If you can’t live in a house designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, then a stay at the Benesse house may come in a close second. Designed as a group of four novel buildings on the grounds of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, the setting fuses an art museum with lodging facilities so guests can leisurely enjoy art amid the natural beauty and gentle pace of Naoshima island.
Benesse House, Designed by Tadao Ando, Gotanji, Naoshima-cho, Japan, from JPY 36,960 per night.
Built as a summer house for Fabien Baron, one’s first impression is of its virtual invisibility. The design draws significantly on local vernacular models which are transformed through the introduction of elements of new materiality and detailing, to create volumes with a contemporary quality of abstraction whose interiors are bathed in light and views. Entry is via a lofty space framed by a pair of walls finished in fine vertical slats of dark stained timber and set below steeply angled roof planes.
Baron House, Southern Sweden by John Pawson
Casa X, Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador, by Adrian Moreno and Maria Samaniego, for Arquitectura X
The client demanded a solitary building, integrating requirements of conventional civil service security with Dutch openness. With glimpses of the river Spree, The Television Tower (‘Fernsehturm’), a park and the wall of embassy residences, part of the building is described as a ‘diagonal void’.
Embassy of the Netherlands, Berlin, Germany. By Rem Koolhaas/OMA
Liquidrom Berlin opened in the Neuen Tempodrom at the Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin as the first Liquid Sound Day Spa. The concept fits perfectly in the capital city. With a programme of regular live concerts at full moon, DJ evenings in the Liquidrom club, jazz or classical music programmes, poetry readings and light-art-water events, the Liquidrom has quickly established its distinct profile in the cultural capital of Germany.
Modeled largely on the groundbreaking 1946 Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California, this private one acre estate is a little more than 30 minutes to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It tends to veer towards the traditional, but the funeral parlour has been interpreted in a fresh and poetic way by BASS Architects in Spain. The bulk of the complex is underground and the facade is at just below eye level with a giant reflecting pool on the roof — the only protrusions are described as “five fingers”.
Tanatorio Municipal, León, Spain, by BASS
The Robin Boyd Baker House has been called one of the most important post war Australian residential buildings by Melbourne University’s Professor of Architecture, Phillip Goad. Often seen as the leader of the International Modern Movement in Australia, Boyd was based in Victoria in the 1950’s, he led a highly creative and prolific life as an architect, teacher and writer.
Boyd Baker and Dower House, Victoria, Australia, Starting from $1,500 AUD per a week, designed by Robin Boyd.
Reservations: Boyd Baker House