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
Reproductions of original masterpieces from legendary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Taliesin 4 Table Lamp, by Yamagiwa
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
In September 2014, twelve Master Product Design students of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne were invited to reflect on a collection of objects to meet everyday needs in the Cité Radieuse in Marseille. The outcome of this research is being displayed as part of an exhibition staged in Apartment 50 from 4 to 19 July 2015. Apartment 50 was restored by two enthusiasts, Jean-Marc Drut and Patrick Blauwart, as close as possible to its original condition. Listed as a historical monument, the venue occasionally hosts exhibition projects.
World-renowned designers have already exhibited there, such as Jasper Morrison, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic and Pierre Charpin. Thus, under the direction of Thilo Alex Brunner, head of the Master Product Design at ECAL, and of ECAL professor Augustin Scott de Martinville, a series of objects was produced over one semester by the Product Design Master students. The project began in September 2014 with a three-day workshop in the Cité Radieuse, allowing students to experience life in the building.
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
Montreal photographer Chris Forsyth captures the ideals of the city’s underground system through ‘The Montreal Metro Project’, an ongoing photo series that accentuates the beauty of each station and encourages others to acknowledge it, too. Forsyth shifts one’s attention to the striking designs of some of Montreal’s 68 metro stations — each one designed by a different architect and reflective of the architectural trends, such as Brutalism and Modernism, that were dominant during the construction of the metro system in the ’60s and ’70s.
Montreal Metro’s Underground Architecture, by Chris M Forsyth