Thayer House is a simple, yet elegant home that incorporates outdoor living, designed by Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects, located in Montecito, California. The residence offers an open floor plan that allows for both comfortable family living and entertaining. Over the years many of the firm’s clients have preferred project designs that have tended to be larger, more detailed and more elaborate. The owner’s vision was something much simpler. For this home design they went back to the basics.
We went with what is essential and needed for modern living. Nothing extra, over the top, or overdone. The resulting size, scale and the understated feel of the home is special. It has everything that is essential for modern living, but it also has a Zen-like simplicity and elegance. There is definitely something to be said for going back to the basics and focusing on the essentials.
The design throughout the home is termed as soft modernism, carried out by local interior designer, Micholyn Brown. She has a great sensibility and everything she does is refined and elegant. But unlike many modern interior designs, it is also natural, tactile, and soft around the edges.
Transfused throughout her interiors and the building design. The result is elegant, modern, yet comfortable living spaces. You don’t feel like you’re living in a precious hard-edged glass house and that your life is dictated by the design. It is rather the opposite; the house is the perfect backdrop for comfortable elegant modern living and entertaining. And the owner’s outstanding taste in design and artwork certainly added to the process and final design.
The great room design is accommodating for both living and entertaining. The size, scale, furnishings and amenities of the space are ideal, making it comfortable for the owner when he is alone and when family is visiting.
The space also works well for larger gatherings and entertaining. With the flow of the space, the kitchen, dining, living room arrangement, the way the room opens up seamlessly to the north and south courtyards, the house can comfortably accommodate entertaining on a grand scale.
The team started with the idea of a courtyard design. The house embraces the site with north and south courtyards. Large door and windows open directly onto the landscape, the fountain pool, and the distant mountain views. It is quintessential California indoor-outdoor living.
The indoor/outdoor relationship is key. The owner had lived in the Hedgerow neighborhood for years and had never noticed the quiet property behind the large hedge. To his credit, he wanted to preserve that secluded hedgerow feel and have the house design take advantage of and build upon the beautiful landscape.
General contractor Rich Coffin was involved from the beginning of the design process. The architects worked closely with him, tailoring the design to meet the homeowner’s budget and to build the home in the most efficient cost-effective way possible. The house was constructed in only six months, on budget, with practically no changes and no compromises in quality.
Photos: Ciro Coelho Photography
Herzelia Pituah House 3 is a minimalistic structure designed as a single family residence by Tel Aviv based studio Pitsou Kedem Architect, located in the beachfront district of Herzliya Pituah, Israel. The main idea behind the design was to work on a rectangular grid where all the functions merge into it, even the parking structure that is usually a small and separate structure at the front of the 4,036 square foot residence. The architect created a clean rectangular mass with vertical and horizontal openings breaking into it that allow for movement within them and the entry of natural light.
The front of the house has three levels completely impervious to the street with two courtyards on the right and on the left and excavated to the level of the basement floor, allow for the entry of light and air into the lower level. Thus, a situation is created where the pathway leading to the entrance is a bridge suspended over one of the excavated courtyards.
Once inside, the almost monastic impermeability of the frontal facade is converted with impressive openness that invites you into a well lit open space where the entire long facade of the home kisses a swimming pool set against the entire length of a massive glass wall. The open space rises to a height of six meters with a sky light the full length of the ceiling that empowers the drama of the space.
The entire ground floor is a public space that contains a long kitchen painted a glossy black that reflects the swimming pool opposite, a spacious salon that opens into the rear courtyard and designed with careful minimalism and a dining table. The entire public area has the appearance of a modern and spacious loft.
The bedrooms are situated on the second floor with the communal space connecting them, looks over the swimming pool. In the basement, that appears as an island floating between the two excavated courtyards, can be found games rooms and a movie room.
The central motives of the architectural design: a clean configuration, moderation in materials and subdued colors find an expression in this project. The sparsity of materials and the reuse of materials such grey limestone that covers the entire external facade of the house and one of the internal walls, imparts a feeling of concrete minimalism, Corian that the architect used in the design of the sinks and partitions in all the bathrooms, and black basalt that covers the walls of those same rooms.
By using the same elements, the architect is attempting to make the spaces meditative in their feel and attraction and that blend with the architecture of the structure, one complete and unified mass.
Photos: Amit Geron
Long Courtyard House is a contemporary addition to a turn of the century terrace house designed in 2013 by SCALE Architecture, located in Alexandria, a suburb in the inner-east of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. By reorienting the courtyard to the side of the block, the project challenges the typical terrace configuration. It creates a north-facing side garden extending the full length of the addition.
The project is a compact building with a slender footprint, where each interior space relates to a new garden room. An equivalency of interior and exterior space is created, expanding the spatial relationship beyond the building envelope.
The addition is made up of two pure forms, each addressing its own garden. The concrete volume on the ground floor opens north to the long garden court, while a cantilevered timber box floating above opens east to a roof garden.
These discrete forms define the spatial arrangement – living takes place on the ground floor, inside the solid and elemental concrete form, while bedrooms are contained in the lightweight timber box above.
SCALE Architecture is a Sydney based practice committed to excellence in Architecture, design and urbanism. SCALE is a multiple award winning practice led by Matt Chan, established in Amsterdam (2002) and Sydney (2004). Our growing portfolio is extended by collaboration with architects, planners, artists and students both locally and internationally. The studio’s focus on architecture is cross fertilised by our active engagement in research, education, publication, exhibition and talks.
Photos: Brett Boardman
Casa Sierra Leona showcases a daring modern design where steel, concrete and glass take center stage, designed by architect José Juan Rivera Río, located in the residential area of Sierra Leona, on the outskirts of Mexico City, in Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico
Apparent simplicity and exquisite details, this house is resolved with flat roofs between a courtyard and a garden in which ambiguously intersect interior and exterior facings which stand out clearly the constructive system based on concrete, glass and steel.
This residence was built with the characteristic style of architecture from the years 60´s inspired by modernism. The program includes two levels on the access platform and a basement which is accessed from the bottom of the street, this leading to the parking lot.
Quality materials, clear colors and fleeting reflections on glass are at the service of comfort and design, to gardening camouflages the borders and builds a landscape and atmosphere of privacy.
Photos: Nasser Malek Hernández
Casa Pedro is a modern family home that blurs the boundaries between indoors and out, designed by VDV ARQ, located in a gated community in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The medium scale residence is nestled on an 800 square meters plot, responding to the requirements of an active social life, flexible spaces and visual amplitude, emphasizing privacy.
The project is organized in two levels, under a rectangular pattern that develops around the joint of different courtyards, each of them with a particular character. This sequence of perforations allows the entry of natural light and air in every room of the house, while it makes the interior space becomes an extension of the outdoor space.
The main entrance of the house is generated by the terrain elevation. Towards the street, the wooden skin acts as a barrier between public and private, generating a multipurpose partially covered space which, together with an open space, fully integrated with the garden, generates one unique single space. This large courtyard, which also houses the swimming pool, is the architectural heat of the project that spatially structures it, setting the difference between the service area on one side and the living area on the other, and being the scene that all the main rooms look at.
On the upper level, an unique volume holds three bedrooms and an open office. This box is opened to the north looking on the central courtyard of the house, while the rest of the facades are closed and without openings to the south, The skin that protects the north facade is a system of mobile wooden blinds that, when it’s closed, filters the light to indoor spaces, giving shade and privacy to the rooms.
Photos: Curro Palacios Taberner
C O N T E N T Architecture has designed the Southampton Residence, a modern brownstone renovation for first time homeowners recently transplanted to Houston, Texas from Chicago. The young family wanted their brick house to be designed as a modern interpretation of their beloved brownstone as viewed from the street, high ceilings and no visible roof surface.
Developed to maximize the size of the house while taking into consideration deed restrictions and internal views, the volume responds to the massing of neighboring homes and is carved to allow light from multiple directions in each room. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths and generous living spaces face onto a courtyard that is intended for a future swimming pool.
Sectional differences further serve to relate the program to the site by connecting the kitchen and guest suite to the exterior, elevating the living room above the court, raising the kid’s bedrooms into the tree canopy and sequestering the master suite in the rear of the lot.
Designed on a full brick module to limit material waste, materials shift to glass, cast stone, or wood where the masses are carved out. Spray foam insulation and a commercial grade air conditioning system discreetly and efficiently control the interior climate while the highest rated glass assists to limit the energy impact of the large windows.
Photos: Peter Molick
Casa Val is a stunning private contemporary dwelling designed by Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura, located in Escazú in the province of San José in Costa Rica. In this project completed in 2012, a courtyard provides intimacy holding water, light, and greenery. The materials’ surfaces interact and respond to the degree of enclosure between social functions. All family members dwell within a sacred space; a place where interaction and contemplation to a distant city and mountain views is experienced. The home is nestled into the hillside taking full advantage of the incredible views and to allow unobstructed vantage points from each of the rooms through extensive glass windows. The contemporary interior is comprised of 6,027 square feet (560 square meters) of living space showcasing luxurious materials and ample natural light.
Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura (JRA) was established in 1994, as an architecture firm specialized in “ high end custom design” with a precise distinction for detailing; each project as each client is different. Jaime Rouillon “ gives a complete personalized” treatment in close contact from beginning to conclusion of the project, always assisting the client. Our seal is one where craftsmanship is determinant for that unique result. Materials are chosen carefully as a representation of the client’s need. Both interior and architecture design result in “one on one” as an intrical result of both texture and space, an identity of its own. Understanding the environment helps design a better functional “healthier” project.
Photos: Sergio Pucci