This Martis Camp Estate Home is a contemporary mountain property that has been designed by BAR Architects, located in Truckee, Nevada County, California. One of the original objectives of BAR’s design was to orient this custom mountain home to take maximum advantage of the spectacular views to the Carson Range and Northstar’s Lookout Mountain afforded by this amazing lot in Martis Camp. To achieve this, the primary rooms of the 7,580 square foot house – living, dining, kitchen, family room, master bedroom and kids’ bedrooms – are aligned along the hillside to front towards the view.
A large great room has large sliding doors that pocket into the walls to allow the interior to completely open up to the exterior and the views. In addition to providing maximum views, the careful planning of this upslope lot preserves a large existing pine tree at the center of the lot as a feature that brings the forest right up to the front door, and provides for indoor/outdoor living for all seasons.
The home was laid out as three separate gable structures. One gable for the garage and guest rooms; another housing the great room pavilion; and the third housing the master bedroom, TV room and study. The three camp buildings are linked by a glazed flat roof breezeway housing the entry, boot/coat room, powder room and stair to the lower level.
The design of the floor plan results in a home that is both comfortable for the owners when they are there by themselves, yet expandable to comfortably accommodate up to 18 friends and family. The architecture brings together simple traditional mountain building forms with large openings and contemporary detailing to the great satisfaction and delight of the owners.
Photos: Courtesy of BAR Architects
Sound House is a contemporary waterfront property that has been designed by Roger Ferris + Partners, located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Completed in 2009, this 1,500 square foot house is located on an unusually narrow waterfront site along the Long Island Sound with spectacular views, while preserving privacy from adjacent properties. An angled entry wall captures the sunlight and orients views while the interplay of solid siding and open and screened glass balances privacy and transparency.
The design responds to strict site land coverage and setback requirements, as well as FEMA guidelines regulating first floor elevation and setbacks from the shoreline. Side yard zoning rules limit the building width to less than twenty-eight feet. The angled entry wall creates, within these constraints, an opportunity to capture sunlight, orient views, and provide formal interest.
The house is clad in stained cypress. Its glazed volumes contain feature the living room and master bedroom on one end and the kitchen and guest bedroom on the other. The low rectangular mid-section, clad in contrasting dark cypress, contains the entry hall, staircase, bathrooms, and support spaces. The glazed end rooms offer framed views to the water to the south and inland down the street to the north. The windows integrate retractable shades for sun control or privacy. The bedrooms have cypress louvers for these purposes.
The loft-like interior spaces open to glass curtain walls at each end. Screened side walls provide visual separation from neighbors.
The angled north elevation leads to the front door at the midpoint of the house. This angled wall also orients the kitchen and breakfast room to the morning sun and captures a view down the street and across an adjacent property. The water view one sees entering the house is framed with a perspective defined by the angled stair. The open first floor plan provides interior spaces with loft-like proportions, increasing the scale of the major interior spaces.
The interior finishes continue the loft aesthetic, with kitchen cabinets of natural white oak and ribbed glass doors. Counters and back splashes are granite. Floors are white oak throughout. Interior illumination includes indirect uplights and recessed down lights.
Dani Ridge House is a gorgeous contemporary vacation retreat carved into a hillside, designed by Carver + Schicketanz, located in Big Sur, California. The 1,900 square foot home looks upon the Pacific through floor-to-ceiling windows that nearly stretch the perimeter of the house, which uses daylighting and shading to control temperatures. Hoping not to obstruct their neighbors’ views, the clients asked the architects to add a native green roof, which from above looks essentially identical to the surrounding greenery. In fact, it blends so well into the landscape that if you drive by, you just might miss it.
In order to conceal this home from its uphill neighbors a shelf was cut into the narrow slice of grassland located between an access road on one side and the steep slopes of the West Coast on the other. The uphill land extends as a green roof over the underground portions of the home-terminating on the gently curved roof of the living room.
All utilities, including the 5,000 gallon water storage tank, were placed underground in order to preserve the surrounding landscape.
Purpose of the home for the client: To be used as a vacation home for a family with two young daughters. Three bedrooms, two bath rooms, modest living area, integrated/ open kitchen and take advantage of the great views.
Design concept of the project: To interrupt the native landscape to the least extent possible, to interlock the structure with the land as much as possible.
The design process: We decided to cut a wedge into the gentle hill side and tie the house to the hill and accommodate many functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground. As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors.
What is inspiring about this place / setting to architect: The views, the landscape, the adventurous clients. What were the goals we sought to achieve? How did we achieve them? We wanted the home to blend with the land, and give the clients a perfect retreat. We accomplished this by cutting a wedge into the gentle hillside and using this space to accommodate multiple functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground.
As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors. Process for the material and finish selections for the project: We were looking for durable and easy-to-maintain finishes which are soothing to the eye and compliment the native grass land.
Photos: Robert Canfield
Mop House is a two story contemporary property that has been designed by Kuwaiti studio AGI Architects, located in Al-Nuzha, a suburb of Kuwait city, Kuwait. The site can be accessed from either side of the surrounding streets to allow for both a private and a public entrance. After moving along a curved wall that guides the visitor from the exterior of the plot into the center, one reaches the main entrance into the house.
Upon entering through the main door frame, the space opens up to reveal the swimming pool and the public living areas of the house. The form of the residence is reminiscent of the movement patterns of a mop, from which flexible volumes are organized diagonally around a central axis. This axis twists upwards to generate spaces that are channeling the vision in different directions: the front side of the house, side gardens and angles of the back street.
The circulation surrounding the patio on the first floor contrives of a succession of living spaces, which not only communicate to one another, but also relate visually the interior of the patio to the exterior. The first floor overhangs to shade the rooms on the ground floor, and the patio is designed to define a break in between the volumes of the house, which subtly reveals a side garden.
The residence was originally planned to house one family with two small children, however in the future it could be divided into two units. The structure of the house and the distribution of the circulation, as well as the positioning of the entrances and lift allows for guaranteed privacy between parents and children in the prospective future.
Photos: Nelson Garrido
Mansion in The Hague is a residential renovation project of a hundred year old building, completed by designer Remy Meijers, located in the outskirts of The Hague, The Netherlands. The French owners wanted a surrounding designed in a neutral color scheme defined by a quite and peaceful ambiance with a lightness of space.
The original layout, the characteristic living room and the original ornaments have been maintained. ‘Because there was no need to change the structure of this impressive building.
Only the kitchen and bedroom were too small for actual standards. Therefore, these areas are increased.’ On the ground floor the separation between living room and kitchen was demolished allowing daylight to penetrate deep into the house.
The white walls contribute to the light and spatial character of the mansion. In this sober, open interior wooden elements act as modest highlights.
Contractor: In Toom Furniture: Bom Interieurs Furniture: Remy Meijers Collectie Natural Stone: Van Leeuwen Natuursteen Lightning: Flos, Modular, Delta Light Wooden Floor: Ebony and Co (begane grond)
Photos: René Gonkel
SF House is a contemporary residence designed for a couple and their two teenage children by Studio Guilherme Torres, located in Londrina, Brazil. Completed in 2006, the 5,887 square foot (547 square meters) project was planned on an upward sloping terrain allocated in three floors. The first floor, built at the street level, contains the laundry area which cannot be seen due to the span that forms the garage.
Above the garage one can find the living area and the guest’s bedroom. The big wood brise indicates the stairway that leads to the house. On the third floor, you will find the bedrooms which face a vast terrace. The access to the bedrooms is through a long corridor, brightly illuminated by glass sealed slabs on the ceiling and walls. Light is this project’s main property. It is free, rich, abundant and generous.
In this house, different environs are found with total synergy among the different parts of the house. The dining room, balcony and the home theater have no obstacles between them and can be closed with glass doors that are allocated in the walls. On both floors and walls one can easily notice the materials used: cement, bricks and cumaru wood.
The furniture never fails to match couple the precise and economical features of the house yet following a rejuvenating idea proposed by the family. The materials used either as floor or wall coatings allow room for a new interpretation to the basic Cartesian plans. In other words, the material which is supposedly made for walking on can actually be touched and vice and verse.
The house architecture carries several antagonistic symbolism’s – solidity, lightness, coziness, modernity, warmth, freshness – and complementary so as to shorten the distance between our dreams and achievements, an antidote to the boredom of traditional houses.
Photos: Beto Consorte
17BR-House is an early 1900’s Peranakan shophouse that has been just recently renovated into a contemporary family home by ONG&ONG in Singapore. The homeowners wanted to build a warm family home that would preserve the shophouse’s historical character and reverse the drastic alterations done during its previous incarnation as an office space.
In reinstating 17BR-House as a residence, an inner courtyard was created on the first floor, allowing sunlight and air to flow freely into and throughout the house. The installation of a green wall as well as the covering of the floor entirely in carpet grass transforms the courtyard into a quaint indoor garden. This space forms the visual focus for the first floor; with the absence of partition walls, there is a seamless visual transition from the kitchen at the back of the building to the living area at the front, allowing the family-oriented homeowner to interact with his children while indulging in culinary exploits in the kitchen.
A dramatic spiral staircase spanning all three levels maximizes vertical circulation while skylights in the jack roof directly above the staircase provide natural illumination. Timber beams installed in the ceiling of the first floor and the roof adds an old world charm to the home.
The second floor holds two bedrooms; both share a bathroom, a long corridor lined with bookshelves and storage space, as well as equally enjoyable views, one of the traditional facade and the other of the green wall in the courtyard.
The top floor houses the master bedroom and a separate bathroom visually connected to the bedroom via a long slab of limestone that serves as the top counter of the bathroom’s vanity and continues onward into the corridor, forming a functional desk area amidst a bookshelf-lined wall. The skylight in the master bathroom illuminates both the bathroom and the balcony on the second floor with natural daylight.
The shophouse’s rear comprises a kitchen, the service quarters as well as a 7-metre long swimming pool, with traditional glazed floor tiles and a replica spiral staircase at the back reminiscent of the shophouse’s early days.
The façade’s restoration, with the reversion to a single pintu pagar door, the reinstatement of the traditional, taller windows on the second floor, and the use of shiny enamel-finished dado tiles, completes the project that goes beyond the creation of a perfect, modern family home to a preservation of an invaluable cultural heritage.
The shophouse had been in a bad state, having been stripped of its historical characteristics and renovated for office use. With much support from the client, the architects made a conscious effort to bring these traditional elements back while also reinstating the shophouse to residential use. Considering the scale of the restorative work required the final product is both a perfect home for the modern family as well as a fitting tribute to the shophouse’s history.
Photos: Aaron Pocock
Apartment LA has undergone a rustic contemporary renovation for a family with two children, by architect David Guerra, located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. When the first child started to go to school, the couple bought an apartment in the city, letting the country house where they lived be just for the weekends. The new home combines the coziness aspect of a country house and the urban and practical style of the big city. To attend the needs of the couple with two children, a renovation was needed.
The walls that divide the living room from the balcony were demolished to combine the ambient with larger, fluid and comfortable space. The balcony became a gourmet bar/kitchen that can be used for the wine with friends and breakfast in family with a view of the mountains. Linen sofa and chairs and a vintage armchair appear as a relaxing living area also in the balcony.
A small fireplace has become a major element of the living room wall. The new warming ambiance mix colors, rustic and natural materials with modern and technological ones. They are wool, natural linen, nude tones, leather in different colors – honey, whiskey and chocolate, wood and demolition wood, gray Mister Cryl, Silestone rock, stainless steel, yellow metal, bronze, mirror, glass and acrylic, all materials that combined, gives a great ambiance.
The choices of the furniture, noted the concern of creating a place that prioritizes comfort, warmth, elegance and relaxation. That way we can see a mix of Brazilian designs with Sérgio Rodrigues, Pedro Useche, Frederico Cruze and international designs like De Padova, Minotti of B&Bitalia, Maxalto, Muuto and Mooi.
In the living area a big sofa with a chaise was reformed by JRJ and gains a new linen covering. Pillows by Entreposto, a Jensen leather armchair from Minotti and an armchair Louisiana from Depadova proves the pursuit of comfort and elegance. The Sullivan low tables from Minotti (gray glass round and wood triangular) along with the Still table, also from Minotti and Lens by Patricia Urquiola add a touch of fun and relaxation to the room.
The dining table with an American toned oak that highlights the beauty, lightness and comfort of the Tombly leather chairs from Minotti and also the chandelier by Mooi.
The entire floor of the apartment, except the wet areas, had been replaced by wide planks of mahogany field bought from a farm. The floor has gone through a bleaching process, maintaining the identity and rusticity from the wood and giving a more light and modern touch to the place. On the wall, gray Mister Cryl which brings wellbeing, in addition to panels of different types of wood as mahogany field, pink mahogany, cedar and cinnamon that brings color and warms the room.
In the gourmet kitchen, a block of graphite Silestone sustains the table of mahogany field, design by the architect; Sérgio Rodrigues chairs indicate the relaxed and comfortable way to receive friends for a dinner or even a drink.
The kitchen also provides a mix of materials, the technology of Italian glass Panna and reflective glass, Italian chairs Papiro by B&Bitalia, graphite Silestone on the floor and silver one on the countertops, walls with black and gray hydraulic tiles, wood doors and mahogany table – design by the architect. The kitchen becomes a mix of cozy and contemporary at the same time. That mix can also be seen in the toilet with gauzy Silestone floor and countertops, burgundy Mister Cryl, Hansgrohe mixers that contrast with the tile of the wall and the Indian mirror.
In the master bedroom, the highlights are for the headboard with mahogany with stailess steel profile, Glam lampshade from Pradina, French dresser, linen Selene bed by Maxalto and Pantosh wooden chair. Nude and caramel tones and natural materials, linens, leathers and woods, provide a welcoming place that facilitates relaxation.
In the master bathroom, the priority was the elegance, which was achieved by the Limestone Persiano, cabinet with Italian glass and Rimadesio door
In the boy’s room, the colorful and playful furniture design denotes a hip and timeless style.
Photos: Jomar Bragança
Long Courtyard House is a contemporary addition to a turn of the century terrace house designed in 2013 by SCALE Architecture, located in Alexandria, a suburb in the inner-east of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. By reorienting the courtyard to the side of the block, the project challenges the typical terrace configuration. It creates a north-facing side garden extending the full length of the addition.
The project is a compact building with a slender footprint, where each interior space relates to a new garden room. An equivalency of interior and exterior space is created, expanding the spatial relationship beyond the building envelope.
The addition is made up of two pure forms, each addressing its own garden. The concrete volume on the ground floor opens north to the long garden court, while a cantilevered timber box floating above opens east to a roof garden.
These discrete forms define the spatial arrangement – living takes place on the ground floor, inside the solid and elemental concrete form, while bedrooms are contained in the lightweight timber box above.
SCALE Architecture is a Sydney based practice committed to excellence in Architecture, design and urbanism. SCALE is a multiple award winning practice led by Matt Chan, established in Amsterdam (2002) and Sydney (2004). Our growing portfolio is extended by collaboration with architects, planners, artists and students both locally and internationally. The studio’s focus on architecture is cross fertilised by our active engagement in research, education, publication, exhibition and talks.
Photos: Brett Boardman