Apartment in Vitosha Mountain, Bulgaria | Fimera Design

Design Office: Fimera Design

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Casa IV | Suite Arquitetos

Design Office: Suite Arquitetos Location: São Paulo, Brazil Photographs: Suite Arquitetos

Loft ESN | Ippolito Fleitz Group

Description by Ippolito Fleitz Group:

The Palmscher Park in Esslingen is a former army barracks from the late Wilhelmine era. It was transformed into a residential complex at the turn of the millennium and has become a very popular residential area thanks to its attractive hillside situation, only ten minutes walking distance from Esslingen town centre. When an agency moved out of a loft space at the short end of a two-storey block, a family with two small children sought to transform the site into their new home. An open and spacious living space with differentiated living zones and tantalising visual perspectives was created across 400 square metres.

Now when a visitor enters the loft, a wide space opens up along a horizontal and vertical axis. The living area is only separated from the entrance area by an L-shaped filtering curtain. At the foot of the staircase a wardrobe is concealed behind a mirrored wall, reflecting Tom Dixon’s Mirror Ball infinitely back and forth.

The ground floor is laid out around the dining area. A long table is located in space by a carpet and slender, intersecting, pendant lamps. An open-plan kitchen connects well with the dining space thanks to three, freely stacked, solid surface cubes. A rear row of kitchen units houses different household appliances and a tall, narrow wine rack, creating an enticing mix of stainless steel, lacquered wood and solid surface. The tiled splash-back of golden, Italian glass tiles recalls the owners’ origins and childhood. The row of kitchen units also screens the children’s living space. Its rear wall containing integrated cupboards forms the corridor leading to the three children’s bedrooms.

A projecting section of wall divides the living and dining areas from one another. On the kitchen side its surface has been given a chalkboard finish. Coloured glass reflects the room on the other side, and flat screens are integrated into both sides of the wall. The living area is dominated by an expansive couch landscape and a deep-pile carpet. A grand piano stands at the enclosed end of the room in front of an upholstered fabric wall, surmounted by a skylight. Two doors opposite lead out onto the terrace. The wall surrounding them is mirrored from floor to ceiling. A branching pattern of lines is traced upon the mirrored surfaces and glass doors, awakening associations with twigs and branches and overlapping with the actual view of the garden. The mirrored wall borders a tall firewood container, which holds the fuel for the sculptural, suspended wood-burning stove. The precise, smooth glass surface and the randomly piled wood create an exciting contrast, which is reflected throughout the space. Warm natural materials and colours – including a dark-stained oak parquet floor, earthy tones on the walls and curtains, but also the shimmering golden surfaces – find a corresponding analogy in pink expanses of colour, cuboid solid surface forms and glass surfaces. The room receives an additional dynamic twist thanks to its sloping ceilings; their individual surfaces are accentuated by a contrasting colour scheme.

The upper level is the parents’ domain. A separate study was not part of the brief, so instead a small work station is located in an open-plan area. This is part of a house-in-house construction, which conceals the bedroom, because the clients specifically asked for a bedroom into which no light could permeate at all. This almost hermetically sealed room, the contours of which follow the simplest of house outlines – five strokes of a pencil – only retains contact with the outside world via the doors and a curtained passage to a skylight and windows. The ceiling’s warm dark blue is punctuated by a large grey circle. The circle and side walls serve as a blank canvas for a labyrinthine shadow-play that is cast in all directions by five fragile spheres of light.

The bathroom open upwards, providing a perfect counterpoint to the hideaway bedroom: A mirrored wall is the only element separating the bathroom from the corridor. Suspended light drops thus illuminate both areas and connect the collage-like objects and rooms to form a poetic landscape.

The Loft ESN embodies an exceptional transformation of an army barracks into an office, and finally into a spacious and exceptional living space.

Design Office: Ippolito Fleitz Group

Location: Eßlingen, Germany

Photographs: Zooey Braun

Naramata Cabin | Robert Bailey Interiors

Description by Robert Bailey Interiors:

Perched on the shores of beautiful Lake Okanagan, this Naramata vacation home is a family’s “dream-come-true.”

Inspired by client sketches and the surrounding geography, the project was designed from the ground up. The result is a modern home that remains true to the idea of “cabin,” being humble and unpretentious.

We used French oak on the ceiling and floors, the pre-distressed, fumed planking provided relaxed yet durable surfaces. Forgiving, not precious, it is the strongest design material in the home. Our goal for the furnishings was to achieve a sense of simple luxurious comfort, that feels curated rather and designed.

Blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living, the home is relaxing, durable, and rugged, with a defined purpose of summertime pleasure.

Design Office: Robert Bailey Interiors

Location: Naramata, British Columbia, Canada

Photographs: Josh Dunford

Tang House | 4site Architecture

Description by 4site Architecture:

Compact alteration/addition of a terrace house in Carlton with east-west orientation and limited connection to the rear yard. The brief called for new bathroom, laundry, living, dining, kitchen, master bedroom and ensuite. In response, the planning logic was to create a centralized service core containing or facilitating the bathroom, laundry, stairs and kitchen, allowing for the dining and living areas to wrap around this service core and juts out to form a connection to the garden at the rear. This allows for spaces to flow around in an open plan manner whilst providing a variety of spaces in this compact configuration. The insertion of a light court and roof deck over the new bathroom at the stair landing brings in diffused light and allows for cross ventilation. The daybed at the apex of the tapering living space also connects with the north facing concrete seating plinth outside.

Design Office: 4site Architecture

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Photographs: Kevin Hui

Paddington Residence | Ellivo Architects

Description by Ellivo Architects:

Minimal and raw, yet textured and welcoming, the Paddington Residence is an exploration of flexibility, space, and materials. Designed by and for Ellivo Architects’ Principal Mason Cowle and his family, the challenge was to bring a rigorously contemporary home to an historical neighborhood. The existing 400-meter site presented additional challenges and opportunities including a 100-year-old protected fig tree, a 3-meter-wide laneway, and a steep 14-degree slope. Beyond simply satisfying the family’s spatial requirements, the design is a clear and flexible solution, creating simple, layered spaces that maximize natural light, breezes, and views while also providing ample privacy for the inhabitants.
The parti for the home is a procession of 5 distinct spaces, each with their own function, seamlessly transitioning from the fig tree to the west and the views of the city to the east. The spaces begin with the front entry deck defined by the canopy of the fig tree, that flows to the kitchen space via bi-fold doors. These doors then open to the heart of the home – a stunning double height dining volume – the hub and central meeting point of the residence. Next is the more intimate volume of the living space which opens up and transforms via large, flexible, sliding glass doors to the main deck. From here, the family can retreat to their own private spaces. The parents’ suite forms a loft-like space looking towards the city and down into the dining space. Conversely, their teenager’s area overlooks the pool and local views into the neighbourhood.
The open-planned nature of the living spaces allows the occupants to choose what areas they inhabit depending on time of the year and time of the day. During mild temps, 16 meters of sliding glass in the living and dining areas work in tandem with high level louvers in the master bedroom to draw the prevailing south-east breezes through the home providing cross ventilation. The versatility of the sliding doors and curtains also allows the choice between complete privacy or openness.
Materials throughout the house are used in a raw and honest way. Folded steel staircases, handmade steel handrails, and burnished concrete floors illustrate how they were made and are allowed to naturally weather or rust

Design Office: Ellivo Architects

Location: Paddington, Australia

Photographs: Scott Burrows

Neutral Bay House | Downie North Architects

Description by Downie North Architects:

As a traditional semi-detached residence, the house was originally comprised of a series of unrelated rooms and made no connection to its site or outdoor spaces. The new design sought to connect the house with its garden by recreating the rear living space as a large verandah.

By virtue of its planning and careful curation of its openings, the house maximises views, sun, daylight and cross breezes without compromising on privacy; a delicate balancing act in a dense urban environment and where there were overlooking issues from neighbours.

Being very conscious of the location of the house relative to the ocean and the movement of the sun in relation to the site, the roof plane was split to create a light shelf that bounces light deep into the house and allows deep solar penetration in winter but keeps the sun skirting outside the building in summer. The banks of operable clerestory windows flush out hot air by making use of cool ocean breezes. The resulting volume feels both luxurious in its sense of space, yet intimate.

Design Office: Downie North Architects

Location: Neutral Bay, Australia

Photographs: Felipe Neves 

Villa R | C. F. Møller Architects

Description by C. F. Møller Architects

Villa R is located in a forest edge in Aarhus and is positioned as close to the trees as possible. Inspired by the unique relation to the woods, the objective was to create a house that brings the forest inside through large glass panels – and create an ever-changing seasonal backdrop for the interior living spaces.

The aim was also to create a child-friendly house with dedicated areas for playing – and combine it with the challenges inherent in the local regulations; for example the house could only be one storey tall, and had to occupy less than 20 percent of the site area.

The solution was a partially underground parterre floor which acts as the building’s base, with children’s rooms, playrooms and access to an outdoor patio. The upper part, covered with dark patinated zinc, is seemingly hovering above this base. It contains living rooms with multiple aspects, facing the forest and treetops on one side, and receiving plenty of daylight from the other – and with access to a raised south- facing wooden terrace with sitting-steps.

Design Office: C. F. Møller Architects

Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Photographs: Julian Weyer

“Story” cafe-restaurant | Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio

Description by Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio

Right in the heart of seaside Helsinki, the Old Market Hall reopens to a new chapter. The gem of the market hall is Story, the cafe-restaurant opened June 9th right in the high-ceilinged middle section. Behind Story are Finland’s finest restaurateurs Anders Westerholm, Matti Sarkkinen, Teemu Aura and Markus Hurskainen.

Everything with Story adds up: an exquisite milieu, top chefs and patissiers, experts of fine wines and service, and a love for the handmade and the best ingredients. Story also boasts Helsinki’s finest seating by the waterfront. The tables offer views of the brand new Helsinki Sky Wheel, as well as the sea.

Story shapes the whole outlook of the new Old Market Hall

Restaurant Story’s interiors will freshen up the whole Old Market Hall. The central part of the hall is grandiose, livening up the market hall like never before. The restaurant space has been designed by interior architect Joanna Laajisto and her team.

Story’s interior gives homage to the original feel and history of the market hall, but placing it in a new time with a modern yet relaxed twist. The challenge was to get the high-ceilinged hall space to feel intimate, instead of a space to pass through. I believe we managed to grant Helsinki a space that has been missing from here, Joanna Laajisto reflects.

The Old Market Hall was first opened in 1889 and is a cultural heritage site protected by the National Board of Antiquities, with whom the refurbishment was planned. The interior decoration fits the original architecture, but brings a new, fresh flavour with a modern touch. The materials used are classic, natural ones, such as oak, leather and stone.

Story is situated in the middle of the market hall, a space originally used for loading horse carriages. Because the space in question is a transit area for market hall visitors, the cafe-restaurant is split into three parts, separated by wide walkways.

In the middle of Story, the oak-paneled kitchen is joined by a storage space above. The front of the structure has a large wooden shelf with chalkboards painted in custom-tinted blue color. A sizeable counter with stone composite tiles in herringbone pattern is placed in the heart of the space.

The side facing the city – with its relaxed seating arrangements – is separated by a wooden half wall with herb pots. Joanna Laajisto’s custom-made Edit2 lamps, a new version of her Edit lamp, light up the tables next to it. On the side facing the sea, a platform invites to enjoy the unique views of the harbor. Seating booths made of oak and lined with leather are complemented by a black metal shelf. Edit2 lamps create an intimate atmosphere on this side as well. The large pendants are by Zero.

Laajisto has found many custom-made solutions to the heritage questions at hand. The lighting installation called for creativity as the lamps were not allowed to be hung from the 10-metre high ceiling. Laajisto also came up with a fun detail fitting with the feel of the market hall: wire fish traps from the summer house of one the owners found a new life as lamps over the long tables in the middle of the space.

Story’s tables are designed and handmade by Helsinki’s own wood artisan Tebian. The idea of this kind of a table had already been shaping up for a while in his mind.

At last I found the perfect, classy enough space for this example of detailed constructivism. It is classically me, says Tebian.

The colourful chairs and decorations are in line with design agency Fabel’s playful and colourful graphic design, contributing to a youthful and fresh space.

Design Office: Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Photographs: Mikko Ryhanen

Country House | Luca Zanaroli Architect

Design Office: Luca Zanaroli Architect

Location: Morciano di Leuca, Italy

Photographs: Chiara Cadeddu

Yusuhara Machino-eki | Kengo Kuma and associates

Hotel and market in the mountains of Japan.

Description by Kengo Kuma and associates:

Yusuhara Machino-eki is a complex of a market selling local products and a small hotel with 15 rooms. Combining the two different functions via atrium, a new core facility was born for the town of 3,900 in the mountains. Yusuhara is widely known as the town facing a main road used by Sakamoto Ryoma, a high-minded warrior of the region who contributed to the initiation of the Meiji Restoration (big political reform). Along the road, there existed a number of greenrooms called “Chad Do” for travelers, which functioned not only as restrooms but also as a kind of cultural salon, serving teas free of charge. As an attempt to respect this history, we used thatch as the material, which is deeply related to “Cha Do,” which worked as a medium to connect the past with the present. Glass fittings are used for the lower part of the building, including the market’s entrance facing the front road, which can be open at any hour of the day, and on top of it come piles of the straw unit in the module of 2,000×980mm, an unprecedented form for a curtain wall. Normally in a thatched roofing, thatch is fixed vertically against the foundation, in which its cut ends face towards outside. In this building, however, the bunch of thatch is bound horizontally to the foundation, with which the cut end won’t be exposed to rainfalls, and will last long. As another device, pivots are set on the steel mullion at the both ends of each thatch unit, so that it can rotate and take in fresh air from outside, which will the maintenance of the thatch easier. For the interior, we used logs of cedar tree with some remained astringent skin. The remain of the astringent was controlled by the pitch of the bark peeler, so that some nuance was added to their texture. Using rough-textured materials, such as thatch and log, we tried to create a new characteristics of Yusuhara.

Design Office: Kengo Kuma and associates

Location: Yusuhara, Japan

Photographs: Takumi Ota

Italian loft-apartment | Marco Dellatorre


see part 2 here

Design Office: Marco Dellatorre

Location: Milan, Italy

Jackie Su Restaurant | RAUMINRAUM

Design Office: RAUMINRAUM

Location: Bremen, Germany

Photographs: Nikolai Wolff

New York Apartment | Shamir Shah Design

Design Office: Shamir Shah Design

Location: Soho, New York, Usa

Sophisticated Apartment in Russia | INT2architecture

Description by INT2architecture:

Apartment for a young couple in a new housing development is situated not far from Saint-Petersburg. The main goal of the project was to create a big well lighted open space living room with singularized functional zones and separated bedroom. In order to do so, first of all, the balcony was integrated into the apartment and transformed into a “plywood box” that is inserted into the room. This “box” is used as a dining zone with a wide window overlooking a forest. “The box” allowed us to widen the existing window in order to bring more light into the whole common space. The only window was a pre-existing condition and obviously was not enough for a such a big room. Secondly, home office zone was allocated in the living room – a small space for the desk and office equipment is separated from the common area by the two-sided shelving system.
Lastly, the third functional zone singularized from the common space is the kitchen. Even though it is a very technological zone it does not look foreign in the living room thanks to the minimalistic design. Interior color scheme is based on the nuance palette with small bright accents here and there. White walls and neutral floors are the background and pastel colors – coral, gentle blue, pearl gray – create an atmosphere of warmth and coziness. Ocean blue wall color in the bedroom combined with the hints of red offers a relaxed but at the same time exciting atmosphere – one that is well-suited for the young couple’s bedroom. Interior style in this project can be described as contemporary with the mix of Scandinavian design elements and Mid-century Modern furniture.
By mixing old with absolutely new, by blending modern century furniture with the typical minimalist one we tried to create a balance of functionality and artwork perception of the space, and to get an expressive, stylish and unique interior with an authentic atmosphere as a result.

Design Office: INT2architecture

Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Photographs: INT2architecture

Residence in Athens, Greece | Work in Progress

Description by Work in Progress:

The residence is built on a high inclination ground, with a mesmerizing view of the city of Athens on the west. Therefore, the  main objective was to maintain this view unobstructed from all levels of the residence. This decision led to the linear arrangement of the building, parallel to the length of the site. The building is composed of three prisms, placed on a differentiated (by colour) base. The first prism has a marble cladding and includes the living spaces of the house. The second prism overlaps the first, shading the western side of the first prism. The third prism ‘’embraces’’ the other two and establishes vertical connection between them. Furthermore, it becomes a boundary towards the neighbours, enhancing privacy. The material selection creates a feeling of warmth that balances out the austerity of the prisms. The colour palette of the materials has an earthly base. The materials are natural, mainly marble and wood. The external cladding is continued in the inside of the residence, creating an integral for each prism. This continuity is conspicuous from the outside of the building through the large windows and enhances the visual unification between the outside and the inside of the building.

Design Office: Work in Progress

Location: Politeia, Athens, Greece

Photographs: George Fakaros

Contemporary House in Israel | Sharon Weiser

Design Office: Sharon Weiser

Location: Ramat HaSharon, Israel

Ellis Residence | McClean Design

Description by McClean Design:

Our clients wanted to move to a smaller home now that their children had moved out and chose a street to street lot high on a hill overlooking Laguna Beach and its famous beaches. The beauty of this property is that views are available from both levels. A key issue was trying to decide where to locate parking and entry. There was early opposition from the local review board which led to a split solution where parking is taken from the street below with guests entering from above. The garage can be reached by staircase or elevator ensuring that the house will continue to work for our clients as they grow older.

Removing the garage from the upper street allowed us to create an attractive garden for the kitchen to look out on. The entryway is reached by a staircase that traverses a water feature before the view is revealed. The house is designed for the couple to live mainly on one level which has the master bedroom sharing the top floor with the primary living spaces while guest rooms, an office, and storage are created below.

Design Office: McClean Design

Location: Laguna Beach, CA, Usa

Private House | Strom Architects

Description by Strom Architects:

The site is located in Suffolk two miles inland from the coast, and lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site itself forms part of an overall land ownership of 2.5ha surrounded by agricultural land.

The current site has foundations, ruins and some low walls from a house that burned down eight years ago; there is also an existing outdoor pool. Immediately to the west of the pool and ruins, there is a small area of open grass that runs up to the edge of a beautiful copse of mature oak trees. The site is located on the edge of flood zone 2 and 3, and requires a raised floor level 1.5m above the old cottage.

The clients’ brief was for a country house – ‘a dream in a wood’, a peaceful place to relax, regenerate, and think of new ideas.

The existing site with the pool, ruins and low walls has a very strong presence, and we wanted to keep this as an important part of the site.

The design is linear and has picked up on the building form – the ‘long cottage’ found in the locality, and we see the design as an evolution of the longitudinal cottage.

The building sits above the ruins and the edge of the pool, as to respect the current site, but also to deal with the raised floor level that is required, due to the potential flood risk. The building is also set like this so that it can be read on its own, and thus touch the existing site lightly. The building is orientated towards the west-south-west, and sits on an angle above the existing ruins facing the best views as well as creating a clear juxtaposition of geometry to the ruins.

A two-storey element punctures through the roof, and contains a master bedroom suite at the first floor. This is positioned towards the existing coach house, thus minimising the impact of the building on the more open site to the south. This two storey element is recessed from both the west and east facades as to reduce the scale and the appearance of the building.

The building is entered via a bridge that spans from higher ground and above the ruins. This sets up the whole philosophy of the house, even before you actually enter, as well as successfully dealing with safe egress form the house to higher land in case of a flood.

Design Office: Strom Architects

Location: Suffolk, UK

Renderings: Peter Guthrie

Broadway Penthouse | Joel Sanders Architect

Description by Joel Sanders Architect:

Rethinking the notion of an urban garden, this project introduces a dynamic ground plane, composed of a planted carpet surmounted by wood flooring, that vertically links a penthouse loft with a roof terrace that affords panoramic views of downtown Manhattan. This eco-friendly palette of synthetic (carpet, Richlite, recycled glass) and natural (recycled walnut, IPÊ decking, plants) materials crosses the border of the roof, eliding and at the same time confounding traditional distinctions between inside and outside, natural and artificial.

As it travels from loft interior to roof, this layered ground plane responds to a variety of domestic programs; in the living lounge, embedded upholstery evokes a textile garden, while on the roof terrace, a bed of sedum defines a walkable outdoor carpet. Likewise, the recycled walnut floor folds vertically to create a staircase that leads to a matching IPÊ roof deck.

Design Office: Joel Sanders Architect

Location: Manhattan, New York City, USA

Photographs: Peter Aaron