Oban House is a modern property showcasing a natural and organic material pallet by building company AGUSHI, teaming up with Workroom Design in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The client wanted a low maintenance home that not only has a natural and organic material pallet but also has a slightly industrial, yet warm feel. The residence accommodates two living zones, study, kitchen with butler’s pantry, four bedrooms with three bathrooms and a separate upstairs living zone. The two levels of the house are accessed by a lift and the house offers a rarity for South Yarra being a generous two car off street garage.
Positioned on only 5,166 (square feet) 480 square meters of land, this house at 3,982 square feet (370 square meters) of living and garage offer a highly unique experience for inner city Melbourne living. The spaces are large without feeling cavernous and the abundant use of glazing brings so much natural light into the home that ones feels like they are outside as much as they are inside.
Outside is an 8 meter pool and north east facing garden, tiled alfresco area for outdoor entertainment and discreet plant and equipment area. The house is orientated around a central courtyard providing northern light into the two living areas and a smaller north courtyard fills the study with a bright landscaped outlook.
Externally the house is largely rendered in a Roman finished render offering a crazed patina look and has a kind of fortress appeal with only one front facing window which is covered by operable louvred screen to protect the bedroom from the harsh afternoon sun. The lower section of the house is largely comprised of floor to ceiling windows and black Zinc cladding conceals the garage.
Internally natural and blackened American Oak is abundant in the joinery and wall paneling whilst European oak and travertine dominate the floor finishes. An Oak battened ceiling gives the dining and alfresco areas a distinct sense of separation from the open plan design. Off form concrete walls and structural columns, and oxidized steel cladding in bathrooms give an industrial touch with Calacutta marble offsetting this industrial feel with a lux enhancement.
Photos: Courtesy of AGUSHI
Casa del Agua is a single family home where water serves as the main design element, designed by a.a.a Almazán y Arquitectos Asociados, situated in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico. Water is used as inspiration for the design of this home and through the use of well-defined volumes are habitable spaces, with high ceilings and intermediate courtyards, which through ventilation and lighting of walkways, will be achieved, effects of light and spaciousness to the interior, making the most of natural light. Sustainable features were also used in this project to respond to the needs of the client, giving comfort, savings and efficiency of resources.
With finishes of marble, wood and white walls, manage to make spaces of great comfort, simplicity and elegance. Each space has a luminous atmosphere that emphasizes and integrates the furniture, that harmonizes with the various finishes.
The house is uprooted in an area of 22,970 (2,134 square meters), with 16,146 square feet (1,500 square meters) of constructed area and has 11,593 square feet (1,077 square meters) of garden, which create a pleasant environment, together with the use of water, they make different views by integrating the exterior with the interior.
With excellent use of space, the house is distributed on two levels and a basement. In the first level, a wooden deck nearly 17 meters long, surrounded by water, a fountain and a planter, which distributed the passage to different spaces, we find: A guest bedroom with bathroom and terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, later, the lobby with the guest bathroom, study, dining room, illuminated by a large window that overlooks a terrace breakfast area overlooking the rear garden, the room, overlooking the swimming pool located in the back of the house, a kitchen and a front room surrounded by indoor gardens that offer plenty of space.
The second level has private spaces divided into three areas, one is the master bedroom overlooking the rear garden. Another is home to a study, family room and a bedroom with bathroom, divided by two large voids and in the third, three bedrooms with terrace overlooking the reflecting pool, located at the main entrance.
Finally a basement divided into two areas, one consisting of a ballroom and champagne service, guest bathroom, cinema room, covered terrace and cellar for garden furniture. In the other, the area of services, consisting of laundry, chauffeurs, wine accessories and diving equipment, hydro-pneumatic room, bath service garden, cistern of 37 m3 and an electrical substation.
Photos: Jorge Moreno
Nhabeo House is a contemporary townhouse that has been designed by Trinhvieta-Architects, situated in Hochiminh City, Vietnam. The concept of the home was to create an “intermediate space” connecting all other functional spaces, this open space is either courtyard, internal void or common space semi-opened to the outside while semi-closed in other to protect the necessary privacy of the residence. The house is 4 meters wide by 20 meters long including 1 semi-basement, 1 mezzanine floor and 3 stories above constructed by RC frame and brick walls with a total of 2,561 square feet (238 square meters) of living space.
Louver Facade and Sliding Glass roofs area designed to maximize the connection with outside environment overcoming the limitation of getting in touch with the outside for such long and narrow townhouse. Other more discrete areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms expose to this “intermediate space” through the internal void running throughout the house. These spaces can be opened or closed whenever necessary.
Greenery is located inside this “intermediate space” including 3 Babylon gardens provided with medium height trees which are about 4m higher than ground level. These gardens filled with sunlight and winds bring in the relaxing feelings for the people and shorten the distance to nature which is quite difficult for townhouse. Unifying the whole space with the “intermediate space” helps people living inside to enjoy these gardens wherever they are within the house. Sub-functional spaces such as garage, storage, technical rooms are located in the lower part of the house attached but separated with the actual living space which is located in the upper part to get close to the outside atmosphere. Natural ventilation and lighting helps reducing the energy effectively.
Typical townhouse of Vietnam is influenced by the old habit of old city commercial tradition where every house tries to get in touch with the front street and resulted in very long and narrow sites with very limited facade, some of them even smaller than 4m. Similar examples can be found in 36 streets of Hanoi or ancient town of Hoi An. Expanding in city population nowadays led to the necessity of putting more slabs in the house and making them higher, this also makes it harder to ensure the living condition of them which demands natural ventilation and lighting. With the concept of using green “intermediate space”, this project is hoped to be a new model for such type of Vietnamese townhouse providing the people the enjoyable and relaxing living condition.
Photos: Hiroyuki Oki
JKC2 house has been designed by architecture firm ONG&ONG, comprised of three volumes positioned around a central courtyard interacting together to be viewed as an independent entity in Singapore. The home’s interiors and outdoor areas are configured with flexibility of space in mind so that the house can be adapted to suit a broad spectrum of homeowners.
A balance is struck between the man-made spaces and the natural ones, with the building formed from basic elemental shapes with raw-finished materials, such as fair-faced concrete, stone, mild steel, tropical wood and clear glass. The dialogue between the components of this palette reflects a sense of warmth and immediacy with nature.
Photos: Aaron Pocock
Menlo Park Residence is a modern single family home that has been designed by Dumican Mosey Architects and built by Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders in San Francisco, California. The cool modern 5,500 square foot home gets its warmth from the architect’s intentions, the homeowners’ style and two kids just being two kids. While the design exhibits many trademarks of minimalism (clean lines, hard surfaces, high ceilings, and lots of glass), the architect also integrated antidotes to the inherently cool style: a U-shaped courtyard, raised sun decks and a sophisticated playground complete with pool, and raised sun decks. The result was a modern home that still embraces texture, warmth, lightness and a connection to the outdoors.
The ground up project features an aluminum storefront style window system that connects the interior and exterior spaces. Modern design incorporates integral color concrete floors, Boffi cabinets, two fireplaces with custom stainless steel flue covers. Other notable features include an outdoor pool, solar domestic hot water system and custom Honduran mahogany siding and front door.
The entryway, itself, features a living wall by Kevin Smith (no relation to the homeowner). The home has a high-tech system that unlatches as the homeowners approach.
The streamlined Boffi kitchen was customized to hide all the unsightly necessities of a family of four.
The home’s seamless connection to the outdoors is best represented by the great room’s clerestory windows, skylights and a 40-foot-wide series of sliding-glass pocket doors. During the day, this allows for an abundance of warm sunlight and fresh air, bringing life to the stark architecture. By night, the McIver-Smith household takes on a new vibe, when two fireplaces and an ensemble case of static light fixtures are turned on.
The dining room, located to the right of the entry, is like a glass vitrine at night with 36 Bocci pendants and a glossy white table. Is in the living room, the fireplace surround was custom-designed and fabricated by Concreteworks’ Mark Rogero.
Fatboy beanbags and playful “Scrabble” tiles by Justine King make the kids’ playroom the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon with movies or video games.
The master bedroom’s entire corner opens to the pool area by way of a sundeck featuring an automated shade canopy. Owner Bridget McIver furnished the house with Italian pieces from Dzine, such as Paola Lenti’s outdoor seating.
The integration of the pool area and patio with the living room allows for easygoing entertaining—as does a separate guest suite. The homeowners have hosted everything from a 40th birthday bash to a make-your-own-pizza social to a karaoke blowout.
Both of the kids’ rooms are decorated with Blik wall decals. This room has an added touch, a wall-mounted fishbowl.
The master bedroom uses a serene, relaxing color palette of soft greens.
The master bed and bath are tucked into the lot’s far corner, allowing for plenty of glass but ensuring privacy.
Monsoon Retreat has been designed by Abraham John ARCHITECTS, situated in Khandala, a famous hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India. The 8,363 square foot (777 square meters) private residence is surrounded by a swimming pool and evergreen gardens. The living room was conceived as an “outdoor space” with abundant light and natural ventilation. It opens onto decks and gardens on either side, in keeping with the concept. A continuous wall serves as a textured backdrop to the living room and continues onto the deck, lending it a rustic feel. The cantilevered wood and steel staircase connecting the two floors is set against imposing double height windows; it is bathed in light, allowing luxuriant indoor plants to thrive. The indoor courtyard pathway continues from the staircase area towards the garden. Showers of light are suspended from the ceiling creating a serene ambiance.
The Villa showcases Five Bedrooms (optional Media Room) with attached Bathrooms and balconies. In addition there is a Staff Room, a Kitchen and a Powder Room.
Landscape and lighting design play an essential role in the project: outdoor areas and even indoor courtyards, namely the staircase and dining courtyards abound with greenery. Earth was mounded up, boulders & exotic plants were added to create an interesting entrance. The parking area was paved using green paver blocks which allow grass to grow.
The Dining Room suspends over the private pool, giving the room an island-like feel; the tree in the dining area adds an element of surprise. The Dining island becomes an exotic “outdoor” space where one can enjoy the breeze, the proximity to the water and to the greenery.
The open floor plan makes the Living – Dining – Swimming Pool and Deck areas feel like an expansive lounge.
Three bedrooms are situated on the first floor. The master bedroom is separated from the other two bedrooms via a bridge that spans across the double height space of the living room. The Master Bedroom is a complete suite by itself, made up of a large bedroom looking onto a private terrace, a master bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. Wooden rafters span the entire Master Suite ceiling, giving it an earthy, out-of-town feel. The bedroom’s wooden flooring brings in beauty and warmth. A walk-on skylight is a unique feature between the bedroom and the terrace overlooking the garden.
One with nature:
The villa is designed in response to site conditions. Sloping roofs have been designed to withstand the extreme monsoons rains experienced in the area. This house allows one to experience nature. The indoor/outdoor boundaries disappear as every room opens up to a private outdoor space (terrace or garden). Outdoor decks and landscaped gardens serve as expansive entertaining areas with artful illumination and mood lighting. Indoor courtyards, skylights, double height sliding-folding windows add to the outdoor feel. Light and shadow add warmth & texture. The carefully chosen, limited palette of materials ensures consistency in design, minimizes maintenance and encourages sustainability.
Spaces created harmonize with their surroundings and encourage sustainability by using “green” materials that accentuate warmth & transparency, whilst aging beautifully: natural sandstone & engineered wooden flooring, large sliding and operable double–glazed windows, which cut down on solar radiation and air conditioning load, allowing for uninterrupted views and access to landscaped areas; automation & LED lights reduce electrical consumption. Cross ventilation ensures minimum use of the AC.
Photos: Alan Abraham
AR Design Studio just sent us their latest project, 4 Views, a private house situated in a prominent location overlooking the city of Winchester, United Kingdom and its beautiful surrounding countryside. This striking upside-down build contrasts with its conventional neighbors, displaying a flat over hanging roof, dark grey brick, cedar cladding and grey aluminum framed windows. In 2011 the architects were approached by a couple wishing to build a new house. They wanted a life experience to immerse themselves in, having recently lost a daughter; a project that would give them a positive focus and a fresh start for them and their family.
Taking responsibility for their brief very seriously, research into building a house that could help them move forward, heal and bring them happiness began. Through extensive research we found a wealth of information on the connection between good architecture and its positive effects on restoring health. We were given a ‘free hand’ with its design, around a wish for a garden within. The conceptual drive behind this house was the principle of the 3 N’s: Nature, Natural light and Natural air. The form of the replacement house is defined by four interlocking boxes, the negative space at their center forms a ‘Zen’ garden, with a single olive tree at its heart.
This simple layout became the foundation on which the principles of the 3N’s could be built, allowing them to be incorporated into all aspects of the design. A connection to nature has long been believed as good for one’s body and soul. This house connects with nature through three stunning, far reaching views of the South Downs. The long views inspiring the couple to look forward to the future, the courtyard giving space for inward private and reflective times. Subsequently, the house has become known as 4 Views.
The extensive glazing to walls, roof lights and open central garden allow natural light to flood the upper floor, giving a generous feeling of space. The skylights create an enchanting backdrop to the interior, the spaces constantly alive with light and shadow from passing clouds, providing a stimulating continual connection to the elements.
Large sliding panels of glass to the primary elevation and courtyard ensure natural ventilation and also a free flow of natural fresh air.
The courtyard, large balcony and huge covered patio are all designed to offer healthy outdoor living options regardless of weather.
The bedrooms and snug are intentionally darker, giving a cozier retreat downstairs. Views from here frame the garden, contrasting the extended views from the first floor and in turn emphasizing the ground floor as a private retreat for the family.
Photos: Martin Gardner
Ramat Hasharon House 13 has been designed by Pitsou Kedem Architects as a modern private residence built between two central courtyards in Ramat Hasharon, Israel. A frontal courtyard excavated to a depth of three meters and the second courtyard at the level of the building’s ground floor. This topographical interface creates a unique cross section to the building’s mass with each part of the building, even the section constructed as a basement, being open to its own courtyard.
The house’s central space rises to a height of six meters and is 17 meters long. There are no pillars in the space and the entire front is transparent with glass windows that slide apart with the aid of an electric motor. Thus, the entire interior of the home opens into the courtyard and the border between inside and outside is cancelled. The swimming pool seems as if it extends into the structure and, when looking into the house from the courtyard, the house in reflected in the pool which strengthens our impression of the building’s mass.
The central space of the kitchen, the dining room and the living room is open in two directions – to the west and to the east. This provides a feeling that the space is constantly enveloped by natural light and the greenery of the trees in the courtyard. The structure’s central space, set in the center of the plot, is accessed via a long bridge that crosses the sunken courtyard and leads to the front door. From the bridge, we can see the children’s living rooms which open into the basement.
The structures two supporting side walls have been emphasized, one was poured from exposed, architectural concrete and on the other a large library reaches to its full height.
The master bedroom is set on the second floor and opens onto the double space and the courtyard allowing for a view of the entire plot.
Photos: Amit Geron
Pearl Valley 334 has been designed by SAOTA Architects for a young family looking to re-locate from city living to a more relaxed country lifestyle in Cape Town, South Africa. The couple wanted to raise their young family in the exclusive Pearl Valley Golf estate, located near Paarl, just 30 minutes away from Cape Town. The owners approached ANTONI ASSOCIATES to create an interior that was modern but with an emphasis on ‘barefoot luxury’ and the use of natural materials.
The house has been designed around a central landscaped courtyard with a reflective pond. On entering the house, one crosses a foyer bridge which is flanked by wet-walls cascading down ribbon-stone clad feature walls. The formal lounge is a large double-volume cathedral-like space with a trussed ceiling which is overlooked by the mezzanine study situated above the formal dining room. The dining area features a horizontal strip-fireplace which has been placed level with the dining table. A feature hooped-glass chandelier cascades over the waney-edge French oak table.
Linking the formal areas to the entertainment rooms, the kitchen looks out onto the central courtyard. Custom designed soft leather and steel barstools from OKHA Interiors provide seating around the central island. A floating stair leads up to the four en-suite bedrooms.
The family entertainment level flows out onto the front terrace and infinity pool, incorporating a number of entertainment areas such as a TV lounge, an indoor grill and a bar adjacent to the courtyard. Floating steps over the reflective pond lead to the bar area, which has a decked spa overlooking the pool. The bar area is also linked to an outdoor “boma”, which is a casual enclosure with seating area around a fire-pit.
Subtle lighting has been incorporated in all recesses and feature bulkheads to give a warm glow to peripheral edges. Concealed lighting has also been used to highlight and accentuate the organic natural finishes. The interior furniture and decor is modern and adds to the experience of the home. Tactile finishes including timber, textured leathers and raw linens add a sophisticated sense of understated luxury.
Photos: Adam Letch
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.