ALD House is a contemporary weekend retreat designed by Juan Carlos Baumgartner from architecture studio SPACE, located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The home is projected on a land of little over 1,000 square meters and it is articulated in two main volumes: a prism into which another rectangular wooden prism is embedded.
Description from the architect: Since the very beginning, the purpose of this project was clear: to create a house in which a balance between modernity and coziness was struck. Therefore, we chose to use few materials in order to achieve a quick reading of the volumes.
The first prism consists of a black metal structure that ends on an exposed concrete staple. The two fronts of this volume are made of glass, which helps create a transparency to the interior area and gives a feeling of permanently being in touch with nature.
The second volume is a cantilevered wooden cube, under which a terrace is generated. Requirements for the design of this project included a swimming pool, and we fulfilled them by creating one and covering it with black venetian glass tiles. In this way, the swimming pool was turned into a water mirror that reflects the house.
For this project, we decided to integrate art into architecture so that the selected works became a part of the design instead of functioning as mere decorative items. With this principle in mind, we commissioned a hyper-realistic 2 x 6 m painting of a Porsche 78; which was placed in a double-height space. In addition to the painting, Juan Carlos Baumgartner designed a mural that works both as the visual end of the swimming pool and as the vestibule of the house entrance.
The house has four bedrooms, a double-height living room and an open plan kitchen that is integrated into the space. In the living area, a modern cast glass sphere chandelier hangs from the ceiling. By using few but carefully selected materials, we created delightful areas that met our clients’ expectations.
As in all the projects of SPACE, we followed sustainable design guidelines when designing Casa ALD. We used recycled content materials low in VOC levels and wood from certified forests. Furthermore, the lighting is almost entirely LED-based.
Photos: Luis Gordoa
Wave House is a contemporary weekend beach house retreat that was designed by Mark Dziewulski Architect, situated in beautiful Malibu Beach, California. The form of the 3,200 square foot house takes its inspiration from its context: the beach and waves.
Description from the architects: It is literally cantilevered over the surf, which passes beneath it at high tide. It has an exceptional location as it positioned at the end of a long open stretch of beach and has views on three sides. Being the end house also makes it highly visible to the 50,000 cars that pass each day along the Pacific Coast Highway, a scenic road that hugs the coastline at this point. The main spaces open up towards the surf with a wall of glass and extensive decks, which have fire pits. This indoor/outdoor relationship was very important to the client. The compact plan was carefully designed to provide views form all the main rooms, with large open spaces and maximum flexibility for entertaining. This is foremost a weekend getaway house.
The design evokes memories of yachts, bathing machines and cranes, reflecting its program as a form raised up and hanging over the sea. It appears almost machine-like — as though the floors were lifted and hoisted over the waves. The angled structure for the house is held back from the beach side to allow fully glazed facades overlooking the sea. This diagonal also reinforces the drama of the cantilever and creates a tension in the composition, hovering over the surf. It is an unusual site as it the end house along a row of adjacent homes and therefore has three visible facades. It was very important that the house was visually activated on all sides, while being more private and sheltering on the street side. The curves of the windows mirror the movement of the sea, which they literally reflect.
It was built on the footings of an existing house so we didn’t need to touch beach or disturb the natural environment. It was possible to recycle framing and structure and transform them into something entirely new without having to demolish and rebuild — saving a lot of landfill.
Photos: Courtesy of Mark Dziewulski Architect
Ballantrae Court is a contemporary single family residence just recently completed by KZ Architecture, located in a golf community in South Florida. Comprised of 10,000 square feet of living space, this stunning home showcases unique rooflines, accented with warm wood and plenty of glass to emit natural light.
From the architects: The project involved a large program that would yield a home on a limited and restricted site. The design strategy involved deconstructing the volume into pavilions that could generate a dialogue between built form and landscape and create intimate connections between the golf course and the living spaces.
This Residence was developed as a home in a golf community in South Florida. The program specified ample guest accommodations for the clients’ extended family and friends.
The aesthetic of the project developed in response to the client’s wish for a modern house, and the community’s requirements for sloped roofs. The zoning manual stipulated for a minimum 6/12 roof slope. However, the design team was successful in obtaining a variance to adjust the slope to a 3/12 ratio for portions of the roof.
The house consists of a main volume, capped with a gable roof at the required slope and four shed roof legs at the lesser slope that define the house and frame the outdoor spaces in the front and the rear of the property. In the front, these elements materialize as an inviting entry porch on one side, and help transform what would be an otherwise massive three car garage on the other.
In the rear, the volumes thrust into the golf course, emphasizing the desired interaction between the landscape and the architecture. The home strives to embrace Florida living and be respectful of its context.
The choice of materials which include zinc for the roof and “C” structures, natural coral keystone for walls and wood for ceilings and decks, reflect the vernacular building traditions of the area. The planes and volumes clad in these three materials, weave in and out of the structure defining the architecture throughout.
Photos: Robin Hill
Birch Residence is a two story modern pad designed by Griffin Enright Architects, located on a flat, semi-urban site in the design district of Los Angeles, California. The entire house opens and a pool extends the geometry of the curved skylight. The elegantly designed home is comprised of 4,600 square feet of living space showcasing stunning vistas to the city and landscape beyond.
According to the architect, “the residence is compact, yet designed to create a sense of expanded volume. A double story central volume curves through the house, creating extended views and maximizing daylight from the skylight and sunshade above. A sculptural stair punctuates the sinuous movement of the house, while a glass bridge reconnects the two wings of the upstairs. An elegant palette of contrasting materials contributes to the expansive feeling of this home. The backyard has a courtyard feel and a curved pool echoes the form of the central volume drawing attention through the house.”
See more projects from Griffin Enright Architects
The pool extends the lines of the house and skylight beyond.
The master bedroom deck cantilevers over an outdoor room.
The master bedroom deck extends the space of the the room.
A stepped path leads to an entry into an open hall.
The curved skylight brings natural light to the center of the home.
The stair is sculpted to create varied spaces around it.
The Living room orients itself around a fireplace that is slotted into a window.
The open kitchen has an onyx counter on the island that is lit from behind at night.
The curve of the hallway creates a dynamic living room space.
A view from the landing seeing into the backyard.
Natural light animates the space.
The pool comes into the house.
The home extends vertically and horizontally.
The curved skylight follows the path of the sun.
The wood floor is carried up the wall to create an elegant master bedroom.
An expansive mirror brings the view of a Sycamore tree deep into the bathroom.
The pool extends into the backyard where it becomes a waterfall element.
The shade canopy lights up to compliment other ambient qualities of light incorporated into the project.
A concealed projector creates an elegant ambiance in this incredible living space.
Photos: Benny Chan Fotoworks & Art Gray
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
Glen Lake Tower is a sustainable retreat completed in 2011 by Balance Associates Architects, located high on a wooded hilltop above a lake in Michigan. The 1,400 square foot house is the result of an inspiring collaboration between architects, clients with a passion for architecture as well as their site, and a skilled local contractor.
Directed to create “a sustainable retreat that reflects the timeless beauty and simple comforts of the area,” the architects responded by raising the primary living space above the dense surrounding woods in order to gain light, air and views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan beyond. Two fin-like, metal-clad walls rise from the crown of the hill to support a 1400 sf three-story plywood box suspended a full story above grade.
As intricately detailed steel stairs climb the tower, they move from exterior to interior and from more enclosed to more open spaces, culminating in a breathtaking, glass-wrapped kitchen/living/dining space at the fourth level. Here, thirty feet above the ground, the clients enjoy views of the landscape they love, from either the birch-lined interior or expansive cantilevered decks.
Photos: Steve Keating
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