The Spaceship Home was born out of a project for a client who wanted a quick, intelligent design construction to enjoy the panoramic view of his plot. His passion for the cinema, home automation and comfort did the rest.
The futuristic and ground-breaking proposal was his aesthetic choice, and the large terrace oriented to the views defined the layout.
The house is composed of wooden prefabricated modules which are attached to a metal frame 4m above ground level. Access is by a “real airplane” staircase that belonged to Spanair, and which, restored and modernized, recognizes and welcomes its owner. A mobile device provides automatic control for the whole house which when accessed by the ladder starts to open an impressive door with a pantographic opening. An aesthetic metal “Star Wars” control panel centralizes the house’s facilities and presides over a restrained and functional interior.
The architectural proposal stands out for its polished metallic exterior, the integration of the facilities, services and architectural details in a “space” context, and for the metal legged structure that connects the house with the ground.
The Spaceship Home, by NOEM
Architects were approached to extend and refurbish a Victorian terraced house in Shepherd’s Bush for a growing family. Remit was very conventional: a ground floor extension and a loft conversion – a potentially hum-drum brief. Dominant material chosen was concrete, primarily for its aesthetic qualities but the opportunity to build in high thermal mass and develop free-form structures became increasingly important considerations as the project progressed. As a point of reference concrete then became the driver for all other material decisions. The facade of the extension is clad in rusted Corten steel and the interior joinery fronts made from Grey Elm – both providing the necessary contrast, warmth and richness against the cool swathes of smooth concrete.
Spatially, the ground floor is designed to comprise of two main spaces – the kitchen extension and the more formal living rooms – and these spaces interlock around a central fulcrum of storage units with circulation to either side. Each space flows into the other by an extending limb of floor finish negotiating the threshold and serving as landing, seat or bookshelf to break down the formal differentiation between rooms. The framing of views and the shift of planes have been constructed to choreograph movement from one space to another, with walls and plinths quietly receding, or changing levels. The design of corners, windows seats and benches have been considered with a young family in mind: places to accommodate the day-to-day activities of children and adults alike – sitting, reading, talking, playing or resting – with the large window seat projecting into the garden and brushing up against the foliage.
The rear garden in considered as another ‘room’ of the house and the view to the garden from the front door underlines its importance, providing relief from the efficiently planned interior. The layout of the garden is defined by a concrete bench for outdoor entertaining in warmer months and two large glass panes provide plenty of natural daylight and help the external ‘room’ feel connected to their interior.
Ingersoll Road House, London, England, by McLaren.Excell
The Oak Pass Main house uses an “Upside Down” program, with public spaces above the bedrooms, which are buried into the hill and beneath a green roof of edible herbs. This relatively large house at 8,000 square feet appears much smaller and carefully integrated into the surrounding landscape, which includes over one hundred and thirty Coast Live Oaks. A seventy five foot swimming pool, with infinity edges on three of four sides, bisects the house and slips below one of the largest Oaks on the property.
Oak Pass, Beverly Hills, California, USA, by Walker Workshop
Photography by Joe Fletcher
Two Houses in the Forest, Viimsi, Estonia, by Tamizo Architects
Set on an irregular site with unique site constraints, this new residence is a relaxed and informal family home that embraces its lush garden surrounds. The house is composed of two intersecting volumes arranged to make best use of the sites orientation and outlook. Entry is via a wide loggia space which overlooks the garden and spills into the living areas. Bedrooms are accommodated on the second storey gaining access to district views to the North-East. The master suite is surrounded on three sides by sliding windows and shutters that retract completely to open the room completely to the view and the surrounding trees.
Woollahra Residence, Sydney, Australia, by Tzannes Associates
Photography by Michael Nicholson
The dimensional constraints of the existing structure (the plot measuring only 4x9m) prompted the conception of this house in historic downtown Bayona (Pontevedra, Spain) as a spatial sequence of relatively autonomous rooms, defined by variations in their proportions, the geometry and layout of their ceilings, and a diversity of materials. The different arrangements of oak wood, and the contrast between the paved surfaces of polished concrete, tiling, white marble and wood, result altogether in a fragmented interior which is thus illusively expanded, while embodying the distinctive intimacy of domestic space.
Oak wood is the dominant, unifying material. Its extensive use allows for an understanding of the “small house” as a “big piece of furniture”, in which compartments, drawers and doors proliferate. A system of wooden lintels defines the divisions between compartments. On the upper floor, the lintels support a series of pyramidal ceilings which emphasize the autonomy of each room and expand its inner height. This solution includes light niches and skylights, which evoke the so-called lumieiras, a typical element of vernacular architecture in Galicia. At ground level a repetitive system of joists rest on the main lintels. The space between two joists is equal to its section, thus making a strong floor structure which, again, allows for the vertical expansion of the interior. Moreover, the wooden joists and lintels are structurally connected to a layer of reinforced concrete which supports the heating “carpets” for the upper floor: electric radiant cable underneath a cement tiling.
The warm, wooden interior contrasts with the hard coldness of the exterior, characterized by the existing golden granite walls. The new exterior elements (cornice, door, shutters, latticework, ventilation shafts, etc) stem from a continuity with the old building’s construction logic, and were used to set the tone for the whole intervention. By that continuity it is revealed the priority given in this project in particular to “coherence” as a goal in architectural refurbishment, beyond “style” and “taste”.
Aguirre House, Bayona, Spain, by Carrascal Blas
Photography by Lluìs Casals
This modern glass house set in the landscape evokes a midcentury vibe. A masonry fireplace divides the living area in the front from the functional greenhouse in the rear. The building has a painted steel frame with aluminum sliding glass doors set on an exposed concrete slab. The front features a green roof with native grasses and the rear is enclosed with a glass roof. The landscape was designed by Ron Herman and implemented by Zen Associates.
A Glass House In The Garden, by Flavin Architects
Photography by Peter Vanderwarker, Greg Shupe
The client’s requirement was for a pavilion to be connected to the main historic house causing the least visual interference with the surrounding parkland. The pavilion was for an indoor pool, and some space for fitness, service and leasure in a climate controlled space. The main house, an early 1900 liberty building had been renovated by the clients ten years previously. The main house ground floor sat 100 cm above the external ground and as such had little connection to the surrounding parkland.The client also desired a glass enclosed space attached to the main house to enjoy the view of its natural surroundings.
The previous renovation of the house included landscaping and the addition of a small artificial lake in the south corner of the parkland. The aim was to achieve a sense of continuity within the volume inside and outside the pool. A small white ceramic mosaic tile was chosen. The west side of the pavilion (front) houses a sliding door. The door totally disappears into a structural cavity to maximize the connection with the surrounding artificial lake and parkland. In summer the indoor and outdoor spaces become one, a seamless conversation between both water surfaces (pool and lake).
La Piscina del Roccolo, by act_romegialli
Photography by Marcello Mariana
The architectonic models of 41 great Japanese designers are on display at the Triennale di Milano exhibition facilities between July 10-19, 2015. They express the deepest inner spirit of an architectonic culture that thrives on the connections between the avant-garde and the memories of the past. The Archi Depot Foundation (Organization for the conservation of the culture of architecture) was founded in 2015 by Terrada Warehouse and Tokyo Design Center companies, to safeguard and conserve the models and designs of Japanese architectonic culture. The primary objective of the foundation is to conserve and present to the general public architectonic models that still play an important role in the transmission of the architects’ vision and thoughts to the public at large.
Implanted between two historic stone buildings, in an exceptional place, the new building is characterised by a volume inserted into the ground and emerging at both ends at different altitudes. Its size and orientation are precisely defined by the topography of the site. The upper terrace, old area of milking cows, retains its character and proportions of origin.
The volumetric impact on this remarkable site is reduced. It boils down to the appearance on the surface of two precise and mineral shapes, abstract marks and isolated contextual scale. These emergences define the access to the main space and bring the natural light as differentiated way.
For its physical, properties, the concrete, here used in its simplest form, replaced the stone. At the time wall and roof, it expresses multiple possibilities of use. The strong mineral expression becomes the dominant feature of the new construction and gives the building a real authenticity and established a particular dialogue between tradition and modernity.
Community Shelter, Mollens, Switzerland, by frundgallina
Photography by Milo Keller