The Orchard Willow Residence is a contemporary three level single family residence designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects, located in Chicago, Illinois. The clients sought a home that balanced an abundance of natural light and direct connections to nature with a need for privacy. Located adjacent to a schoolyard, the site affords an open southern side yard, unusual for Chicago. The exposure provided an opportunity to access natural light throughout the day while challenging how to achieve privacy.
A board-formed concrete wall poured just above eye level encircles the property. With the first floor set down at natural grade, the textural wall provides complete visual privacy within the garden, allowing the wooden framed interior living space to be enclosed with glass. Large sliding doors and a continuous stone floor connect the interior and exterior as a single room.
Above the wooden pavilion, a narrow, copper-clad volume floats on a clerestory band of windows, bringing light deep into the broad living space below. Within the bedrooms, deeply recessed balconies are carved out of the copper enclosure to form light courts that shade the glazing, provide privacy, and direct views away from the neighboring school to the distant Chicago skyline and sunset.
Photos: Steve Hall / Hedrich Blessing
Sympathetically dividing up the open plan space provided zoned living areas. Lindsey celebrated the existing period features of the property whilst brining it upto date with the clean lines, materials and finishes she’s used. Soft lighting illuminates the vaulted ceiling whilst “working lights” help zone each living space. The result is a calm, sleek environment which blends old with new and the internal space with the gardens.
Photos: Rachael Smith
Cottage de Brebeuf is the conversion of a duplex cottage by Atelier BOOM TOWN into a rustic chic home comprised of steel, wood and concrete, located in Brebeuf, Quebec, Canada. The transformation was based on replacing the original structural axes. On the ground floor, bearing walls bordering the existing central circulation are replaced by a structure of beams and raw steel columns, allowing the creation of an open area for living areas (kitchen, living and dining room).
Small openings in the back yard are enlarged to maximum capacity, allowing at the same time easy and smooth access to outdoor space. Wood joists above the ground floor are exposed, increasing the height effect under the ceiling. Technical block housing a small toilet room and various storage is covered with concrete panels.
The wood recovered during the demolition is reused to cover the kitchen island to build shelves and sliding doors. The staircase is at the heart of the ground floor, becoming a characterizing element and allowing arrival at the center of the floor, under a new skylight where bedrooms are easily accessible without suffering a loss of space for traffic.
The upstairs bathroom enjoys a wide window veiled by a frosted glass, diffusing light and providing privacy.
Photos: Angus McRitchie
430 House is the contemporary renovation of a 1981 Vancouver Special house designed by D’Arcy Jones Architecture, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The residence was built on a 33 foot wide lot, which retained the entire foundation and structure of the house. The 2,500 square foot interior layout was flipped, moving the kitchen, dining and living areas from the upper floor down to the main floor, so the most important interior spaces could be at grade.
A new parallel-parking open carport was built off the lane, to preserve more of the back yard for a new landscaped garden and terrace. The house was wrapped in a new exterior skin with carefully placed windows, to connect all interior spaces to the front and back yards. This house that was once dark and generic is now filled with light and air.
Our studio enthusiastically approaches each new project as a chance to create something unique. Playing with materials and form to come up with unexpected results, we work tirelessly to design projects that are innovative, durable and inviting. Tweaking time-tested ways of building, we create buildings and spaces that can be built with conventional construction methods. Our clients work with a very small team and enjoy the personal involvement of D’Arcy at all stages of design and construction. We are optimists, seeing the past as a continuum to connect with and be inspired by, and seeing the future as something that can be improved incrementally.
Photos: Sama Jim Canzian
The Madison Park House is the latest custom-spec house to be designed and built by architecture firm First Lamp, located in Seattle, Washington. Situated on an existing steep slope lot in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle the house grows out of the hillside and allows the main living space to float out amongst the trees. This 3,200 square foot, five bedroom house will be an energy star certified residence and is targeted to be 4-star built green.
Daunting and stubborn while also inspiring, the site was our true client . A handful of landslides had occurred here in past years, so this tucked-away location had been ignored or avoided until recently. After a series of site visits with our “ground team” (engineers, excavator, and foundation subcontractors), we came to understand two things: 1) That development here would actually increase the stability of the site and 2) It would therefore be an asset to the surrounding landscape and community.
During the design process we often used a tree as a metaphor for our design goals:
1.Sensitively Integrate Structure with Landscape and topography
2.Stabilize the hillside with a deep root system
3.Reduce storm water impact to the site and its surroundings.
In many ways, the design response to these goals is very literal. 54 Pin piles, 5 helical anchors, and 110 yards of concrete support the structure and retain the hillside. These are consolidated to the smallest feasible footprint, allowing the topography to surround and envelop the trunk of the house. The main living space is cantilevered from this base much the same way the branches of a tree reach for the sun. The siding is almost 100% cedar, charred to more closely reflect the deep ambient color under a grove of mature trees. The house is topped with almost 2000 square feet of living roof which acts as a filter, a sponge, and an aesthetic amenity for the residents.
Photos: Courtesy of First Lamp
Chalet Bolton-Est is a stunning two story contemporary vacation home project designed by Atelier BOOM TOWN, located in East Bolton, Quebec, Canada. The clients vision for the design of the home was abundant light, open space, a fluid inside-outside relationship, views, framing and integration of the pavilion into the landscape. All expressed in a simple means and forms. This young couple with two young boys had just purchased a beautiful property in the East Bolton area. The home consists of 1,600 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, mud room, living room, kitchen, dining room. In the basement: a bedroom, a shower room, a game room (multi-function), and mechanical room.
Undergrowth inviting to walk, two small cabins cedar shingles, relics of the previous occupation, slightly sloping topography offering Western frank perspective on a nearby hill characterized the site. It remained to design the cottage for the family follower of outdoor activities in general and especially winter sports, cherished by many ski resorts nearby. Under these conditions, the “mud room” quickly became one of the architectural program elements around which the spaces are deployed to. Central, accessible through the main entrance as the service entrance, it is integrated into the flow of the cottage.
In our approach the cabin, the view against-diving offered the path to the building, the deployment of the two large roof that characterize the project. The large terrace bordering the south and west facades participates in its integration into the landscape. Large openings allow easy switching living spaces in open area (living room, dining room, kitchen) to the terrace.
A huge garden door 16 inches wide by over 9 feet high, allows free opening 8 feet overlooking the terrace and views of the hill to the west. When the season allows, the terrace becomes an extension of the chalet, an enlargement of the same stay in the scenery! The projection of the roof to control the south and west facades intake of sun in summer and, in turn, provides shelter against the elements in the climatic situations less lenient.
Upstairs genuine observation post on the landscape, is the master bedroom with a private bathroom and an adjacent workspace. This space reserved for parents is also designed in open area. A large balcony on the west facade provides a complete view of the field and observe the pond there, the two small huts, trails and undergrowth.
Photos: Courtesy of Atelier BOOM TOWN
Chalet Lac Champlain is a stunning cottage retreat designed by Atelier BOOM TOWN, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, a few meters from the US border, in the heart of Phillipsburg Bird Sanctuary, Quebec, Canada. The land consists of two plates separated by a steep cliff of more than 10 meters and a gently sloping lake access, a rare privilege in this sector. It offers a magnificent view to the west on this huge lake.
The three-storey cottage is part of the landscape in the manner of an observation post of the surrounding nature. Vertical circulation in the cottage overlooks both the cliff on which the building is almost lean, and on the lake, thinly veiled by trees with long trunks lining the shore. These parts are widely fenestrated.
Two large terraces on the upper levels of the south side, allowing occupants to inhabit the landscape and continue its contemplation. These terraces are fragmented volumes of the chalet already separated by slight shifts between the southern, northern and central (where the staircase is located). These sets of volume are also underlined by variations in color or set of wooden facade cladding.
Photos: Angus McRitchie
Mosman House is an extension project by Anderson Architecture, in collaboration with MacKenzie Design Studio, located in Mosman, a suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project involved opening up the existing rear half of the house to better engage with the backyard. As the rear of the house faces north, the extension was designed to capitalize on passive solar techniques to reduce heating and cooling costs. These techniques include north facing windows which allow sunlight to pass into the house and onto the thermally massive green-concrete slab which stores heat, thereby reducing heating costs during winter.
The use of sustainable, recycled and locally sourced timber and hardwoods featured throughout the project for finishes, shingles and flooring, most notably on the staircase to the first floor. The extensive use of LED and low-watt light fittings, complimented with solar hydronic floor and water heating, which both minimize the amount of electricity needed to power the house.
The use of low VOC paint on the project’s steelwork during construction minimized the amount of harmful vapors released into the environment while the 2.1kW photovoltaic solar panels and 32 000L of rainwater storage help make the house more self-sufficient toward electricity and water consumption.
Photos: Courtesy of Anderson Architecture
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