The Runners House is a contemporary refurbishment and extension of an existing house by AR Design Studio, located on the outskirts of Winchester, England. Nestled along a leafy lane on the outskirts of Winchester sits Kilham House. Once a tired building with a confusing layout, the house now boasts a contemporary update that really transforms the house into the five-bedroomed family home that it desperately needed to be.
A grand, double-height entrance guides you into the building, immediately bringing you into the heart of the home which has now been become the main living space for the family. A large expanse of sliding glazing gives views into the garden, allowing the three children to run wild whilst the parents can relax in the central space and still keep a watchful eye.
A key and exciting feature of the house is the staircase. Centered in the property it acts as a locus to the project, dividing the space between the kitchen, dining area and the living areas. Steel wires hang around the staircase, enclosing it in a contemporary wrap whilst also forming part of the balustrade. The stairs take you up to the first floor and onto a bridge that flows across the double height entrance space. A tongue in cheek use of Foscarini’s Gregg pendant lights give a feeling of being up in the clouds, adding to airy and spacious feel of the central space.
At the rear of the property a central timber form connects the two wings of the house and projects into the garden creating an architectural form that ties the whole project together. A large concrete plinth that steps down to the garden creates a place to relax and dine outdoors. The concrete plinth flows into the property and makes up the entire ground floor surface. This use of material, mixed with the large sliding glazed panels that face onto the garden, blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors.
Photos: Martin Gardner
This Hollywood Hills dream pad is a contemporary remodel of an existing home that was completed in 2010 by McClean Design, located on the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, California. The 4,500 square foot home was originally designed in the French style during the 1970s and was in very bad shape. The existing house was stripped down to framing and rebuilt in a contemporary style to take advantage of the magnificent views over the city of Los Angeles below.
Both the house and pool are L shaped in configuration. Central to our concept for the house was to remove the existing pool which was located in the middle of the yard and push out a new pool to the extremities of the lot to produce a larger outdoor living space wrapped by the house and the infinity pool.
Ceiling heights were increased in the main living areas and the plan opened up to visually connect the different spaces. A key element of the design is the transparent sliding door systems which open the interior up to the outdoors and the view.
The house is laid out on one level, something of a rarity in the Hollywood Hills, and consists of 3 bedrooms in addition to the living, dining, kitchen and family as well as a small screening room or gym. We kept the palette of materials extremely simple using white limestone, brushed aluminum and stainless steel warmed by oak walls and cabinetry.
Photos: Courtesy of McClean Design
East Austin is a lively mix of commercial buildings, Victorian architecture, and bungalows. The lifestyle there is casual. It was important to the homeowners that their new 2235-square foot, two-story home fit into its friendly neighborhood setting while also expressing their contemporary tastes. To achieve that purpose, the architects designed a gabled house with a minimalist palette of white siding and contrasting bronze windows and steel detailing. The profile is simple and modern, yet also iconic: The long side of the house faces the street and an over-sized front door encourages visitors to drop in.
Inside, a sleek Lueders limestone fireplace surround anchors the all-white living room. The exterior’s contrasting palette is carried through to the adjacent kitchen, with black Shaker-style cabinets highlighted by Carrera countertops and white subway tiles. Vertical steel slats on one side of the room are a dramatic screen for the stairs and also allow light from the second story to filter into the open dining area. Upstairs, two bedrooms and a flex space are connected by the spacious and light-filled book-lined landing.
The Final Result
This house looks timeless while melding with the here and now.
Photos: Ryann Ford
A children’s treehouse inspired the major redesign of this ranch-style house by Stephen Moser Architect, located on the western edge of Saxon Woods Park in Mamaroneck, New York. Originally built by a developer in the late 1950s, the ranch-style residence faced away from the wooded park. Several additions, including an indoor pool, further obstructed the park views.
The treehouse, which the clients had built some years ago for their grandchildren, sits on stilts among the trees, and guided ideas about the redesigned house’s silhouette, orientation, interior spaces, and materials.
Highlights of the 6,600 square foot redesign include a new covered entrance supported by two tree-like steel columns; a single large sloping roof that unifies the north side of the house and opens up the office and kitchen to the park; a new three-sided glass family room facing park and pool; the addition of a second-floor master bedroom suite with treehouse views; and the thematic use of wood slats in the detailing of both exterior and interior.
Los Chillos House is a contemporary residence designed in 2012 by Diez + Muller Arquitectos, located in Valle de los Chillos, Cuenca Canton, Ecuador. The design of this 5,920 square foot (550 square meters) house arises from previous research and understanding of the regional architecture of the Ecuadorian highlands, and how it engages with a modern system through understanding the place, tectonics and space of each, creating a tension between the two systems.
In an area of approximately 2 hectares with a steep slope, the house is implanted in the highest part of the site, with a privileged view. In plan, the house is designed linearly, taking advantage of the views from every room. The design in section becomes important, access is from the upper level of the site to the social area, kitchen and terrace. The most private areas and bedrooms are on the lower floor.
First are the traditional architectural and spatial elements, such as the courtyard, the wall, porch and slope. At the same time, the open plan and the continuous space are modernist concepts contrasted with the elements previously mentioned. The material palette includes local stone, wood and tile as local or endemic materials, and exposed concrete, steel and glass as modern materials. This mix not only expresses a formal idea, but also a structural and constructive idea that reinforces the argument.
The house is stratified into two zones: the stone base and glass box on top. The base is a stone bearing wall, where private areas are distributed. This base, true to its characteristics, is the support of the house on the ground, and contains the excavated soil for its settlement. It comes into view in full from certain viewpoints, while from others it is half-buried and seems to arise. At the back and at the entrance of the house, a large cut in the ground generates a submerged courtyard which serves mainly to illuminate and ventilate the bedroom areas on the ground floor. At the same time, it becomes one of the most important areas of reference of the house. It is contained by an exposed concrete wall, contrasting with the stone wall, thus creating tensions between the two systems.
The arrival to the house is through a steel and glass bridge that intersects with the stone wall, and opens the space to a large steel and glass nave that contains the social areas of the house on the upper floor. On this nave rests a traditional mud tile roof.
Finally, the finishes of the house are simple materials like concrete and wood on floors, concrete walls, wood deck, etc.. The lightness of the glass top volume is even more evident at night when artificial light exposes its permeability and the great nave of the roof, which is juxtaposed with the monolithic volume of the base on which it rests.
Photos: Sebastían Crespo Camacho
Moor Street Residence is a contemporary renovation for a family of four, designed by Andrew Maynard Architects, located in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The family had lived in this modest, aging house for almost eight years. As the children neared their teenage years something had to be done. Abandoning their home and moving elsewhere was not an option as the family was an important part of a thriving community. The tricky yet fun part of this home re-design was creating a new house in a narrow plot of only 4.5 meters.
Within this pocket of Fitzroy is a dense mix of workers’ cottages and small terraces. All are modest in size, many are dark and cold. Many of the cottages and terraces are in original condition, with a simple facade hiding an assemblage of brick and weatherboard lean-tos in the rear yard looking onto bluestone laneways. These lean-tos create a mesh of detailed and varying volumes, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the street front. When building in the rear of a property in this context, facing onto the laneway, one is acutely aware of the smallness and texture of the existing built form. Within this context the burden is on the designer is to respond to the assemblage of small volumes while also maximizing the potentials of the owners’ brief.
As Fitzroy has gentrified we have seen renewal take place in unsympathetic ways. There are numerous examples of this assemblage of dark brick and weatherboard being replaced with large contemporary objects that dominate its context. The tactic at Moor Street was to maximise the interior functions and available space, while also responding to the context by creating a single building out of three small objects rather than a single contemporary monolith. The tired lean-to which housed the kitchen, bathroom, dining and laundry were removed. These functions were relocated and updated along with the addition of a master bedroom over. The original brick terrace was retained, tidied and brought back to life.
In the center of the original house was a small light well containing a beautiful, yet constrained, Japanese maple tree. The family often found themselves conversing through this lightwell. Conversations took place, through the maple, from upstairs bedroom to kitchen opposite, to study space and even the bathroom. The maple was retained and the lightwell expanded and surrounded in glass, bringing the tree into the living spaces. The conversations between spaces and levels, through the maple, are better and easier than ever.
The separate boxes on the upper level contain the master bedroom. This space is surrounded by the canopy of the maple to the south and the canopy of a large gum tree to the north, making the master bedroom feel much like a treehouse. Through the gum’s canopy are views over Fitzroy, revealing the detailed assemblage of the brick and weatherboard lean-tos of the surrounding workers’ cottages and small terraces.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
The 9th and Hudson townhouse project is the complete gut renovation and two story extension by Jensen C. Vasil Architect of a four story plus cellar structure, located in Manhattan, New York. The total living area of this stunning contemporary residence is 4,644 square feet. The residence showcases hardwood flooring throughout most of the interiors, high ceilings, white plastered walls, crown moulding and in some areas exposed brick.
Jensen C. Vasil Architect is a multi-disciplined firm serving the Metro New York and New Jersey areas. We are committed to providing the highest quality service to our clients from inception to completion and can provide proven experience in a wide variety of buildings and uses.
Photos: Jennifer Brown
Oakwood Residence is a stunning two story contemporary pad that has been designed by Boswell Construction, located in Los Angeles, California. This newly constructed home boasts 6,500 square foot of living space, showcasing beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces with corner glass multi-slides, expansive 30 foot ceilings at the entryway, and an exterior waterfall movie projector. This home was built for entertaining in mind, where guests can interact with each other in cozy living spaces. The open plan enables the homeowners to cook in the kitchen while allowing them to visit with family and friends who are residing in the living room.
Working in custom residential new construction, large residential renovations, value engineering and design build services, Boswell Construction builds trust and partnerships with each client through our integrity, dependability and transparent communication.
Photos: Courtesy of Boswell Construction
A modern home built for outdoor living, Villa Escarpa was the vision of architecture studio Mario Martins, located near the village of Praia da Luz, in the district of Lagos, Algarve, in the South of Portugal. A condition of the planning permission was that the new house be constructed in the space occupied by a previous building. This had little architectural or technical merit, but was located in an exceptional position on an escarpment overlooking the Algarve coastline and village of Praia da Luz.
The footprint was therefore predetermined; on a very steep slope, and exposed to the prevailing winds. Paradoxically, it is these constraints and difficulties that underpin the conceptional basis of the project.
In an architectural language, pure and contemporary, we created sheltered terraces and courtyards for outside living. These are cut from the horizontal volume which is white and highly transparent. This volume gently sits upon an exposed concrete support giving the appearance of the house floating above the landscape. The touch on the environment, which we want to preserve, is minimized and resolves the difficult balance of the building with its physical support . This ensures a desirable visual lightness.
The house merges with a long water surface which dissects the wide living and kitchen spaces. These spaces are complimented by terraces protected from the wind, but open to the sun and impressive views. This is the social area of the house; open and fluid.
Four bedrooms are located in a private area with access from a corridor that runs alongside a central courtyard. In this private courtyard the natural light is filtered, creating an intimate and desirable space.
The lower area provides garaging and technical support. The roof terrace accentuates the visual lightness of the floating building in its environment.