ALD House is a contemporary weekend retreat designed by Juan Carlos Baumgartner from architecture studio SPACE, located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. The home is projected on a land of little over 1,000 square meters and it is articulated in two main volumes: a prism into which another rectangular wooden prism is embedded.
Description from the architect: Since the very beginning, the purpose of this project was clear: to create a house in which a balance between modernity and coziness was struck. Therefore, we chose to use few materials in order to achieve a quick reading of the volumes.
The first prism consists of a black metal structure that ends on an exposed concrete staple. The two fronts of this volume are made of glass, which helps create a transparency to the interior area and gives a feeling of permanently being in touch with nature.
The second volume is a cantilevered wooden cube, under which a terrace is generated. Requirements for the design of this project included a swimming pool, and we fulfilled them by creating one and covering it with black venetian glass tiles. In this way, the swimming pool was turned into a water mirror that reflects the house.
For this project, we decided to integrate art into architecture so that the selected works became a part of the design instead of functioning as mere decorative items. With this principle in mind, we commissioned a hyper-realistic 2 x 6 m painting of a Porsche 78; which was placed in a double-height space. In addition to the painting, Juan Carlos Baumgartner designed a mural that works both as the visual end of the swimming pool and as the vestibule of the house entrance.
The house has four bedrooms, a double-height living room and an open plan kitchen that is integrated into the space. In the living area, a modern cast glass sphere chandelier hangs from the ceiling. By using few but carefully selected materials, we created delightful areas that met our clients’ expectations.
As in all the projects of SPACE, we followed sustainable design guidelines when designing Casa ALD. We used recycled content materials low in VOC levels and wood from certified forests. Furthermore, the lighting is almost entirely LED-based.
Photos: Luis Gordoa
Tree House is a residence comprised of three pavilions positioned around a live oak tree, completed in 2014 by Matt Fajkus Architecture, located in Austin, Texas. The oak tree serves as the focal point to the exterior of the u-shaped home, helping to create a division between the public and private areas, at the same time offering views of the tree and natural surroundings. The three wings offers 2,766 square feet (257 square meters) of living space, while their positioning around the oak tree creates an outdoor living space for the homeowners and guests to congregate.
Description from the architects: Balanced shade, dappled sunlight, and tree canopy views are the basis of the 518 Sacramento Drive house design. The entry is on center with the lot’s primary Live Oak tree, and each interior space has a unique relationship to this central element.
Composed of crisply-detailed, considered materials, surfaces and finishes, the home is a balance of sophistication and restraint. The two-story massing is designed to allow for a bold yet humble street presence, while each single-story wing extends through the site, forming intimate outdoor and indoor spaces.
In plan, the home is organized into clear zones of public and private function, allowing the center courtyard with the primary tree to negotiate the connection between either realm. The layout is arranged to optimize function and experience, where each daily behavior is considered in connection with the next, resulting in a holistic and flowing composition, rather than just a collection of rooms.
The upper story is clad in stucco, articulated as a floating white box to pronounce a street presence and act as a veritable “tree house” for the children’s bedroom zone.
An integrated board formed concrete planter denotes a spatial separation between the living room and the kitchen/dining space, while still allowing connection between the overlapping realms. The skylight allows natural light to penetrate deep into the space.
The master suite is as much about its opening to the small yard as it is about the enclosed space it captures. The tongue-and-groove wood ceiling is an accent which continues to the exterior soffit, blurring the lines between inside and outside.
The courtyard around the tree terraces down to the yard, acting as a natural amphitheater for gatherings and performances within the wings of the house.
This design is carefully calibrated to allow internal views on the small lot and various amounts of direct and indirect natural light. Each space has more than one type of opening to allow for various connections to the outside and thus nature.
Massing is composed as two single-story wings which wrap the primary existing Live Oak tree on the site. The 2-story “window wall” maximizes the use of inexpensive windows which frame various views to the tree while creating a rich elevation and allowing for the harvesting of daylight to the entry zone. The upper portion of the wall tapers and folds back to allow the tree canopy to extend and grow.
Composed as a functional container for life and experience, the circulation space is intended for passage and informal activities, rather than corridors.
The courtyard design capitalizes on the dappled light from the preserved Live Oak tree, which animates exterior and interior spaces at different times through the day. Each space in the house has a special intended relationship with the tree and its perceived space.
The windows act as playful apertures which activate the courtyard space at night, showcasing the preserved Live Oak.
Omar Gandhi Architect designed the Harbour Heights Residence, a cedar clad minimalist gable overlooking the town of Inverness and the critically acclaimed Cabot Links golf course in Nova Scotia, Canada. The home is nestled atop a hillside adjacent to the Inverness Harbour and MacIsaac’s Pond.
Description from the architect: From the main road the home is presented as a single storey with a perpendicular garage. From the opposite side, falling down the hill is second storey of modern glass and crafted cedar cladding.
The exterior cladding is composed of western red cedar in three forms – shingles on the roof and upper level and two widths of boards on the lower levels.
The entrance is on the second level along with the main living spaces, which include the living room, dining room and kitchen. The main stairwell is flanked by two storeys of glass.
The living and dining rooms are separated by a change in level and a central hearth. The fireplace chimney extends upwards through the grand space of the cathedral ceiling.
The lower level includes the bedrooms and family room. The master bedroom is bumped out from the primary linear gable massing and is clad on three sides with glass, giving it the ultimate view. The children’s rooms are finished with bright playful colours which radiate from the mature modern cedar form of the house.
Photos: Greg Richardson Photography
Brown Vujcich House has been designed by Bossley Architects, located on a narrow urban site in the heart of Herne Bay, a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. Tight site controls and a sloping site resulted in a long narrow building form that steps down the slope of the site.
Description from the architects: One of the main features of the house is the entry which is reached by a bridge that crosses a moat of planting. The entry is glazed with translucent glass to give privacy and a beautiful soft light to the interior spaces.
The entry space is protected by a vertical cedar screen with intermittent horizontals painted with colors that have also been used on the interior and inspired by the clients’ fantastic collection of 1950 -60s furniture, art and ceramics.
Once inside an open riser jarrah and steel stair with a hanging screen of stainless steel mesh leads either upstairs to the main living level or downstairs to the bedrooms and a second family living area.
The rooms on the lower level open out to the usually redundant side yards surrounding the house with each room having its own terrace and outdoor space. The building steps down the site and culminates in a terrace and pool off the family living space.
Light and privacy is modulated on the upper levels by opening and closing vertical lourveline panels or either cedar or aluminium. The living space opens out to a generous deck which with glimpses of the harbour.
Playful colours, finishes and hoop pine cabinetry enliven the interior spaces and the exterior materials of fine vertical cedar shiplap, double skin bagged brick reflect the clients’ love of fifties and sixties architecture.
Photos: Patrick Reynolds
Garçonnière Marais is a contemporary bachelor pad showcasing bright and airy interiors, designed by interior architect Tatiana Nicol, located in Paris, France. Situated in the heart of Paris, this friendly apartment home features 538 square feet (50 square meters) of living space where practicality marries originality and beauty.
Description from the designer: The private rooms are ultra cozy and functional with storage optimized, taking advantage of the high ceilings. As for the living room, volumes have been optimized by painting the wood ceiling beams a clay green. A custom open plan kitchen was beautifully crafted, as well as a library and realizing that it creates a passage to access the room.
An area rug is used in the living room over the hardwood flooring to delineate the space from the rest of the home and to create a welcoming and cozy living room environment.
Photos: Courtesy of Tatiana Nicol
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
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