Amwaj Villa is a contemporary three level home recently built for a family by interiors and design consultants firm Moriq, located on Amwaj Island, Bahrain. The plot encompasses 690 square meters and the total built area is comprised of 778 square meters/8,371 square feet.
Description from the designers: The owners wanted a modern, contemporary styled home with strong emphasis on interior architecture and strong interior/exterior connections.
The home was planned on 3 levels with just the living levels and kitchen plus dining on the lower floor. A well equipped gym with steam and sauna were planned on the rear side. Two bedrooms with a non dedicated home theatre comprises the mid level.
Difference of levels and double heights perk up the interiors. Large floor to ceiling glasses connect the outside with the inside.
Specks of colours were used in furniture and artifacts only keeping the basic canvas neutral (in greys and whites). Grey white traventino were used as floors. Walls were in shades of greys and ceiling were pristine white. Distressed wallpapers were used on strategic walls.
A custom designed chimney is the centre of attraction in the dining area. A large scaled log of wood was used as the grab bar for the staircase. Skylights bring in a lot of natural light.
Old reclaimed doors as used as interior elements. Every room has visual and physical access to the outside.
Furniture is from Italian brands. Rugs and lamps are all hand picked. As mentioned earlier the emphasis was more on scale, proportions and integration rather than on decoration. The final look is simple and uncluttered both in architecture and interior.
Master suite with multi dress rooms and multi toilets is planned on the last level. All three levels are connected by means of a staircase and a lift.
Photos: Courtesy of Moriq
Villa-K is a contemporary hilltop residence taking full advantage of its forested surroundings, designed by Cell Space Architects, located in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan. The home was designed to bring the outdoors in, with large expanses of glass for the homeowners to take in the unobstructed views of the nearby forest.
Description from the architects: This site is located on a hilltop in one of the eminent Karuizawa villa areas. All directions around the site are clear for view in winter. The villa consists of four parts of floors and four parts of roofs around a central pillar.
The four floors placed on different levels are connected to the surrounding out space through windows in order to give diverse views for the residents. The inner spaces are divided into four parts and, on the other hand, are connected in a spiral around the central pillar.
The four roofs are connected with different angles one another. Sunlight coming through the slits between the roofs highlights the division of the inner spaces.
Photos: Masao Nishikawa
Manitou Lodge is a modern cottage retreat conceived for a family that loves to entertain, cook, and eat by Prototype Design Lab, located at Lake Manitou, Ontario, Canada. The brief was to plan for a lifestyle based around the kitchen — the centerpiece of the home.
Description of the project from the architects: They enjoy sharing their cooking passion and don’t want to be isolated from all the activity. For them, the kitchen is the communal area where experimentation and conversation about, and it’s for this reason that the kitchen became the center of our design focus. We knew that this space had to be functional, but incredible.
The kitchen starts out like a restaurant kitchen, with durable, stainless steel surfaces, but is designed to be warm and eclectic with a great mix of modern & vintage fixtures; pendant lamps, floating shelves and stunning blackened steel-framed chalkboard panels acting as cabinet doors.
Then there are some really warm elements such as a reclaimed barn wood wall and ceiling feature, marble counter tops, glass shelving and salvaged beam table. The palette of the space suggest vintage, contemporary and industrial all at the same time!
Photos: Sergio Sabag
This partly 2 storey home was designed to accommodate an extended family of eight on a relatively modest site within a dense urban context. A bedroom for each of the four children, one for the parents and another possibly for grandparents, generous living spaces and a swimming pool were key to the brief.
Situated in a relatively intact heritage streetscape in Balaclava the project required an approach that restored the street presence of the original Victorian weatherboard, badly disfigured over time and added the spaces required by the family.
The strategy was to divide the house into two discreet buildings, old and new, separated by a large central courtyard and reconnected by a glazed link. The courtyard with its pool, gives the new building its northern aspect and is conceived as an extension of the communal spaces of the home which surround it on three sides. It also bestows the old building a formal autonomy.
The original building fabric was stripped back to its salvageable elements and the footprint reduced to form a seemingly freestanding cottage at the front of the site. The exterior was then carefully restored to its original Victorian character.
Internally spaces of the old house were reconfigured to become an office, library/living room and guest bedroom. The volume of the original structure was exploited in the new layout to create a grand living space.
A new two storey timber clad building was constructed at the rear of the property facing the old cottage across the courtyard and pool. Its angular form, commenced as a response to planning constraints, evolved into a subtle geometry that shaped the envelope and influenced the plan of both buildings.
The family’s bedrooms are accommodated upstairs. At ground floor an irregular open plan of living space flows around large kernels of service space. A glazed link with built in daybed borders the pool exploiting the morning sun.
The original entry was eschewed for a new access sequence leading from the street, down the eastern side of the original house and into the central courtyard. At this point, one is embraced by the home. Full height glazing to three sides allows views into all parts of the ground floor. Entry to the home is via the solid “front” door into the new building.
Should weather permit, glazed panels slide away to open the house out completely, integrating indoor and outdoor spaces. Travertine unifies the floor plane, internally and externally. Timber is celebrated in the beautifully crafted cladding and interior panelling.
This is not a big house. Considered planning and the integration of indoor and outdoor achieve a generosity and variety of communal spaces for the family at odds with the actual size of the building. Private areas are restrained and humble. It is an urban home that functions successfully for a multi-generational family and its evolving needs.
Photos: Peter Clarke
The front pavilion includes the entry, living spaces, formal dining and kitchen, with the rear pavilion including the bedrooms, additional living space and the laundry.
Photos: Courtesy of Darren Campbell Architect
Darren Campbell Architect is a client focused architectural practice active in design of new homes, residential alterations and additions, smaller multi-residential developments and smaller commercial and interior projects. The practice offers full architectural services, designing and administering projects from concept through the planning and construction approval stages to completion.
DCA engages in a collaborative way with clients and is passionate about delivering houses that are individual and distinctive. He believes his client is the most important factor in a project and during the design process his client desires are invited and respected. During the project Darren presents solutions which are appropriate, contextual and deliver value. This requires an understanding of the client’s current needs while offering flexibility and adaptability as their lifestyle evolves.
Mount Pleasant is a striking home conversion of two connected buildings with a primary focus on music and entertainment by Roundabout Studio, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Completed in September 2014, this fabulous contemporary residence is comprised of 5,480 square feet of living space.
For more than half a century this site was home to Cruickshank’s, a neighbourhood fixture and much-loved flower bulb distributor. Sadly, Cruickshank’s closed in 2001 and vacated the building. A few owners later, a local music enthusiast purchased it, seeing it as an opportunity to revive the site, creating an exciting house with a meaningful presence on the street. In 2012 he commissioned Roundabout Studio to convert the two connected yet disparate buildings into a single cohesive new home with a focus on music and entertainment.
Located directly on a busy Toronto thoroughfare, the house provides shelter from the street, with only a few, carefully placed windows. A long hallway leads to the protected interior foyer, where the home opens up to the sky with a quiet, light-filled interior that belies the building’s location. The main spaces are organized around an interior courtyard and a series of large-scale skylights that help to stream sun into the depths of the building, while retaining a great amount of privacy.
To accommodate large-scale events, the public zone consists of an open plan kitchen and dining room, living room, interior courtyard and a double height performance area, located in the heart of the building. The individual spaces all look upon each other in multiple ways, offering the building a reflexive quality. Depending on how these spaces are utilized, the home feels equally suited for one person or one hundred.
Located above the former cold storage room, the interior courtyard contains a 16′ tall Cor-ten steel light feature that references the building’s former life as a bulb warehouse. The back-lit perforations reveal a group of super sized tulips, a nod to Cruickshank’s reputation for high-quality and interesting tulip bulbs. Facing the street, the perforated window screens are all small sections of the larger pattern, offering an abstract, fragmented glimpse of the feature inside.
Restored to prominence in the neighbourhood, the revitalizing overhaul ensures that the building will remain a proud part of the Toronto streetscape for many years to come.
Photos: Andrew Snow
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