Marin Bungalow is a 1950’s ranch house renovation by Feldman Architecture, perched on a hill in Tiburon with sweeping views of Richardson Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, California. This stunning residence had a casual charm and great potential. Even though it was tiny by neighboring standards, its prime location helped the architects to see an opportunity to create a striking space, worthy of the spectacular views.
Sensitive to the neighbors’ views, expansion of the house was limited to the existing envelope. Also presenting a challenge was the awkward floor plan without a formal entry space or a master suite. The firm expanded the living spaces into the garage to create a new front door and entry, as well as a master suite with South facing windows that capture the Golden Gate views. Interior walls were removed to create a more open floor plan with a larger kitchen and dining room, plus the addition of a family room and separate laundry room. The south facade was opened up to the backyard and the views with new windows and doors which also maximize the natural light in the formerly dark spaces.
The interiors received a contemporary facelift with a palette of mostly whites and light woods to keep the small house feel light, bright, and airy. The owner’s furniture and styling nicely complemented the house’s fresh new look. Custom metal sunshades were added to the South façade to shade the back deck while maintaining maximum views to the Bay.
Photos: Paul Dyer
MODECO residence is a modern single family property designed by Modern House Architects, located in Los Altos, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. This spacious newly built family home features open plan living, comprised of materials of wood, concrete and glass.
We were fortunate to have been commissioned by an owner/developer who wished to create a new home that was both site specific and sensitive to the remaining mid-century character of existing homes left in this neighborhood. We drew upon archetypes of the 40‘s and 50‘s, such as limited front facade fenestration and appropriately located roof overhangs, while using materials more common to current modernist homes.
The floors in the kitchen are plain sawn white oak, no stain.
The structure incorporates passive house standard technology that approaches the current European model of passive home. MODECO utilizes natural ventilation and light, solar photovoltaic (PV), and a mechanical/fresh air system with heat recovery. Concrete walls have a thermally broken core, and all other exterior walls and roof have 1.75 inch ridged outsulation wrap.
Photos: Assassi Productions
House in Ontinyent is a modern minimalist design by Spanish architect Borja García, located in Calle Músico Vert, Ontinyent, Valencia, Spain. The core of the project is a large open space on the ground floor and a sculptural staircase made of concrete that guide visitors to the upper floors. The materials, with an absolute use of white, are always naked and honest. The basement, a large open space between concrete walls, connect the 5,920 square foot (550 square meters) house with the pool. The pool, built in white concrete, represents a large floating water surface.
We are in the historic heart of Ontinyent (Valencia), in a old textiles factory now converted into the headquarters of the outdoor furniture manufacturer Gandia Blasco. The aim of the project is to integrate new residential activity into the existing building. For this reason the house is proposed as an extension of modulation and structural system of the old building.
The house is located between party walls with dimensions of 22×7 meters and has five levels constructed. The distribution is solved with a simple band diagram that goes through the house drawing the small spaces (bathrooms, laundry, toilets, etc.). The rest of stays overturn both facades leaving the central area of the building reserved for the concrete stairway.
The ground floor has some social spaces that ends into a vertical space chaired by a huge mural with a visual overview from the history of the company. All materials selection has been carefully choose to ensure the coherence between the project and the company Gandia Blasco. The absolute present throughout the work and the nude and matte treatment complete the imagery projected by the brand through its products.
Finally, a white concrete pool that encloses a water box suspended inside. The proportions of the pool dialogue with the rear facade. Also the access stairway is a continuation of the system used inside the project.
The overall result is a elemental house in its design and its realization but with a powerful constructive solution that gives the project a strong identity and character.
Photos: Courtesy of Borja García
Lady Peel House has been given a modern interior rejuvenation while preserving the exterior facade of the residence, completed by rzlbd architects, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Birthplace of the world celebrated star of English Musical Comedy, Beatrice Lillie known as Lady Peel, is over a century old, located in downtown Toronto, is now rejuvenated and playing a new character. With respect for the actress who once lived there, the 3,000 square foot house inherits a talent: playing a new role while living in the same skin.
The reformation of the house takes a responsible approach towards the neighborhood and the adjacent buildings by focusing the transformation on the interior spaces and minimizing it on the exterior facade. The exterior alterations are limited to the careful enlargement of the windows and the exposure of the brick structure underneath the previous cladding.
The 60’ x 15’ house gives the architect an opportunity to emphasize on linearity of spaces. By eliminating the unnecessary elements in the floor plans, the house is transformed into continuous open-concept spaces in which natural light makes a soft voyage and exaggerates the length of the rooms.
The long, broken, and dark Victorian interior spaces on the ground level are now contemporary white and airy continuous spaces with just enough exposed brick wall in the kitchen and dining room to remind us of the origins of the house. The enclosed long and linear staircase used to be both a physical and a visual barrier between the interior rooms on the ground level. Now it is transformed into a light, and open structure circulating around voids and creating a dynamic connection between not just the ground floor spaces, but also all the levels.
On the second floor the bedrooms and the home office are connected with a bridge overlooking the stairs and the dining room. A unique modern master bedroom with a freestanding tub and a direct access to a private deck is on the third floor, the attic, where the roof structure is exposed once again as a reminder of its past.
Photos: borXu Design
Architects ONG&ONG Pte Ltd have designed 65BTP-House in Singapore with a modern, nature inspired theme, a thing of beauty and timelessness that will endure through the ages. This is a home surrounded by a vast garden that converges at a colossal pre-war rain tree with such magnificence that its presence is ingrained within the very architecture of the house itself. Throughout this 15,575 square foot (1,447 square meters) home are numerous encounters with nature whilst still being very much indoors. The architectural placement of the building allows for the viewing of the feature tree from all of the main spaces, from either of its two storey’s right down to the basement.
A granite wall at the entrance made from interspersed panels creates a series of holes that subtly shield the garden from full view whilst maintaining a welcoming atmosphere. In the driveway, a cleverly placed water feature discreetly hides the sunken air-conditioning ledge just beneath it. The main living and dining areas are housed on ground level, allowing the spaces to transit seamlessly out into the garden and accompanying lap pool. By evening, dots of light on the pool’s base dance playfully in the water, mimicking a starry night scene. An elegant spiral staircase leading to the upper floor gives the living area a visual center whilst also promoting vertical circulation.
On the second floor sits a cozy family area flanked by bedrooms on either side. The master bedroom’s spacious interiors allow it to accommodate a study office as well as a walk-in wardrobe that can be expanded by drawing back the partition separating it from the bathroom, thus creating a generously sized boudoir. The children’s rooms sit on the opposite side of the floor, each a mirror image of the other. In addition, a glass-covered balcony that spans the entire length of the floor reveals a breathtakingly panoramic view of the aforementioned rain tree.
Making good use of the site’s sloping typography, the basement was designed such that it opens up into a lower section of the garden, thus making it feel almost like being on ground level. This floor is dedicated to entertainment and relaxation, with a spa room, movie room, large multi-purpose hall, as well as an outdoor barbecue area. The self-contained service quarters are also kept here, with a mini kitchenette and sleeping quarters to boot. Again, outdoor elements permeate this section of the house by way of a water feature that flows continuously under the powder room and spa room, thus deriving continuity across the various spaces. Sensibly placed skylights also help to bring ample sunlight into the spaces and brighten up the basement naturally. Interestingly, these skylights also provide a spectacularly clear view of the rain tree even from here.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Waterfall House is a single family residence tucked away in the rolling hills of West Lake, in Austin, Texas, recently completed by Dick Clark + Associates. The home features efficient design and impressive views, a unique single family spec home built to attract a discerning group of potential owners. Though comfortably removed from the thick of the city in the hills of west Austin, the stunning skyline is the most influential factor in the design of the house.
To achieve the ideal view, the house is subtly perched on a raised foundation. The main spaces in the house are located along the eastern facade to have equal access to the skyline views. The seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces of the house is achieved through material continuity, such as the tile floor that flows from inside to out, and through the massive sliding glass doors that open the living, dining, and kitchen spaces to be one with the exterior pool deck. The skyline, as viewed from this open indoor/outdoor space, is dramatically framed by an elegant negative-edge pool that disappears into the hills below.
The love of beautifully detailed architecture, shared by both the builder and the architect, are evident in the carefully executed lines, delicate proportions, and seamless spatial transitions in this high-end Austin home. The site placement of this house blurs the line between city and rural living, a characteristic that Austinites greatly value, just as the design itself softens the divide between interior and exterior.
Photos: Alexander Stross
The Sinbad Creek Residence is a modern dream home designed by Swatt | Miers Architects for a retired couple located on a beautiful 5.3 acre east-facing hillside in the rural town of Sunol, Alameda County, California. The clients requested a home that was modern, livable and warm, where the indoors and outdoors melded. Something utterly serene, where views of the landscape came first. With unique wall-to-wall views in every direction of Mission Peak, a hillside of mature oaks and a canyon ridge, this two bedroom, 4,000 square foot home has been designed so that every major space has its own special focus.
The front door opens to a dramatic two-story window in the dining area and a more intimate living room beyond.
Organized on alternating sides of a linear north-south circulation spine, each space is placed diagonally across the spine from its neighbor space. With varying ceiling heights that range from a low, compressed entry to a dramatic two-story dining room with bridge above, the result is a composition of dynamic interlocking interior spaces, where each space derives its special character from its unique scale, its relationship to adjacent spaces, and its relationship to the surrounding natural landscape.
Designer Jorie Clark selected furnishings in a neutral color palette of graphite, sand and white with occasional red accents – pieces that were less ubiquitous than “iconic” designs and would most importantly not compete with the setting. For example, the minimalist Judd dining table in glass, stainless steel and olive ash allows you to see right through to the canyon. This sensibility extended even to the art, where if there was a view that was the central focus, the art should not call much attention to itself.
Morning sun floods the kitchen, where there’s ample prep space and room for people to gather. The house is “future proofed” – two closets are framed out with power so they can install a lift when needed.
The home’s strong horizontal lines are a counterpoint to the rolling hills, the integrated stucco and stained cedar blending with the gray-green of the olive trees.
Photos: Russell Abraham
C O N T E N T Architecture has designed the Southampton Residence, a modern brownstone renovation for first time homeowners recently transplanted to Houston, Texas from Chicago. The young family wanted their brick house to be designed as a modern interpretation of their beloved brownstone as viewed from the street, high ceilings and no visible roof surface.
Developed to maximize the size of the house while taking into consideration deed restrictions and internal views, the volume responds to the massing of neighboring homes and is carved to allow light from multiple directions in each room. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths and generous living spaces face onto a courtyard that is intended for a future swimming pool.
Sectional differences further serve to relate the program to the site by connecting the kitchen and guest suite to the exterior, elevating the living room above the court, raising the kid’s bedrooms into the tree canopy and sequestering the master suite in the rear of the lot.
Designed on a full brick module to limit material waste, materials shift to glass, cast stone, or wood where the masses are carved out. Spray foam insulation and a commercial grade air conditioning system discreetly and efficiently control the interior climate while the highest rated glass assists to limit the energy impact of the large windows.
Photos: Peter Molick
Designed by Studio 27 Architecture, the House on Fire Island is a summer beach house in the resort community of the Pines on Fire Island, New York. The typology of the homes in the Pines is recognizable to anyone who has visited an East Coast Shoreline resort town. It is a builder-driven typology reflecting the pragmatism of the inhabitants of these coastal communities. Almost always the “good sense” pragmatism that allows these homes to be built affordably overtakes the inherent liveliness and natural spirit of the place and creates structures that are a bit dull.
This project inserts some of the “spirit of the shore” into this “Yankee thriftiness” residential typology. Common detail and material remain, but the volume of the 1,550 square foot house is expressed as a skin, rather than as a box-like container. The skin keeps the heat in. Over time, the skin of woven cedar boards will assume the same patina as neighboring houses. Large windows are introduced to reveal a luxurious light interior.
The organization of the plan creates a direct link between the occupation of the different spaces during the day and the sun’s path. Program adjacencies were carefully studied before identifying the swimming pool as the center of social interaction. Interior rooms and exterior spaces were arranged to track the path of the summer sun, connecting it to the rhythm of daily life: breakfast by the pool; cocktails and socializing on the front terrace; and evening dinners in the west light. Sleeping rooms form the backstage of the house.
Products in this project:
Bathroom Equipment: Kohler, Hansgrohe , Duravit, Vero
- Bathroom plumbing fittings by Kohler
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Axor by Hansgrohe
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Watertile by Kohler
- Starck 2 by Duravit
- Lavatory by Vero
Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: Caesarstone
- Countertops: Concrete by Caesarstone
Floor: Globe, Ann Sacks
- Stones 1 by Globe
- Luxor Gray by Ann Sacks
Heating and Ventilation: Gavin Scott
- Fireplace: Vision by Gavin Scott
- Entry doors by Andersen
- Windows by Andersen
Kitchen Equipment: General Electrics, Fisher & Paykel, Cascade Faucets
- Refrigerator: Monogram by General Electrics
- Oven: Monogram by General Electrics
- Dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel
- Range: Monogram by General Electrics
- Tower Tech by Cascade Faucets
Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Contrast, Meltemi, Wever Ducre, Delta, Artemide, Wandleuchte, Cirius
- Lighting fixtures by Contrast
- Lighting fixtures by Meltemi
- Lighting fixtures by Wever Ducre
- Lighting fixtures by Delta
- Lighting fixtures by Artemide
- Lighting fixtures by Wandleuchte
- Lighting fixtures by Cirius
Walls: Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Escape Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Photos: Judy Davis