical steel pillars—the entire roof projecting out 10 feet. On top of this platform, we created living space by glassing in a surface 25 feet wide x 94 feet long that resembles a large table with 10 legs. Three areas have been created inside this space by boxes of white plaster that do not reach the ceiling. They contain the stairs, the elevator, the powder room and the wet bar. The central space is the living room and the dining area; the south side is a pensatoio, a meditation room with a fire place; the north side is for the kitchen. The main idea of the house is the creation of this underlining plane, conceived primarily to contemplate and at the same time be part of, this incredible landscape, and–in addition–to house a collection of contemporary Italian Arte Povera.”
- Alberto Campo Baeza
Olnick Spanu House, by Estudio Arquitectura Campo Baeza
Buy the Book: Alberto Campo Baeza: Idea, Light and Gravity Available at Amazon
Built on a hillside with reflecting pools and a carport on the roof, this single family residence is made of reinforced concrete with a steel frame.
An old chapel in Portugal has been renovated and converted into a private residence by RML Arquitectos.
Maison Quinta dos Floreados, Santo Varão, Portugal, by RRML Arquitectos
Sometimes ordinary photographs of the Farnsworth House leave you wanting more. Peter Guthrie has filled the gap, by creating a set of beautiful 3D renderings of the iconic house, originally designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for his client, Dr Edith Farnsworth in 1946.
Farnsworth House, Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
3D Renderings by Peter Guthrie, Flickr Set
While the idea of indoor/outdoor living is typically taken for granted in Southern California, the altitude of the site allowed for an atmospheric connection rather than a connection to the landscape. As the clouds change color and are in constant motion along the coastline, the house and its materials were thought of as a canvas to be manipulated by the sky.
“Instead of keeping places normally used for movement such as an elevator shaft or stair wells closed, we wanted to open them up to collect light, using them as lightwells to maintain the lighting coming in from above. As light travels downward through the lightwells, exterior ‘bar graph’ like apertures maintain lighting on the lower levels, and gradually decrease in number towards the upper levels. This lighting design, using the building’s positive-negative relationship between interior and exterior, makes uniform lighting on each floor possible.”
This project was developed for the Vitra furniture store located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The materials used in its most extreme condition, the concrete work is in plain sight and without consideration to the finish, and rebar is left exposed in the back of the volume.
The building site borders a water filled lime quarry that offers dramatic views over what has become a lake. The entrance side is facing a road with some traffic and is hence a rather closed volume. The part of the building facing the lake is more open, through the generous windows the inside of the house integrates with the surroundings. Most of the interior fittings and furniture are special designed for the house in question.
Villa M 2, Malmö, Sweden, by Lindvall A&D