Contemporary Bauhaus on the Carmel project is a private residence designed by Pitsou Kedem Architects, built in the center of a historic avenue and at the very heart of Haifa’s French Carmel neighborhood, Israel. The avenue is studded with a number of residences designed in the Bauhaus style. The Bauhaus style gained its hold in Israel in the wake of international styling trends and is a ornament free design style, both simple and down to earth. The style celebrated the aesthetics of the machine and was characterized by uniformity of color and by unassuming and simple finishes and facades. The style faithfully represented the spirit of the age and the location. This project, designed decades later, creates a line that connects contemporary styling with the spirit of that bygone era.
The 5,200 square foot project emphasizes and sharpens the differences between apparently similar design styles of contemporary minimalism influenced by Japan and the austere moderation of the modernism that characterized the end of the 1950′s. Both of these paradigms translate into a way of life, to the Israeli environment and climate. The sophistication and the minimalism that existed at the heyday of the Bauhaus period have been translated, in this latest reincarnation, into a spacial purity and prestigious restraint.
In his design, the architect has expressed his own, localized interpretation for free planning in which there is a spacial continuity achieved through light, appearance and movement and the placement of secondary spaces around one, large and open central space. The architect has succeeded in creating the experience of continuous, intimate and defined spaces with different levels of symbiotic, mutual interaction with the central space and yet without detracting from the overall understanding of the structure.
Despite the intensification of the residences central space which finds expression in a double sized open space reaching the entire height of the building with one completely transparent facade facing the direction of the courtyard, through the use of controlled and restrained formality and the use of materials with no external facings, the designer has succeeded in showing his belief that it is possible to create a residential space of quality and timelessness.
In an attempt to connect with the historic avenue and the houses that have inhabited it since the 1950′s, the architect has paid great attention to homes front facing facade. The front of the building is almost anonymous, for the most part, a closed element, free of unnecessary ornamentation and one that combines a monochromatic color scheme based on the grays and whites that characterized that same era. Only the floating upper roof hints at a harmony with contemporary design.
There is a sense of acceptance of the avenues importance and an attempt to assimilate into its, fragile and gentle structure and in no way try to force contemporary architecture on the surrounding environment. Only the floating mass of the roof hints that, despite the desire to be part of the avenues context and the spirit of that historical period, it is clear to the observer that here we have a bold attempt to create an architectural language that leaves a clear signature and the fingerprint of the designer.
The home was, as said, designed around a wide, high public space that constitutes the connecting point and provides a view of all of the homes different wings as well as to the central courtyard and the pool. In order to further strengthen the impact of the central space it has been coated with exposed concrete panels and a large library on the wall as a central motif. A large, ribbon window allows light to enter deep into the space, creating movement and dynamism on the central wall.
The architect has covered all of the structures spaces with an expansive roof which appears to be suspended, weightless in the air and floating effortlessly with no apparent means of support. The roof frames and consolidates the various parts of the structure with the apparent dissociation between the roof and the building creating an impressive, formal dialogue.
Movement within the house is accompanied by different views of the outside environment; exposed and open areas and other areas that are framed and focused on a specific view that was designed specifically for that area. The underlying concept of the homes design is one of quiet and formal restraint; the home is a place of tranquility and calm where the minimalistic details, the clean language and the meaning, separate the residents from the world outside. The architecture and the interior design combine a climatic relationship with light and air, an expression of the homes functionality and the uniform design lines both internal and external.
The materials and the colors used for both the interior and the exterior range from white to gray combined with wooden strips. The simple, clean shapes and the light play a central role in the interior design. Shade and light create ever changing performances of shapes and movement, “playing” on the walls, the ceilings and the floors of the building throughout the day. The combination of the geometric light shows against the horizontal and vertical surfaces, made from many different materials, creates a unique atmosphere in the internal spaces and the house’s exterior that make a powerful statement of uniformity and calmness.
During the day, natural light entering the residence and its movement creates absorbing light shows. At night, when darkness falls, artificial light, and especially the light seeping out from the pool, create within the structures spaces a totally different atmosphere, one that is almost mystical and magical. The design of the courtyard is characterized by the same restraint of form with the choice of trees and their placement also communicates with the avenue and the surrounding environment. And so, despite the fact that different worlds and different eras exist in the space between the historical Bauhaus of the avenue and that of this modern and minimalistic home, there still exists a relationship between them, a feeling that one is not strange to the other.
Photos: Courtesy of Pitsou Kedem Architects
The art apartment is a bright and colorfully decorated small apartment design, which was the creative vision of Arent&Pyke, located in Sydney, Australia. Central to the design approach was the understanding of working with young families which we the designer’s do often in their practice. They responded with a palette and design that created a fresh, bold and brave stylistic and practical harmony. A carefully balanced palette of materials starting with a solid neutral base for major furnishing items which was layered with decorative objects to nurture a sense of intimacy and well-lived-in connection with the space. Finally a significant installation of Australian artworks from Artbank celebrates the legacy of treasured objects which we accrue over our lifetimes and the much-loved tradition of passing art through family generations.
As a multi-disciplinary and award-winning interior design practice, Arent&Pyke honor a simple yet clear vision – to enrich people’s lives by creating beautiful and cohesive spaces to which they feel emotionally connected. With a focus on residential interiors, Arent&Pyke’s body of work is testament to our ability to clearly articulate our vision. A palette of natural materials and a sensitive and sophisticated use of color and lighting typify our practice’s work that draws upon the combined experience of not just the team, but the artisans and suppliers with whom we collaborate. We are influenced by realms such as travel and literature, and have an unwavering appreciation for design in all its guises, a respect of architecture and acute attention to detail.
This bold graphic print wallpaper is by Anna Spiro, from Porters Paints.
Photos: Scott Hawkins
This stunning 1960s home remodel was carried out by Brandt Design in collaboration with Dyna Contracting, is situated in the residential gated community of Broadmoor, in Seattle, Washington. The house had several existing strengths in structure and design to help support the renovation. The design team narrowed in on key elements to improve the residence’s overall style and livability. The change that made the single biggest impact involved the entryway. By installing a front door with reed glass to let in more light, replacing a solid half-wall with a custom steel and walnut rail and altering a central fireplace, main sightlines were completely opened up showcasing a striking mahogany ceiling and inviting backyard patio.
Other main level changes included installing a more spacious and luxurious master bath; two bedrooms re-purposed as a music room and office; and an updated powder room. Additions to the lower level included a fully equipped laundry room, wine cellar, and guest suite. To increase efficiencies, the home was also rewired and re-plumbed. The result is an incisive remodel that maximizes every dollar spent toward a more pleasing, convenient, and integrated whole.
Photos: Aaron Leitz Fine Photography
Steeling Home was envisioned by Ward Young Architects as a mountain contemporary home that is located in Martis Camp, Lake Tahoe, California. The residence has been described as a New York loft meets mountain living, satisfying the client’s desire to infuse their second home with a taste of New York charm. The design showcases exposed steel beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, raw metal details, sculptural lighting and walnut wood accents. The interior design team of Beth Cohen Design Associates balanced this urban approach by including comfortable furniture, warm tactile fabrics and a rich palette of materials. The exterior is clad in cedar, basalt stone, steel siding, and copper roofing. The home incorporates a pool and large outdoor terraces with firepit, built-in grill and spa. The final result was a mountain getaway with a touch of metropolitan sophistication.
This home received the 2011 Tahoe Quarterly Mountain Home Award in the “Contemporary” category, and also the ASID California Peninsula Chapter’s 27th Annual Design Awards in the “Gold” category for residences over 3,000 square feet.
After entering through the walnut-and-steel pivot door, a two-sided, board-formed concrete fireplace awaits. Inside, the foyer/gallery space flows to open steel stairs with thick walnut treads floating between the stringers, all wrapped with an industrial cable rail system.
Natural and muted materials were used throughout the interiors that complemented rather than competed with the contemporary architecture.
Photos: Courtesy of Ward Young Architects
We just received images of this net zero home that was designed by HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, for two environmental attorneys. One of the attorneys works for the Environmental Protection Agency so maximum sustainability was the only option. However, the environment wasn’t the only design caveat. The owners—a small family with two dogs—also needed a showcase for their expansive art collection of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and requested casual living spaces to accommodate everyday living.
The house was designed in three zones: public, private and the garage. An entry that functions as an airlock separates the garage from the public zone defining the entry as well as help keeping pollutants from entering the main house.
After interviewing several firms in the area, the owners chose HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in art collection-driven home design, to create home that would be a work of art in its own right.
A seamless integration of the environment, art and family life, the home is a sculptural plan with long, uninterrupted walls throughout to accommodate and complement the art collection. Windows were carefully sized and located throughout to optimize daylight and art lighting while sheltering the works from direct sunlight.
A living room designed for living. This great room area includes the kitchen, dining area, an open office for homework and telecommuting, a living area for family interaction, and a covered porch for eating and playing outdoors.
To achieve an architectural balance between high-concept design and environmental efficiency, the home was built with sustainable materials throughout, including more cost-effective stucco and metal for the exterior.
“The main goal was to build a house that didn’t leave a carbon footprint,” says principal Harvey Hine, who conducted energy modeling prior to construction, which dictated that the house had to be built with fewer windows than originally intended.
The window design was a study of transparency and heat control optimizing the ideal amount of sunlight to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With a 10kW solar intake system on the roof and a hot water solar system, the home produces 140% of its energy every year, and the homeowners sell the excess back to Xcel Energy.
No matter how sustainable or sculptural, a home ultimately has to be comfortable and livable, which was the top priority for this small family who wanted the home to serve as a social center for guests and entertaining. The great room includes a kitchen, dining area and an open office for family interaction as well as a covered porch for eating and enjoying the legendary Colorado weather.
An open office for homework and telecommuting. The result is an integration of the environment, living and art, customized for a specific family.
The house is bright, airy and acts as a backdrop for the art, the landscape, and daily family activity. The result of the integration of the environment, art, and daily family activity which has been customized for a specific family and location.
Photos: Courtesy of HMH Architecture + Interiors
Sunrise Vista is a contemporary renovation by Coop 15 Architecture to create a new and spacious family home, situated in the Sand Point Country Club community of Seattle, Washington. This project was the renovation of a structurally sound 1950’s home. The owners sought to capture views of mountains and lake with a new second story, along with a complete rethinking of the plan.
Basement walls and three fireplaces were saved, along with the main floor deck. The new second story provides a master suite, and professional home office for him. A small office for her is on the main floor, near three children’s bedrooms. The oldest daughter is in college; her room also functions as a guest bedroom.
A second guest room, plus another bath, is in the lower level, along with a media/playroom and an exercise room. The original carport is down there, too, and just inside there is room for the family to remove shoes, hang up coats, and drop their stuff.
The focal point of the home is the flowing living/dining/family/kitchen/terrace area. The living room may be separated via a large rolling door. Pocketing, sliding glass doors open the family and dining area to the terrace, with the original outdoor fireplace/barbeque. When slid into adjacent wall pockets, the combined opening is 28 feet wide.
The design is primarily about the plan, and therefore about the people who live in the home. The palette of materials—original Roman brick, fiber-cement planks, bamboo composite decking, PVC roof (most of it is a green roof), and aluminum windows and doors were selected for minimal maintenance and a restrained aesthetic.
In the great room, sliding, pocketing doors disappear into walls, creating a 28 foot opening to a private, intimately scaled courtyard with the original fireplace and a translucent roof, encouraging outdoor living.
The second story roofline of the master suite tilts up to the sunrise. Other roofs are completely “green” and maintain a low profile.
Photos: Courtesy of Coop 15 Architecture
North Rim Residence is a gorgeous two story custom designed mountain home by architecture firm Mount Bachelor Design Studio, located in Bend, Oregon. The home was designed for a down-sloping mountains-facing lot. The main level includes a central gourmet kitchen, surrounded by an east-facing nook, formal dining, and Great Room. A large master suite and laundry room complete this level, with a detached casita just off the main entry.
The lower level houses children’s bedrooms, along with media and entertainment spaces. The top level serves as a family exercise room. The west facade incorporates many innovative and contemporary sun control features, while preserving the Cascade mountain views.
Photos: Courtesy of Mount Bachelor Design Studio
Vame is a spectacular summer holiday retreat that has been designed for a couple from New York by SAOTA Architects, located in Pearl Bay, South Africa. The clients were aware of the contemporary architectural trends, requesting a sculptured building with clean horizontal lines, large areas of glass and screens creating a space that is ‘open as well as private’. Their brief was a two bedroom home with indoor / outdoor living spaces and a studio to be used in their photographic and film related occupations.
The site is one of the few remaining sea-front stretches on the West Coast to be developed. Passing through the sleepy residential area of Yzerfontein one heads back South towards Cape Town. The site is one of a prize number located immediately behind the never-ending line of dunes. The climate on the West Coast can at times be idyllic and other times extremely harsh.
To maximize the views of the sea and waves over the dunes, the Ground Floor living areas were elevated above natural ground level. The L-shaped concept of two intersecting rectangular forms allow two full glazed sides to face the view and at the same time create a sheltered courtyard overlooking a long, rectangular pool. Sculptured rectangular forms, linear elements, expansive areas of horizontal glazing, sliding timber screens and the feature fireplace are the principal elements of the design.
The simple choice of materials complements the sculptural form of the house. The ceilings are off-shutter concrete with subtle wood grain patterns in the rectangular grids formed by the standard sized shutter boards. Walls are painted single coat plaster. Floors and bathroom walls are white cement screed throughout.
The principal neutral elements are complemented by the natural timber shutters and screens. These will mature in time to the silver-grey color of Balau timber. The full height internal doors and joinery are dark Walnut stained African mahogany; the cantilever staircase is rich red ‘Boire’ timber. Each bathroom is characterized by a feature wall in a carefully selected turquoise or green mosaic to complement the jade green slate vanity tops. Natural stone ribbon-clad features include the fireplace hearth, the red sandstone barbeque ledge recess and the rock-face jade slate pool spillway water feature. The basement courtyard has a Balau timber deck, highlighting the transition from the internal white cement screed to the dune sand. The high-gloss lacquered kitchen in yellow with seamless snow-white moulded counter tops is an unexpected surprise, for a functional element.
Raising the living areas above the natural ground level allows a one and a half volume high basement studio. Approached via an enclosed staircase, the basement comprises a large working studio, a study / third bedroom, bathroom and store room. The studio opens up to a courtyard, level with the sand of the valley between the site and the dunes. Floor-to-ceiling cavity sliding glazing allows the studio, courtyard and valley to become a single space – a natural daylight studio of infinite length. A dramatic stone-clad waterfeature cascades down from the pool on the enclosed side of the courtyard cooling the air of the sun-filled sheltered space.
The primary living level is raised above street level. The simplified street elevation comprises a natural timber garage door and is all that is required. One arrives at the front door up a gentle flight of stepping stones bedded in natural vegetation. The living area is made up of; an entrance hall with feature cantilever tread staircase, an open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge and the sea-facing balcony running the full length of the West facade as well as a covered terrace and linear patio cantilever over the sheltered courtyard garden and crystal-clear lap pool.
The First Floor has two bedroom suites. The main suite faces the sea and opens onto a terrace the length of the garden facade and has an accessible roof rock garden. The dressing room leads to the en-suite bathroom. The second bedroom en-suite is located at the inland end of the gallery passage space, and opens onto the same linear garden balcony.
The form of the house follows the required function. The L-shaped plan with its extended feature-wall towards the street creates the protected courtyard and living area. The sea-facing facade is glazed from end to end, encompassing the panoramic view from the North to Table Mountain in the South. The living area glazing can be completely opened up to allow the room to become part of the dunes, the ocean and horizon on a perfect West Coast day. The sliding Balau shutter screens provide protection from the setting sun over the Western horizon as well as privacy and security when required. The glazing to the covered terrace can also be completely opened, allowing the kitchen, dining area, covered terrace and courtyard to become one continuous entertainment area – open to the dunes and sea, or protected when the West facade glazing is closed. The screens to the covered terrace provide security and protection from the elements.
A second layer of architectural intent is evident in the carefully considered framed views and light sources. A slot skylight above the cantilevered staircase in the entrance hall throws a shaft of light into the center of the house. This casts a moving splay of shadows over the staircase treads. Framed vistas of sea and hilltop at each end of the basement staircase are viewed as one moves up or down between the cool enclosing walls. A picture window to the South of the main bedroom frames the view down the ridge of dunes towards Table Mountain.
Vertical and horizontal slot windows in the bathrooms allow views to the exterior while maintaining a sense of privacy. The butt joined glazed corners of the sea-facing facade enhance the panoramic view and floating horizontal lines. The experience of light climaxes in an almost laser show experience when the sliding shutters are closed during a sunset. The sun’s rays, as they filter through the minimal gaps between the horizontal timber slats create a magical experience as you move within the house. The cantilevered garden terrace extends the length of the house and wraps around to the fireplace, creating the impression that the building sits very lightly on the ground.
The house is essentially architectural and minimalist while at the same time being harmonious and complementary to West Coast vernacular.
Photos: Courtesy of SAOTA