Blue Hills House has been designed by la SHED architecture, perched on the edge of a mountainous slope in Morin-Heights, Quebec, Canada. The single story 2,152 square foot (200 square meters) residence is nestled on a large forested property, sitting gracefully between the trees and is only hardly visible from the street. As per the occupants’ and architect’s wishes, the house has a dual relationship with its environment; from the outside, it is camouflaged in its setting and is as discreet as possible.
In order to create an inconspicuous house in the landscape, the house was conceived all on the same level. The exterior is completely covered with natural white cedar siding which will become grey over time so that the residence will be even more unnoticeable behind the bark of the surrounding trees. The simple and elongated volume of the house is punctuated with perforations forming white alcoves in which were installed the windows.
The interior is all organized around the kitchen, which is the center of the house. The kitchen is characterized by the presence of two large kitchen islands which are functional as well as creating a convivial ambiance. The living space (living room and dining room) are located on each side of the kitchen. These spaces also extends to an outdoor veranda, integrated in the volume of the house. Large openings on both sides of the house helps giving a feeling of being outside while creating frames on the landscape. Inside, the polished concrete slab floor extends outside, both in the veranda and in the small alcoves.
From the inside, the house is completely open to its surroundings, and its occupants are met with scenery that is in constant evolution. In both cases, the house gives way to the wild grandeur of the Laurentians.
The Blue Hills House, through its refinement and simplicity, allows for a harmonious coexistence between man and nature. By establishing a comfortable, relaxed and light environment, living in this home is akin to perpetual holiday.
Photos: Maxime Brouillet
Soldati House was designed by architect Victor Vasilev as a specific request by the customer to create a functional and contemporary environment in a house built in the 90s in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy. The house three story dwelling had to accommodate the life of a family of four, without sacrificing the convenience offered by the world today. The idea comes from a clear choice: to create a space in which to unite under the leadership of geometry, material, light and functions, taking care of every detail, so that the final result is characterized by a visual unity.
Here is a description of the project from the architects: The house was built in the 1990ies, without design ambitions. The owners wanted the interior to look ‘Milanese’, i.e. ‘ultramodern’. I decided on a complete overhaul, appreciating the space potential – 4,704 square feet (530 square meters) on three floors. This is not a weekend retreat but a family house and the aim was to create a contemporary domestic environment functional in every aspect.
Travertine marble and Indonesian teak were chosen for the material palette. The design is based on the composition of simple square volumes. The custom-made furniture is integrated in the architecture of the house. A few ‘classical’ design pieces enrich the interior.
The final result is achieved by the interplay of space, materials, custom-made furniture and indirect lighting. It gives out the warm, white glow, which softens the interior.
The living area is focused on the ground floor. The rooms of the living, dining and kitchen flow into one another seamlessly.
The master bedroom, the children’s bedrooms and a guest bedroom are on the first floor. The low bench in the master bedroom serves as a visual link with the bathroom, thus avoiding distinctly divided spaces. The black washbasin is designed to hide the mixer taps.
The family wanted a spa area, so the basement is devoted to relaxation. Here you will find the area audio & video and wellness space. A sauna, a big bathtub for four and a massage area were constructed in the basement. A home cinema room with a folding screen was added.
Clients often live in fear of being ‘ forced ‘ to give up their way of life to be able to get into the ‘ temple of domestic architecture ‘. I believe that the success of the project lies in the fact that we have found functional and aesthetic solutions to all the needs that may last over time.
Photos: Adriano Pecchio Photography
MINIMOD is a modular home designed and built for relaxed, off-the-grid living, designed by MAPA Architects, situated in Maquiné – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This 290 square foot (27 square meters) module proposes an innovative, intelligent and sustainable alternative of dwelling. Starting from a minimal module, MINIMOD invests in customization, design and sustainability. The production is carried out in a prefabricated manner and enjoys the steel frame system technology, which lets the client adapt the space to his needs, choosing among different finishes, as well as automation options.
Depending on the composition of the modules, MINIMOD can vary the uses ranging from a compact refuge for weekends, a small showroom for events, up to hotels and inns, combining a larger number of modules. The modules are 100% prefabricated and elevated to a determined place by truck or disassembled into smaller pieces and taken to the ground for final assembly.
The expansion and addition of new modules can be performed either at initial installation or in the middle of the process, according to the needs and budgets of the client.
MINIMOD is more than a product of design, is more than a house. It’s practicality combined with comfort, it’s economy allied to nature, it’s a unique experience of housing and contemporary living.
MINIMOD centralizes production and reduces the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere. The home features a rainwater harvesting mechanism through the green roof. The house is slightly elevated to avoid moisture from penetrating the interior. Ventilated facade gives thermal and acoustic comfort. When night falls, this modular home uses LED lamps to illuminate its interior.
The MINIMOD enjoys the benefits of dry construction technology: quick, clean and efficient. Entirely manufactured and pre-modulated it is easily adaptable to customer needs. Mounted and manufactured in accordance with the premises of the project, it can be transported entirely or in parts.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti
Housing Reform in Eixample is the rehabilitation of a flat by architecture firms LOOX and DS Architects, in a heritage listed building in 1908 by Domènech and Estapà at the heart of Barcelona’s “Golden Square” in the Eixample quarter. The approach to the project has been to intervene as little as possible in its original layout, preserving the materials and finishes and repairing the ornaments and woodwork.
This way, the focus is on the existing elements that coexist with a contemporary style. The program developed consists of three bedrooms, a study, living room (lounge), kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms.
Domenech and Estapà´s original project corresponds to a household income between dividing walls of the ground floor and five floors height. The configuration of the lot, deeper below the household´s depth building area, almost disables the interior façade which doesn´t reach the courtyard. Resources providing lighting and ventilation to interior rooms are the remnants of the building´s volume practiced plan fund and dividing walls to the right with an open courtyard format; the central courtyard linked to the neighbor´s scale and another patio adjoining the dividing wall to the left, shared with the neighboring building.
Despite the main facade and common areas retain the original language, as it is common in this era´s buildings in the Eixample, each housing has been remodeled and / or split one or more times, and nowadays their condition and configuration are very heterogeneous.
The rehabilitated property which had been long time unoccupied still included the distribution and original finishes. The intervention suggests an update in terms of functionality, performance and comfort, but the main criteria precisely was intervening the least over distribution, keeping as far as possible all materials and finishes that have been preserved, and repair decorative elements and original woodwork.
The project has also addressed the repair operations and consolidation of the structure, crack´s stitching, protection of metallic elements, establishing criteria and procedures that should serve as a guideline for the structural consolidation of the building as a whole.
The false ceilings have been preserved and restored with their moldings and ornaments, interior and exterior woodwork, engraved glass and in much of the property, the original Nolla flooring mosaic. The kitchen, however, that had been already manipulated and didn’t preserve the original settings, has been resolved with current criteria and materials.
All three bedrooms and study as well as the living room (lounge), dining room and main bathroom are resolved in the current premises without altering them in any way. As in the original housing, departments facing Valencia´s Street facade which have better ventilation and lighting conditions are preferred, thus locating the master bedroom, living room (lounge) and study in it, whilst the whole kitchen-dining room occupy the interior premises.
Therefore, the adjustments´ distribution proposed by the project are just the extension of the kitchen, which will remain occupying its present position but incorporating the adjoining room facing the back facade, and the transformation of three very small pieces which accommodate two adjacent toilets and a pantry in a sole dependency which will become the house´s second bathroom.
Neither, the current hall distribution around the stairwell is altered in any way, which with the proposed reform program will become a continuous ring.
Photos: Adrià Goula
Meticulously renovated, this very stunning villa in Mallorca showcases beautiful design details in the picture perfect holiday resort area of Puerto Andratx. The site offers generous grounds of 2,500 square meters, which includes a private pool and lush gardens, several magnificent terraces, BBQ area, parking and excellent views of the harbor and the sea that is unbeatable. This exceptional property is comprised of 9,579 square feet (890 square meters), offering six bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, six bathrooms, living/dining room with fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, laundry room and convenient space for storage, marble flooring with underfloor heating, double glazing and security door. This splendid villa also has a guest apartment. The property has been designed and decorated with good taste with a contemporary style in combination with certain traditional elements.
Want more of this picturesque villa? It could be all yours, as it is listed for sale at $10,222,890, from here.
The Silverhurst Residence has been designed by SAOTA Architects is an elegant, modern country villa set in Constantia’s exclusive gated Silverhurst Estate in Cape Town, South Africa. Arranged around a double volume sky-lit entrance and water courtyard, the symbiosis between the interiors and the architecture is such that the overall impression is that of a clean but carefully considered scheme that soothes with its high-end modern appeal.
VIVID Architects prepared the initial concept design for this home, a contemporary reboot of the more classical architectural styles. SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects and ANTONI ASSOCIATES were then appointed to refine and develop the design and oversee the project to completion. The facade is Georgian inspired but the modern aspect of the look is driven by a dynamic of recessed and projecting panels and cubes that create courtyards and terraces that articulate and add interest to what is a highly organized shell. The interiors, by ANTONI ASSOCIATES, are equally sculpted.
For the design ethic within the house, ultra-slick finishes and a futuristic home-tech edge were chosen. Stripped back ceilings with recessed details cleverly hide curtain tracks and act as a mechanism through which wooden feature walls can disappear out of sight, lending each room a clean crisp finish. Clusters of directional spotlights were selected to add ambiance and subtly highlight architectural nuances, such as the floating stairs.
Entering the house, a large light-filled entrance hall divides the two ground-floor wings which consist of a series of living spaces that open out to a private courtyard and the very edgy Franchesca Watson landscaped garden beyond.
Natural materials were used to add warmth and texture throughout. Jerusalem stone flooring extends from the main entrance through most of the internal and external spaces giving way to fumed oak floors in the living and dining areas, as well as American cedar for the doors and pergolas and Ipe for the pool decking.
This natural but uncluttered linear language was carried through to the decor by Mark Rielly of ANTONI ASSOCIATES who opted for solid timber pieces. Leather and suede were chosen for the upholstery. Feature lights are also strategically placed to add drama and definition to different spaces. The symbiosis between the decor and architecture is such that the overall impression is that of a clean but carefully considered scheme that soothes with its high-end modern appeal.
This very enchanting Hollywood Hills residence has been perfectly placed in the coveted Outpost Estates, which has recently been created as a visionary architect’s main home. Minimalist and contemporary yet tranquil and inviting, the open, loft-like rooms feature expanses of glass that bathe the gallery-white walls and warm Brazilian Walnut floors in light, creating a wonderful interplay of indoor comfort and outdoor charm. The 3,000 square foot interior is masterfully detailed and features soaring ceilings, custom cabinetry, the finest designer fixtures, a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, lighting system, AV, security system, insulated glass and solar power. The exterior features spacious outdoor areas with BBQ, salt water pool, spa and lush landscaping embraced by the surrounding hills of sunny California.
This captivating property is listed for sale at $2,495,000, from here.
A voluminous living area features a built-in entertainment center, crushed glass fireplace and opens on to the sparkling pool.
The open plan kitchen boasts top of the line appliances and tasteful finishes.
There are three bedrooms, one of which has been configured as an office, with open walls and large windows to take advantage of the home’s best views.
With a strong indoor-outdoor living connection, Pebble Beach Residence is a fresh concept of the California contemporary home as designed by Conrad Sanchez of the Conrad Design Group. Conrad’s work has been published in Architectural Digest, Luxe magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle. This classic mid-century home situated on the Monterey Peninsula is designed around an open plan living area with central hearth, gourmet kitchen, three bedrooms, each with private baths. The 2,200 square foot home is designed for entertaining, the rear wall of the great room opens to create a beautiful indoor-outdoor setting for parties. The courtyard features an outdoor kitchen and dining area, fire pit, lounge area and hot tub. The home is custom furnished, fitted with beautiful custom details. It offers a notable level of luxury in a private setting. This home beautifully defines the central coast lifestyle with the ultimate indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
This incredible contemporary home is listed for sale at $2,690,000, from here.
This contemporary remodel and addition of a 1950’s home on the Mesa of Santa Barbara, California was designed by Harrison Design Associates, and in collaboration with Allen Associates. In addition to making the home more comfortable and energy efficient, the remodel added fabulous finishes. The original house had separate living, dining and kitchen areas. Walls were opened and a new structural beam added to make one grand room with abundant light and strong connections to outside environs. A new bocce court was added on the ocean side of the house to “expand the party” down the yard. The owners were originally going to have this as a second home; however, during the course of the remodel, they fell in love with Santa Barbara, their new home and its beautiful ocean views.
Photos: Jake Cryan Photography
House Boz is a spacious and luxurious residence designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects situated on a hill within a secluded nature estate in Pretoria, South Africa. The clients requested that this stunning contemporary four bedroom house had an emphasis placed on the design of the living rooms. Ensuring that the magnificent views were optimized was of utmost importance and the design of this 8,288 square foot (770 square meters) house responds well not only to the client’s requirements but also to the context of the site.
The concept of a bush lodge arose from the vastness of the site and the natural setting of the stand within the estate. Werner van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects was inspired to design a house that resembled a bush lodge in the way it responds to nature and its immediate surroundings. Translating this concept into a contemporary home was almost effortless thanks to the location, orientation and natural beauty of the site.
Phia van der meulen and the M Square Lifestyle Design team strategically linked spaces through their use of various natural materials in the interior spaces. The design exposes the truth of the materials by using them in their purest form such as incorporating in situ-concrete, quartzite cladding and rusted mild steel in the design.
Regardt van der Meulen’s original steel sculptures were chosen for the project, as they fitted perfectly with the steel theme of the project.
Approaching the stand via a long driveway, you are afforded the opportunity to appreciate the design from a distance before actually getting close enough to appreciate its spaces. The striking square and rectangular forms are strategically positioned to capture your attention while the rusted steel boxes and stone-cladded walls aid in camouflaging the house creating a sense of unity between building and site.
The stretched screen walls seem to want to reach beyond their borders while floating steel boxes are gracefully suspended in mid air. The prominent east-west and north-south axes link and connect all the spaces while this point of collision and interception of the axes becomes the center of the home and it is here where we find the living room and covered patio. Thanks to the views being orientated towards North, the entire Northern facade has the ability to open up and live out onto the expansive views thus also naturally lighting and heating the house in winter, while carefully designed overhangs and brise-soleil keep the summer sum out.
The entrance hall positioned between the double garages is distinctively located alongside a partially covered atrium that gently introduces you to several views through the house as you’re welcomed in. The koi pond introduces water as you approach the front door while various podiums add depth and dimension to this space. An elevated sculpture podium and interlocking planters bring this atrium to life. At the same time it makes it possible to sleep with open doors as it is impossible to get into the atrium once the Mentis grating gate to the driveway is locked.
Every design decision communicates and reinforces the concept, as can be seen in the selection of materials used and the way the internal spaces relate to the outdoors. Limiting the choice of materials to predominately natural materials and earthy colors, it is evident that even the smallest of details make reference to the concept in a very unique way. Initially the site revealed itself as a mound of quartzite rock which was excavated and hand cut for the gabion walls and the stone cladding used throughout the house.
The double volume entrance hall is framed by a back-lit perforated skin of scaffolding boards bolted to a wall, creating the perfect backdrop for the sculptural looking concrete staircase with steel inlays and the sculpture under it by Regardt van der Meulen.
The interiors feature linear and monolithic forms that complement the architect’s vision for this house. Many of the functional elements were designed to become beautiful features that visually connect the spaces and create links throughout the house rather than just remaining purely functional. An example of this would be the way the staircase relates to the aluminum ceiling which features in both the main living room as well as in the main bedroom.
The selection of furniture pieces once again continued this theme where splashes of orange were used in the living room making reference to the orange seen in the rusted metal cladding. The overall charcoal color range used in this house complements the shades of grey found in the off shutter concrete walls.
The kitchen overlooks the lanai and garden while the frameless folding doors create an invisible threshold between the inside and out. These doors, when completely open, allow for the kitchen and dining room to overflow onto the lanai and bar, making entertaining effortless and enabling adults to keep an eye on children in the pool, a mere meter away.
The lanai with a sunken jacuzzi is snugly positioned between the pool on one side and a stone-cladded wall on the west which screens the afternoon sun to ensure the lanai’s temperature remains moderate. It is these design decisions that truly set this house apart from the rest.
All four en suite bedrooms are situated on the first floor with all of the bedrooms having their own private balcony. The three children’s bedrooms are situated on the western wing of the house while the main bedroom is located on the eastern wing. A suspended walkway with steel sheeting as floor tiles, overlooking the atrium links the two wings and creates a sense of privacy for the main bedroom.
Challenges arose during the construction process; however Nico van der Meulen Architects clearly pushed the boundaries on this design. This house prides itself in its design for luxury indoor/outdoor living in the heart of nature where internal spaces effortlessly expand beyond their often invisible borders to a world of beauty outside.
The variety and combination of textures used in this design create a synergy in this home which makes it truly unique.
Photos: Courtesy of Nico van der Meulen Architects