Apartment LA has undergone a rustic contemporary renovation for a family with two children, by architect David Guerra, located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. When the first child started to go to school, the couple bought an apartment in the city, letting the country house where they lived be just for the weekends. The new home combines the coziness aspect of a country house and the urban and practical style of the big city. To attend the needs of the couple with two children, a renovation was needed.
The walls that divide the living room from the balcony were demolished to combine the ambient with larger, fluid and comfortable space. The balcony became a gourmet bar/kitchen that can be used for the wine with friends and breakfast in family with a view of the mountains. Linen sofa and chairs and a vintage armchair appear as a relaxing living area also in the balcony.
A small fireplace has become a major element of the living room wall. The new warming ambiance mix colors, rustic and natural materials with modern and technological ones. They are wool, natural linen, nude tones, leather in different colors – honey, whiskey and chocolate, wood and demolition wood, gray Mister Cryl, Silestone rock, stainless steel, yellow metal, bronze, mirror, glass and acrylic, all materials that combined, gives a great ambiance.
The choices of the furniture, noted the concern of creating a place that prioritizes comfort, warmth, elegance and relaxation. That way we can see a mix of Brazilian designs with Sérgio Rodrigues, Pedro Useche, Frederico Cruze and international designs like De Padova, Minotti of B&Bitalia, Maxalto, Muuto and Mooi.
In the living area a big sofa with a chaise was reformed by JRJ and gains a new linen covering. Pillows by Entreposto, a Jensen leather armchair from Minotti and an armchair Louisiana from Depadova proves the pursuit of comfort and elegance. The Sullivan low tables from Minotti (gray glass round and wood triangular) along with the Still table, also from Minotti and Lens by Patricia Urquiola add a touch of fun and relaxation to the room.
The dining table with an American toned oak that highlights the beauty, lightness and comfort of the Tombly leather chairs from Minotti and also the chandelier by Mooi.
The entire floor of the apartment, except the wet areas, had been replaced by wide planks of mahogany field bought from a farm. The floor has gone through a bleaching process, maintaining the identity and rusticity from the wood and giving a more light and modern touch to the place. On the wall, gray Mister Cryl which brings wellbeing, in addition to panels of different types of wood as mahogany field, pink mahogany, cedar and cinnamon that brings color and warms the room.
In the gourmet kitchen, a block of graphite Silestone sustains the table of mahogany field, design by the architect; Sérgio Rodrigues chairs indicate the relaxed and comfortable way to receive friends for a dinner or even a drink.
The kitchen also provides a mix of materials, the technology of Italian glass Panna and reflective glass, Italian chairs Papiro by B&Bitalia, graphite Silestone on the floor and silver one on the countertops, walls with black and gray hydraulic tiles, wood doors and mahogany table – design by the architect. The kitchen becomes a mix of cozy and contemporary at the same time. That mix can also be seen in the toilet with gauzy Silestone floor and countertops, burgundy Mister Cryl, Hansgrohe mixers that contrast with the tile of the wall and the Indian mirror.
In the master bedroom, the highlights are for the headboard with mahogany with stailess steel profile, Glam lampshade from Pradina, French dresser, linen Selene bed by Maxalto and Pantosh wooden chair. Nude and caramel tones and natural materials, linens, leathers and woods, provide a welcoming place that facilitates relaxation.
In the master bathroom, the priority was the elegance, which was achieved by the Limestone Persiano, cabinet with Italian glass and Rimadesio door
In the boy’s room, the colorful and playful furniture design denotes a hip and timeless style.
Photos: Jomar Bragança
This Tribeca Loft project encompasses a complete modern renovation of a 10th story loft by architect Aaron Schump, located in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Extensive glazing on three facades presented a unique design challenge for this project.
A bar of walnut housing the kitchen and service areas organizes the plan. Bedrooms were pushed to the south and west, leaving the north-west corner free for entreating and unobstructed views of the Hudson river. Aaron Schump served as project manager at SPaN overseeing the entire project from design to construction administration.
AS//A is an architecture, urban design and research studio operating at the intersection of civic and ecological systems, urban and rural environments, and digital and physical processes. We explore the complexity of these relationships through a rigorous and collaborative design process aimed at uncovering the specifics of place, culture and materials to create buildings that are environmentally and culturally responsive. Focused on crafting value at multiple scales, we aim to achieve maximum aesthetic and social influence while employing minimum economic and environmental impact. We believe that well crafted spaces can positively affect our quality of life by creating sustainable places to live, work and play while maintaining respect for people, cities, and nature.
Photos: Courtesy of Aaron Schump
Upper West Side Combo is a prewar apartment renovation by design firm StudioLAB of two dark and tightly configured units into a single unified space, located in Manhattan, New York. The designers were challenged with the task of converting the existing arrangement into a large open three bedroom residence. The previous configuration of bedrooms along the Southern window wall resulted in very little sunlight reaching the public spaces.
Breaking the norm of the traditional building layout, the bedrooms were moved to the West wall of the combined unit, while the existing internally held Living Room and Kitchen were moved towards the large South facing windows, resulting in a flood of natural sunlight.
Wide-plank grey-washed walnut flooring was applied throughout the apartment to maximize light infiltration. A concrete office cube was designed with the supplementary space which features walnut flooring wrapping up the walls and ceiling. Two large sliding Starphire acid-etched glass doors close the space off to create privacy when screening a movie.
High gloss white lacquer millwork built throughout the apartment allows for ample storage. LED Cove lighting was utilized throughout the main living areas to provide a bright wash of indirect illumination and to separate programmatic spaces visually without the use of physical light consuming partitions.
Custom floor to ceiling Ash wood veneered doors accentuate the height of doorways and blur room thresholds. The master suite features a walk-in-closet, a large bathroom with radiant heated floors and a custom steam shower. An integrated Vantage Smart Home System was installed to control the AV, HVAC, lighting and solar shades using iPads.
Photos: Courtesy of StudioLAB
This Upper West Side Manhattan apartment has been designed by 1100 Architect, comprised of a neutral color palette, minimalist details, and refined materials, creating a warm, modern atmosphere. Throughout the space, sleek materials like concrete, marble, and white lacquer are complemented by accents of softer materials including Belgian linen and bleached wood. 1100 renovated this duplex apartment in 2008 and returned for a second renovation when the neighboring unit became available in 2010.
Careful detailing and a cohesive design approach allowed us to seamlessly combine the two apartments into a single home. A breakfast area was added to the existing kitchen, acting as a transitional space and opening up views across the apartment. Two new bedrooms and a utility room were also included in the addition.
1100 Architect is the New York- and Frankfurt-based architectural firm, best known for works of architecture that are timeless manifestations of place, at once distinctive and modern while always thoughtful about site, setting, and environment. Fundamental to this pursuit is the belief that building design is a progressive process informed by client aspirations, site, history, available resources, and time. We believe that design can motivate and inspire users, and make an affirmative, lasting impact on individuals and communities alike.
Photos: Nikolas Koenig
Boathouse Home Office has been refurbished and transformed by design studio Bean Buro into a live / work / play three bedroom apartment, located in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. The 1,200 square foot apartment is located inside a high-rise residential building. Designed in response to the growing trend of working-from-home culture, the apartment showcases large panoramic windows facing the sea boating sceneries in Aberdeen, as a balanced calm and dynamic home office for an expat couple with three cats.
The new concept demolished two existing partition walls to create a large bedroom and a larger lounge adjoining to an open studio space. The opened up spaces increases panoramic window views, thus allowing the external Aberdeen boating environment to be experienced inside.
The material palette is calm and refreshing, with a tranquil blue color chosen for the continuous blue wall to reflect the sea, while the timber finish for the floor and joinery brings warmth to the live & work space.
Drawing inspirations from traditional French boathouses in Brittany, the main architectural concept was a continuous ribbon-like blue wall that ‘floats’ and connects all the different areas of the apartment together. The blue wall starts from the lounge, with subtle computer generated display niches. It then forms the main circulation space with various shelves for displaying art. It creates an intuitive experience by linking up the lounge with the office and ending its blue color in the bedroom.
The main table, Bean Table, has two large pendant lights that form the centrepiece in the lounge. The bespoke CNC cut table shape is wiggly and playful, acting as a meeting table by day and dinning table by night.
Wrapping the entry space with full height hidden storage doors, it then falls to seat-height along the panoramic windows to create a an infinity-pool effect, and provides informal seating along the bay. Rising again as a half height timber wall, it partitions the office and the lounge while preserving open panoramic window views at eye level. On the other wall of the office is a full height bookshelf that acts as the main spatial element for storing and displaying personalized items.
The new timber surface was conceptualized as a ‘cats landscape’ that would rise and fall to provide different functions: it creates a beach threshold along the windows with an infinity-pool effect, an island dinning table to stage activities, a dynamic open studio, and a bed unit that faces the calm Aberdeen life.
The bed is an island unit that faces the panoramic windows, allowing the calm Aberdeen boating sceneries to be fully experienced. Full height mirrors are installed at the edges of each room’s end walls to create an infinity effect of the panoramic windows. The resulting experience is connected, intuitive and calm.
‘Boathouse’ Apartment was shortlisted as “Best 10 Living Space” for the APIDA 2013 (Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards). The project was also featured in the APIDA publication.
Photos: Courtesy of Bean Buro
Villa in the Sky project is the transformation of two separate apartments on the top floors of a derelict building into a refined contemporary penthouse by Abraham John Architects, located in Bombay, India. The two apartments were remodeled and combined into 3,500 square feet of luxurious living, made suitable to the favorable tropical climate & the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Bombay.
The existing apartments had very different characters and were not in keeping with the client’s requirements. The client wanted a villa in the sky, something more minimalistic, architectural and totally connected with the landscape. All internal walls were demolished to create an open plan layout and recapture stunning views of the Arabian Sea on the west and tree lined slopes of Mount Mary Hill on the East.
Being near the sea and on the 7th& 8thfloors of an existing building, there were many construction challenges, from the logistical point of view & the high velocity sea breeze, further, work had to happen with the consent of the neighbors. A brand new staircase cantilevered off the columns helped connect the two spaces without loading the cantilevered slab; the entire project took a year to complete.
The design approach took advantage of orientation: the sea is now visible from all rooms of the house, including the master bathroom. Previous cave-like rooms are turned into optimal, unusually large living spaces for Bombay standards. The main design principles followed were of orientation to the natural elements (sun, wind, water), openness and connection with nature at all levels (visual & physical), using natural & eco-friendly materials. Landscaped terraces and skylights created areas accessible from all rooms in the duplex. The kitchen is in the south east in keeping with Vastu, (the Indian principle of design) and is flooded with morning light.
The living area & the bedroom face the sea to allow for evenings spent with the sunset. Being a bachelor home, additional bedrooms were dispensed with to allow for a large master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, bathroom and terrace which could be made private. The project encapsulates cool, contemporary living in its modern design with equal attention to aesthetics and environmental sustainability, employing energy-efficient. Low consumption technologies and letting one appreciate all its thoughtful detail, inventive and practical ways of creating proficient storage and comfortable living spaces.
The living area:
The open floor plan makes the living, dining & kitchen areas merge into one big lounge connecting views of the lashing waves of the sea and the shore line on the west to the glittering leaves of the trees of Mount Mary Hill on the east. the shared vision of the client and the architect is seen in the minimal layout integrated with landscape, lighting, refreshing earthy colors & natural textures.
The kitchen & dining area:
The open kitchen with a brushed SS island platform is complemented by an enclosed kitchen specially designed for traditional Indian cooking. A teak tree forms the dining table and seating. The exiting pipelines were rerouted for easy access between the two kitchen areas, thus maximizing space utilization. The cold SS island contrasts with the otherwise warm colors and textures of the apartment. Visitors are encouraged to walk bare feet as is the custom. The dining table becomes the focal point for all activities in this relaxing apartment. The black kitchen cabinet forms the perfect backdrop for dinner conversations and parties.
The cantilevered staircase:
A balcony space was converted into a cantilevered wood & steel staircase set against imposing double height windows, visually & physically connecting the upper & lower volumes that were previously disconnected.
Automated blinds span the double height volume.
The master bedroom suite:
The master bedroom suite overlooks the sky lit terrace, with spectacular views of the Arabian sea.
The skylight and pergola protect from the tropical sun and the seasonal monsoon rains.
The flooring pattern enhances the line of sight and continues from indoors to outdoors: dark stained wooden floors and teak wooden deck add drama to each room, offering a personal elegance to everyday spaces
The master bathroom & walk-in wardrobe:
The master bedroom suite includes a private sea-facing terrace, a lavish walk-in wardrobe & an open plan spa bathroom – a fluidity of private spaces that retain total privacy while blending with the landscape. A spacious master bathroom is complete with a jacuzzi, shower, proficient storage, landscape, mood lighting and automation.
The media room:
The hi-tech glass walled media room on top complete with a large size projector screen, concealed ac, av & automation, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors to expand the home’s sense of space: it overlooks the sea as well as a spacious wooden deck with a walk-on glass skylight. the luxuriant terrace garden serves as an expansive outdoor entertaining area with artful illumination and an open bar – a real hotspot. automated roller blinds concealed in the roofing convert the open media room into a large, yet cozy home theater for movies, F1 & football matches.
Landscape, materials & contextual relevance:
The home fits within its tropical seaside context and encourages sustainability: reclaimed sleeper wood for garden screens & pergolas, natural stone, recycled tiles, high efficiency mechanical systems, durable engineered wood & natural fabrics; automation with mood lighting, power saving & curtain control, solar heaters & evergreen terrace gardens.
Interior solar shades & large double-glazed sliding windows allow natural ventilation, uninterrupted views & access to landscaped areas, while cutting down on solar radiation and air-conditioning load.
A limited palette of complementary materials ensures consistency in design & minimizes maintenance, adding warmth and texture through light & shadow. the interiors are finely detailed with custom-made furniture. materials used accentuate warmth & transparency.
Photos: Alan Abraham
Real Parque Loft was designed for a recently married young entrepreneur by Diego Revollo Arquitetura, located in the south zone from São Paulo, Brazil, in a strictly residential buildings neighborhood. The buildings were built in the 80 and 90 decade and for this reason, the architects started from a traditional compartmentalized apartment with exaggerated number of divisions and closed rooms related to its area.
The main challenge was to open the 1,130 square foot (105 square meters) space, bring the sense of amplitude within the existing structural limitations. In this sense, the owner, was willing for profound changes and already felt attracted by the spatial characteristics of lofts as well as the contemporary aesthetic common in these cases.
The idea of a box with just a coating, burned cement, would bring the contemporary aspect and look like “clean” without amendments or interruptions and would be applied on all surfaces such as floors, walls and ceilings. A particular care has been taken into account in choosing the gray’s tone, which should be modern but not too cold and close by the natural cement’s tone. In the baths we used for the slabs the natural Oasis Blue limestone with a similar tone of cement, employed only as an alternative to cement, to be more appropriate for slabs and carved sinks.
For the owner a cold or too modern result wouldn’t please him, he searched an elegant atmosphere but also comfortable an “hot”. The suggestion of the office was the alliance of the cement and the natural wood inn a reddish chestnut brown tone to “heat up” the environment and that would add value in decorative point of view.
In some places such as the entrance, dining bench and the balcony seat, the Cumaru wood, a Brazilian’s hardwood with high resistance was used by rules to make the wood “weigh” even more. Where the use of solid wood wasn’t viable either by weight or by the natural movement, we chose for the Pau Ferro sheet, a wood with enough personality and a similar design to the Jacarandá, one of the main wood used in furniture production peak in Brazil in the 50 and 60 decade, for example.
The furniture and interior design continues with the choice of textiles as the natural linen or the distressed leather and prioritizes the warm touch and comfort always against the coldness of the cement box. The end result is a loft without excesses, spacious and extremely pleasant to live.
Photos: Alain Brugier
Apartment in Amsterdam is a renovation project of a duplex unit in an 85-year-old housing for a family of four, carried out by MAMM Design, located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Since they have not been brought up in Amsterdam where they have a lot of gloomy weather, the clients requested to have maximum sunlight in the 1,431 square foot (133 square meters) house. They also wanted to have a space where they can feel close by each other.
Originally, there is a skylight at the top of staircase which connects upper and lower floors. Though the staircase itself was filled with sunlight coming from the skylight, the stairs and walls around them prevent the light from entering into the other part of the house. We took away the stairs, walls and a part of the upper floor’s slab, so that the sunlight can spread into all over the house. At the same time, the void connects the family.
There is a symbolic tower-shaped element standing through the house. Kitchen, bathroom and toilets are packed into the tower, utilizing existing pipe box. We placed new grating stairs climbing around the tower to create some place to stay at various levels. With the new circulation and spatial device, the family can create and enjoy various scenes of their daily life.
Photos: Takumi Ota
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