Austin | Smart Design Studio

Description by Smart Design Studio:

Austin is the refurbishment of a rundown warehouse into a new mixed development in the heart of Surry Hills. The existing warehouse building has been given a new lease of life, its interior reorganised into a new extended ground level commercial space, two levels of high quality residential apartments, and a lower ground floor car park. The site is located in the inner-city fringe of Surry Hills, which is characterised by warehouses and Victorian terraces houses that in recent years have housed artist’s studios, galleries and creative work spaces.
New, beautifully proportioned and articulated rectangular openings are located within the original openings of the concrete beam and column façade. To give scale and gravitas to the building, these new hand-painted steel windows span over two levels and present as double storey windows. Though they appear bold and simple on first glance, a closer inspection reveals a window within a window with recessed bi-folding on the upper part and flush double-hung on the lower part, allowing the commercial space open up to the street and public domain. We’ve retained the original company name on the building Brackenbury and Austin. Originally a warehouse for a timber yard and the manufacture of Lathes the business ceased producing equipment in the late 1950’s and the building has had a very varied life from then until this recent transformation.
The apartments are simple, beautiful and light filled. Working within a wedge-shaped context has meant that each apartment is different from one another, although the material palette is consistent. The all-white, exquisitely detailed, interiors with grey floors are accented with full-gloss rust joinery. The focus of each apartment is the central pod that incorporates the kitchen, laundry, study and general storage.
The penthouse apartment, with large rooms, a stair void, and a saw-tooth roof with a generous cantilever is a very special interior space with sweeping views over Surry Hills. The penthouse has a generous balcony running the length of the front and side of the building and the roof area covers this balcony offering protection from the harsher weather elements and creating more entertaining and outdoor living areas.
The Smart Design Studio principles of apartment planning, where utilitarian elements are concealed and reliance on doors is minimised are adopted. This, along with careful consideration for circulation and flow, creates elegant apartments that feel easy to live with.The building has been designed with an ESD focus and features include: All spaces naturally ventilated using either a light well or roof skylights. Performance glass, concealed spandrels and external roller blinds. Rain water collection and reuse for flushing toilets and watering plants. Energy and water efficient fixtures and solar hot water to all the apartments, and through maximizing the reuse of the existing building.
The ground floor commercial area is a split level floor with an abundance of light and was originally conceived as a restaurant space though it is now utilised as a successful retail store. The forms and details employed within this space reinforce the architecture of this building, its chunky warehouse character, through exposed concrete beams and slabs, complemented by refined forms, refined details and unusual combinations of materials.

Design Office: Smart Design Studio

Location: Surry Hills, Australia

Txai House | Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan

Design Office: Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan

Location: Itacare, Brazil

Photographs: Fernando Guerra – FG+SG

Bar- Restaurant “Alemagou” | k-studio

Description by k-studio:

Alemagou is a bar and restaurant on the sands of Ftelia Beach, in Mykonos.

The concept is holistic, with every element of the project telling a common story and coming together to create an inspirational yet laid-back atmosphere, perfectly suited to the site.The menu revisits traditional, well-loved Greek recipes to produce simple but intriguing new dishes.

The cocktails and the music selection also offer new combinations of favourite ingredients. The architectural design is an extension of the same approach, creating an exciting reinterpretation of tried and tested, traditional building techniques.

Taking inspiration from typical Cycladic architectural elements such as whitewashed, smooth-edged houses; dry-stone walls that blend into the scrubby landscape; practical, hardwearing screed floors; and natural reed-thatched roof insulation, the familiar textures are applied to contemporary, organic forms to create a unique character.

Added to the palate are the dominating natural conditions of the site: the strong winds that make this beach a surfer’s paradise; the burning 40-degree midday sun and the harsh, dry, rocks of the encroaching landscape. Rather than attempting to block the effects of these natural forces, the design welcomes them, embracing their qualities and turning them to its advantage.

Natural reed thatch is used to create a 60cm deep, inverted field for a canopy that sways soothingly in the dissipated wind, allowing air to circulate and the space to stay cool. Throughout the day dappled sunlight filters through the reeds, lighting and shading the space simultaneously. At night down lighting continues to animate the canopy from within, creating a warm, intimate atmosphere for evening dining.

Beneath the canopy an un-interrupted topography of cool screed terraces flows gradually down from the restaurant to the sand, via the bar and lounging areas. Circulation is organized to create specifically designated areas for dining, drinking or relaxing yet their softly blurred, low-level boundaries let light and air flow naturally through the open space and allow continuous views across the beach to the sea and sunset.

The combination of these purposely designed and naturally occurring elements creates a multi-sensory architecture that sits in harmony with the environment, provides a natural, comfortable refuge from the elements and creates an exciting, sociable atmosphere.

Design Office: k-studio   

Location: Mykonos, Greece

Photographs: Yiorgos Kordakis

Notre Ntam’ | Z-level

Description by Z-level:

This project is located on the point of Agios Fokas on the south-westernside of the island of Lesvos on an agriculturalgreenfield site amongst the olive groves. The only structures of the area are small agricultural buildings – ntam”. Topographically, the 3.5hectare seaside plot is on an incline and planted with 300 olive trees. The owners, two brothers and their families, are city dwellers, used to living in Athens and Boston, decided to forge new bonds with the land of their ancestors.
The basic issues of the design were incorporating the residences in the topography of the landscape; low-impact accessibility; developing a dialectic between the two buildings; making use of the unconfined view; incorporating bioclimatic elements; and using natural materials. The design was intended to re-interpret local vernacular references, which are not drawn from traditional residential architecture on Lesvos, but from early industrial buildings located there. The dominant theme was how to handle an exceptional site with favourable conditions in difficult times.
The residences were situated with an eye to incorporating them in the hillside, placing them below the level of the skyline, in the olive grove, leaving the landscape that surrounds them intact. Of the 3.5 hectares that comprise the plot, 600 sq.m. were covered by hard materials, while the remaining land was left covered by earth, and the old olive grove terraces were recorded and repaired.

The residences were placed parallel to the elevation contour lines, between the end of the olive grove and the start of the seaside terrain, functioning as a passage from the land to the sea. This zone allows a flow of the landscape and marks the boundary between a solid and a light side: the elevation facing the olive grove is stone, with openings that isolate segments of the landscape, while the elevation facing the sea in transparent and unified.
The building appears to rise from the ground in which it is rooted on the side of the olive grove and to levitate on the side of the sea. As you approach the building and walk through it, its spaces unfold like a movie, and the sea appears gradually, framed initially by openings of the stone elevation; then through shady arcades and deep verandas, that protect from the sun; and, finally, the view opens up on the platform above the cliff.
The two buildings are connected at the level of the roofs, which constitute a conceptual continuity, following the shape of the hill on a lower level.
Both buildings were designed using the same design principles and comprise variations on a theme, being respectively 150sq.m. and 250sq.m. builds.
The houses are on the ground level and shaped as elongated rectangles, designed on the bioclimatic principles of using openings on either side, ventilation and shading. The multi-level inclined roof creates a single room space at its highest point, with an open balcony that faces the interior of the residence. This final level has glass sides with opening segments which help remove the warm air by drawing it away.
Maintaining the interior and exterior spaces at the same level fosters a sense of cohesion and flow, while also allowing access for the handicapped, who have access to all areas. The pool was created to be enjoyed by those who have difficulty getting down to the sea.
The outdoor areas are designed to be autonomous from the interior, to suit the requirements of the owners and their visitors, with an outdoor kitchen, a vegetable garden, as well as seating, eating and bathroom areas, as well as the facilities for outdoor film showings.
The weight-bearing structure is metal and the filling materials stone and light wall-building with external insulation façade. Local materials were used, including Polychnitos stone and natural earths to colour the cement on the roof and the roads. Sustainable heating systems were used.

Design Office: Z-level

Location: Agios Fokas, Greece

Photographs: Yiorgis Yerolybos

House K | Auerbach Halevy Architects

Description by Auerbach Halevy Architects:

A unique modern house and which stands out in its countryside background. The house was designed without compromises, including clear requirements of its owners such as modern design, clean lines and an embracing feeling. Design addresses the requirements by using natural and opposed materials: concrete and wood. The house spreads over three floors, utilizing intermediate stories, for an office and for a family room. Furniture is carefully designed and manufactured materials and sizes that fit your home just like a suit tailored for his size . sense of privacy was maintained through the introduction of open landscape of fields inside. every corner and space in mind and are designed to adapt to the user , any point of view produces additional discovery and surprise.

Design Office: Auerbach Halevy Architects

Location: Israel

Residence Mo | Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados

Design Office: Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados

Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Photographs: Evelyn Müller

Residencia LM | Marcos Bertoldi Arquitetos

Design Office: Marcos Bertoldi Arquitetos

Location: Curitiba, Brazil

Photographs: Alessandra Okazaki

A house of an architect | Pitsou Kedem Architect

Description by Pitsou Kedem Architect:

The neighborhood where architect Pitsou Kedem designed a home for himself and his family wasestablished in the 1950’s by army veterans and can be characterized by buildings with low silhouettes andhorizontal lines set in a rich grove of eucalyptus trees. Kedem’s home was designed to blend in with the architectural characteristics of the other homes, all built using modern architectural values. The home combines elements such as a concrete ceiling and continuous windows and also uses materials in their original, raw state: exposed concrete, iron and uncolored wood and silicate bricks. Examples of the use of such materials can be found in the concrete ceiling that floats above the entrance floor with a continuous window along its entire length. This allows the ceiling to be separate from the structure’s walls and creates a feeling of etherealness in the buildings mass and the white painted, iron ramp that leads to the floating entrance lobby.The door is located in the center of the building at the cross section between the stairwell and it opens facing a fixed, frameless window.  Through the window, we see the eucalyptus trees that surround the plot. The stairwell is constructed from metal with a unique texture and with no covering materials. It divides the two floors into rectangles and is delimitated by two walls constructed from exposed blocks that support the ceiling. Light is provided from the skylight that runs its entire length, covered by wooden slats. Set into the walls are round windows of differing sizes that allow the light coming through the skylight to disperse within the space.The house was designed as two squares, set one on top of the other whilst exploiting the sloping plot. The lower level is located at the lower and front section of the plot while the upper level is located on the plot’s higher section, towards the road and whose low silhouette is hidden by evergreen Brachychiton trees. The restraint and scale that characterize the design express the balance created between the architect’s vision and the fact that the house, which is conceived as a family home, is designed around childhood memories of the architect’s wife’s kibbutz. Kedem sought to avoid the creation of gimmicks and to realize in the house’s design that elusive idea of “timeless architecture”.

The raw materials and the attempts to create a non-fashionable and timeless architecture compliment many books and works hanging in the homes of both young and old Israeli artists such as Tsvi Geva, Yadeed Rubin, Nurit Gur Lavi, Amir Shepht, Aram Gershoni, Yifat Betsalel and others.

The house’s furniture and light fixtures were also carefully chosen to complete the look and the atmosphere. They include sofas, carpets, tables and bookcases by leading designers such as Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Dan Yafe and others and from leading companies including MDF italia, B&BItalia,Desalto, Living Divaniand GAN.

Design Office: Pitsou Kedem Architect

Location: Ramat Hasharon, Israel

Photographs: Amit Geron

Sambade House | spaceworkers®

Description by spaceworkers®:

Based on the genetic of the place, the intervention holds, as the main goal, the creation of a contemporary space without disturbing the peace of the countryside area. A pure volume, with rectangular base, is adjusted to the ground and opens into the green landscape. The volumetric purity, desired by the customer, sets the mood for the project and the new inhabitant of the place is, now, one of the terraced fields of the perfectly balanced ground. Thus, the act of inhabiting unfolds through the volume of concrete, pure, raw, adjusted to the ground, just waiting to grow old as the days go by… reflecting the life of the countryside.

Design Office: spaceworkers® 

Location: Penafiel, Portugal

Photographs: Fernando Guerra – FG+SG

Andes Lamp | Cristián Mohaded

Description by Cristian Mohaded:

Andes lamps belong to the first collection in lightweight concrete designed by Cristian Mohaded for the Argentinean firm, INCONCRETE.
Andes use a fluid and malleable language to experiment with physical qualities of light concrete. The existing tension between its volume and morphology increases the sense of weightlessness, allowing concrete to become part of new spaces of a building or home. Its unique morphology was inspired by the observation of stressed structures such as membranes or shells, creating an appearance of stretchiness that transmits fluidity, making the lamps appear almost weightless.
The STRESS collection will soon introduce variations of the Andes lamps as well as new products such as tables, benches and other accessories, further exploring and enhancing this new language.

Design Office: Cristián Mohaded

Photographs: Emma Livingston


Description by ONG&ONG:

This house comprises of three volumes positioned around a central courtyard such that they interact, whilst each wing remains distinct enough to be viewed as an independent entity. The home’s interiors and outdoor areas are configured with flexibility of space in mind so that the house can be adapted to suit a broad spectrum of homeowners.

A balance is struck between the man-made spaces and the natural ones, with the building formed from basic elemental shapes with raw-finished materials, such as fair-faced concrete, stone, mild steel, tropical wood and clear glass. The dialogue between the components of this palette reflects a sense of warmth and immediacy with nature.

Design Office: ONG&ONG  

Location: Singapore

Photographs: Aaron Pocock

“Beachcomber” Restaurant – Cocktail Bar | Parthenios Architects + Associates


BEACHCOMBER Beach Restaurant & Bar from George Fakaros “Unique Imaging on Vimeo.

Design Office: Parthenios Architects + Associates

Location: Stalis, Crete, Greece

Photographs: George Fakaros

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

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

A House in Kisami | Florian Busch Architects

Description by Florian Busch Architects:

The ‘A’ House in Kisami is a private retreat overlooking the ocean at the southernmost tip of the Izu Peninsula, about 180km south of Tokyo. Located at the end of a tiny mountain road leading up a coastal hill, the site is on a steep slope with stunning views and sounds of the sea.

A young couple, both outdoor enthusiasts, asked for a simple retreat set in the outside that would give them and their children a stark contrast to their daily lives in downtown Tokyo.

With most of the site sloped at 30 degrees and less than a tenth flat, the project started with carving out the mountain. Placing a small volume into the resultant trapezoidal carved-out void, and a larger one on top turns the mountain void into the centre of the house: a spa zone in the mountain between the platonic volumes housing bedrooms on the lower and living on the upper level. The volumes themselves defy their mass as they rotate around an inconspicuous pivot, the void of the spiral staircase that connects the cave with the sky.

When the spaces in-between become the building’s essence, it is hard not to realise that architecture is not about objects.

The built only frames this essence: the exterior space that flows through the building, down the mountain and connects the A House with the sea.

Design Office: Florian Busch Architects

Location: Kisami, Japan

Photographs: Florian Busch Architects, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi (AtoZ)

Villa Östernäs | Gabriel Minguez

Design Office: Gabriel Minguez

Location:  Ingaro Island, Sweden

Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman

Casa Kimball | Rangr Studio

Description by Rangr Studio:

A New York based client commissioned Rangr Studio to design a Caribbean get-away large enough to accommodate his family and groups of friends, and to function as a luxury rental villa. Located on the rural North coast of the Dominican Republic, the design sought to create a contemporary house within the basic construction means and materials locally available. The structures are reinforced concrete, clad with a local Coral stone. The windows, made by local carpenters with a dense hardwood, pivot on automobile wheel bearings.

The buildings are designed to protect from views of neighboring lots, heightening the experience of the vast horizon beyond. The interior spaces merge with exterior, and allow cooling ocean breezes under shade from the sun, eliminating the need for air conditioning. A 45m long infinity edge pool creates a seamless edge of water in front of the ocean, hiding terraces at cliff edge that allow the experience of the ocean’s roar as waves break on the cliff face below.

Design Office: Rangr Studio

Location: Cabrera, Dominican Republic

Photogpahs: Paul Warchol

Casa Quindiciquattro | Fabio Fantolino

Design Office: Fabio Fantolino

Location: Turin, Italy

Photopraphs:  Chiara Cadeddu