The Brick Kiln House is located in a small village Munavali, proximal to Alibaug, a favorite getaway, for affluent Bombay citizens as a place to build their dream country home. Designed by SPASM Design Architects, the house was built on three acres covered partly by a grove of Tamarind and Mango trees, with the odd, Champa, Vad tree. Part of the plot was four feet lower and was an unkempt paddy field. The front of the property is a not so busy asphalt road. When driving around the Raigad district, one often chances to see local brick stacks being baked on the green lots that surround them – some remain and are also abandoned. These form a peculiar feature of the landscape in Maharashtra. The architects wondered what it would be like to hollow out and inhabit this almost primitive mastaba like forms.
Their interest lay in using this image as a genesis of the house. Further conception, was informed by site features like prominent Tamarind trees and orientation, aspect, wind and rain direction. Long stretches of the two main wings of the 8,934 (830 square meters) house, sit at right-angles to each other and about a curious tree which has grown at a leaning angle. Every room is cut on two sides with openings ,supporting easy cross ventilation and ingress of just the right about of light…..DESI (country) houses have peculiarly dark interiors offering respite from the sun, scorched outdoors.
Attached facilities, allow for an intimate interface with the outdoors, in marked opposition to urban life, here you wouldn’t need a book when you sit on the pot. The sequencing of the rooms is frugal, and in series as a farm building, you must walk outdoors to change rooms. The living space has a curious shed-like volume, where the materials of the house come together rather loosely. Insinuating incompleteness and creating a sense of being immersed in the vegetation around.
The body of the house hides under tree canopies like a gator, at the edge of a river bank. The choice of BRICK was based on color, strength, finish–blemishes of a hand-made unit were key to the overall expression. The red earth brick does not attempt to be precise, neither does it try to create patterns or jaalis as commonly seen in Indian architecture, the brick is what it is, at rest–a STACK, its mass concealing and revealing life within it. The sheer thickness–mass of the brick, keeps the interior spaces comfortably cool.
Experience of occupation takes precedence over formal gestures. Sun, rain and wind freely enter the house and will mark it over the years, the stacks will gradually get covered with luminescent moss, and nature will fight its way back. Living in a country home is about witnessing this war. The pool, takes form from the shadow of the trees on the earth below, a pattern noticed on an especially hot afternoon. In such regions water automatically becomes a source of life, getting engulfed by foliage.
Photos: Sebastian Zachariah
The OZ Residence in Silicon Valley, California, designed by Swatt | Miers Architects captures the essence of casual California living with open planning, rich natural materials, and strong visual connection to beautiful gardens designed by landscape architect Ron Herman. The owners, a young couple with two young children, wanted their home to have a casual, barefoot feel, like a vacation destination. Their 2.8 acre site, with gentle slopes to the south and mature landscaping on all sides was the perfect setting to create a home that would fully engage the beautiful landscape. The 10,000 square foot home is organized into a ‘L’ shaped plan with 2 wings joined at a two-story great room. Sheathed in mahogany boards and fully glazed on two sides, this beautiful volume pierced by a floating glass bridge both connects and separates the family and sleeping wings on either side.
The north side includes a motor court, adjacent to an entry courtyard of rectangular stepping- stones over a shallow reflecting pool.
With ceilings and two walls of Honduran mahogany, and two walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, this space recalls the indoor-outdoor lobbies of grand resort hotels in the South Pacific.
The east wing includes the kitchen and family room on the ground floor, with children’s bedrooms located on the upper level. The south wing consists of an office, media room, and guest suite at the lower level, with the master suite located on the second floor. Connecting the two wings is a living / dining ‘great room’, fully glazed on the north and south sides.
A giant heritage oak tree, centered on the main terrace opposite the living room, has been preserved as a special focus, viewed from the entry and main living spaces.
Accessed by glass doors from the living and dining areas, the media room, and the kitchen and family rooms, the south side of the house has been designed for family living, with generous stepped terraces, lawn play areas, a barbeque patio, and a swimming pool.
Photos: Tim Griffith
This incredible conversion of an 1860′s Venetian Gothic style water tower by Arc Restoration encompasses five bedrooms, each with a different theme, two reception rooms, one with panoramic views of London and an eat-in, contemporary designed kitchen. The tower has an extension, nick named The Cube which houses the kitchen and reception room, as well as providing roof space for a fabulous terrace with skyline views. The Prospect Room at the top of the tower, in what was the original water tank, is the crowning glory of this monumental conversion comprised of 4,483 square feet (416 square meters). The four bathrooms, each with a personality of its own, have views and smart glass windows to switch between clear and opaque glass to ensure no view is unappreciated while privacy is retained when required. The property also features excellent security, a gym, lift, cellar and a garage, all of which are added benefits. Excellent attention to detail in the entire property, which was once owned by Charlie Chaplin, has been carefully considered.
Listed for sale at $7,393,375.00, from here.
The contemporary Residence in Kifisia has been designed for a family of four by N. Koukourakis & Associates in the suburb of Kifisia, in Athens, Greece. The home is comprised of 3,767 square feet (350 square meters) of living space, constructed on a small, almost level square plot. The concept of the designed was focused on establishing additional open air spaces to create a pleasant habitat on the small plot. The small stone mass in the entryway separates the public spaces from the private spaces to ensure privacy.
The open ground floor plan encompasses the foyer, sitting room, rest room, dining room and kitchen, which through large interior and exterior openings utilize all natural light to the largest extent, while at the same time they appear to complement the outdoor / open spaces since they are directly connected. The double height opening in the living room visually connects the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spaces of the residence. On the first floor, the living room, office and children’s bedrooms all have balconies without railings and transparent glass for maximization of the view. On the second floor the master bedroom has infinite views and a vast veranda. The basement comprises of additional secondary ‘functional rooms’ as well as the guest room.
The materials used for the exterior facade constitute the components used in the internal spaces. Coffee-grey coating and wood in a monochromatic dialogue define the overall structure of this building. The use of wood in the external spaces, the ground floor and the balconies doubles and visually connects the spaces of the residence.
The furniture follows the simple and minimal theme of the building’s spaces, enhancing the clean design lines and light colors of the structure as well as the primary function of light and the comfort of the spaces.
The shell of the house is constructed using a facade insulation system; the aluminum casings have thermal-break system and high spec double energy glass panels. Heating is provided through the floor while there is also a central air conditioning system. It is constructed in accordance with the specifications of a smart home where all operations including lighting, the movement of shutters, the alarm system, video surveillance cameras, multi-room sound system and air conditioning are all controlled by a centralized system.
This stunning contemporary detached house has been designed by Taller Héctor Barroso in 2009 in Mexico City, Mexico. Spread out over two levels, this single family home is comprised of 6,404 square feet (595 square meters) of living space. The landscaping and the beautiful exterior facade have been meticulously blended with some clever details. The home is a refreshing project with more to the interior than just furnishings and decorations such as great use of textures and materials, lighting, usage of space and attention to detail.
Photos: Courtesy of Taller Héctor Barroso
De Wet 34 is a breathtaking contemporary residence on the slopes of Lions Head, overlooking the Atlantic coastline in Cape Town, South Africa designed by SAOTA Architects. Natural finishes combine with bold simple forms to create a contemporary interpretation of Cape vernacular. The interiors of this spectacular home have been designed by Antoni Associates and OKHA Interiors.
Photos: Courtesy of SAOTA Architects
Prime Nature Residence has been designed by the Department of Architecture in Samutprakarn, Thailand. The owner’s brief for his residence seems at first rather simple – his bedroom on the ground floor, another bedroom for his mother and sister on the second floor, a large interior living space, and an outdoor terrace for the mother who enjoys outdoor leisure. However, a great challenge comes with the site location. The plot is situated at a busy 3-street intersection in an up-scale residential estate that forbids the use of any kinds of fences. This constraint poses serious questions on privacy of the residents living on ground level as well as the problem of trespassing car headlights at night.
In order to cope with the site limitations, a conventional linear fence is broken into series of smaller vertical planes. These planes are projected onto a grid at varying distances from the house thus blocking out intruding views and simultaneously permitting ventilation into the outdoor area. The planes continue horizontally above the entire terrace creating a well-defined semi-outdoor living space.
The planes are made from two materials: metal lattice screens and sheer canvas panels which both allow partial vision from looking through them. Lattice panels and swaying trees cast delicate and moving shadow patterns on terrace floor, building elevations and canvas planes. A large shallow pond further adds intricacy of reflective shadow to the scene.
At night, periphery trees catch trespassing car headlights and cast their shadows on deliberately-placed canvas planes. The shadow images appearing on series of canvases fade in and out and move from one side to another depending on direction and speed of passing vehicles, reminding us of some black and white animations on movie screens.
What resulted from this are an al fresco space that is in constant flux during days and nights – a space where its qualities are defined autonomously by external forces; the wind, the sunlight, and the car lights.
The 5,166 square foot (480 square meters) project welcomes the constraints of site and program as a framework to which molds the Shadow House into a living place filled with playful and imaginative shadow and reflection, and into architecture unique for its location and for its owner.
Photographs: Wison Tungthunya
Vidalta Apartment was designed by design studio Kababie Architects in Mexico City, Mexico, completed in 2012. The interior of the 4,843 square foot (450 square meters) home was generated with a full atmosphere that describes perfectly the lifestyle of the family who lives in it. One of the major challenges was the selection of furniture and accessories that, in combination with the finishes and the color palette, shaped each one of the different ambiances.
The living and dining room area is flanked by large windows on one side and the hallway leading to all areas of the apartment on the other. To increase light and height, a mirror plafond was installed across the whole ceiling resulting in a dramatic effect, intensified by the glare of the light marble floors. The dining area is emphasized with a long row suspended lamps with a slight variation in height to give a subtle movement on top of the rectangular and square tables that conform the dining table.
In this space also stands out the combination of leather, wood and glass of the different furniture in both environments, creating an atmosphere full with dark and amber colors and textures broken only by the contrast of the warm purple carpet in the living room. The thick wall that divides the living room from the family room is covered with slabs of black stone whose motion give a nice texture enhanced by the light from windows and ceiling.
The first thing that catches your eye in the hall is a wall covered with copper foils that leads the view in to the apartment.
One of the most important concepts for the design of the kitchen of this apartment was the incorporation of details that refer to the tradition of the family differ from the established parameters. On the ceiling was placed a classic Persian carpet framed in acrylic, giving the room the warmth of the fabric and textures, and a bold splash of color. Another important issue was the distribution of the cooking areas in accordance with the canons of the religion, for which two separate islands were installed, one for the preparation of food that includes meat and other for the preparation of food including dairy products.
The three bedrooms were located in the private area. The guest room has a very simple style generated with a group well selected elements. The secondary room was developed according to the user’s personality and needs.
The master bedroom is also simple, but with elements carefully selected to enjoy the stay in space. The master bedroom has a generous bathroom with dressing room with a nice combination of natural and artificial light.
Photos: Courtesy of Kababie Arquitectos
This stunning contemporary home has been designed by La Kaza in collaboration with Meridith Baer Home, located in the prestigious Doheny estates in Los Angeles, California. Upon entrance to this large scale property you are greeted by 12 foot high ceilings, a large scale entertaining space and breathtaking views over the infinity edge, 40 foot saline pool. This LA Basin view, 6,500 square foot home offers five bedrooms, all en-suite, which includes a 1,200 square foot master bedroom with dual walnut wood closets. Other features include top of the line Bulthaup kitchen with Gaggneau appliances, two guest bathrooms, Boffi bathroom cabinets and tub, screening room, wine tasting room, top of the line Crestron smart systems for security, lighting, climate, entertainment and privacy, video surveillance security systems and three car attached garage. Incredible views, centralized location, and flawless execution with the finest materials, make this unique property, stunning and awe-inspiring.
Manor House Stables was once a stable that housed a retired racehorse named “Lovely Cottage” in Headbourne Worthy, Winchester, United Kingdom. The stables were once beautiful and functioning but have since the mid 1900’s have remained unused and have fallen into shambles. Since the stable block is steeped in historical character, it has since been transformed into an elegant and contemporary three bedroom family home by AR Design Studio. The concept was to preserve the existing while making any new additions simple and pure in order to let the original character shine.
This results in an innovative arrangement of spaces according to the Stable’s existing layout, in order to maintain many of the existing exposed timber interior walls. These were then cleaned, stripped back and refurbished to reveal an exquisite amount of detailing and craftsmanship. With the existing internal walls brought back to life, the next task was to turn the Stables into a home for the modern family and bring it into the present day. In order to respect the character of the property a clean, contemporary and neutral approach was taken to the rest of the renovation which juxtaposes perfectly with the original timber walls, allowing them to stand out as pieces of art against a beautifully simple contemporary backdrop.
Many of the existing features were refurbished and re-purposed for use in the home environment; the original horse troughs were cleaned and converted for use as sink basins, the old horse ties act as towel rings in the bathrooms and original doors are preserved where possible to give a sense of real period character. The Stables benefit from three large double bedrooms, with two en-suite rooms to accompany a spacious family bathroom.
Being a single storey property with long continuous views, the layout was tailored and split between sleeping and living accommodation with a single constant circulation running through the entire building. The welcoming and spacious open-plan kitchen dining area is conveniently located at the heart of the home, leading into the light and roomy lounge which benefits from full height glazed doors that open out onto the sleepy village setting.
The entire property is super insulated, and the heated polished concrete floor throughout provides a functional uniformity to the spaces as well as recounting the Stable’s agricultural history. New windows and roof lights fitted throughout give the whole place a warm, bright and clean feel; creating an excellent environment as a backdrop for a family home.
The finished Stables is completely transformed from its existing dilapidated condition and is now a perfectly working family home, bursting with contemporary style juxtaposed against delightful period character.
Prior to the Renovation:
Photos: Martin Gardner