Tower House | Gluck+

Video

Up in the Trees from GLUCK+ on Vimeo.

Description by Gluck+:

This small vacation house is designed as a stairway to the treetops. Keeping the footprint to a minimum so as not to disturb the wooded site, each of the first three floors has only one small bedroom and bath, each a tiny private suite. The top floor, which contains the living spaces, spreads out from the tower like the surrounding forest canopy, providing views of the lake and mountains in the distance, virtually the entire Catskill mountain range. The glass-enclosed stair highlights the procession from forest floor to treetop aerie, while the dark green enameled back-painted glass exterior camouflages the house by reflecting the surrounding woods, and dematerializing its form.

Design Office: Gluck+

Location: New York, Usa

Photographs: Paul Warchol, Gluck+

Winsomere Crescent | Dorrington Atcheson Architects

Description by Dorrington Atcheson Architects:

The original house on this waterfront site was a double-skin brick bungalow with warren-like rooms and little connection with the amazing views on offer. Time-worn but sturdy, the clients liked the traditional detailing of the existing house but wanted to maximise the sun and views.

Philosophically, a renovation was preferred to a new build and the brief required a contemporary home incorporating the existing. As a result, the focus of the design was on an amalgam of the old and new structures.

Formally the house comprises two exisiting and two new blocks, linked by the hallway, foyer and stairs. The existing blocks contain two brick-clad and lined bedrooms, an office and an original art deco bathroom.

The new blocks contain the living spaces in a zinc-clad apexed void, and the master suite in a cedar-screened block. These sit on a lower level plinth, which houses a guest bedroom, bathroom, laundry and media room.

The original brickwork has been stripped back and painted white as part of the re-presentation of the old house, and is further enhanced by the refinished interior doors, double-glazed existing lead-light windows and timber details.

The house is directed to the view and is arranged so that, on entry from the street, there is a natural progression from the original house through to the new. From the foyer, stairs lead down as the asymmetrically framed view is revealed.

Design Office: Dorrington Atcheson Architects

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Chinatown Loft | Buro Koray Duman

Description by Buro Koray Duman:

Buro renovated 750sf square foot apartment in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City revealing a bold, sculptural, open apartment. Once a 3 bedroom dark renovation from the 1980’s is now a one bedroom plus 1.5 bath. The apartment is on the corner of the 5th floor of a tenement building overlooking Sarah Roosevelt Park. The interior space is divided by a sculptural wave-like wall that houses the laundry, storage and the powder room. The tile in the powder room is bas-relief honey comb and the master bath is an all plate glass enclosure. Most of the walls are exposed brick that has been white-washed, and the flooring is oak. The team preserved bits of history in the apartment such as leaving traces of vintage wall paper in the kitchen area. The project won the best of the year award for residential spaces in 2011.

Design Office: Buro Koray Duman

Location: New York, Usa

Photographs: Peter Murdoch

Huize Looveld | Studio Puisto Architects + Bas van Bolderen Architectuur

Video

Descriprtion by Studio Puisto Architects:

After the centuries old farm house, located in the east of the Netherlands, burned down due to a vigorous fire, a new house had to be constructed as quick as possible.

As a reaction to this grim experience the clients didn’t want a replica of the original farmstead. Instead they aspired for a contemporary, square pipe like, house where all the functions would be organised along a linear sequence. The pipe developed in to a knot which takes better use of the surrounding landscape. The shape also offers similar spatial qualities as the old house like double height ceilings, movement in different directions and diverse views on the landscape.

To speed up the construction process the house was designed in tight cooperation with the main contractor. The wooden wall elements were CNC cut and prefabricated in Germany. From there they were transported to the Netherlands and erected in less than a week. The wooden structure allowed for big cantilevers and openings which frame the views of the vast fields around the property.
The local building regulations required the house to fit in to environment, which indirectly means that the structure should be similar to the white plastered vernacular architecture of the neighbouring houses. Rather than blending the house with the built environment it fits in to the surrounding nature. The dark stained vertical boards of larix make the building disappear against the backdrop of trees.

The house is designed to conserve as much energy as possible and has high levels of insulation combined with a heat recovery system. Solar thermal collectors and a heat accumulating wood stove serve as additional energy sources. Only during the coldest winter days the house will need an external heat source.

All together it took about one and a half year from the start of the design process until completion. After the fire and an aberrant time in a temporary accommodation the clients were recently able to move in and feel at home again.

Design Office: Studio Puisto Architects, Bas van Bolderen Architectuur

Location: Duiven, Netherlands

Photographs: Marc Goodwin

Hotel Minho | Vírgula i

Video

Hotel Minho by Vírgula i from Vírgula i on Vimeo.

Description by Vírgula i:

Hotel Minho renewal and extension is part of a wider process of hotel redesign where architecture is the central part of the new hotel visual identity. Based on the architecture project, a new hotel was created, not only through the building, but also on how it communicates its various physical and digital media: in site, in the interior and product design, in the web, in its graphic identity or in its corporate image.

In all these fields of design the new hotel claims its contemporaneity, the quality of its materials, services and spaces. The architecture emerges as the anchor element of the Hotel Minho re-branding, making the previous name fall – Hotel Turismo do Minho – introducing new areas, the new spa, the new business floor, the new and renewed social areas, stating clearly in its architecture, interior and communication design, as well as the spaces created for the new hotel program. The architectural project was not limited to the coordination of various traditional expertise – the engineering or the interior design – but it was also the coordinator of the teams who have handled with the new identity, linking all the parts of the strategy, in a strong proximity with the client.

The spatial solution created by the architecture project intended a strong integration between the existing building and the new extension, but decreasing to the highest level the visual impact of the new constructions. The project is assumed as strongly introverted, not wanting to show itself to the outside, but instead to private exterior courtyards, full of natural light and with a strong relationship with the surroundings.

Design Office: Vírgula i

Location: Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal

Constructivist Apartment | Kate Hume Design

Design Office: Kate Hume Design

Location: Moscow, Russia

Scandinavian and Industrial Penthouse | INT2 Architecture

Design Office: INT2 Architecture

Location: Moscow, Russia

Casa Diaz | PRODUCTORA

Description by PRODUCTORA

This property adjoins a large lake in a small town situated a few hours from Mexico City. To take full advantage of the relationship with the surroundings, a system of elongated rectangular volumes was used, with one side of each completely open toward the lake. The sloping plot and the amount of surface to be realized led to the creation of three volume stacked in a zigzag pattern, generating spacious open terraces and irregular, sheltered patios between them. From the street, the residence looks like a traditional construction; the use of roof tiles, wood, natural stone, and the plastered facade with small openings, grants it the regional character that is required by urban planning requirements. From the lake, the home becomes a composition of rectangular elements with large glass surfaces; like a series of typical modernist volumes, stacked in a dynamic configuration.

Design Office: PRODUCTORA

Location: Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Photographs: Paul Czitrom, Rafael Gamo

P048 House | Dane Design Australia

Description by Dane Design Australia:

The cantilevered balcony puts you so close to the beach you can just about make the jump. Shutters clad with sawn timber battens adds a balance of texture to the rendered and glass façades.

Black stone floors used throughout living spaces with carbonized oak flooring and timber detail to compliment the stone. Simple and elegant bathrooms that combine matt white with additional use of the black stone.

Design Office: Dane Design Australia

Location: Dunsborough, Australia

Photographs: Lime – Mark Cooper

Casa Natalia | Agraz Arquitectos

Description by Agraz Arquitectos:

It can be said that Casa Natalia is a briefing of the Agraz Arquitectos policies since it gathers the complying conditions for the firm’s main features. In an outstandingly oriented North-South terrain, a single longitudinal volume was designed, adding a limb to stabilize it. Then, as done before, the program begins by taking the cars out of the architectural scenery and placing them underground, which optimizes the surface area of the land piece.

And from this perspective, we repeat the placing of the basement a half level lower and lifting the house another half level, upcoming to a garage that shares the houseplant with service dormitory, laundry and equipment areas. From this point, a stairway goes upwards communicating all three stories of the house, with the same finishing of the rest of the areas, immediately leaving the garage environment.

As in other programs of the firm, the first flight of the stairway leads to the main door, which by being separated from the car entrance, leaves a front plaza for the house that dilutes all frontiers between urban and architectonic spaces.

Once inside the first floor, the living and dinning rooms offer an extension with an intimate family room and a terrace that can be the perfect social place due to its transforming possibilities: it can be fused or isolated from the rest of the precincts according to the needs and has an independent entrance.

This time, the kitchen becomes the gravity center of the project giving service to the dining room as well as to the terrace, whereas the guest bathroom is located in a fair distance to give a comfortable privacy to its user. As a compliment of this houseplant, there is a guest room that is contemplated for the probable future dwelling of the house owners.

Configured for a family made up of the parents and an only daughter, the upper floor is in this sense different from others. There are only two rooms with atypical dimensions as for its spatial generosity, and a reading room, gymnasium and storage room that make up the most out of this small length terrain according to the client’s needs.

The vertical circulations that join all stories are contained in this added limb and where coated, in and outside, by metal and wood shutters designed by the artist Adrian Guerrero. These control light and privacy and allow a poetic dialogue between glass and steel.

Natalia House, a single volume with an added rib that ends up being the main figure of the program, a piece of architecture bounded to relate to the every day desires and traditions of this particular family.

Design Office: Agraz Arquitectos

Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Photographs: Mito Covarrubias

RD House | VASHO

Description by VASHO:

The programmatic challenge: design a house that allows 18 people to fit comfortably within 500mt2 (including terraces). Open spaces, characteristic of the local architecture. All of the bedrooms have their own bathroom, study and/or library and living room-dining room-kitchen all in one space. The house will be a second home to use intermittently in the summer.

The architect recognizes that one of the greats challenges will be the difficult access and limited horizontal surface of the property, most of it having a slope of 45 to 70 degrees. That is why an extremely precise survey was made to be able to work from the foundations to the roof gardens. The natural level curve of the face of the hill influenced not only the structural reinforcement of the job but also the programmatic distribution of spaces. This can be seen, for example, in the continuity of the natural surface of the hill in the living room of the house.

Burying the house is proposed as a visual action. Hiding the overall volume of the work to the existing natural geography to cushion the impact of the volume to the eye upon arrival, being conscientious of the paradisiacal surroundings, but always seeking to make the natural surroundings appear from the interior before the user: “Disappear to make appear”.

A large percentage of what materials of the “Habitable Refuge” is rock extracted from the excavation of the property. Its visible concrete walls were molded in pine formers which, along with the high quality native wood, delivers a rustic environment which cushions the contrast of texture-color with its surroundings without abandoning the “modern” look.

The act of burying the house in the hill not only touches the esthetic aspect but also the sustainable aspect. The green roof allows for more insulation as far as direct heat from the sun is concerned. Its rear face is in contact with the rock of the hill creating a cooling phenomenon known as “thermal inertia” that consists of a basic physical action; “The temperature of a body of lesser volume equals that of a greater volume when these two bodies are in contact.” To make this possible without the constructive damages that may arise, highly engineered waterproofing methods were used. In other word the refuge does not need a mechanical cooling system. It is a contention wall in itself.

From the general understanding that where there is good administration there is energy efficiency; in other words the consumed load decreases, is that we have incorporated Domotics to the design, with the purpose to touch an ecological approach with the house. Domotic is an intelligent system that basically integrates a structured web which allows control of the lighting scene, entertainment components (sound, temperature regulation of the Jacuzzi from another location) and security (solenoid valves, cameras, alarm system, etc.) from anywhere within the home or out of the home, generating comfort and energy saving.

Design Office: VASHO

Location: Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic

Photographs: Eduardo Abreu

Ocean Park House | Campos Leckie Studio

Description by Campos Leckie Studio:

This project is conceived as a domestic landscape that blurs the boundary between interior and exterior space in a temperate coastal rainforest climate. It is essentially a ranch house typology with a guest house stacked upon it – for an physically active empty nest couple who enjoy the idea of welcoming family home for the holidays. The domestic program is spread across the entire site, and the vertical vertical circulation is deliberately understated.

The programmatic organization allows the primary residents to live entirely on the ground floor. The japanese-inspired courtyard ‘moss garden’ operates as a multi-faceted architectural device – it provides circulation along the primary project axis from the main entry through to the backyard pool and workout pavilion; it provides a visual extension of the living room into the garden; and the sliding glass doors in the kitchen (conceived as a glass box in the garden) open directly into the courtyard and the outdoor dining space beyond. The central living space is bracketed on the south side by a large concrete fireplace which provides privacy from the street, and it extends visually into the mossy minimalist courtyard to the north. The orientation, form, and positioning of the upper volume was designed to protect against direct solar gain during the summer months, while allowing light at lower sun angles to penetrate into the spaces during the winter months.

Design Office: Campos Leckie Studio

Location: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Photographs: Ema Peter

Car Park House | Anonymous Architects

Description by Anonymous Architects:

Starting with a vacant lot with a very steep down-slope from the street, the design of the house places the carport on the roof with the residence below. In addition to being a dramatic shift of expectations, it is also a logical response to the building code which requires parking for two vehicles.

This inversion moves the typical ground floor of the house up on the roof and makes the simple act of arriving home – and driving onto the roof of the house – a surprise every time.

The roof is also usable as deck space and has unobstructed views of the San Gabriel Mountains, which are to the Northeast of Los Angeles.

Because of the steep terrain the house is designed to float over the hillside. This reduces the amount of foundation required and also means that the only way to access the house is over the bridge – so it is truly a floating structure.

Design Office: Anonymous Architects

Location: Los Angeles, California, Usa

Photographs: Steve King

The Forest House | Espacio EMA

Description by Espacio EMA:

The house is located in the mountains of Mazamitla, 120 kilometres (75 miles) away from Guadalajara (Mexico), in a steeply sloping terrain surrounded by a thick pine forest.

Rocks, soil, rain, pines, fog … the beauty of the landscape and the natural elements in the site are the premise and constant inspiration for the project.

The house comes out from the stones found in the site, which shape the containing walls and the basement of the house.

The intersection of two volumes at different heights generates a path in the landscape, which makes the most of the natural slope and emphasizes the panoramic views.

The entrance to the house is sandwiched between the stones of the mountain and a wall with a direct view from inside the house to the same stonewall. This access corridor hidden and closed between artificial and natural elements provides some drama upon entering the house.

From this corner you enter the closed space generated by the union of the two main volumes. This is a double-height space corresponding to a cube of 7 meters (23 feet) side, which provides wide views to the landscape. So the contrast is emphasized: the threshold turns into limit and, at the same time, connection between these so dramatically different scenarios.

All the other areas of the house are accessible from this double-height space. On the same floor, there are three of the five bedrooms connected by a corridor characterized by a large elongated window that frames the stones of the site, thus strengthening the dialogue with the landscape. On the upper floor, connected by a bridge-walkway, are the other two rooms: the grandparents’ (homeowners) and their grandchildren’s. On the lower level, the volume that contains the living area hides below the main entrance and comes out from the ground in a protagonist way meeting the foliage of the pines. This rectangular wooden “box” reminiscent of the “tree house” frames from above the wooded landscape that surrounds it.

Design Office: Espacio EMA

Location: Mazamitla, Jalisco, Mexico

Photographs: Patricia Hernández

Aroeira III House | ColectivArquitectura

Description by ColectivArquitectura:

To take advantage of the characteristics of the plot, sun exposure, the natural slope of the terrain and the nearby surroundings, we chose to define a volume in which the horizontality prevails and that, although split into two levels, the image of earthen construction does prevail by partially burying the lower floor level, in contrast with the verticality of the existing trees.

The construction with reinforced structure, and visible concrete on the lower floor, assuming the function of the material and with a structure and coating of Cumarú wood upstairs – with significant advantages in thermal and acoustic comfort -, develops in a U-shape form, defined by three intersecting volumes, forming an open courtyard to the West, limited, to the South, by the swimming pool.

The ground level, partially buried, is occupied by a storage compartment in the basement area, a two-car garage and the entrance hall, both with North facing access, a support room with private toilet and a compartment that serves simultaneously as laundry and a poolside toilet, the swimming pool being located to the east. There is also a small compartment for pool equipment, with access only from the outside.

Upstairs, the non-permanence areas, as the vestibule and part of the circulation areas, face North.

The master bedroom, with toilet support, faces South and West, the remaining two bedrooms, also facing South, turn to the patio, the kitchen faces South and East, and the living room faces South and North, taking advantage of the visual threading on the pool and the golf courses of the allotment, as well as on the patio.

The intervention in the landscaping, includes a car access to the North area of the plot, and was designed considering the preservation and reinforcement of the existing plant species.

Video:

ColectivArquitectura DOC 001 | Three projects, 2013 from ColectivArquitectura on Vimeo.

Design Office: ColectivArquitectura

Location: Aroeira, Portugal

Photographs: FG+SG

Hill House | Andrew Maynard Architects

Description by Andrew Maynard Architects:

The problem/opportunity

Design is complex. There is little that is more complex to design than a home, however fundamental issues offer an architect a starting point; where is the sun? How do we capture it in winter, how do we exclude it in summer? The thin allotments that dominate Melbourne’s northern suburbs often provide indomitable constraints to solar access and therefore require the production of unorthodox ideas to overcome these constraints and convert them into opportunities.

Original conditions

The site faces north therefore relegating the backyard, the family’s primary outdoor space, to shadow throughout the year. In the 90s a two storey extension was added reducing solar access even further while creating deep dark space within the house. A family of five wished to create a long-term home, which could meet the requirements of three small children and their slow transformation into young adults over the years.

Response

Rather than repeating past mistakes and extending from the rear in a new configuration, the proposal was to build a new structure on the rear boundary, the southern edge of the block, upon the footprint of what had been, until now, the back yard. The new structure faces the sun, the pure cantilevered box above acts as the passive solar eave, cutting out summer sun, while letting winter sun flood in.

Following the decision to build at the rear of the block a ubiquitous modern box was first imagined. Soon it seemed necessary to pursue the opportunity to activate this new, once shaded, now sunny facade. A seat along the new northern facade? Perhaps a series of steps like the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti? But how does one lounge in the sun on steps. Perhaps a slope instead …. And the hill house evolved/emerged.

The new structure faces the original house. The backyard is now the centre of the house activated by the built form around it. Beyond solar gain, the benefit of the new structure being in the backyard is that it borrows landscaping from its neighbours’ gardens. The high windows about the entertainment cabinetry and the dining area are enveloped in trees. Internally one gets the sense that Hill House is enveloped by bush rather than part of the suburban mix.

Along one boundary a 2m high fence was created, but unlike most houses the Hill House has a one metre wide fence; a corridor lowered into the site to achieve head height. This in turn creates a lowered dining area. One rises into the living space. The change in floor level creates a bench seat for the Maynard designed ZERO WASTE TABLE.

Front Street no longer provides the main entry to the home. Family now enters via the side lane. The original house, now private dormitory spaces, no longer has a typical relationship to the N#@$%k street’s “front” door. The original house, as with most narrow blocks throughout Melbourne, demanded that visitors walked a long corridor past bedrooms to the living area. Stolen quick glances into dark private spaces always occurred along the journey. At the Hill House the entry is reorientated. The kitchen, the nerve centre, the hub of the house, is the new greeting point. Beyond is the park. Adjacent is the living space, the yard and the “kids’ house” beyond.

The old house is converted into “the kids’ house”. The old house is as it once was. The rear of the simple masonry structure, though spatially connected, is not reoriented, a face is deliberately not applied. It is left honest and robust. With a restrained piece of “street art” to be applied.

Form

Andrew is from Tasmania, a place dominated by its landscape. Built form is secondary and subservient to landscape. Melbourne is predominantly flat. Could this be why Melbourne’s architecture is adventurous? There is no landscape to confine therefore building is free to become landscape. Hill House is a response to this possibility. Melbourne is flat. If one is to explore the possibility of cantilevering off a cliff (a desire of many architects) one is forced to manufacture that landscape. A monolithic form is unsheathed from the hill and placed atop. A celebration of the synthetic, the manufactured. A simulacrum of both an undulating landscape and the pure architectural form.

Design Office: Andrew Maynard Architects

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Villa Estebania | ARCH-D

Design Office: ARCH-D

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Vacation home on Mt. Parnassos, Greece | Karelis Architects

Design Office: Karelis Architects

Location: Greece

Greene Street Loft | Slade Architecture

Description by Slade Architecture:

The existing space was a commercial/industrial loft space of about 3000 sf/300 m2.

The historic front and back industrial windows define the large loft feel. In order to emphasize these and to allow light and views into the 100’ deep building, we kept the space very open front to back.

Three 8 foot tall freestanding volumes arranged down the center of the existing space define the different program areas.

The first volume is an aluminum bookcase we designed to hold the owner’s collection of traditional Korean trunks. The bookcase separates the living, dining and kitchen areas from the study. The side of the bookcase facing the living room is deep and is designed specifically to house the trunk collection.  The side facing the study has more dense and shallow shelving for books.

The second volume contains a built in desk area facing the study and a closet on the other side. Two hidden doors allow the corridor between this volume and the third volume (the walk in closet) to be closed off.

The third volume contains the other side of the large walk-in closet and the master bathroom.

The bedrooms and bathrooms are lifted on a rough stone platform about 16″ above the rest of the floor.

The Master bedroom can be separated into two bedroom using a full height sliding wall.

The freestanding volumes create two slots of spaces that run from the front of the building to the back.  These provide a continuous view through the entire depth of the apartment and function as corridors linking the different areas of the apartment.

The corridor/slot on the south side provides and informal passage between the living room/ study / master bedroom closet/ masterbath and masterbedroom. The length of this slot through the full depth of the building is emphasized by two continuous wall mounted lacquer boxes that function as display shelves and contain concealed storage drawers and concealed shelves.

The north corridor is the public corridor connecting the dining, kitchen/ study and guest bedroom. The full height laminate wall on the north side of the apartment conceals the storage and utility area/ powder room/ guestbathroom / ac units and access to the egress stairs as well as a loft sleeping area. Two of the panels are create a large pivot door that closes of the bedroom area and provides access to the egress stair. Each panel of this wall is a different white laminate, all with different finishes and textures; glossy, matte, patterned, textured, metallic and plain white finishes. From a distance the wall looks like a continuous white surface. The subtle laminate textures and finishes reveal themselves as you approach. Hard to capture in photos but powerful when you are in the space.

The Masterbath has a large convertible tub/shower. The his and hers shower has a teak slat floor that can be removed to reveal a large soaking bathtub.

The powder room and guest bathroom are each treated as color studies.  The powder room is an intense red glossy tile.  The guest bathroom is tucked under the firestair.  We used four different shades of green mosaic on each surface to accentuate the volumes created by the stair volume.

The headboard in the master bedroom is a teak slat wall. Bright orange lacquer shelves inserted into the slats can be rearranged by the owner as needed.

We selected all of the furniture and finishes.  We designed a custom silk rug in the living room that fades from blue at the edges to silver in the center and a custom orange silk rug in the study.

The custom table we designed out of a single, 19′ long and 48” wide, slice of Mokore is the focal point for parties and entertaining.  It seats about 20 people and runs the length of the east facing windows. The solid top was delivered with a crane and sits on two custom made blackened steel supports.

We kept the original industrial floor and stained it to provide a strong counterpoint to the new insertions.

The upper cabinet doors in the kitchen are solid acrylic (Light blocks).  The countertop is marble and matches the marble on the steps up to the bedroom. The lower cabinets are stainless steel.

The kitchen island is clad in acrylic and the top is marble- supported by a concealed steel structure.

Design Office: Slade Architecture

Location: New York, Usa

Photographs: Jordi Miralles

Minimalist Loft | Oliver Interior Design

Description by Oliver Interior Design:

The project has 423.5 SQM (4,560 SQFT) space, the home owner likes his home to be decorated with modern simple style. It has 5 bedrooms, plus living and kitchen.

The entrance looks broad and has magnificent marble partition. The dining and kitchen adopted open patterns. TV wall, a super eye sucking area, looks to have even deeper sense of space with stone paper ornament. The master bedroom used mirror to create the depth of view.

The entire project reflects the desire from most wealthy Taiwanese to provide a comfortable and not luxury living space for their family.

Design Office: Oliver Interior Design

Location: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan