Acapulco House is a modern double story residence that has been designed in 2010 by architect Flavio Castro, located in Guarujá, a municipality in the São Paulo state of Brazil. The 3,659 square foot (340 square meters) house is made up of six squares grouped in pairs. Within this compositional rule, two subtractions were made at opposite sides to form two venues: the garage in the front and the social area behind. The different relationships that they establish with their neighbors (other squares) were determinate by the unevenness of the floor, transparency and accessibility. In the sketch found at the end of this post, it is possible comprehend this.
Clearly we can perceive one middle axis that articulates empty halves and a pavilion in the backyard that creates a dialog with the main house.
In the left side, there is a succession of rooms is a space width 5.50 meters tall and huge transparency in parallel facades to the street. This transparency reaffirms the continuity of the space. Only one discontinuity happens by the stairs that leads to the upper floor. Metallic self-supporting, acetic and colorless, it cuts the sequence of rooms at one point creating a visual filter between the public street and the private backyard.
At the bottom left side the pavilion ends the succession of social environments. Separated of the house by the pool and deck, creates a tension between the house and itself. This interval space (range, pool) wins quality in the duality between “seeing and being seen”, completely dissolving the notion of attachment that could be created by the pavilion.
In the upper floor we have four suites with a marked symmetry. They are accessed by a hallway illuminated by a window above the head of the visitor and demystifies the corridor such as the word suggests. This entire upper floor is part of a common function (private area) outlined in the project by volume and color (green).
The openings (windows, etc) are projected in function of the touches between the geometries of the house. To the neighbors, the openings are very punctual, while in others facades are quite present.
The water surface under de interior stair returns to the air humidity in days of intense heat in the city of Brazil, a tropical country, and the roof garden of the pavilion keeps a low temperature of its flat roof.
The logic of the regular squares greatly facilitated the mathematical calculations and the structural performance of the house, because the same constructive procedure could be adopted for the entire building. The distances between pillars are almost the same and there are no structural transitions between the main and upper floor.
Photos: Marcelo Scandaroli
Moor Street Residence is a contemporary renovation for a family of four, designed by Andrew Maynard Architects, located in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The family had lived in this modest, aging house for almost eight years. As the children neared their teenage years something had to be done. Abandoning their home and moving elsewhere was not an option as the family was an important part of a thriving community. The tricky yet fun part of this home re-design was creating a new house in a narrow plot of only 4.5 meters.
Within this pocket of Fitzroy is a dense mix of workers’ cottages and small terraces. All are modest in size, many are dark and cold. Many of the cottages and terraces are in original condition, with a simple facade hiding an assemblage of brick and weatherboard lean-tos in the rear yard looking onto bluestone laneways. These lean-tos create a mesh of detailed and varying volumes, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the street front. When building in the rear of a property in this context, facing onto the laneway, one is acutely aware of the smallness and texture of the existing built form. Within this context the burden is on the designer is to respond to the assemblage of small volumes while also maximizing the potentials of the owners’ brief.
As Fitzroy has gentrified we have seen renewal take place in unsympathetic ways. There are numerous examples of this assemblage of dark brick and weatherboard being replaced with large contemporary objects that dominate its context. The tactic at Moor Street was to maximise the interior functions and available space, while also responding to the context by creating a single building out of three small objects rather than a single contemporary monolith. The tired lean-to which housed the kitchen, bathroom, dining and laundry were removed. These functions were relocated and updated along with the addition of a master bedroom over. The original brick terrace was retained, tidied and brought back to life.
In the center of the original house was a small light well containing a beautiful, yet constrained, Japanese maple tree. The family often found themselves conversing through this lightwell. Conversations took place, through the maple, from upstairs bedroom to kitchen opposite, to study space and even the bathroom. The maple was retained and the lightwell expanded and surrounded in glass, bringing the tree into the living spaces. The conversations between spaces and levels, through the maple, are better and easier than ever.
The separate boxes on the upper level contain the master bedroom. This space is surrounded by the canopy of the maple to the south and the canopy of a large gum tree to the north, making the master bedroom feel much like a treehouse. Through the gum’s canopy are views over Fitzroy, revealing the detailed assemblage of the brick and weatherboard lean-tos of the surrounding workers’ cottages and small terraces.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
Maison C is a stunning modern family home that has been designed by Lode Architecture, located about twenty kilometers from Paris, in Île-de-France, a region of France. Completed in 2010, the clients wanted for this new home a voluntary architectural approach, free from conventions, and totally bespoke. The main themes were quickly identified: continuities and discontinuities, sharing spaces and intimate spaces, distances and visual relationships between children and parents, arrival sequence and position of the garage and integration of the pool.
Revisiting the uninhibited Californian architecture houses, windows and widely adapted to the context of the larger suburbs, the project scripted the comings and goings of vehicles and staged the pool at the center of family life. Across the width of the plot, the horizontal shape of the house is organizing a garden at the front and a patio on the back. The whole house fits into the natural slope of the land to be part of the landscape. The old orchard is fully architected.
We discover the house flowing along the garden before slipping under the volume that houses the parking. A private staircase leads directly to the heart of the house. The rear of the house is built around a patio. This protected view of the surrounding houses space creates a visual game between the space of parents and children. The sequence kitchen-dining-room-pool is organized on an axis that connects the pool deck to patio. The lounge overhanging glazed and hand-else, enjoys sweeping views overlooking the garden and open views over the rooms for children.
The choice of a single storey house offers here, in the absence of compactness, the ability to guide all living areas to the south. Solar gain in the summer is controlled by advanced roofing and controlled by external sliding shutters. The pool and terrace also benefit from the most favorable exposure. Pond water is heated by the roof panels. A heat pump also provides heating and hot water in the house. The patio planted north opposite the mineral soil of the south facade accentuates the temperature difference between the two facades. This architectural feature promotes natural cooling by convection of the house without using air conditioning. Isolated from the outside house, enjoying the large inertia of the concrete slabs. If the architecture of the house incorporates these devices sustainability in design, aesthetics tends to break free, in the idea of a mature ecology: an invisible ecology.
Photos: Courtesy of Lode Architecture
Taquari House is a modern property built for empty nesters, the creative vision of architecture studio Ney Lima, located in the tropical environment of Brasilia, Brazil. When building the 4,090 square foot (380 square meters) home, the clients wanted to preserve a typical tree savanna that existed on the grounds in the neighborhood of Taquari. Having this first fruits as a starting point, the architect and the residents agreed to build a two-story house in a U shape.
The ends were designed one bistro cuisine and a living involving the tree that stands out because of the white background and sides with rustic ceramic coating , which resembles the traditional adobe houses employed in the interior of Goiás.
The rooms of the house are integrated into nature through glass windows. The transparent and circular elements are featured for the walls and bring a perspective of communication between the environments having as passing the tree and leisure area.
Concrete frames around the vertical windows bring volume and balance between the stiffness of the concrete and a warmth of red. The green stone in the pool is of Asian origin called Hijau, which integrates nature and brings freshness which is necessary for the hot dry climate.
The house entrance is marked by a box of exposed concrete where a door was installed corten steel which contrasts with the cement and harmonizes with the external coating.
Photos: Edgard Cesar
Oakwood Residence is a stunning two story contemporary pad that has been designed by Boswell Construction, located in Los Angeles, California. This newly constructed home boasts 6,500 square foot of living space, showcasing beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces with corner glass multi-slides, expansive 30 foot ceilings at the entryway, and an exterior waterfall movie projector. This home was built for entertaining in mind, where guests can interact with each other in cozy living spaces. The open plan enables the homeowners to cook in the kitchen while allowing them to visit with family and friends who are residing in the living room.
Working in custom residential new construction, large residential renovations, value engineering and design build services, Boswell Construction builds trust and partnerships with each client through our integrity, dependability and transparent communication.
Photos: Courtesy of Boswell Construction
The Willow House is an incredible open and airy home taking advantage of it’s surrounding natural environment, designed by Guz Architects in Singapore. Completed in late 2012 for a young family, the home features an open floor plan that integrates koi ponds, swimming pools, shallow reflecting pools and a central courtyard with an oculus that allows a tree to grow from the ground floor through to the green roof.
The architects tried to take advantage of the hilltop position by opening up the building plan to make the most of the prevailing breezes and of what little wind there is in Singapore. Orientation and massing of the house was instrumental in encouraging those breezes.
We always wanted this to be a home with soul, so designing spaces where a family could live together and interact was always part of the brief, and hopefully the design reflects this. We have tried to draw nature in as much as we can in the relatively dense urban environment of Singapore.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall
Casa 2V is a sensational modern property that has been completed in 2010 by Ecuadorian architecture studio Diez + Muller Arquitectos, located in Tumbaco, Ecuador. The house is located on a rectangular area with a slight slope in an east west direction. The land does not have much to offer but the house faces mountain views on the south side and the valley on the west side of Tumbaco. The house has been organized on three main ideas:
Program Independence: The house is broken into three main volumes containing three aspects of the program (social, private and views) respectively. These three are connected by two articulations or glazed bridges that are joined by more than three components, generating slides along the house.
Central Courtyard: The three volumes of the house are composed of a central courtyard surrounded by an internal gallery that serves the various program components.
Orientation and Views: The circulation inside the courtyard allow all environments to project their views to either the mountains or the valley of Tumbaco, these being the most permeable walls of the house.
The house is located on one floor, just having a studio and an elevated deck and gazebo on the social area. This generates a double height space and white glass volume, which rests on the ground floor of the house that is armed in stone.
Photos: Sebastián Crespo
Villa L’Escalet is an incredibly stunning seaside vacation villa designed by French studio Vincent Coste, located in Ramatuelle, near Saint Tropez, France. The villa is perched on a steep terrain with lush forests and crystal clear waters, offering sensational panoramic sea views of the Mediterranean Sea. Located in l’Escalet, this intimate natural oasis is just ten minutes from the famous Pampelonne beaches and St. Tropez nightlife.
If you love this villa, you can stay here as a vacation rental, offering five bedrooms and five bathrooms, sleeping a maximum of 10 people, nightly rates run from $3,878, here.
A composition of independent volumes offset allows a set of frames and perspectives on sight. Each volume works as a flag and making the economy of inland surface circulation. This option to achieve five bedrooms for indoor area of 1,291 square feet (120 square meters).
his economy of space could also be achieved by integrated design to each room furniture bathroom. A large wooden structure an integral part of the architectural composition provides sunscreen outdoor spaces and helps to create outdoor spaces differentiated. The overlay zones lives is perfectly suited to life in resort offering the potential of a single site.
The entire wooden structure was particularly studied to meet the requirements of sustainable development.The technical part of the project was dictated by the complex field access on either a steep slope and a willingness to respect the maximum natural character of the site bordering natural area.
The fully equipped, open concept kitchen, offers 180-degree views of the sea, making cooking a pleasure. Floor-to-ceiling glass door
Photos: ©Christophe Rouffio for le collectionist
A modern home built for outdoor living, Villa Escarpa was the vision of architecture studio Mario Martins, located near the village of Praia da Luz, in the district of Lagos, Algarve, in the South of Portugal. A condition of the planning permission was that the new house be constructed in the space occupied by a previous building. This had little architectural or technical merit, but was located in an exceptional position on an escarpment overlooking the Algarve coastline and village of Praia da Luz.
The footprint was therefore predetermined; on a very steep slope, and exposed to the prevailing winds. Paradoxically, it is these constraints and difficulties that underpin the conceptional basis of the project.
In an architectural language, pure and contemporary, we created sheltered terraces and courtyards for outside living. These are cut from the horizontal volume which is white and highly transparent. This volume gently sits upon an exposed concrete support giving the appearance of the house floating above the landscape. The touch on the environment, which we want to preserve, is minimized and resolves the difficult balance of the building with its physical support . This ensures a desirable visual lightness.
The house merges with a long water surface which dissects the wide living and kitchen spaces. These spaces are complimented by terraces protected from the wind, but open to the sun and impressive views. This is the social area of the house; open and fluid.
Four bedrooms are located in a private area with access from a corridor that runs alongside a central courtyard. In this private courtyard the natural light is filtered, creating an intimate and desirable space.
The lower area provides garaging and technical support. The roof terrace accentuates the visual lightness of the floating building in its environment.