Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles known for it’s expansive views of the pacific ocean, the Henbest House is a rejuvenation of a California classic. The existing structure was built in 1966 and originally designed by the iconic mid-century modern Architect Pierre Koenig, who is most notable for his case study houses.
The new design upgrades the building envelope, MEPs, updates finishes and gently renovates and expands the floor plan to accommodate the current owners program, while paying special attention to respect the homes architectural roots.
Originally one arrived at the interior of the house via an exterior walkway which circumnavigated a courtyard. The entry path was flanked on either side by a 10′ tall wall, physically separating it from the courtyard. The new design removes this separation and incorporates the courtyard into the entry sequence. A dilapidated perimeter wall is repaired and surfaced with ipe wood siding which meets the areas current fire code. A new board formed concrete wall is offset from the ipe wall, creating a layered opening into the courtyard. A new swimming pool which was inspired by Koenig’s original site plan, but never realized replaces a koi pond and pergola that were added later and not part of Pierre’s design. The swimming pool overflows into a shallow reflecting pool which serves as a moat for the entry path that leads to the interior.
Walls are removed to provide greater views throughout the house towards the Pacific Ocean. A compartmentalized kitchen and service core are gutted to create an open kitchen / dining / living space. The master suite is expanded, replacing a small enclosed patio for livable square footage. A new guest wing is added, connecting the once detached garage to the main house. All of the fenestration is upgraded to meet current standards including new, fully retractable multi-panel sliding glass walls. When completely open the house becomes a pavilion, truly blurring the indoor / outdoor boundary that exemplifies California modern.
Henbest House, by ras-a, inc.
Photography by Chang Kyun Kim
Oak Knoll Residence, California, by Jørgensen Design
Photography by Joe Fletcher
The Bar Cart was designed to function as a serving cart and a permanent fixture in a home as a mobile side table. The three-legged solid ash structure and handle is maneuverable on its two hind wheels. The top tray can be removed from the cart’s structure and be used as a portable serving tray. The tray’s top leather surface makes for a soft, yet resilient surface to store serving ware.
The Bar Cart, by Thom Fougere Studio
An important collection of African art rests on the wooden sideboard in the living room of Ramp House, located in a quiet garden-neighbourhood in São Paulo. The owners intend to convert the place in a cultural foundation in the future, thus the antique pieces, collected over the last decades, have determined the architectural design approach for the house: the use of the social spaces reveal the African masks in a delicate exhibition experience, in which art blends with everyday objects and domestic life merges with the historical pieces without the feeling of living in a museum.
The architecture of the Ramp House promotes a radical spatial continuity between the interior and exterior not only through large panes of sliding glass doors – that can be fully opened, connecting the living room with the garden – but also through the consistency in the use of the same materials both inside and outside. The wooden facade folds back towards the interior, becoming the roof liner that, in turn, folds again at the hall by the ramp to create an inner facade.
The decor and interior design was conceived as a fundamental part of the architecture. The piece of furniture that holds the African masks in the living room, for example, had to have its own specific structural design to enable it to have the same clear span as the pillars (9,70m). The chairs, armchairs and tables mix old and new pieces by local Brazilian designers – such as Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues – as well as international ones – such as Vladimir Kagan and George Nakashima – in order to highlight the architecture of the house and the artwork.
Ramp House, São Paulo, Brazil, by Studio mk27
The characters in the film “Star Wars” turned into objects in abstract 3D shapes. Many character goods have been made based on the film, with many based on 2D image manipulation. So we wanted to open up new possibilities by creating a simplified 3D form. For example, a consecutive repetition of Darth Vader’s concave eyes and mouth turned the object into the instantly recognizable character from every angle. The volume and the curvature of the characters were all adjusted to be more or less similar, all having a rounded top and concave base. This enabled the characters to be stacked on top of each other for different purposes.
These designs are aimed at being used as a type of “material”, offering the opportunity to the designers and manufacturers who have obtained the licenses to develop their products based on these forms. A wide variety of usage can be envisaged ranging from kitchenware such as cups, salt & pepper pots, stationary such as paper weights, jewelry such as necklaces, or beading several of them into bracelets. The expansion of the product offerings can be infinite, which provides a whole new fun and creative aspect of exploring the possibilities that resides in characters.
Star Wars, by Nendo
Photopraphy by Akihiro Yoshida
Located on a rolling farm property in upstate New York, the LM Guest House celebrates the beauty of the surrounding landscape- sweeping views through an all-glass facade magnify the spacious, open feel of the living areas.The home employs several sustainable design strategies including geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floors, motorized solar shading, photovoltaic panels, and rainwater harvesting.
The open living and sleeping areas flow around a compact slatted wood core that disguises the mechanical, storage, and bathing spaces. Two sleeping couchettes with built-in bunk beds provide efficient accommodations for additional weekend guests. Natural white oak wood detailing provides warmth and texture throughout the home.
The high-performance glass facade was pre-fabricated off site, shipped in one container, and erected in two days. An innovative steel frame structure allows the roof to cantilever dramatically over the open living areas and bedroom.
LM Guest House, by Desai/Chia Architecture
Photography by Paul Warchol
Sitting on a plot of 1,000 square meters, the 580-square-meter residence comprises multiple layers and areas: the structure unfolds around a double-height courtyard in a sequence of rooms that proceed from communal to private. Pitsou Kedem Architects designed three key spaces – the central area, the communal area and the external area – which visually intertwine through glass walls and shelving systems. What the Corten House stands out for however, is its external, weathered-steel structure that envelops the house’s perimeter, casting shadows in a chequer board pattern across its internal surfaces.
The Corten House, Savion, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architects
Photography by Amit Geron
The location of this house, in the heart of a bustling resort town, demanded special consideration of the acoustic sense. The house is comprised of a series of parallel walls that provide layers of privacy and insulation from the sound of the village. The walls project beyond the living spaces and ascend in height, building from a human-scale wall at the entry to a high wall along the center of the house. The walls diffract the sound waves moving past them, casting an acoustic shadow over the property to create a quiet outdoor gathering area.
The walls are built with insulated concrete forms: a wall assembly nearly twenty inches thick, comprised of a poured concrete core, continuous from footing to roof, wrapped in insulating foam, that also serves as formwork during construction. These walls provide excellent thermal insulation and an extremely low sound transmission coefficient. Due to the strength of their concrete cores, the walls act as structural beams, enabling them to span over the gathering space at the center of the house and the covered deck.
Inside, variations on the clips are utilized as robe hooks, cabinet pulls, and hinges for an adjustable sound baffle in the central gathering space. The hinges hang cedar boards in front of a felt panel with spaces between them. Sound waves pass through the gaps between the boards, are trapped behind them, and absorbed by the felt. The hinges allow the spacing of the boards to be adjusted so the room can be acoustically tuned for intimate gatherings or boisterous parties. The stair is also tuned to create a subtle acoustic experience. The stair treads taper in thickness, changing the pitch of footfalls as one ascends from the woodshop in the basement, past the main floor with public spaces, guest room, and master bedroom, and up to the childrens’ rooms on the upper floor.
Elizabeth II, by Bates Masi Architects
Marcel Wanders’ newest timepiece creation, his grandfather clock. A literal monument to artistry, this stainless steel beauty towers at 2.10 meters tall and defines what it means to set the standard for meticulous design and mechanical luxury.
Grandfather clock, by Marcel Wanders, for Christofle
The project comes out of the need to reorganize the space and to solve structural problems related to the age of the building located in the centre of Milan. The structural refurbishment affects the whole pavement and the load-bearing beams of the ceiling, which have been replaced and implemented for a correct load distribution. The bearing wall that divided the living area from the bedrooms has remained the only pre-existing item of the old dwelling and actually it still divides the two macro areas of the house.
Nevertheless, the entire layout has been redesigned according to the needs of the new ownership, in detail, the kitchen has been added on the living room, optimising spaces. Kitchen is composed by a unique monolithic volume, made out of burnished steel plates. The kitchen cabinets have been replaced by a Carrara marble shelf, which enhances the room, making it an installation. Great attention is put in the choice of the all the materials and in their composition. Marble and burnished steel interact with a third particular finish: a cement effect, which dresses the whole architectural volume made of corridor, kitchen and living room, creating a perceptive unit and a clear separation from the sleeping area.
A particular attention has been given to the development of the bathroom, that becomes a wellness area, characterised by a wide space and precious finishes. Its presence is no longer hidden behind a latch, but it interacts with the living and with the rest of the apartment thanks to a built-in divider in resin.
The bedroom is separated from the rest of the apartment by means of an invisible door with a pivot hinge. Inside it, there’s a wide walk-in-closet, whose walls are made out of panels rotating up to 360 degrees, which can be completely opened, guaranteeing an optimal natural lighting, and which can become at the same time dividers and large containers.
Sought After, Milan, Italy, by AIM studio
Photography by Simone Furiosi