Skidmore Passivhaus merges contemporary design with the highest level of energy efficiency, designed by In Situ Architecture, located in an existing neighborhood or post-war houses in Portland, Oregon.
From the architect: Comprised of 1,956 square feet of gross living space, the residence provides a true live / work condition. Two separate buildings address the program requirements while creating a unique indoor / outdoor space between.
High levels of insulation, extremely airtight construction (tested at .32ach50), high performing triple glazed european windows, and a super-efficient heat recovery ventilator allow the structure to meet the stringent requirements of the German Passivhaus standard.
Generous amounts of south facing glazing (.5 shgc) maximize the solar gains for most of the year, while motorized exterior aluminum shades can be lowered to block unwanted summer heat gain resulting in extremely comfortable temperatures year round.
An extensive green roof helps manage all stormwater on site, while a roof mounted 4.32 kW PV array provides enough electricity to result in a near net zero and truly sustainable building.
Photos: Courtesy of In Situ Architecture
Orchard Way is a stylish family home designed by McLeod Bovell Modern Houses in collaboration with McKinney York Architects, sited in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Completed in the summer of 2011, this 7,300 square foot home is nestled on a very spacious and wooded lot of 12,000 square feet.
The materials used in this residential project includes architectural concrete, Limestone, Afrormosia hardwood, composite panel.
A cross-pitched site alignment allows the house to pivot on the landscape, connecting to grade on all levels and maximizing relationships to the outside. A deep foreground, high placement, and expansive, protected views west and south create a rare opportunity for open interiors and broad ocean views that still offer a sense of privacy in a house that operates “in-the-round”.
Photos: Courtesy of McLeod Bovell Modern Houses
4 Springs Lane is a contemporary custom home designed by Robert M. Gurney Architect, sited on 24 acres of rolling topography, open fields and woodlands in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Extensive site investigation, including erecting scaffolding at various locations, resulted in the placement of the house high on one of the hills, overlooking a meadow at the base of woodlands.
From the architect: The house is organized as a series of volumes, arranged linearly and positioned to optimize distant views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The structure itself becomes a threshold and defines a more intimate, manicured outdoor environment between the house and the edge of the forest. The linear organization allows the majority of spaces to maintain mountain views while providing accessibility to a terrace with the swimming pool and the manicured area. The two-story living / dining space has floor-to-ceiling glass at each end, providing a lens through which to view the mountains from the terrace.
The rigorous, refined and geometric forms of the building are designed in sharp contrast to the undulating, natural landscape. The contrast is intended to magnify the beauty of the site while allowing the house to provide a framework to view the landscape. These views become the orienting device. Simple volumes comprised of glass, wood, stone and fiber cement panels are combined to render a more complex composition while garnering a serene unity.
Interior spaces are active and intricate, tranquil and minimal. With vistas in all directions, large expanses of glass allow the landscape views to provide the primary sensory experience.
A geothermal HVAC system, energy efficient appliances, wall and ceiling infrastructure with maximum insulation, a rain-screen cladding system, extensive daylighting and solar-sensored shades are employed with the expectation of reducing fossil fuel consumption. Large operable windows and doors are placed to provide natural ventilation.
This house is pragmatic and pristine. Proportion, texture and light organize and animate the project. The composition is simultaneously complex and distilled. Most importantly, the house provides a framework to experience an inherently beautiful landscape.
Photos: Maxwell MacKenzie
House Little Venice is a matt black zinc and glass contemporary building attached to a former coach house designed by James Wells Architects, located in Little Venice, London. Bounded by secret walled gardens, this new residential building replaces a derelict warehouse that had once been a joinery shop for an antique furniture company. The interior design of the new home acknowledges the industrial heritage of the site with bespoke fixtures and unusual finishes, employing the best of British craftsmanship.
From the architect: The west garden is accessed through French windows from the coach house and is planted in the Victorian Romantic style with an auricula theatre. The east garden is accessed via a hydraulic glass panel and responds to the modernist lines of the new building with structured planting, floating levels, steel water features and specially designed concrete furniture. The garden is thus made to feel like an external room – an extension of the main living space.
A discreet door in a side wall off a quiet side street provides the entrance to this extraordinary one bedroom house. An unassuming Victorian coach house built of London stock brick with exposed timber trusses has been retained and restored to provide a bedroom suite while the rest of the house has been newly built. The entire project took eighteen months to complete due to structural requirements as well as the bespoke nature of the details, one-off fixtures and finishes.
To the rear is a surprising, modern space bathed in natural light from a hydraulic pivoting wall of glass and a large skylight. The structure and mechanics are exposed and steelwork is left unfinished; polished concrete combines with black brickwork to create a post-industrial setting. The structural glass floor allows natural light and a visual link to an underground library and screening room below.
In the coach house the sleeping quarters are set in a theatrical dark space with an Alice in Wonderland play on scale. Dramatic double height wall panelling, exposed timber trusses, reclaimed parquet floors from the demolished warehouse and an oversized roaring fireplace are lit by a vast 1960s chandelier of cast yellow and white glass. Exposed engineered winches and cable mechanisms raise a bespoke metal and glass lantern and a plasma screen.
A deliberate duality contrasts the moods of the private and public areas. A massive pivoting brick wall finished in engineering brickwork links these two contrasting worlds.
The underground library and screening room showcases a chestnut leather conversation pit is sunk into the polished concrete floor embraced by the soft glow from the surrounding shelves of books and artifacts.
Photos: Courtesy of James Wells Architects
Maison V is a major renovation project including an annex pavilion with a swimming pool by Olivier Chabaud Architecte, located in the city of Villennes-sur-Seine, France. Additional additions to the residence includes new furnishings and interior design, a gym, and major overhaul to the gardens. The architect respected the origin of the building with a global mission.
The heavy restructuring allowed a reconquest of the existing, to adapt this old building to contemporary lifestyles. Flow management, light, link to the garden, but also intimate relationship between spaces, as all kitchen / lounge / TV room, organized around the glazed staircase and matching sliding doors.
The annex pavilion houses the gym whose canopy can cover a portion of the heated pool for winter use.
The garden ends with a slight side Seine accommodation, a port terrace shack on false metalling and the pontoon.
Kitchen, storage, furniture, office, billiards, occasional furniture, consistency of the house is given by the volume management, parts distribution, distilled by the measured punctuation design.
In this typical part of the Anglo-Norman houses, the intervention was punctuated by the careful selection of materials and finishes.
Burgundy stone confronts Indian stone, oak kitchen with tiles ‘underground’ and Zimbaoué black marble, the interior woodwork painted steel meets the bancheur of frames.
The bathrooms, with varied identity, Tadelakt varnish wooden lath set on black concrete tiles. The gym, overlooking the pool gray concrete, is also in smoothed gray concrete.
Mixtures subtly give the residence a contemporary feel, yet distilled in this context classic belonging.
Photos: Courtesy of Olivier Chabaud
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