Few architects have imbued a community with as much design spirit as has Donald Wexler for Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. One of the first impressions of this spirit was the house he designed for himself and his family, in which they lived for 38 years. After expanding the home in 1960, he assisted in its 2008 restoration, consulting and designing alongside the owners, with painstaking attention to quality and detail. This restoration – which he considered to be the final evolution of his aesthetic – was awarded MOD COM’s 2009 Preservation of the Year.
A privacy wall surrounds the house and newly-landscaped grounds, by William Kopelk and Marcello Villano. The pedestrian gate opens to reveal a gem-like transparency of floor-to-ceiling glass walls and wide overhangs, all engendered by the post and beam construction. Taking cues from his mentor, Richard Neutra, Wexler “pinwheels” the floor plan so rooms open readily to the many terraces and salt-water pool.
Open living and dining room, a kitchen modernized with stainless steel appliances, library nook, three bedrooms, two baths, car port. Terrazzo and T111 panels crisply unify the whole, while creating intimate spaces. The elegant Master suite is thoughtfully separated from the guest wing, which opens to private outdoor spaces, flanked by spectacular mature pine trees and the original Wexler spa. Sophisticated yet relaxing, the Wexler House stands as a testament to the marriage of design and livability found in Mid-Century architecture.
The Wexler House, Palm Springs, California, by Donald Wexler
Photography by Lance Gerber
The house consists of three volumes stacked in a pyramid shape, whereby the two lower ones contain the living areas and the upper volume houses three bedrooms; these three ‘blocks’ were made to stand out by using different materials on their facade, namely stone and metal for the lower ones and wood for the upper one. On top of the whole house sits a pavilion with a barbecue area and a sunbathing area which also acts as a viewing platform, offering a 360-degrees view of the city.
Casa Lara, São Paulo, Brazil, by Felipe Hess
Photography by Ricardo Basseti
Lines & Dots is a pendant light fitting in which the light, its basic element, relinquishes all its importance to the material, the metal, in this particular case working as would a sculptor.
Lines & Dots has its origins in dozens of ink drawings. From those abstract silhouettes there emerged a series of eight shapes, given form using folding rods and soldered by hand by local craftsmen. Eight different modules which are combined using the cable as a pivot. Sculptural light fitting that creates a contrast between shadows and light, transparency and opacity, movement and immobility and whose source of light is an adjustable led, which gives off a warm light and incorporates state of the art technology.
Lines & Dots, by Goula / Figuera
The discreet polygonal volumes of the two buildings are the result of ideas of visual privacy and vantage points, and with their slanted roofs they constitute a single entity. The concave and convex recesses enter into a dialogue with the exterior space. A sculptural quality is generated, lending the buildings plasticity and a certain lightness. The form and the expression of the buildings therefore aim to fulfill both contextual and formal aspects. The arrangement of the facades follows the same principles. The concept involved is not one of houses with roofs, but rather of building shapes in which the surfaces of the roofs represent a “fifth” facade.
Both houses are reached by a footpath through the garden that connects the two exterior levels to each other. A “promenade architecturale” leads from the shared underground garage on beneath skylights to each of the vertical circulation cores of the houses. The polygonal form of the floor plan enables a differentiated spatial distribution. This means that the living areas are arranged around the orthogonally organised circulation cores. The rooms between these orthogonal structures and the folded progression of the facade form a spatial continuum that extends onwards to the upper storeys. The two houses differ in terms of the contrasting alignments and situations of the volumes. A further underground connection to the two volumes leads through the wellness area.
Villa Ensemble near Zurich, Switzerland, by Andreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hächler
Photography by Valentin Jeck
Concrete Cut, Ramat Gan, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architect
Photography by Amit Geron
The project is designed in a single level as it is designed for disabled couples, single people, young or old. The circulation is optimized to benefit experiential spaces. It is a concept of “open space” where the reflecting pool and the garden are the focal point of all spaces.
T02, Jesús María, Aguascalientes, Mexico, by ADI Arquitectura y Diseño Interior
Photography by Oscar Hernández
Porcelain and brass
Designer Thomas Feichtner was commissioned by ABSOLUT VODKA with the design of a new glass and vodka cooler. This cooler was supposed to be designed specifically for the Swedish distillery’s finest vodka, ABSOLUT ELYX, and reflect the handwork of the most experienced distillers. This vodka, hand-distilled and rectified in the original copper kettle from 1921, was to be complemented by a drinking glass and vodka cooler from the hands of Feichtner, the design process and quality workmanship of which was to underline this vodka’s concept.
Absolut Cooler, by Thomas Feichtner
The idea is mainly focus on how to maximize privacy for every family but still create vast pleasure spaces with nature integrating the sea. To maximize the project’s efficiency, the master-plan is well organized but the way is too narrow with high density. Within this condition, the team’s goal is to make a creative and effective design to not only satisfied maximum privacy but also create extra benefits from natural voids and gardens.
Each villa has multi-dimensional landscape with overflow pools and tropical gardens. For every villa, the design also takes advantage of space using by lifting-twisting the upper block for bedrooms with privacy and open views. The lower block with living-dining-kitchen-bedroom has the direct connection to the pool and landscape. Moreover, we put waterscape into the rooftop of the lower block in order to cool down the whole building and improve the rooftop landscape aesthetically.
Density is now not a big problem, every villa has its own garden filled up with skylights and surrounding green environment. MIA’s design philosophy is how to inside-out the initial using space, outside-in the natural gardens enhancing the luxury-home feeling.
Naman Residences, Non Nuoc Beach, Danang, Vietnam, by MIA Design Studio
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki
Studio Collins Weir worked with client and architect to build a sense of history and place into a ground up custom residential project. To accomplish this, the studio blended custom pieces of furniture with vintage finds and contract pieces alongside the clients’ growing collection of emerging artists. The material palette for the furnishings, floor and window coverings at once reinforces the industrial nature of the architectural materials and contrasts that same palette to create pockets of softness and light for moments of casual repose.
Horse Hill Residence, by Aidlin Darling Design
Photography by Matthew Millman