A meandering stream collides with the rigid geometry of orchards to provide a setting for this rural residence. It is comprised of earthen masses which bracket the landscape and protect the interior from intense southern sun. The resultant open space is used for living, cooking and dining. A cantilevered roof gathers the space, making inside and out feel as one. Concrete, steel, reclaimed wood and water are employed to enhance the connection between building, landscape, and the surrounding agricultural vernacular.
San Joaquin Valley Residence, by Aidlin Darling Design
Some prismatic volumes come out from the four stone sidewalls, thus enclosing the space and differentiating each room. The area between the rooms is covered by a timber roof acting as a hall and a connector. The opening sequence of the gaps of the home located in a residential area surrounded by large pine forest reflects the hierarchical order of the outdoor areas. The aim of the proposal is the creation of different outdoor areas linked to the rooms inside, according to their level of privacy. Each room is differently high according to its use and spreads its program on a single level, except for the bedrooms’ bay. This operation generates a cross-shaped plan that arranges the external space. The materials, together with the raking light from a longitudinal roof light, produce a warm and cosy atmosphere. The timber volume works as a connector and distributor of the different rooms, and at the same time opens to all the outdoor areas. The volumes containing the living room, the dining room and the kitchen, however independents, are visually linked because of their position, making the house wider and more transparent. The other two volumes host the main bedroom, two bedrooms on the lower floor and a studio on the upper floor. A continuous veranda enlarge the rooms, generating outdoor areas that open and extend the rooms.
A House Surrounded By A Pine Forest, Valencia, Spain, by Ramon Esteve
Photography by Mariela Apollonio
Divided into three blocks – two downstairs and one that forms the upper deck – forming a “U”, they organize social area, the lounge and intimate area on an impactful way. The volumes of the ground are exposed concrete, in contrast with the white brickwork of the rooms. Fully closed to the street, the lobby was organized in a large wooden box, like a theater stage. The coating continuity between the door and the walls leaves completely open and camouflaged through an electronic system.
The inner hall follows the same finish in Cumaru wood and lighting have stemmed from a large domus. The circulation is organized behind the single wall of the dining room, which hides the circulation between the hall and the staircase. In the living there is a strong contrasts between the exposed concrete, wood and marble, which opens up to the recreation area. The pool is surrounded by a large wooden deck, which creates a junction with the recreation area, equipped with gourmet kitchen and a home theater. In opposite side to the living area, the volume of concrete with wooden brise soleils gives place to a guest room and to a recreation area.
AN House, Sao Paulo, Brazil, by Guilherme Torres
Photography by Denilson Machado
The 2200 sq. ft. residence is located on a severe hillside site in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The project is an extensive remodel of an existing post-and-beam home in need of a structural, programmatic and environmental upgrade. The residence is re-envisioned for the 21st century. The existing roof geometry is accentuated creating a language of faceted surfaces. The articulated volume of the building’s front facade extends indoors to define the interior spaces, resulting in a dematerialization of the roof, wall and floor planes. A forced perspective is created, framing the extraordinary views out to the Santa Monica Bay. The minimal, gallery-like living space is designed to accommodate the client’s extensive collection of contemporary art. Display niches, lighting and the configuration of the spaces are planned to enhance the experience of viewing the art. The stair has cantilevering steel treads, each with a custom laser-cut pattern. Light from the skylight above filters through the perforated stair to project an ever-changing texture of shadow and light, enlivening the walls and floor. A grand entry door made of a stainless steel tube frame marks the threshold into the relatively small house. The 10’ high door makes use of a hydraulic pivot and a concealed magnetic locking device.
Montee Karp Residence, California, USA , by Patrick Tighe Architecture
Photography by Art Gray and Bran Arifin
Cut Paw Paw is a renovation and extension to a double fronted weatherboard home. At one end is living/kitchen/dinning while at the other end is a music studio. Between is a deck, garden, paving and bathtub. Parts of the garden creep into internal spaces. Parts of the floor spilling into the garden. The entire structure runs along the southern boundary, therefore the house now faces north. Sun and shadow dances through the frame throughout the day, passively warming the house in winter, while keeping it cool in summer, which makes it energy efficient.
Cut Paw Paw, Victoria, Australia, by Andrew Maynard Architects
Photography by Peter Bennetts and Tess Kelly
The villa caters to the taste of the residents for the outdoors. The home floats above the natural rolling countryside, and features panoramic windows that optimize the relationship between the inside and outside. The lower terrace at the back with a pool and pond connects seamlessly to the covered terrace and strengthen these relationships. The interior is designed in harmony with the villa and fits perfectly with the minimalist aesthetic pursued by the clients. Sleek and minimalist design combined with warm materials. Villa is built on the original site of a dated bungalow from the 60s.
A Home That Floats Above The Countryside, Haelen, The Netherlands by Lab32 architecten
Photography by Jo Pauwels
It is quite rare, in Woollahra Council’s municipality, to have a waterfront residence so close to the water. One gets the feeling of being in Sydney Harbour when looking out of the over-sized wafer-thin framed windows. Luigi Rosselli Architects won a limited architectural competition to develop the site by proposing to revive the existing three storey house while the competitors opted for a clean slate solution. Adaptive reuse is the best way to keep a carbon footprint small and the strategy was rewarded in this waterfront property by maintaining the foreshore building line just a few steps from the water. A new house would have to be set further back. Though built on the edge of beach this is not a beach house. The cultured art lovers and sophisticated art collectors who commissioned this project required a very urbane and elegant residence, with an environment ideal to display their collection. Expansive Wall spaces, nooks for sculptures and specialised art lighting were necessary. The entry courtyard was originally a cramped driveway with three garages as main features, the solution was to relocate the garages and have a Will Dangar designed courtyard with sculptural plants and textural architectural details. The result restored a sense of dignified arrival where people, not cars, are welcome.
Harbour Front-Row Seat, Sydney, Australia, by Luigi Rosselli Architects
Photography by Edward Birch and Justin Alexander
The external structure is composed of a cube volume and perforated metal envelope. The volume extracts cut-outs to create pockets of space that provide a pyramidical stepping down along the roof, a void along the entrance and private glass patios with terraces for living areas of the house. Using a material with holes on both sides aims to make an abstract interpretation of the texture of classical villas in the historical suburb. The crosses brace the frames of panels and create identity like façade ornaments on historical citizen villas.
The internal volume embodies two elements: exposed structural concrete walls and a wooden shell. The brief was to maximize living area with minimum of the service space. The concept divides space based on distinct program by separating function not by walls but floor levels: ground floor is living/communal space, first floor is children area and second floor parents area. With no cellar, the shell is integral to provide all of the space for storage. The flush walls fold out to house cupboards, shelves and drawers throughout the living areas and furniture is built into the floor in order to optimize space and provide easy maintenance. This connects different spaces in the house by giving a common function to partitions.
Villa Criss-Cross Envelope, Ljubljana, Slovenia by OFIS Architects
Photography by Tomaz Gregoric
The interior of this tri-level reveals exposed steel framework with diagonal and vertical bracing intermittently appearing and disappearing throughout the walls, ceiling and floors. The untrammeled view of the surrounding forest through the floor to ceiling glazing in the penthouse, gives one the sense of being among the trees. A giant twelve foot wooden door gives way to the porte-cochere twenty seven feet in length. Providing protection from the elements and while complimenting the gently curved circular drive. The cantilever, supported by an iconic V, allows the house to carry the majority of its space off the ground, minimizing the site footprint. This eco-conscious pattern is further demonstrated with a rainwater collection cistern which supplies ground irrigation and water for the pool. The Treehouse pays further homage to the nature that surrounds, with a partially covered rooftop terrace that spans two thousand square feet. Outdoor living in luxury can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. Corner windows provide panoramic views of the rolling landscape while the penthouse level bestows an awe-inspiring view of the surrounding forest and beyond lays the Niagara Falls skyline.
The Treehouse, Pelham, Ontario, Canada by Forestgreen Creations
Photography by Lisa Petrole
This compact private residence’s 136-square-meter area consists of five horizontally divided spaces, each connected by a minuscule sculptural spiraling staircase that, given the footprint of the house, allows for loft-like spaces within its intimate confines. Oversized windows punctuate the house, each with two layers of glazing.
Transparent and relief glass extend to the floor, to ensure that the house remains responsive to passing street life. When closed, they cloak the house within an iridescent texture. On the ground floor, one of these windows serves as the main entry, and slides open to reveal the kitchen. Each level has a different program: the lowermost consists of storage and technical spaces; the lower two bedrooms, permeated by daylight via sliver windows that span the full length of the house, at street level; the kitchen and dining room occupy the ground floor; the living room the first; and the uppermost a master suite, with a wooden ofuro.
These oversized windows, with their dual layers of glazing, can be countlessly reconfigured, to regulate the interior flow of daylight. A small terrace is attached to the master bedroom, yet it is expansive, relative to the house’s size. Its northeastern wall is composed of the same textured glazing that shields the house’s windows, except that there is no layer of transparent glass behind it, as the terrace is completely open to the exterior elements.
A’ House, Tokyo, Japan, by Wiel Arets Architects