Marin Bungalow is a 1950’s ranch house renovation by Feldman Architecture, perched on a hill in Tiburon with sweeping views of Richardson Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, California. This stunning residence had a casual charm and great potential. Even though it was tiny by neighboring standards, its prime location helped the architects to see an opportunity to create a striking space, worthy of the spectacular views.
Sensitive to the neighbors’ views, expansion of the house was limited to the existing envelope. Also presenting a challenge was the awkward floor plan without a formal entry space or a master suite. The firm expanded the living spaces into the garage to create a new front door and entry, as well as a master suite with South facing windows that capture the Golden Gate views. Interior walls were removed to create a more open floor plan with a larger kitchen and dining room, plus the addition of a family room and separate laundry room. The south facade was opened up to the backyard and the views with new windows and doors which also maximize the natural light in the formerly dark spaces.
The interiors received a contemporary facelift with a palette of mostly whites and light woods to keep the small house feel light, bright, and airy. The owner’s furniture and styling nicely complemented the house’s fresh new look. Custom metal sunshades were added to the South façade to shade the back deck while maintaining maximum views to the Bay.
Photos: Paul Dyer
Casa Val is a stunning private contemporary dwelling designed by Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura, located in Escazú in the province of San José in Costa Rica. In this project completed in 2012, a courtyard provides intimacy holding water, light, and greenery. The materials’ surfaces interact and respond to the degree of enclosure between social functions. All family members dwell within a sacred space; a place where interaction and contemplation to a distant city and mountain views is experienced. The home is nestled into the hillside taking full advantage of the incredible views and to allow unobstructed vantage points from each of the rooms through extensive glass windows. The contemporary interior is comprised of 6,027 square feet (560 square meters) of living space showcasing luxurious materials and ample natural light.
Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura (JRA) was established in 1994, as an architecture firm specialized in “ high end custom design” with a precise distinction for detailing; each project as each client is different. Jaime Rouillon “ gives a complete personalized” treatment in close contact from beginning to conclusion of the project, always assisting the client. Our seal is one where craftsmanship is determinant for that unique result. Materials are chosen carefully as a representation of the client’s need. Both interior and architecture design result in “one on one” as an intrical result of both texture and space, an identity of its own. Understanding the environment helps design a better functional “healthier” project.
Photos: Sergio Pucci
Holmby Hills Residence is a contemporary three level, glass encased compound designed and built by London-based Quinn Architects and Estate Four, nestled on a lush property in Holmby Hills, Bel-Air, California. Located in one of the most sought-after addresses in the world, the 14,500 square foot contemporary villa showcases panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and the sea beyond. The scale and proportions of this seven bedroom, seven-and-a-half bathroom home are breathtaking, framed on all sides by mature trees and greenery. Secluded and utterly private, the home offers exquisite amenities and wonderful indoor-outdoor flow, with a sophisticated sense of space.
This home is also listed for sale at a mere $45,000,000 asking price, from here.
The main entrance is dramatic, offering an immense motor court and impressive 20 ft high canopy. This leads you to the luxuriously spacious living room, with its earth-toned color scheme, floor to ceiling glass, and soaring 20 ft high ceiling, tailor-made for displaying large-scale artwork.
The home’s interiors feature the highest quality materials throughout, from a marble-clad stairwell to custom recessed lighting to the American black walnut flooring. You’ll enjoy an abundance of natural light and high ceilings in every room. Each space feels like a suite unto itself, and almost every room boasts its own outdoor patio or balcony with views. As you travel between rooms, dramatic vistas unfold. Transparent facades and sliding doors fuse indoor and outdoor living to exhilarating effect.
Off the 75 foot central gallery – ideal for an art collector – the second living area boasts a 14 foot high ceiling and direct access to the outdoor terrace and pool.
An ultra-spacious kitchen features a state-of-the-art Molteni design with integrated lighting, Dada/Miele appliances and direct access to the terraces and custom-tiled infinity pool.
Upstairs, the wide-open master suite combines a sophisticated master bedroom, huge master bath, 3 private walk-closets, powder room and separate offices. The master also boasts an extensive balcony looking out over the pool and tennis court.
The main sleeping spaces, including a 2,000 square foot master bedroom suite, take advantage of the Hollywood Hills scenery from the upper levels of the residence, with this site’s views rated to be among the finest in the whole of Holmby Hills.
The 3-level home also features six other elegantly appointed bedroom suites, three living rooms, formal dining room, two libraries/studies, double-height gallery, spacious fitness center, home theater, catering kitchen, elevator and wine cellar. The estate integrates a cutting-edge audio-visual system that uses an iPad interface, everything automated and with maximum security. This is truly an estate for the ages.
The resort-like grounds are ideal for relaxing and entertaining, with 6,500 square feet of terrace space in addition to the pool, landscaped gardens, outdoor kitchen, flat lower lawn and a gorgeous astro-turf tennis court with floodlights. Mature trees provide a natural border of the property, and together with the tiered pool and gardens, it feels as if you are on a luxurious island looking out over your own private park.
Aloe Ridge House is a contemporary dream home designed by Metropole Architects, nestled under the leafy canopy of an immense Albizia Tree, located in the Eden Rock Estate on Kwa Zulu Natal’s South Coast of South Africa. Comprised of 3,229 square feet (300 square meters) of living space, the home promotes the notion that a dream house does not need to be sprawling and palatial but that in fact, small can be beautiful.
At first floor level, the design focus was to promote a sense of openness with privacy and create a diverse, joyful place in a limited space. Whilst the need for privacy has dictated the use of doors, these doorways are full height at 2.6 meters and when open allow continuity of space to be experienced through an uninterrupted ceiling plane.
The house is a veritable ‘Mesian box’ of bold contemporary architectural design set into the African indigenous coastal forest context, making a big architectural statement despite its relatively diminutive dimensions.
The house stands proud on its corner site and is a progressive cantilever form that proclaims its presence and is representative of a paradigm shift in the estate’s architectural design language.
The planar estate road (public) facade is intentionally bold, minimalist and austere and hard up against the south western site building line. The result is a visually engaging architecture that makes efficient use of the small site, provides effective privacy to the inhabitants whilst at the same time acting as an efficient barrier to bad weather and prevailing strong winds coming from the south west. In addition a narrow linear plan form, maximizes openness and sheltered private space for living, entertainment and relaxation behind this to the North East, in close proximity to the wild natural bush and looking out towards the view beyond.
The entrance to the house is a carefully considered grand, double volume arrangement of components in glass, timber and concrete and with ‘wrap around’ form making, a signature characteristic of recent Metropole homes.
There is a sense of ‘big-ness’ and ‘wow factor’ right from the start.
The strong horizontal line created by the roof of the garage structure provides visual axial thrust to the point of entry, into a transparent double volume entrance area and through to the kitchen and living spaces beyond.
Internally, at ground floor level, open plan design with a minimum of dividing walls, no internal doors and level thresholds between inside and outside facilitate a user experience of a single large multi-use space that unconstricted, uncluttered and weather permitting, is able to open up and connect and extend to the outdoors.
In Aloe Ridge House there is a unity of opposites.
The clean, hard and straight lines of the man-made intervention meet the soft flowing irregular line and textures of the natural bush context in a respectful harmony.
The 3 bedrooms are located on the first level opening out to an elevated balcony which allows distant views over the tree tops to the sea in the east and distant hills and the setting sun to the west. A series of movable Balau timber screens bring in filtered daylight to the clean, modernist interiors, without sacrificing privacy whilst adding a degree of detail and natural colors and texture to the modern facade.
High level perimeter strip windows visually lighten the experience of the first floor building mass overhead and enhance the experience of the vertical dimension of the living, dining and entertainment areas at ground floor level.
A generous external decked area with plunge pool and open lawn area beyond encourages the inhabitants to indulge in and celebrate an outdoor lifestyle of entertainment, play and relaxation.
The architecture brings the great big South African outdoors in and in turn encourages the inhabitants to venture out into it.
Extensive cantilevers resonant of the canopy of the Albizia tree provide a sense of lightness and floating of the upper building mass on the open plan lower level.
The extensive use of glass breaks down the traditional visual barriers between inside and out as well as providing reflections of the natural vegetation that is its context.
The palette of natural materials including earthy color tones, timber screens, decking stone cladding juxtapose with the bold and progressive architectural form making, creating a small home that ‘packs a big punch’ and that is not only visually and spatially exciting, but also comfortable and intimate.
Photos: Grant Pitcher
Villa in the Sky project is the transformation of two separate apartments on the top floors of a derelict building into a refined contemporary penthouse by Abraham John Architects, located in Bombay, India. The two apartments were remodeled and combined into 3,500 square feet of luxurious living, made suitable to the favorable tropical climate & the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Bombay.
The existing apartments had very different characters and were not in keeping with the client’s requirements. The client wanted a villa in the sky, something more minimalistic, architectural and totally connected with the landscape. All internal walls were demolished to create an open plan layout and recapture stunning views of the Arabian Sea on the west and tree lined slopes of Mount Mary Hill on the East.
Being near the sea and on the 7th& 8thfloors of an existing building, there were many construction challenges, from the logistical point of view & the high velocity sea breeze, further, work had to happen with the consent of the neighbors. A brand new staircase cantilevered off the columns helped connect the two spaces without loading the cantilevered slab; the entire project took a year to complete.
The design approach took advantage of orientation: the sea is now visible from all rooms of the house, including the master bathroom. Previous cave-like rooms are turned into optimal, unusually large living spaces for Bombay standards. The main design principles followed were of orientation to the natural elements (sun, wind, water), openness and connection with nature at all levels (visual & physical), using natural & eco-friendly materials. Landscaped terraces and skylights created areas accessible from all rooms in the duplex. The kitchen is in the south east in keeping with Vastu, (the Indian principle of design) and is flooded with morning light.
The living area & the bedroom face the sea to allow for evenings spent with the sunset. Being a bachelor home, additional bedrooms were dispensed with to allow for a large master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, bathroom and terrace which could be made private. The project encapsulates cool, contemporary living in its modern design with equal attention to aesthetics and environmental sustainability, employing energy-efficient. Low consumption technologies and letting one appreciate all its thoughtful detail, inventive and practical ways of creating proficient storage and comfortable living spaces.
The living area:
The open floor plan makes the living, dining & kitchen areas merge into one big lounge connecting views of the lashing waves of the sea and the shore line on the west to the glittering leaves of the trees of Mount Mary Hill on the east. the shared vision of the client and the architect is seen in the minimal layout integrated with landscape, lighting, refreshing earthy colors & natural textures.
The kitchen & dining area:
The open kitchen with a brushed SS island platform is complemented by an enclosed kitchen specially designed for traditional Indian cooking. A teak tree forms the dining table and seating. The exiting pipelines were rerouted for easy access between the two kitchen areas, thus maximizing space utilization. The cold SS island contrasts with the otherwise warm colors and textures of the apartment. Visitors are encouraged to walk bare feet as is the custom. The dining table becomes the focal point for all activities in this relaxing apartment. The black kitchen cabinet forms the perfect backdrop for dinner conversations and parties.
The cantilevered staircase:
A balcony space was converted into a cantilevered wood & steel staircase set against imposing double height windows, visually & physically connecting the upper & lower volumes that were previously disconnected.
Automated blinds span the double height volume.
The master bedroom suite:
The master bedroom suite overlooks the sky lit terrace, with spectacular views of the Arabian sea.
The skylight and pergola protect from the tropical sun and the seasonal monsoon rains.
The flooring pattern enhances the line of sight and continues from indoors to outdoors: dark stained wooden floors and teak wooden deck add drama to each room, offering a personal elegance to everyday spaces
The master bathroom & walk-in wardrobe:
The master bedroom suite includes a private sea-facing terrace, a lavish walk-in wardrobe & an open plan spa bathroom – a fluidity of private spaces that retain total privacy while blending with the landscape. A spacious master bathroom is complete with a jacuzzi, shower, proficient storage, landscape, mood lighting and automation.
The media room:
The hi-tech glass walled media room on top complete with a large size projector screen, concealed ac, av & automation, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors to expand the home’s sense of space: it overlooks the sea as well as a spacious wooden deck with a walk-on glass skylight. the luxuriant terrace garden serves as an expansive outdoor entertaining area with artful illumination and an open bar – a real hotspot. automated roller blinds concealed in the roofing convert the open media room into a large, yet cozy home theater for movies, F1 & football matches.
Landscape, materials & contextual relevance:
The home fits within its tropical seaside context and encourages sustainability: reclaimed sleeper wood for garden screens & pergolas, natural stone, recycled tiles, high efficiency mechanical systems, durable engineered wood & natural fabrics; automation with mood lighting, power saving & curtain control, solar heaters & evergreen terrace gardens.
Interior solar shades & large double-glazed sliding windows allow natural ventilation, uninterrupted views & access to landscaped areas, while cutting down on solar radiation and air-conditioning load.
A limited palette of complementary materials ensures consistency in design & minimizes maintenance, adding warmth and texture through light & shadow. the interiors are finely detailed with custom-made furniture. materials used accentuate warmth & transparency.
Photos: Alan Abraham
Villa Baie is a luxury contemporary villa perched on the heights of Villefranche with panoramic sea views on the Cap Ferrat and the bay of Villefranche, located along the French Riviera, France. This stylish villa is located in a gated estate just 15 minutes away from Monaco, providing comfort for up to ten guests.
With five bedrooms and five bathrooms, you can stay at this wonderful retreat with prices available upon request, from here.
The exteriors are set with extensive furnished terraces and a heated infinity pool facing the sea that extends with a lawned garden. On 3 levels distributed by a lift up to the solarium terrace, the interiors bathed with sunlight comprise, on the upper floor an entrance hall from the parking and garage, the master suite with dressing and bathroom, one double bedroom with bathroom and one double bedroom with shower, all opening onto the solarium terrace. Down, the main level opening onto terraces comprise a large living room, a dining room, a professional kitchen, a day toilet, a double bedroom with bathroom and a double bedroom with shower room.
The pool level it set with a large furnished beach club and a service bedroom.
Air-conditioning, sophisticated audio-video and security systems throughout; Parking with car turn table and garage; Luxury service level and personnel on demand; Rental all year long.
Photos: Courtesy of Leo Trippi
Real Parque Loft was designed for a recently married young entrepreneur by Diego Revollo Arquitetura, located in the south zone from São Paulo, Brazil, in a strictly residential buildings neighborhood. The buildings were built in the 80 and 90 decade and for this reason, the architects started from a traditional compartmentalized apartment with exaggerated number of divisions and closed rooms related to its area.
The main challenge was to open the 1,130 square foot (105 square meters) space, bring the sense of amplitude within the existing structural limitations. In this sense, the owner, was willing for profound changes and already felt attracted by the spatial characteristics of lofts as well as the contemporary aesthetic common in these cases.
The idea of a box with just a coating, burned cement, would bring the contemporary aspect and look like “clean” without amendments or interruptions and would be applied on all surfaces such as floors, walls and ceilings. A particular care has been taken into account in choosing the gray’s tone, which should be modern but not too cold and close by the natural cement’s tone. In the baths we used for the slabs the natural Oasis Blue limestone with a similar tone of cement, employed only as an alternative to cement, to be more appropriate for slabs and carved sinks.
For the owner a cold or too modern result wouldn’t please him, he searched an elegant atmosphere but also comfortable an “hot”. The suggestion of the office was the alliance of the cement and the natural wood inn a reddish chestnut brown tone to “heat up” the environment and that would add value in decorative point of view.
In some places such as the entrance, dining bench and the balcony seat, the Cumaru wood, a Brazilian’s hardwood with high resistance was used by rules to make the wood “weigh” even more. Where the use of solid wood wasn’t viable either by weight or by the natural movement, we chose for the Pau Ferro sheet, a wood with enough personality and a similar design to the Jacarandá, one of the main wood used in furniture production peak in Brazil in the 50 and 60 decade, for example.
The furniture and interior design continues with the choice of textiles as the natural linen or the distressed leather and prioritizes the warm touch and comfort always against the coldness of the cement box. The end result is a loft without excesses, spacious and extremely pleasant to live.
Photos: Alain Brugier
Dalvey Road House is a sensational modern tropical bungalow design by Guz Architects, which integrates nature throughout the design of the home, which is located in Singapore. Completed in 2012, the architecture and open spaces encourage cross ventilation and floor to ceiling glass windows enables the multi-generational homeowners to take in the beauty that surrounds them. The home features a flat roof design cantilevering off the facade providing shade and also incorporating a green roof to allow for cooling.
The client, inspired by her visit to Fallingwater, sought out Guz Architects for a tropical interpretation on a challenging triangular site with sloping terrain and a narrow entrance. This house is very much in keeping with the spirit of Fallingwater, whose design seamlessly integrates nature into the home. Just as Fallingwater’s stair shaped cantilevers emphasized its horizontality, Guz used the different levels to stratify the different generations of the family living under one roof.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall (Courtesy of Guz Architects)