Ensconced in a beautiful, leafy corner of Brook Green, DOS Architects have turned two classic Victorian terraces into one outstanding family home on Souldern Road, London, UK. The client’s vision was a bright, modern and spacious home which the architects achieved by retaining the overall structure of the 4,574 square foot (425 square meters) house and creating an ambitious rear extension. The result is a gracious double-height void which connects the kitchen and dining room on the lower floor to the rest of the public areas of the house.
The glass box is flanked by a cantilevered shear wall, serving to realign the house on a north-south axis. The new volume of the house is a natural continuation of the house’s existing geometry, and we used material contrasts to create a smooth but visually exciting contrast between the indoor and outdoor spaces. We are very proud of this entirely liveable, comfortable and yet definitively stylish home which our clients tell us they now never want to leave.
Photos: Courtesy of DOS Architects
The Jesolo Lido Pool Villa is the first of a development for 9 single family residences by JM Architecture, located in the beach town of Jesolo Lido, Italy. The villa is a custom designed prefabricated wood structure, and it was built and furnished in only 6 months. Energy-saving high standards have been applied to the shell to guarantee maximum comfort and almost zero costs throughout the four seasons. The building features wood structures as a flexible and anti-seismic system which also avoids thermal bridges. The 31 centimeters of perimeter insulation, argon-gas insulated glass facades, 10 kw of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof and the interior / exterior led light fixtures co-operate in making a technologically contemporary building. Because of the small dimensions of the plot, the design goal has been directed in leaving as much open space as possible.
The indoor living area has transparent sides which opens towards two different-sized patios. The largest one, to the west, features a long swimming pool, which takes the entire length of the space, and two planted square inserts. An olive tree is the main three-dimensional element in the patio and it’s placed next to the staircase which leads to the underground level, where the storage and technical rooms are located.
The smaller patio, to the east, also features two planted inserts with another olive tree to counter balance the other side. The outdoor areas, as a client’s main request, needed to be low maintenance, so most of the surface was paved and the plants in the inserts where selected in order to live with the least care possible. The 4-meter roof overhang to the west allows to have enough shading during the hot summer months and allows to place a covered outdoor seating and dining areas.
Interiors are custom designed with typical JMA solutions, like audio/video walls, custom designed solid-surface kitchen, motorized roller shades which disappear into the dropped ceiling for maximum continuity of indoor-outdoor areas, integrated indirect lighting and home automated electrical system.
The radiant floor heating system is powered with an electric heat pump which takes the energy from the photovoltaic panels. The air-conditioning system is fully integrated in the dropped ceiling with linear diffusers and hidden intakes. As always for JMA, the pursuit of simplicity and linear solutions represented a large part of the design work.
Photos: Jacopo Mascheroni
Prospect Heights solar is a late 19th century rowhouse that was given a modern overhaul by CWB Architects, located in the Prospect Heights Historic District of Brooklyn, New York. To convert the aging four-story building into a modern, single-family home, the architects completed a gut renovation that included a 1,226 square foot garden-level rental unit. Although mostly new materials and finishes, many details original to the house were salvaged, restored and then integrated into the home’s contemporary aesthetic.
Sunlight finds its way into almost every corner of the 3,362 square foot home through strategically placed skylights and an interior light well. The wood floor in the stair hall, typically the darkest space in a rowhouse, was replaced with walkable glass panels, transforming the space into a tower that diffuses light rather than absorbing it. The effect is replicated from the parlor floor up, terminating in a ceiling punched with two skylights specifically designed to bounce light down into the spaces below.
A sunroom extension benefits from direct southern exposure through a restored bay window and new skylight.
The master bathroom is illuminated by the interior light well which spans 2 stories up to the roof.
In addition to their taste for modern architecture, the owners are inclined toward architecture that is also environmentally friendly. To help reduce the carbon footprint, a new green roof was installed at the extension in addition to a 4.5 kW solar PV array at the main roof. This system reduces the electrical load by up to 80% over the course of the year.
Photos: Francis Dzikowski
Water is a constant presence throughout this Washington Park Hilltop Residence by Stuart Silk Architects, set on a bluff in Seattle overlooking Lake Washington. Views of the vast lake, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades dictated the orientation and transparency of the elevation facing the water. A plan then evolved to integrate water features into the home, to be experienced from inside and out.
An unequal-sided “H” plan places the entry, living and dining areas in a central pavilion, while flanking wings contain the family’s private rooms. The passages to the wings are compressed between gently moving water courses inspired by the canals of Suzhou and Venice. These serve not only as ever-present reminders of the beauty of water, but also the nature of passage through life as one navigates across the home’s interior and exterior spaces. The alignment of the canals also focuses the building’s orientation toward the views.
The mood of the house is quietly contemporary. The clients sought a quality of architecture that would outlive passing trends. They were also vitally concerned with the home’s sustainability; the architects incorporated many options that contribute to the projects durability and efficiency. Some examples include a green roof, gray water collection system, and solar panels for water heating.
Though the building is geometrically simple, it offers a rich juxtaposition of solidity, transparency, and liquid movement.
Photos: Rob Perry Photography
Casa del Agua is a single family home where water serves as the main design element, designed by a.a.a Almazán y Arquitectos Asociados, situated in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Water is used as inspiration for the design of this home and through the use of well-defined volumes are habitable spaces, with high ceilings and intermediate courtyards, which through ventilation and lighting of walkways, will be achieved, effects of light and spaciousness to the interior, making the most of natural light. Sustainable features were also used in this project to respond to the needs of the client, giving comfort, savings and efficiency of resources.
With finishes of marble, wood and white walls, manage to make spaces of great comfort, simplicity and elegance. Each space has a luminous atmosphere that emphasizes and integrates the furniture, that harmonizes with the various finishes.
The house is uprooted in an area of 22,970 (2,134 square meters), with 16,146 square feet (1,500 square meters) of constructed area and has 11,593 square feet (1,077 square meters) of garden, which create a pleasant environment, together with the use of water, they make different views by integrating the exterior with the interior.
With excellent use of space, the house is distributed on two levels and a basement. In the first level, a wooden deck nearly 17 meters long, surrounded by water, a fountain and a planter, which distributed the passage to different spaces, we find: A guest bedroom with bathroom and terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, later, the lobby with the guest bathroom, study, dining room, illuminated by a large window that overlooks a terrace breakfast area overlooking the rear garden, the room, overlooking the swimming pool located in the back of the house, a kitchen and a front room surrounded by indoor gardens that offer plenty of space.
The second level has private spaces divided into three areas, one is the master bedroom overlooking the rear garden. Another is home to a study, family room and a bedroom with bathroom, divided by two large voids and in the third, three bedrooms with terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, located at the main entrance.
Finally a basement divided into two areas, one consisting of a ballroom and champagne service, guest bathroom, cinema room, covered terrace and cellar for garden furniture. In the other, the area of services, consisting of laundry, chauffeurs, wine accessories and diving equipment, hydro-pneumatic room, bath service garden, cistern of 37 m3 and an electrical substation.
Photos: Jorge Moreno
Walnut Woods Residence is a beautiful log home designed by John Senhauser Architects, situated on a steeply sloped wooded site in Cincinnati, Ohio. The residence was conceived as a 24 ft x 150 ft linear bar rising into the trees. Positioned according to subdivision covenants, the structure bridges 40 feet across an existing intermittent creek, thereby preserving natural drainage patterns and habitat. An 80 feet long ‘grand terrace’ and double-height window wall were incised into the linear bar. The window wall not only provides continual connection to the surrounding woods, but also enables indirect daylight to penetrate the interior. In addition to preserving existing drainage patterns and providing natural daylight, additional sustainable features include a grass roof, wood flooring locally milled using walnut trees cleared from the site during construction, and a minimal building footprint.
Walnut Woods Studio
When the new owner of this existing log residence contacted us about designing a detached ceramics and jewelry-making studio, we knew this would be both challenging and exciting. The 155 foot long house spans 45 feet across an intermittent creek on a steeply sloping, heavily wooded site.
Our strategy was to inseparably link the house, studio and site to one another, minimizing disruption of the woods (only one tree was relocated for construction). Using the radius of the porte cochere drive, the studio breaches the stone wall and perches itself on four columns. The studio roof is then pitched parallel to the house’s roof, matching the slope. A slot, carved from the studio enclosure, allows a steel stair to drop below the drive/terrace entry to connect with the lower level of the house. Deep overhangs protect the terrace, permitting the studio to expand onto the terrace (and into the woods) through the folding window wall.
Photos: Eric Williams, Scott Hisey
Thistle Hill Farm is a single family sustainable home designed by Northworks Architects, located upon a 200-acre farm of rolling terrain in Western Wisconsin. This contemporary 4,500 square foot home (418 square meters) with 3 bedrooms plus bunk room and 3½ bathrooms is a second residence for a Chicago-area family. The property implements today’s advanced technology within a historic farm setting. The farm had been in the family for more than 25 years, and they had forged a strong connection to the property. The old barn, near the top of one of the rolling hills, was in a bad state of disrepair; they had it carefully disassembled in a way that they could reuse the materials in the future. The architects sited the new house just above where the old barn had stood, incorporating the remains of its limestone foundation walls around the pool. Meanwhile, the family made plans to use as much of the old structure as possible for future projects and in some of their furniture.
The arrangement of volumes, detailing of forms and selection of materials provide a weekend retreat that reflects the agrarian styles of the surrounding area. The materials emulate those of barns in the surrounding countryside, with red cedar siding and a tin-coated copper roof that will develop a patina over time. The site has a natural slope, however the architects cleverly designed the lower level to be above-grade on all sides. The lower level contains two guest suites and a large bunk room; guests who come out to the farm usually stay overnight. The bridge leads to a recessed ground-level entryway that in turn leads into the dining area.
Open floor plans and expansive views allow a free-flowing living experience connected to the natural environment. The large hearth is crafted from local limestone, as was the original barn’s foundation. The hearth is two-sided; the other side serves the large front porch. Doors on either side slide into pockets hidden by the fireplace surround, inviting in the summer breezes. The rhythm of the trusses is the same from indoors to out, but they change from Douglas fir inside to steel outside.
The homeowners found the large sign at a salvage place (look closely at the upper-right corner of this photograph and you’ll see the other half). The sign halves silde along barn door tracks and serve not only as art but also as doors between the bridge and the master suite.
Two large ceiling fans provide plenty of cool air. The home is powered by a field of solar panels just southwest of the house. The panels generate energy to power the home and pool equipment and send leftover power back to the grid. The construction is timber frame with structural integrated panels (SIPs) at the roof. The original barn’s rustic purlin and rafter roof construction inspired the structural system, but the new trusses have a cleaner, contemporary look. The wood for the ceilings, soffits and trim is Douglas fir with a clear coat.
The doors on the right lead to the bridge. The barn structure lends itself to a wide-open floor plan, perfect for large gatherings and enjoying the views. The floors throughout are heart pine, salvaged from river-bottom trees. The homeowners saved what they could from the original barn for furniture projects, including the dining table, which a friend made for them. The homeowner made the light fixture himself from metal pipes.
Simple Tolix stools provide perches for plenty of folks to gather around the large island. The large island’s top is butcher block; both the owners are big cooks and enjoy spending time in the kitchen. The rest of the countertops are highly compressed recycled paper.
One of the home’s most contemporary elements is the staircase, but it still nods to the agricultural architectural vocabulary. The stairs are laminated wood and cantilever off a bracket bolted through to a timber stringer beam. The metal railing brings back the traditional farm feeling; its grids were inspired by the kind of fencing one might see around a pig pen.
The top level contains the master suite and this office loft. A patchwork cowhide rug is modern yet references a dairy farm, and plays off the grids on the railings.
The doors lead to a garage built into the hillside and with a garden on top. The outbuildings in the distance are original to the property; you can see some of the crops growing in the distance.
The old barn’s original limestone foundation walls form a terrace between the pool and the house. The pool surround is ipe, a durable and low-maintenance wood.
Photos: Courtesy of Northworks Architects and Planners
Pima Canyon Residence is a spectacular modern interior renovation project that was carried out by John Senhauser Architects, situated in Tucson, Arizona. The client had initially asked the architects to assist them in selecting materials and designing a guest bath for their new home. Yet their scope of work “progressively expanded into interior architecture and detailing, including the kitchen, baths, fireplaces, stair, custom millwork, doors, guardrails, and lighting for the residence – essentially everything except the furniture. The home is loosely defined by a series of thick, parallel walls supporting planar roof elements floating above the desert floor.”
From the architects: Our approach was to not only reinforce the general intentions of the architecture but to more clearly articulate its meaning. We began by adopting a limited palette of desert neutrals, providing continuity to the uniquely differentiated spaces. Much of the detailing shares a common vocabulary, while numerous objects (such as the elements of the master bath – each operating on their own terms) coalesce comfortably in the rich compositional language.
Photos: William Lesch
Little Venice is a recently completed house extension by DOS Architects in the very desirable Little Venice neighborhood of West London, England, United Kingdom. The architecturally sensitive building was a Grade II-listed Victorian semi-detached house. The architects brief was “to inject a breath of fresh air into the property while keeping some of the splendid features and character with which our client had fallen in love when first viewing the property,” states the architects.
From the architects: This led us to focus our intervention on the lower ground floor, where most of the original features had already been removed by the previous owners. In order to create a more family-friendly space on the lower ground floor, we chose to free up some of the internal partitions and add a rear extension to draw more natural light into the property. The extension, consisting of a high-tech stainless steel frame with glass inserts, became a bold addition to the house that, we believe, further enhances the beauty of both architectures by virtue of their contrasting nature.
Photos: Courtesy of DOS Architects
Holland Park Avenue is a beautiful four-story Georgian house that has been updated by DOS Architects in London, England, United Kingdom. At the request of the client, this Grade II listed home was in need of modern updates while at the same time keeping its original quirks while creating a perfect family home – with all the latest creature comforts – which would simultaneously form the ideal backdrop for a truly spectacular art collection. This 5,382 square feet (500 square meters) masterpiece was originally built by a renowned artist, where natural light was at the heart of the construction. “Our aim was to perfectly complement this with cleverly installed and complimentary artificial lighting throughout,” states the architects.
Because the facade is untouchable, we set about altering the interior ceiling heights and updating the lay-out and technology throughout. On the top floor, the artist’s studio has been transformed into a spectacular master bedroom, featuring the double-height vaulted windows onto the garden below. Our aim was to complement the fantastic art and our client’s decor, and judging from the attention this property has since received in the press, we think we did just that.
Photos: Courtesy of DOS Architects