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The Dovecote by AZO. Sequeira Arquitectos Associados

This is an emotional design! Our client asked us to reform an old dovecote in the backyard of his home. We decided to propose a play house for the children and a balneary to serve the pool on the ground floor. The whole family loved the idea. We wanted a play room inspired by magic, fantasy and also by the childhood dreams and memories…

We decided to transform the old dovecote in a minimal concrete «tree house» that represent these memories and fantasies of pure and peaceful way. We look for a way that seemed the main volume is levitating as a tree house but simultaneously it had to be balanced and pure. The idea was that the interior was absent of superfluous elements and were gradually decorated by the works and toys of these children as a reflection of consumer society we are experiencing. Some elements remained of the original building as the triangular window through which entered doves.

The Dovecote, Soutelo, Portugal, by AZO. Sequeira Arquitectos Associados
Photography © Nelson Garrido

Exhibition: Spring by Mathieu Lehanneur

In his ‘Spring’ exhibition at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Mathieu Lehanneur takes us into a world of flux. As if the cycle of the seasons and nature’s forces have specially looked at the fate of objects… Here, the artist-designer with a passion for science, grapples with ancestral materials in order to suffuse them with plasticity, fluidity and tone.

The works in the ‘Spring’ exhibition seem to hesitate between solid, liquid and gaseous. They appear to be suspended mid-transformation in a poetic state of metamorphosis. Marble and aluminium become liquid, onyx becomes air and glass softens as in a return to its original state.

Mathieu Lehanneur: ‘Spring’ exhibition, (17 – 25 September 2016), at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London

Krøyers Plads by Studio David Thulstrup

A Danish couple based in South America engaged us to design and equip their newly built Copenhagen apartment. Furniture, fittings, colors and materials were carefully selected for the clients. With the client’s desire to create a modern apartment, whilst avoiding the usual collection of Scandinavian classics, we brought life and personality to the cold white bare rooms and gave their home a sense of meaning and personality. Several bespoke pieces were created for this home – library wall shelving, walk-in closets and benches, office cabinet walls, kitchen cabinet, entrance wall storage and a lounge table with thick terrazzo plates and brass details.

Krøyers Plads, Denmark, by Studio David Thulstrup
Photography by Hampus Berndtson

Desert House by LOHA

LOHA’s take on the Palm Springs vacation house typology simplifies its forms into their essential elements and plays with those forms through cuts and separations and by introducing unconventional materials.

Starting from a single-floor heavy mass and a contrasting light roof, LOHA further articulated the mass by cutting into the form and creating a series of landscaped courtyards. These courtyards open up the mass to bring in natural light and increase transparency and connections laterally through the home. After cladding the exterior with cement boards and minimal openings, LOHA utilized wooden slats in the courtyard spaces to materially define this formal move.

LOHA lifted the roof to create clerestories that give the appearance of a floating roof line, provide natural light, and unify the various courtyards and shifting volumes.

Desert House, Palm Springs, California, USA, by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Photography by Paul Vu

Rooiels Beach House by Elphick Proome Architects

This vacation beach house located near Cape Town, South Africa, is carefully crafted to respond directly to the brief from the client, a maverick businessman from Johannesburg. Primary requirements were to create an extraordinary living experience, conceptually capture the client’s brief to create a single space vacation house and fully embrace the remarkable seaside location.

Capitalizing on its unique context with panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, the house is thus conceived as a minimal steel framed glass box with a hull shaped hardwood clad roof to facilitate distant views to the surrounding mountains. All the external walls are frameless sliding folding glass doors and are filtered by slatted hardwood shutters which open hydraulically to become verandas when open and a continuous secure screen when closed. To ensure minimum environmental intrusion to the sensitive fynbos vegetation and dunes that form the site, the house is elevated to allow the fynbos to be extended under its footprint. All interior walls dividing living and sleeping spaces are sliding ash clad doors which slide away during daytime hours to create a single large living space which flows out on all four edges on to broad cantilevered decks made of Garapa hardwood.

The effect created is thus an umbrella, connecting isotropically to the amazing environment that cradles the house. This building significantly evolves the seaside vacation house typology by dematerializing the notion of cellular space, burring the traditional regime of private and semi-private space and offering variant connection and refuge. The house is counterpointed by a freestanding elevated pool and subterranean entry court and garage clad in unhewn beach stone and Garapa. The elongated pavilion with a floating curvilinear roof displays a minimal architectural language rendered in steel, glass, raw concrete and all powerfully juxtaposed with warm hardwoods deployed in the ceilings, furniture and all joinery to deliver an extraordinary outcome.

Rooiels Beach House, Cape Town, South Africa, by Elphick Proome Architects

House in Alentejo Coast by Aires Mateus

Among the pines trees, a stone plateau is drawn to a scale that can no longer be understood as a courtyard. The space embraces a wide area of trees. The house and its services define a recognizable solid border. The interior of this boundary is inhabitable and characterized by light. The more open side of the house creates a water tank through the connection of geometries. A space that embraces its context is created through this closed extension.

House in Alentejo Coast, by Aires Mateus

Life House by John Pawson

From the beginning, the thinking behind the Life House was an uncompromisingly modern design where it would be possible to inhabit a different sort of architectural space. Experiments with massing and orientation have produced a composition that is bedded into the fall of the land. The proliferation of blackened gorse in the surrounding heathland is reflected in the dark exterior brickwork, whilst the rough moor grass provides a reference for the lighter bricks used inside.

The house’s programme is arranged as a series of self-contained folds, opening off two corridors. Meeting at a right angle, these passageways generate extended internal vistas and a plan designed to allow groups living in proximity to spend time together and apart, in a spatial arrangement that shares certain characteristics with the monastic cloister. The corridors — one light, one dark — represent more than just the means to get between the different parts of the house, they are key architectural experiences, each charged with its own distinctive character.

In the spirit of creating a contemporary Walden, communal and private quarters are shaped by the idea of supporting and enriching specific rituals and activities. Across the Life House this translates into optimised inventories of equipment and functional conditions, but also into a series of finely calibrated atmospheres.

Life House, Llanbister, Mid Wales, by John Pawson
Photography by Gilbert McCarragher

Beachyhead by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

A set of living spaces is held in a dramatic concrete box that floats over the site. Connected to a garden on the street side, the building sits above the pool level on the beach side.

Beachyhead, by SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects

No-No tables by Note and Norm for Menu

No-No tables are a result of two Scandinavian design studios meeting and being inspired by an old patinaed Italian marble floor during a visit to Milan. “The tilting of the floor was put together from leftover pieces of stone. Almost randomly the different slabs of marble in a variety of qualities and colors came together in a beautiful disordered patten, that made it into the most beautiful graphic artwork.”, Kristoffer Fagerström explains. The thought of using this normally elevated and luxurious material in a more casual way became the starting point of this collaborative project between Note and Norm. Later the same day, Note Design Studio stumbled into Norm Architects somewhere in Milan and a discussion about the beauty of the random qualities of the floor – which you also find in the traditional Japanese landscape architecture – morphed into to a product idea for the design company Menu.

No-No tables, by Note Design Studio and Norm Architects for Menu

Bronte Restaurant by Design Research Studio

Under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, Design Research Studio (DRS) have created the interiors for Bronte, a new restaurant located on the Strand overlooking Trafalgar Square. Inspired by the history of the Strand, Victorian explorers, extraordinary collectors and Cabinet of Curiosities, BRONTE is DRS’s first standalone restaurant since Eclectic in Paris.

The restaurant boasts striking architectural features such as an arched glazed facade leading from the traditional colonnade terrace into a double heighted space with a mezzanine level and a more intimate dining room towards the back. Floor to ceiling windows bathe the pantry area in natural light, with a subtle and stylish palette travelling through to the main restaurant.

Bronte Restaurant, Strand, London, by Design Research Studio

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