Concrete House | Matt Gibson Architecture

Description by Matt Gibson Architecture:

Composed of 2 longitudinal zones located to north & south of an east west spine – living spaces to the north and sleeping/utility spaces to the south, Concrete House utilises vertical connections and void spaces to provide strong visual connections between levels.

Formally simple, lofty and airy, the main spaces are reminiscent of mid century modernist material and compositional qualities (particularly Brazilian modernism).

Vertical and horizontal material connections are woven through the interiors and are composed utilising a purity of volume and geometric form.

The client, a builder and specialist in masonry was keen to utilise a concrete and stone palette externally.

These materials along with a generous utilisation of naturally finished timber became the determining elements of both the houses’ architecture and interior.

These provide a series of haptic textures that effect a powerful contrast against the smooth and more polished nature of glass and steel.

Design Office: Matt Gibson Architecture

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Photographs: Derek Swalwell

Emerald Star | Dwell Development

Description by Dwell Development :

The combination of reclaimed materials and high performance technology, make the Emerald Star one of the most eco-friendly homes in Seattle.

The home’s exterior siding is reclaimed Douglas Fir and naturally weathered steel roofing panels from a cannery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which also act as a protective rain screen. The floors, stairs, and treads were built out of 100-year-old hand sewn mixed hardwoods from Montana creating a stunning combination. Countertops, cabinets and tile made locally from high-recycled content contribute to the home’s impressive inventory of eco-friendly materials.

Design Office: Dwell Development

Location: Seattle, Washington, Usa

Photographs: Tucker English

Penthouse MK | Archetonic

Description by Archetonic:

Penthouse MK is an interior design project where our principal design premise was to enhance the sense of spaciousness. The building that is home to the penthouse boasts a transparent façade that inspired to take best advantage of the spectacular views over western Mexico City, and the sunsets.

To achieve this we resorted to a very clean, lightweight geometry, using rectangular prisms to delimit the spaces without obstructing the visual communication between them. These architectural elements that distribute the spaces also serve other specific functions depending on their location, and make sense of how the space is used.

The public and private areas are circumscribed by their two levels. The lower floor contains the kitchen, dining room, lobby, reception, and lounge. The latter is located in a double-height space that during the day is naturally illuminated by a full-height right-angled window that frames the whole space, filling it with light. The upper floor contains three bedrooms and a TV room.

The sculptural staircase that links the two floors “levitates” over a water pool, which is complemented by a wet wall that produces a gentle sound, and transmits a fresh energy.

The selection of materials was defined by the goal of achieving a clean, uniform outcome, using wood with rich oak tones, ivory-white stone, and black ironwork.

At night, the city lights fill the space with life and complement the lighting design, which defines the character of the penthouse.

Design Office: Archetonic

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Photographs: Rafael Gamo

Dorset Square | McLaren Excell

Description by McLaren Excell:

When we first visited this Georgian Grade II Listed town house in Marylebone, the roof had failed, rain water had leaked as far down as the first floor and the building was derelict and had been occupied by squatters for a number of years. The water ingress had damaged structural timbers which resulted in a precarious slump at the centre of the floor plan. The building had been previously used with a live/work arrangement of offices on ground and first floor, and a separate flat on the second and third floor. Many original features of the house, built in 1820, had been concealed or stripped out. Nearly all the shutters had been painted-in; every fireplace blocked up; the cantilevered limestone staircase painted over in white gloss; original skirtings, door architraves and doors had mostly disappeared and numerous sash windows replaced with late twentieth century metal framed casements.

Our client purchased the house with the intention of turning it back into a single home that would accommodate a large family. The house required complete re-servicing and a fresh approach to the internal layout. The kitchen was moved to the ground floor adjacent to the new dining room, the original floor plans were re-introduced on the top two floors to allow for four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and the landing and circulation areas were opened up to become more light and spacious with discreetly designed storage amenities. In addition we removed the low flat ceilings from the top floor rooms and opened them up into the pitched roof trusses to provide a dramatic set of spaces for two bathrooms and an artist’s studio.Our approach was to identify where the building required careful restoration and where we could make contemporary insertions whilst respecting the original fabric of the building. To secure Listed Building and Conservation Area consents for the proposed works, we established a comprehensive restoration programme, involving repair and/or replacement of details and features important in the history of the building. We stripped the paintwork from the window reveals to reveal a near-complete set of original, functioning shutters; we stripped back the cantilevered staircase to reveal a beautifully preserved limestone structure; we replaced the plain float glass fanlight with an exact surveyed reproduction of the original fanlight design; we copied sections of all the surviving internal joinery and replicated their exact profiles to repair woodwork in areas where necessary; we opened up three fireplaces and re-instated chimney pieces appropriate to the period of the house; impressions were taken of the original cornice sections and re-produced in plaster to re-instated the collapsed ceilings; and all original Pine floorboards were pulled up, sanded down and re-laid. The natural finishes of many surviving elements within the building were left exposed to show their material qualities to best effect.

With this restoration programme providing the framework for the project, we set about designing the more contemporary elements that would sit in contrast to the period detail of the house. Our client agreed that the non-restorative designs should have a material sensitivity to their context, so we settled on a soft palette of materials that could sit comfortably in such refined surroundings. Italian limestone, welsh slate, cast concrete, African wenge and weathered zinc- all naturally derived materials which in time will attain their own texture and become part of the aged patina of the house.

Design Office: McLaren Excell

Location: Marylebone, United Kingdom