Chelsea townhouse is a three story contemporary renovation with a garden extension completed in 2011 by architecture studio Archi-Tectonics, located in Chelsea, New York. The existing 3,400 square foot brownstone townhouse is a New York landmark. The existing structure was gut-renovated and a 550 square foot garden extension was added to two floors and a roof terrace. The client, a fashion designer, was interested in a ‘textured’ and layered approach.
The new rear extension is conceived as a light airy space which creates a filter to the garden space beyond, adding more light and better views. The new garden facade is a 3d folded steel and glass structure with reclaimed tropical palisander infill. It extends the library on the garden level, the living room on the parlor floor and creates a terrace for the master bedroom area above.
The interior of the townhouse is gut-renovated; the top floor is raised, the garden floor is lowered and a completely new wood and glass staircase with a skylight is inserted, lighting the stair space all the way down. Large sets of sliding doors at the living/ entry and bedroom/bathroom areas are creating flexible use of space; these doors are 3d CNC milled with wood and glass patterns.
Photos: Richard Powers
Moore Park Residence is an infill house designed by Drew Mandel Architects, situated in the neighborhood of Moore Park, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This sensational 2,880 square foot home was one of 15 recipients of the 2014 Design Excellence Awards from the Ontario Association of Architects.
It represents the first tear-down replacement on an established street that is characterized by a common model: 1920s-era single-family homes with mutual drives. The concept of the project is to integrate a re-imagined single-family residence into a typical Toronto streetscape.
The design embraces the iconic, house-like forms of the existing streetscape and reinforces the setbacks, materials, and relationship with grade. However, it puts forward a contemporary example of home. The third floor is set back at the front and rear and match existing massing on the street, while providing opportunities for green roof terraces and privacy at the east and west side.
The house forms a complex figure-ground relationship. It is animated by light and shadow, and it is structured by a board-formed concrete wall, transparent partitions, interconnecting void spaces, and a large light well that slices through three storeys. The concrete wall satisfies building code restrictions on unprotected openings to the south while allowing light to reach deeply into the basement.
The lowest storey slides underneath the rear ground plane where one can access a narrow exterior space that is open to light from above. The floors and spaces are visually interconnected yet defined for the varied activities of modern family living. It is the half-open house; a nuanced glass envelope enclosure.
The house is designed to accommodate a family’s changing needs and interests in different occasions and through its lifetime. The rear ‘mud room’, kitchen, dining and front entry spaces all bleed into their adjacent space for adaptive accommodation. The spaces have a range of uses: The ground floor millwork detailing allows an extended table for large family gatherings; four desk areas found throughout the house allow for a variety of home-office options; the basement is treated as a prime, and not a secondary space in order to maximize the use of available space.
The landscaping extends the experience of the house into the site. It includes a gas fire pit, curved foot path for a mailman, and three separate areas of living green roofs. The third floor terraces offer delightful views of the mature tree canopy surrounding the neighborhood. The shaped ceiling of the third floor master suite is uninterrupted in order to maintain both the views and access to natural light.
Photos: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Cascading Creek House is a contemporary single family residence that has been designed by Bercy Chen Studio, located in Austin, Texas. The property was conceived less as a house and more as an extension and outgrowth of the limestone and aquifers of Central Texas. Just recently completed, this 11,796 square foot home incorporates plenty of sustainable features including photovoltaics, rainwater collection and hydronic heating and cooling. The beautiful contemporary design details carried out throughout the home was the meticulous work of Alan Cano Interiors.
The primary formal gesture of the project inserts two long native limestone walls to the sloping site, serving as spines for the public wing and private wing of the house. The walls and the wings they delineate shelter a domesticated landscape that serves as an extended living space oriented towards the creek below and protected from the torrents of water draining from the street above during sudden downpours characteristic of the area.
The sitting of the boundary walls and building elements was informed by the presence and preservation of three mature native oaks. The roof structure is configured so as to create a natural basin for the collection of rainwater, not unlike the vernal pools found in the outcroppings of the Texas Hill Country. These basins harness additional natural flows through the use of photovoltaic and solar hot-water panels.
The water, electricity and heat which are harvested on the roof tie into an extensive climate conditioning system which utilizes water source heat pumps and radiant loops to supply both the heating and cooling for the residence. The climate system is connected to geothermal ground loops as well as pools and water features thereby establishing a system of heat exchange, which minimizes reliance on electricity or gas.
Photos: Bercy Chen Studio
Wissioming2 Residence is organized into two volumes connected with glass bridges, designed by Robert M. Gurney Architect, located in Glen Echo, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. This newly developed home is sited on a sloping, wooded lot with distant views of the Potomac River.
The house is positioned to preserve a majority of mature trees and is oriented toward the river views and south facing slope.
Secondary volumes intersect and overlap the two larger structures rendering the composition more dynamic. Material changes in the various elements intensify the relationships. Expanses of glass open to a terrace organized around a swimming pool with two “infinity” edges reinforcing the connectivity to the wooded landscape.
The house is organized into two volumes connected with glass bridges that span a reflecting pool which separates the volumes.
The interiors are painted with light. Walls constructed with slender, steel window frames composed in “Mondrian” inspired patterns combine with translucent panels, wenge and white oak millwork and Pompeii Scarpaletto stone to define interior spaces. White terrazzo flooring juxtaposes the black window frames and unifies the volumes on the main floor.
This house is designed to provide spaces which are organized to integrate its inherently picturesque site in a way that the architecture becomes subservient to the landscape that surrounds it.
Photographs: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
Ravine Residence was designed to accommodate the integration of life with nature by Hariri Pontarini Architects, located in an area of North Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The 12,000 square foot (1,115 square meters ) contemporary home was completed in 2006, situated within a large ravine system. This private residence not only takes advantage of the surrounding expansive natural vistas, but also creates a close relationship with its immediate environment.
Designed to accommodate the integration of life with nature, the external treatment of this house explores a carefully honed language of natural materials, while the slightly curved front facade is carefully sculpted, presenting a solid entity to the street. The house opens to the back, inviting nature to interact with the everyday living of its residents.
Accented in earthy tones of French limestone, wood detailing, rift-cut oak and teak windows, this private home is juxtaposed with the natural greenery of the adjacent ravine. The property is, in essence, a two-acre room enclosed by a natural wall of fir trees. Settled within the center of the site, the two storey house is designed to enhance the views to the two pyramidal oaks and catalpa tree in the front with a silver maple and Japanese maple at the back.
The sculpted space of this private residence resonates an understanding of human comfort. Carefully carved windows penetrate the facade, allowing arrays of natural light within, while the finishes add a warm touch. Utilizing a consistent palette of limestone and walnut flooring, the interior provides a sophisticated setting for a family residence and flows easily from the front entrance to the third floor family room with views focused towards the heavily forested ravine.
This residence employs two volumes with carefully choreographed openings, each addressing the public street while preserving domestic privacy. The rear of the house takes advantage of the picturesque ravine landscape by maximizing the flow of natural light into the space, and providing stunning landscape views.
Green construction practices on site were encouraged through the use of local materials, by maximizing natural light, and by minimizing damage to the existing ecosystem and habitat. The construction team established a process for the reduction of waste, reuse of materials and control of generated emissions.
Various construction systems were employed in the design of this residence, including a “poured in place” concrete foundation system and structural steel framing. This framing, which uses chimneys as lateral bracing elements, allows for expansive widths while permitting light flow throughout the house, to ensure a lasting comfort and an uplifting experience. The completed design underscores the client’s desire to create an enduring generational home.
Photos: Ben Rahn/A-Frame
Gridiron Ranch showcases posh contemporary interiors, designed by Furman + Keil Architects, located sixty miles from Austin in the Texas Hill Country of Spicewood, Texas. This stunning residence was completed in 2012 and was the result of a three year collaborative effort between Mark Ashby Design, architects Furman + Keil, and builder Classic Constructors.
With its extensive indoor/outdoor spaces, including an open sleeping porch and a separate poolside guest house, this home takes full advantage of its expansive views.
Guest House Interior
The award-winning firm, Furman + Keil Architects, is dedicated to providing a design-focused service meeting the specific needs of our clients through a collaborative team approach. We strive to create timeless, sustainable buildings rooted in local traditions, built to be enjoyed by our clients for generations.
This casual compound has been designed as a vacation retreat by the San Antonio architecture firm Lake|Flato, located high above Lake Austin, Texas. This is the second home for a busy couple who lives near San Francisco and loves the water.
High above Lake Austin, the main house keeps the couple walking on air, thanks to a catwalk that connects it to one of the three out buildings.
Interior designer Fern Santini’s ruggedly casual decor makes for relaxed living, and is punctuated on high with stylishly whimsical pendant lighting. Porches encourage outdoor living, and separate yoga studio and exercise room are for well-being. A lake pavilion and boat house complete the setting.
This incredibly stunning home is is open and airy and has wonderful flow. The beautiful furnishings throughout has a modern yet cottagey feel.
Photos: Nick Johnson
Cove House is a contemporary remodel of a dreary 1980s tract house designed by Furman + Keil Architects, located on a narrow peninsula in Lake Austin, Texas. The site was incomparable, with the lake fronting two sides of the property. The new owners loved the location and even wanted to save the house, which spoke to them about casual lakeside living. The architects worked largely within the constraints of the existing footprint, inheriting many of the quirky geometries of the floor plan.
The entry courtyard was redesigned to allow visitors to penetrate deeper into the site, extending and enhancing the entry transition.
New panoramic windows allow the inhabitants to take in the natural surroundings, while massive sliding doors connect the living room to a new screened porch, engaging with views of the lake beyond.
The architects rendered a stunning renovation to the wood and glass building, turning it into an indoor-outdoor house that’s perfect for entertaining both formally and informally.
Fern Santini Design played up the new architecture with elegantly relaxed furniture and an expertly curated array of contemporary art by local artists. Touches of absolute luxury—such as plaster walls in the master bedroom, all-out glamor in the gold-and-white tiled master bath, and a Kyle Bunting rug in the dining room—are reminders that being casual doesn’t preclude being very very stylish.
Overcoming the challenges of the lot and the geometries of the existing house led to an unexpected design which takes full advantage of this spectacular site.
Photos: Nick Johnson
Chicago Residence is a modern home built for a family that showcases a sophisticated selection of materials and architecture, designed by Dirk Denison Architects, located in Chicago, Illinois. The residence maintains the urban townhouse relationship with its neighbors. Dynamic spatial relationships are created through overlapping materials and the layering of interior and exterior. Visual connections are created from indoor spaces and passages to garden terraces, outdoor landscaping and the adjacent park. Fine articulation and craft of a simple yet rich palette comprise restrained minimal spaces that emphasize the family’s activities, artwork and extensive fish collection in large, integrated aquariums.
From the entrance up through three floors to the roof deck terraces the main stair is the vertical core of the home. At the top of the stair a large light monitor allows natural light deep into the building, while a railing of stainless steel and translucent glazing reflect and diffuse the light, adding to the dynamics of the space. A central pendant light fixture composed of many silken cords each holding a lamp, stretch throughout the stairway, lighting one’s path upward through the home. The solid ash of the floor carries through to the treads of the stair, further connecting each level.
The home utilizes sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and technologies such as green roof systems, automated shade controls, geothermal heating and cooling, a highly insulated building envelope, and low VOC-emission substrates. Windows are fabricated with insulated, low-e coated glazing, with an additional UV film installed on its interior pane. In addition, the outer pane of glass consists of two laminated glass layers, adding to the insulating quality of the glazing while minimizing exterior sound absorption. The shifting volumes and primary southern exposure maximize daylighting throughout the home, minimizing the family’s dependence on artificial lighting. The building’s products and materials inform a responsible and enduring design.
Photos: The Michelle Litvin Studio