Sonoma Modern Barn is a tranquil retreat built in 2010 by Castor Architecture, surrounded by open space, vineyards and an organic farm in Sonoma, California. Situated on the site of the Old Lawrence Hot Springs Spa, a private gated driveway bridges the nearby world of historic Sonoma Square with a contemporary tranquil estate. The 5,000 square foot, four bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom property takes full advantage of the hillside site, which offers views, a sense of openness, and terrific lighting to the south and west. The modern floor plan creates a series of outdoor terraces with prime exposure between the two arms of the house. This beautiful property fuses rustic contemporary architecture with historical influences in a sophisticated modern style.
We spotted this sensational property on Sotheby’s, listed for sale at $5,200,000.
Features include living room, open dining room, gourmet kitchen, den/office, family room, master suite, bedrooms, powder room, media room/home theater, loft, two car garage and sumptuous outdoor living. Outdoor living features includes, beautifully matured landscape, outdoor gas fireplace off living room and office, 100 year old original rock wall made of very rare blue stone, sparkling pool with cover, marquis spa, covered patio for shade at pool, and wine cellar.
Fairfield Hacienda is a stunning contemporary dwelling that was the vision of MRTN Architects, located on the fringe of Melbourne, Australia’s inner suburbs. The new family home sits in an established residential street of Victorian villas and Californian bungalows. From the street, the angled roof home seems to fit into the landscape of single-level homes, effortlessly picking up the street’s original pattern of hipped and gabled roof forms. A closer look however, reveals that this new house sits unusually behind a sunny, walled courtyard. This room without a roof, except for a sheltering courtyard tree, is an extension of the living and dining spaces that open onto it.
The enclosed courtyard is located to the north of the house and creates a buffer between the street and the house allowing the living spaces to open up to and access northern light and warmth.
The front wall of the courtyard matches the front setback of the adjacent neighbors. In holding the typical front setback of houses along the street, and setting the house to the south, a sun filled outdoor area is created that can be used as a living, dining or play area. The courtyard space also becomes a semi-public space allowing interaction between the owners and local passerby’s; responding to the owner’s desire that the house engage with the established residents in the area.
The concrete block walls of the courtyard continue without interruption through the house’s main living areas. These walls remain unchanged except for the patina. Outside they are rough and weathered, but become polished and honed once inside. The design is not precious of the courtyard walls; eventually vines and creepers will take over the exterior concrete block and create a walled garden that will change by season.
The living spaces are covered with an undulating canopy of cedar, a warm blanket of timber. From the exterior the roof form relates to the neighboring roof geometries along the street but from inside the roof dips and rises to define the dining, kitchen and living spaces below. The timber ceiling is kept clear of down lights and services; all lighting is provided by concealed perimeter uplighting, at night the roof appears to float over the masonry walls below.
Beyond the living spaces the private zones of the house are arranged as two wings, a parents wing and a children’s wing, that wrap around a small courtyard. This central planted courtyard provides light and ventilation to the center of the house. Currently parents and young children can see each other through this void but over time planting will create greater privacy for older children.
The owners’ brief was to create a long-term family home, somewhere they could become a part of the street and its ongoing history. The Fairfield Hacienda sits comfortably within its local context while creating a contemporary light filled home that is orientated to the north and provides a variety of spaces to live in, both inside and out.
Photos: Peter Bennetts
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