Designed for a pair of artists in Greenwich, Connecticut, this 10,000-square-foot “Art Barn” features a “green screen” that creates a living skin over the majority of the concrete-block structure. Designed by Robert Young Architects, the home is comprised of metal mesh planted with white wisteria vines, the screen supports greenery that overlaps windows, frames views of the lake and woodlands, and provides added thermal insulation. The building houses two large multipurpose galleries with 16-foot ceilings and polished concrete floors, and a chef’s commercial-grade kitchen. Several smaller-scaled, flexible rooms are used as ancillary studios, administrative offices, for sleeping, exercise and storage. A museum-sized elevator facilitates installation and removal of large-scale art pieces.
Peka Peka Beach House is a holiday home built by Parsonson Architects as an exploration in how to create a building of both a strong architectural character and economy situated on Pekapeka Beach, New Zealand. The architects used simple modular construction techniques combined with a very simple form. The 1,679 square foot (156 square meters) plan is a rectangle and is divided into three parts, the solid bedroom forms at each end support a floating roof over the living space in between. This layout allows the living room to face both east to the hills and west to the sea. It allows sun into the house throughout the day, for passive solar heating of the concrete slab and creates a sheltered outside space on the east side that still keeps a strong connection to the western sea views.
Photos: Simon Devitt
World-renowned architect Mickey Muennig created a remodel plan for this stunning contemporary home in Big Sur, California. Nestled on 10 acres, the 4,685 square foot property boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms and four fireplaces. This retreat is very private, situated at the end of the road on the ridge-line plateau which affords incredible mountain and ocean views and lots of rare level ground. The property also includes an original guest house with fireplace as well as an inactive well. Water is supplied by a community well.
This architecturally stunning ocean view property is listed for sale at $3,495,000, from here.
The property is located in the Wairau Valley, 10 minutes from Blenheim and close to the Wairau River, New Zealand as it snakes along the edge of the northern hills, a patterned rural landscape of farms, orchards and vineyards. The house has been designed by Parsonson Architects with a strong connection to the land spatially and materially. There is a sense of encampment, where different interlinked pavilions offer different areas of occupation and privacy or openness.
The spaces are housed beneath low sloping gable forms where boundaries are blurred between the land and building. Heavy lined concrete walls and structures feel part of the land and are used to define indoor and outdoor spaces. The gable roofs float over these to provide shelter and the comforts of home. The landscape is cultivated; lines of orchard trees and vines mark the land in regular patterns and the house responds with the lines of pergolas and posts ready for planting to integrate the house with the land further still.
Photos: Paul McCredie
This two-story modern residence is situated on a wooded lot in Oakville, Ontario, Canada designed by architect Guido Costantino. This modern home is comprised of a monochromatic palate of stucco, concrete, brick, anodized siding and a mix of opaque and transparent glass.
The street-facing front of the residence limits views into the home, providing privacy through the use of frosted glass and an interior large two and a half story concrete wall. In contrast, the back exterior unpeels to the outside, providing expansive views onto the bucolic lot and allowing light to flood into the space.
Designed for a young family, who wanted a contemporary home where everyday life is not compartmentalized to specific spaces, the house plan flows freely, allowing areas to bleed into each other harmoniously. The challenge was to address the needs of the family, while maintaining the desire for an open plan. The L-shaped floor plan allows all spaces to receive maximum light, unobstructed views onto the wooded lot and into other areas of the house, while still providing private functional spaces.
Internally, the concrete floor steps down into the living space, where the steps wrap and fold to create a ledge for the hearth, which is anchored to a large 2 1/2 story unpolished concrete wall. The concrete wall slices through all floors vertically, as well as providing an anchor for the white metal skeleton stair.
Rather than being defined by walls, the spaces are nuanced through small level and/or material changes, such as a step-down into the living area or a shift from concrete to wood floor. The palate is restrained allowing for no visual breaks in keeping with the free-flowing space.
At the front of the house, large shifted concrete pads welcome you into the residence, transitioning internally into a polished concrete floor, which then slips back out to the exterior to form a long narrow concrete pool. The concrete defines circulation, leading you into the house and back out, but also internally acting as a threshold between the kitchen / dining room and the sunken living space.
Photos: Peter A. Sellar – Photographer
The Wheeler Residence was built for a couple in their 30s with three small children in Menlo Park, California. Designed by William Duff Architects this new house makes use of an existing foundation to create dramatic living spaces that flow into the landscape. The original home and an adjacent guest cottage totaled 2,500 square feet but they felt it was not large enough for the five of them. Wheeler planned a similar but larger floor plan of 5,000 square feet with more indoor-outdoor areas, similar to the ones he grew up with in Colorado. It was also a way for the family to have a modernist space with the times, visually warm and eco-friendly with solar radiant heating, cross ventilation and recycled materials. Wheeler’s son built a Lego model of what they wanted and most of it ended up in the final plan.
The basic plan shared a lot of the features with the former house and guest house that were on the lot, but with a central family room that has foldaway corner doors which open to the back garden to connect the two wings. The two houses were demolished, with their foundations saved and additional materials salvaged to incorporate into the new building or used as landscape material. Old chimney bricks were used for the paving pattern around a new pool and guest pavilion. The new foundation and the stained concrete floors use fly-ash, which is a recycled product. Recycled denim in the walls and low-VOC paints were also used. Flat roofs at varying heights, wide overhangs, clerestory windows and interplay of wood and stucco cladding mimic the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The modular configuration of the rooms and proportions of doors and windows are borrowed from Le Corbusier. All doors and windows are made of mahogany for a warm look and because it is a long-lasting material.
The material palette includes Cor-Ten steel, glossy prefinished Fin-Play panels and integrally colored stucco was used because they can be maintenance free.
The interior is a series of open spaces on each side of the central spine with varied ceiling heights giving the illusion of discrete rooms, and storage cabinets double as short walls to divide dining areas from living spaces, the kitchen and other public rooms.
The higher ceilings in the center also draw warm air upwards, dissipating it through operable clerestory windows.
The flat roofs hide the solar panels; one set is photovoltaic for electricity, another for heating water and the third to heat the 14-by-28-foot pool.
The basement of a building in Budapest, Hungary, spotted on Casa Vogue, has been transformed into an industrial loft occupying a living area of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters). With a certain bucolic air and many masculine touches the environment is well-distributed and integrated in an intimate yet dynamic and comfortable setting. The home has been decorated by stylist Beatrix Torma, the property draws attention for its architecture with its large windows on all side, which brings clarity to the interiors. The kitchen is attached to the living room on one side and on the other is a winery, dining room and library.
The environments are divided by the punctual distribution of furnishings. The existence of wood throughout the dwellings helps to soften the industrial tone. A mix of materials of aluminum, brass, copper, cement creates a dialogue with somewhat lighter materials of glass, wood ceiling, the cement wall in the dining room and bedroom and the black lacquer wall of arched windows where there is a fireplace.
Photos: Imre Barna
This rural home is nestled on an 80-acre agricultural site in California’s Central Coast wine region of Paso Robles. Paso Robles Residence is a 2,667 square foot weekend home that will eventually become the owner’s full-time residence, designed by San Francisco-based studio Aidlin Darling Design. The design directly responds to the wide diurnal temperature fluctuations of its arid climate. The architecture firm had to figure out how to create a building that cools itself naturally, even in 115-desgree temperatures. Masonry walls anchor the building to the earth and structure the primary living spaces, centering activity around a covered outdoor living room. The design integrates the use of thermal mass, night cooling, orientation, shading, deep overhangs, passive ventilation, photovoltaic electricity, solar hot water and radiant heat, thus helping to meet the clients’ goal of living in harmony with the local climate.
The home’s reliance on thermal mass, night cooling, passive solar orientation, shading, and natural ventilation enabled the clients to forgo an active cooling system.
A covered terrace with a fireplace links the home’s public wing with the pool area, facilitating outdoor dining throughout the year.
Sandblasted concrete block becomes both an interior and exterior finish material.
Strong axial relationships establish a connection to the site from every point inside the house.
Aidlin Darling Design used windows to promote cross-ventilation and to frame carefully chosen views.
Weathering steel picks up on the landscape’s darker hues.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
The Walden Residence is perched on a southern slope in Marin County, California with spectacular views to Mount Tamalpias, designed by House + House Architects. This new 3,500 square foot home gently embraces its site. To take advantage of the site’s limited flat area the two-story home is pushed into the hillside to provide a level entry garden/courtyard. A colored concrete walkway leads from the detached garage through the landscaped entry garden to the front door.
At the upper level the living, dining, kitchen, and master suite have wide expanses of glass to the mountain views, spilling onto decks with perforated steel railings. High ceilings with carefully placed skylights give definition to the large, open-plan living spaces, which flow together. Clerestory windows in the living room capture light and large glass doors provide access to the deck. The downstairs level comprises two children’s bedrooms, a guest bedroom, family room and study. Anigre cabinetry, granite counters, hand blown glass pendant lights and stainless steel appliances provide an elegant palette of materials. Floating glass vanities in the master bath with the anigre wood compliment the subdued tones of the soft slate flooring. Thickened charcoal stucco walls frame the front door, marking portals to the lush courtyard which, when illuminated in the evening, offers a comforting glow to balance the darkness of the mountainside at night.
Tightly spaced cedar siding that has been stained natural and integrally colored charcoal stucco form distinctive elements that layer against one another in contrasting textures and colors. Poetic harmony with the land invites the sun in winter and cool breezes in summer. Clear cedar siding contrasts charcoal gray plaster, both crisp with form, detailed in aluminum reveals. Extruded windows break the box, reaching toward breathtaking views of windswept hillsides and sculpted fields of golden native grasses.
Varying ceiling heights layer upon one another over spaces that are open yet separated by cabinetry or fireplace. Carefully placed skylights choreograph the sun, changing the play of light through the day and the seasons.
Luscious concrete floors blend crisp with soft, under-laying a palette of sensuous materials.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
This highly personal and stylish home in Stockholm, Sweden features raw concrete, industrial lights, inherited and flea market bargain details. The apartment is situated in a 60 year old building that was completely renovated before occupancy. Owner, photographer and interior designer Benedikte Ugland lives in this 915 square foot (85 square meters) residence with his two daughters. The home is personally decorated with lovely details such as raw concrete, Plexiglas furniture, old and new furnishings, industrial lighting and black plank wood flooring.
Ikea cabinetry (refaced and stained black) contrasts with the beveled white subway tile. Faucet and sink from Ikea.
A ceiling fixture made from single bulb sockets wrapped around a rod commissioned from a blacksmith and suspended from the ceiling (different sized light bulbs add to the visual appeal).
Built in bookcase around the window for maximum natural light.
Industrial feel in the bathroom with raw concrete, brass and Moroccan tiles.
Beautiful Moroccan floor in the shower area. Brass fittings.
Lovely mix of old and new furniture in the children’s room. Steel shelves, granite.
Photos: Ana Kern for Skona Hem.