Traditional Stone House | Philippitzis & Associates

Description by Philippitzis & Associates:

Claims of functionalism, geometrical clarity and simplicity advise the final form, while the organisation of spaces predisposes for a way of life “simple and necessary”, that longs for the contact with the natural environment.

The load bearing concrete structure, of which the construction from pillars on a level with the ground and above, took place by building the stonemasonry, like a “kernel”. This presupposes an in detail design and particular supervision on the electromechanical networks in the stage of manufacture.

Demolition stones, “Syki’s” Pelion stones with river shingles weave the web of stonemasonry which are joint-filled with a special plaster (kourasanit) with the addition of 5 mm tessera.

In the main volume of the building that is totally stone, is organised the space of entry with the living room and the kitchen with the space of food in the depth, as well as a guesthouse. Exempted from internal partitions, in the space of the living room dominates a sense of uplifting under the obvious roof with stone triple gripida. The internal wooden staircase manufactured from trainwood placed in the exterior stone wall leads to the open attic, where is found the bedroom with the bath.

In the smaller volume the little house there is a guesthouse and a laboratory, bath and the essential auxiliary spaces. The roofs were manufactured by local and “Agioritiki” chestnut tree with double insulation and covering with Pelion plates.

Design Office: Philippitzis & Associates

Location: Milies, Pelion, Greece

Casa Salina | Viviana Pitrolo

Design Office: Viviana Pitrolo

Location: Sicily, Italy

The Dangle-Byrd House | Koko Architecture + Design

Description by Koko Architecture + Design:

The Dangle-Byrd project was an opportunity to explore the challenge of maintaining the spirit of craftsmanship within a modern domestic landscape. Set on a wooded five-acre site in rural Pennsylvania, the house utilizes a material consciousness to engage the neighboring handcrafted Amish farm buildings.

The house consists of three interlocking volumes. While each volume is very simple in its form, the exchange between them allows for a wide variety of spatial experiences. The first impression one has is that the house is two “shadow-boxes” connected by a “bird cage”. However, as you enter the house the perceptions change. From the interior, the cage is no longer a figure, but rather a looking glass to the outside. The single storied master suite becomes an intimate walnut valise, retreating from the exposed glass living room. A dramatic perforated steel bridge passing through a two-storied screened porch reaches the guest suite. The northern end of the house has a private balcony looking down to the lap pool set into the woods.

The elegant engineering of farming equipment and local Pennsylvania trussed bridges inspired the unusual structure of the house. The resulting form is a steel “exo-skeleton” with a wood and glass box suspended within the exposed frame. The structure is not just visual, but literally wraps around the inner volume as if it were a “ship in a bottle”. The glass living room walls and roof structure is suspended off of the cage by 6 strategic supports.

Severe in form, the materiality of the house combined with a sustainable approach allows it to become part of the surrounding landscape. Passive solar heating and radiant floors enable the “bird cage” to respond to Pennsylvania Winters. A massive “hand set” stone chimney anchors the house. The luminous floating glass walls of the living room contradict this permanence. The blackened cedar boxes combine the architects’ Japanese background with the simplicity of the Pennsylvania farm buildings The honest steel structure and rough cedar boxes reinforce the importance of “making” rather than “concealing.


Design Office: Koko Architecture + Design

Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania, USA

Photographs: Nikolas Koenig, Patrick Casey

Contemporary Residence in Croatia | DVA Arkhitekta

Design Office: DVA Arkhitekta

Location: Varaždin, Croatia

Photographs: Robert Leš

Tainaron Blue Retreat | Kostas Zouvelos, Kassiani Theodorakakou

Description by Kostas Zouvelos:

The towers, these imposing tall and narrow prisms, are the most stubborn and absolute expression of Mani building. On the outskirts of the settlements, the “xemonia” were erected in order to defend or expand the land property. They served to control, exclude or drive out the opponents, but also to transfer the pressure from the main settlement to new territories.

Tainaron Blue Retreat is a representative sample of traditional xemonia of the South. The tower – now transformed into a small guest house – is facing a similar construction, which had also been a strong fortified complex. Both together, they controlled the road to the area around Tainaron. The war tower is built on solid ground and rocks known as “rizomies”, at a strategic spot that offers an amazing view of the sea and the hinterland.

The restoration of the traditional building solved form issues in relation to the old texture of the masonry, so that the final look of the tower gives the impression of a building that emerges from the rock, upon which it is founded. The grouting internally and externally was done with real “kourasani” or Roman mortar (a combination of Theraic soil, ceramic powder, lime and a special shade of river sand) and minimum amount of cement, which enhances the static adequacy of the masonry and ensures durability.

The conversion of the tower into a guest house had to overcome considerable difficulties. The reason was the need for a high degree of adaptation to the specific characteristics of the regional architecture and at the same time the demand for accommodation in rooms with modern aesthetic perception. The four floors, with their relatively limited interior spaces that comprise of three bedrooms with bathroom and shared kitchen, breakfast and reception space, are organized along a vertical axis, allowing guests to have the unique experience of moving through narrow openings (“waterfalls”), wooden stairs or rocks protruding from the walls and arches (“steps”).

As the formation of the exterior spaces had to ensure minimum interference, the addition of a water surface area adapted to the specific environment and respected the topography of the landscape, resulting in an even and unified set of buildings and space with intensity and character.

Tainaron Blue Hotel has been awarded the Special Committee Award for Overall Rating, at the 100% Hotel Design Awards 2015.

Design Office: Kostas Zouvelos, Kassiani Theodorakakou

Location: Asiata, Sminos, Greece

Photographs: George Meitner

Casa Riemersa | Davide Volpe Architetto

Description by Davide Volpe Architetto:

I researched the synthesis of the reason with the fantasy taking a long period of time while I thought over at the form of the location and how to handle the dynamics before to give myself the pleasure of the architecture.

After having bought this part of factory no longer in use which was a part of the old industrial compound of Fila Sport, which has a particular form that reminds the wings of a butterfly in aerial projection, the first task has been to make re-emerge the north side that has been underground for decades.

At the end of the excavating the facade presented a sort of layering and overlapping of materials that we’ve carefully kept and preserved after an accurate activity of renewal that reminds more an archeological intervention than an architecture one.

The anti-fire tank has been transformed in a swimming pool, the old drain in stone has become a barbecue, the kitchen cupboard has become the wardrobe of my children Nina and Iago.

Inside the glass walls with one light establish a continuous dialogue with the inside and outside through a path articulated by a library that develops in 50 meters (160 feet) long, constructed with old building site’s boards, origin of a childhood memory that takes as example the Osvaldo Cavandoli’s line during the moment of expectation of the evening Carosello, extraordinary magic moment of that period.

The shades of the walls, of the ceiling and the floor it’s unique in order to form a big and neutral container of objects of art and of everyday life.

The light is an essential complement, it penetrates and constantly transforms the volumes giving variable sensations.
The creative process, taking in consideration that we’re talking about architecture, has not been exempted from conflicts with reality, but the main element has been functionality that cannot be deprived of the sensibility of the creator in order not to take the risk to be simply a construction.

A house thought and constructed for a peaceful family life, empty of decorations and colors, elements that my children will be able to fulfill in the next years to come.

Design Office: Davide Volpe Architetto

Location: Biella, Italy

Chalet Lac Gate | Eric Joseph Tremblay – Boom Town

Design Office: Eric Joseph Tremblay – Boom Town

Location: Canada

Photographs: Angus McRitchie

Itoman Gyomin Syokudo Restaurant | Yamazaki Kentaro Design

Design Office: Yamazaki Kentaro Design

Location: Okinawa, Japan

Photographs: Nahoko Koide

Cloister House | Measured Architecture Inc.

Design Office: Measured Architecture Inc.

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Photographs: Nic Lehoux, Andrew Latreille

Villa Melana | Valia Foufa & Panagiotis Papassotiriou

Description by Valia Foufa & Panagiotis Papassotiriou:

The project was awarded to us by a family leaving in Athens keen on a new country house in the Arcadian Landscape. Design started mid-2012 and work on site was completed at the end of 2014.

The program

It all started as a simple snapshot; At a very steep site with clear view towards the sea a holiday retreat protects its inhabitants from the sun heat and the strong winds while soothing the senses under the moonlight.

We have placed the building at the only available naturally formed plateau of the site in order to avoid unnecessary groundworks that could spoil the relief.

Simple elements to deal with a difficult and very unstable and steep terrain. The endless of the sea view and the enormity of the open horizon is overwhelming and therefore no great attempt is needed to frame the views.

The structure is defined by 3 volumes that are placed along the contour lines. The end product is a result of the division of a rectangular volume into 3 parts while staggering the middle part towards the east.This break is enhanced by the use of various materials and alteration of the design.

The main features of the central volume (where the day activities are hosted) are the cladding with local Arcadian stone – dry stone construction both internally and externally on concrete frame and brick infill -, pitched gabled roof with roofslates and the fireplace on the narrow end framing the view. The design has references to the local architecture (where the Tsakonian “Makrinaria” are met) incorporating changes to the form and size of the openings in order to achieve better results on the bioclimatic output and view.

Floor to ceiling openings enhance the dual aspect feature without affecting the monolithic quality while the views cross on all sides. The staggering of the western wall from the outline of this volume creates a long and narrow circulation area under a flat parapet roof that connects all three volumes.

Two white blocks are set back on either side of the main volume (where the bedrooms and wc’s are hosted) acting as reference to the minimalism and sincerity of our attempted architectural language away from heavy decorative features and overstatements.

At the intersection of the three volumes two fair faced concrete beams act as “connectors” subtly underlining the junction of the 3 blocks.

Finally, white render reflects the sun, the stone cladding offers its thermal mass connecting the building with the surroundings and together protect the inhabitants from the weather conditions. A configuration revealing the endless view to the horizon and was born out of consideration for the steep relief and the local traditional materials.

Design Office: Valia Foufa & Panagiotis Papassotiriou

Location: Pera Melana, Greece

Photographs: Erieta Attali & Pygmalion Karatzas

La Planicie House II | Oscar Gonzalez Moix

Design Office: Oscar Gonzalez Moix

Location: Lima, Peru

Photographs: Juan Solano, Oscar Gonzalez Moix

Mountain House| Dardo Molina

Design Office: Dardo Molina

Location: Salta, Argentina

Stone House | Henkin Shavit Architecture & Design

Description by Henkin Shavit Architecture & Design:

A residential private house for preservation that has been re-designed and planed anew in the old city of Safed. The web of crowded housing of old stone buildings in the old quarter of Safed is a complex context dictating a dialogue between the old and the new, between preservation and renewal and between the traditional and the trendy.

The house is an old stone building, built in the shape of the Hebrew letter “Chet” , surrounding and inner courtyard. In its original layout, it contains five levels: the wine cellar level, 3 residential levels and the upper level – balconies and outer spaces.

The planning concept included values of both preservation and renewal, while connecting between the inner and the outer and between the public and the private. The courtyard, which is an outer space, serves the function of a public space in the new house and the peripheral spaces function as the private spaces of the new house.

The Designers, Henkin Irit & Shavit Zohar started the projects with the complex stage of documentation and getting acquainted with the various formative and material aspects of the site after carrying out a comprehensive stage of exposing the site. Stone walls, arches, stone niches and impressive water well were all exposed at this stage. After this stage, the plan and the different sections were consolidated. The house has an impressive vertical section and a light steel and wood bridge connects the two masses adjacent to the public space. This bridge corresponds with an original flight of stairs, which dictates the vertical circulation.

“The design of the house presents the old via original lime-stones, arches, vaults and niches, while the new gets represented by materials such as concrete, mosaics, steel and tin threshing, as well as transparent and semi-transparent glass”, Henkin Shavit.

The house program includes a kitchen, salon and a dining corner on ground level. The cellar level contains storage place and a space for the landlords’ grandchildren to play in. The middle level contains a hosting unit + a toilet and a shower. In the upper level there is a sleeping and working area with attached bathroom and toilet. This space is made up of a bridge leading to the different two wings, which are also attached with balconies and outer spaces.

The upper level consists of a big balcony overlooking a magnificent view of the surroundings in general and Mt. Meron in particular.

Design Office: Henkin Shavit Architecture & Design

Location: Safed, Israel

Photographs: Asaf Pinchuk

Rio Bonito House | Carla Juacaba

Description by Carla Juacaba:

The mountain of Freiburg in the Hinterland of the Rio Bonito Lumiar, was the place chosen for the construction of the residence-retreat director of the museum of unconscious images.

The proximity of the river has become a determining factor for the party adopted.

Two thick stone walls, supporting four metal beams which support the slabs and floor covering. The weight of the structure contrasts with the lightness of the span, highlighted by two skylights that separate the slab above the structural walls.

On the back wall windows are floor to ceiling tears that give continuity to the horizontal of vertical skylights.

The house down to the floor is protected from moisture and weather, and at the same time allows the view of the river passing by.

Design Office: Carla Juacaba

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Photographs: Nelson Kon

Beverly Hills Golden Age | Maxime Jacquet

Design Office: Maxime Jacquet

Location: Beverly Hills, California, USA

Photographs: Jeff Ong

El Refugio Inteligente | NOEM

Design Office: NOEM

Location: Castellon de la Plana, Spain

Villa CP | Zest Architecture

Design Office: Zest Architecture

Location: Girona, Spain

Txai House | Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan

Design Office: Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan

Location: Itacare, Brazil

Photographs: Fernando Guerra – FG+SG

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

Casa BRSL | Corde Architetti

Design Office: Corde Architetti

Location: Sacile, Italy