According to English Heritage (which oversees historic buildings for the British government), Woodchester House, a Georgian mansion built in 1746 and located on 30 acres of Gloucestershire countryside, is architecturally untouchable and unchangeable. For both the architect, London- and Paris-based Robert Grace, and the client, a financier and author, that was a problem.
Granted, the mansion and its grounds and garden–where the owner’s wallabies frolic–are breathtaking. But the link, visual or physical, between the house and the landscape was lacking. After months of discussion, Grace and the owner decided that a 1,500-square-foot glass, wood, and concrete “orangery,” or garden room, would solve the problem. It provides a place of contemplation and repose adjacent to, but never touching, the house. “It is shelter,” says Grace, “but you can look out at the garden or at the back at the house and feel linked to both.”
The new 18-foot-high structure may relate to the house functionally, but hardly stylistically. “It’s totally of the ‘now,’” says Grace. Two slender reinforced concrete columns support a concrete roof, while expanses of glass diminish the sense of mass. Triple-glazed units enclosing the space are almost nonexistent, especially where they meet at a corner facing the garden: With a push of a button they glide back on an invisible motorized track. Oak plank floors unite the various parts of the retreat, which includes an entry, bathroom, laundry, and living area with a fireplace carved in a stone wall.
A 41-foot gallery links the garden pavilion to an existing outbuilding, used as a kitchen and dining room, that adjoins the main house. To create the linear gallery, Grace placed sections of an old stone garden wall, once part of the house’s former orangery, parallel to each other and clad the interiors with white concrete. He then covered the hallway with a glass roof resting on glass beams that in turn hook into the concrete columns.
Woodchester House, by Robert Grace, via: Architectural Record
The greatest challenge in designing homes is negotiating the delicate balance between aesthetics and the personal desires of the occupants. While it’s important for the structure to reflect the vision and style of the architect, the client must ultimately feel at home beneath the roof. It is particularly interesting, therefore, to examine the homes that architects create for themselves. If houses reflect their owners’ personalities, then architects’ own homes are like autobiographies. Location, layout, style, lighting, artwork, furnishings-every detail adds color to the story. Each of these dwellings, presented A-Z by architect, speaks more about its designer than any other building possibly could.
The Architect’s Home, by Gennaro Postiglione, Hardcover, 20.8 x 27.4 cm, 480 pages, published by Taschen, Buy it here: Amazon
The project is situated in the vicinity of the whitewashed town of Montemor-o-novo, in the Alentejo, near the UNESCO-listed city of Evora. Located on a gentle valley facing south and looking towards the skyline of the medieval Montemor castle, the master plan was devised in a system of clusters of villas and terraced row-houses reminiscent of the former agricultural compounds of the Alentejo, known as “monte”, which literally means “mound” in English, wherein the etymological reference is fundamentally topographic. In addition, a small lake cools the air and is used for leisure activities besides serving as a sustainable water-retaining basin for agriculture.
Something between artwork, poster and illustration, this series of Cut-out prints documents some of the mid-century coffee and low tables designed by Gio Ponti, Gabriella Crespi, George Nakashima, Paul Kjaerholm and many others in very simple 2D shapes. It is our graphic homage to the formal mastery of the modernist design in a fresh contemporary graphic way.
Cut-out Prints, by Matěj Činčera, Jaroslav Moravec and Ondřej Přibyl, for OKOLO
A solid-gold replica of the 1969 Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module, presented to astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the highlight of Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age, an exhibition of jewelry at the Forbes Galleries.
Depictions of bodies in outer space have appeared in jewelry since ancient times. The influence of the space race beginning in the late 1950s had a major impact on jewelry design and continues to do so today. This exhibition will trace space images in jewelry from the Georgian period through today and will include fine and costume jewelry from the 1960s through the present, jewelry being made by contemporary studio artists influenced by space, jewelry made from materials created by NASA for space exploration, jewelry with materials that came from space and jewelry flown in space by astronauts and more.
Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age, March 16 – September 7, 2013, at the Forbes Galleries, New York City
The property is located in a quiet, wooded area. The house is built against the right neighbor. The left neighbor is a detached house. The house is at the front 12.70 wide and is tapered and parallel to the parcel toward the rear. The roof is retracted so that the cornice is at 5.79m. The challenging form of the plot and the orientation, make sure that we have gone looking for a type of home that meets these conditions and also provides an architectural value. The requested program with limited living space was poured into a patio home with abundant light. By choosing this concept, the southern sun invades deep into the house. The living areas at the top are linked to a south facing terrace. The small terrace at the rear of the house composes the views to the wooded area. The entrance, sleeping area, bathroom and storeroom are on the ground floor.
The client chooses a house with enough light and views, but with some privacy. The window openings are chosen in the privacy of the residents. Some windows are recessed so that a few bricks filtered light enters. At the terrace on the top floor is the front covered with white slats. These are rotated so that the west sun may fall on the terrace overlooking the forest. The privacy at the front of the building create introverted spaces on the floor. In terms of materialization we’ve chosen a light brown / beige brick with black aluminum joinery. The edge and the slats in the front are materialized in white aluminum.
House K, Buggenhout, Belgium, by GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten, Photography by Luc Roymans, Dennis Desmet, via: ArchDaily
With an unadorned exterior our studio has created Vinge, a table lamp with a movable wing that encourages interaction. The function of dimming the light is moved to the wing – which can be rotated 180° around its own axis – making the sweeping experience of increasing or decreasing brightness highly tactile
Vinge Lamp, by Note Design Studio, for Örsjö Belysning
The arrangement of objects in a given space or a defined format in order to give meaning to the placement and arrangement of the items, the result of the relationship between the object and the framework of the artistic creation. A private, family residence in an urban environment. From without, the building does not reveal that it is a home. It resembles a mold or an artist’s canvas or an almost two dimensional frame within whose area various openings have been placed and which are enveloped with a dynamic system of wooden, linear strips. The planar distribution of the “picture” or, in this case the front façade, creates a non-symmetrical composition which pulls towards the flanking faces in an attempt to suggest that this is, in fact, a three dimensional mass. The arrangement of the objects (the openings) is always fixed and allows for one central and permanent composition. The ability to reverse the balanced composition into a dynamic one is made possible thanks to the design of a system of smart blinds that allows the blinds to be lifted upwards whilst they are folded into what resembles a roof. All the rails and fixtures are hidden and so, when the façade is closed the dynamic and changing possibilities hidden in the residence’s facade are not apparent. All the openings open separately and so allow for different compositions. At any given moment and for whatever reason (privacy, protection from the sun) the relationship between the object and the plane can be changed. Thus we can achieve a composition that is balanced, dynamic, haphazard, closed or open within the same framework.
Movement through the house is accompanied (thanks to the flexible blind system) by different views of the outside, some exposed and bare, others undisguised and others framing a section of landscape especially designed for it. This selfsame changeability and flexibility also allows control of the amount of sunlight and natural light entering through the openings and into the homes spaces. These spaces are characterized by a restrained use of materials and form so that the light penetrating the space creates a sense of drama, movement and dynamism which seems to breathe life into the souls of the silent walls. Thus, in effect, the system of relationships between the street and the structure composed of changing, but two dimensional compositions on a framed and flat plane develops, for the user of the house’s spaces, an open area that incorporates abstract or tangible images with volume. The relationship between these same volumes (the walls, the stairs, the various partitions and the different elements in the house) and the space, create, through the structures changing facade and the dynamism of the blinds, changing compositions, sometimes controlled and sometimes random with a new and different experience being created each time for the user and those living in the home.
Kfar Shmaryahu House, by Pitsou Kedem Architects
This project attempts to challenge our traditional notions of how buildings can exist both in a coastal environment and in this case also the context of an emerging built form and character. In coastal conditions, buildings must be robust and defy the elements, yet create protective spaces, both internal and external which for us allow the occupants to feel safe, comfortable, privacy and enjoyment of good times. Whether the occupants are fulltime residents or weekenders, the beach house is a place to look forward to arriving, whether in the heat of the summer or the winter’s cold. With excellent views to the north and south and a conscious motivation to avoid the east/west outlooks, this project evolved as a series of interconnected and robustly finished containers. Each prescribed to a rigid set of rules and the relationship and spaces between containers becoming essential to the program and to the life of the building. The robust mass of the buildings is intended to be offset by the expression of finely considered detail and proportion.
Kunsthal Rotterdam will be presenting a comprehensive exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dutch furniture brand Pastoe. Since it was founded in 1913, Pastoe has grown to become an internationally recognised designer label. The brand stands for simplicity, timelessness, quality and craftsmanship. Over the past years, Pastoe has acquired an excellent circle of designers including Maarten Van Severen, Shigeru Uchida and Scholten & Baijings.
The exhibition Like Pastoe illustrates the rich history of the furniture brand and provides an overview of the unique collaboration between Pastoe and various architects, artists and designers. The exhibition has been organised around the following themes: ARCHIVES, ENVIRONMENTS and VISIONS. In the ARCHIVES theme, Krijn de Koning presents the history of Pastoe using exceptional designs, advertising material, sketches, photographs and trade fair presentations. Within the ENVIRONMENTS section, Anne Holtrop projects Pastoe’s vision on the architectonic space. The exhibition’s installations represent an environment in which living, working, learning and creating are defined in a new way. VISIONS highlights the search for new perspectives on product development and includes work by various designers such as Naoto Fukasawa, Claudio Silvestrin and Scheltens & Abbenes.
Like Pastoe: 100 years of design innovation, February 23 – June 2, 2013, at Kunsthal Rotterdam
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