Architect Yuri Zagorin Alazraki of Mexico City based studio ZD+A designed this fascinating three-story stacked house with an amazing garden oasis in 2011. The personal residence of the architect, it is located in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City, where an undesirable site produces desirable results. The property was very narrow and sits at a cumbersome slope, squished between neighbors on either side, with soaring walls casting deep shadows. Incredibly, the 5,080 square foot home was designed with interior spaces that generate a seamless connection with the sunlit exterior gardens. Just as impressive, the architect was able to capture substantial amounts of natural light into areas that would seem impossible to achieve. Applying clever tricks such as reflective white resin flooring, an open concept layout, and southerly facing light wells, as well as a pair of oculi installed in the rooftop garden, diffusing natural light down to an almost subterranean ground level. The ground floor was the most difficult level to draw light, therefore being the most impressive in design. A stepped garden makes its way down to the ground floor, where the main living space is. At the opposing end of the space is a generous-sized patio with vines covering the walls, filtering in light, fresh air and lots of greenery.
When the glass paneled wall of the living room is open, it feels like an extension of the outdoor space. Further increasing the indoor-outdoor connection, the rough-hewn interior concrete walls continue through to the exterior facade, mimicking the ruggedness of the stones embedded in the garden. We love how the architect has been able to penetrate light into his home at all levels, and how the garden feels like it is a part of the home, so when you are inside, you feel like you are outside. Just a super cool design, very well thought out, one of our personal favorites! What do you think, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below the photo tour.
If you are looking for more inspiration from fascinating homes in Mexico City, we have some other great features here on 1 Kindesign such as: Modern restoration and renovation in Mexico City by Ezequiel Farca and Casa ML in Mexico City designed for open and casual living.
All the flooring running throughout the interiors is concrete. There are also no doors to be found on the first two levels, except for the daughter’s room, she stays with the architect part-time. On the second level there is a sitting area with floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside is a green roof which helps make the indoor-outdoor space feel like one large, bright space.
The third level was designed like a steel cage, most of which is cantilevered over the back garden. This is where the en-suite master bedroom and private terrace are situated. Light penetrates the spaces and is a nice quite oasis for the architect to spend his time.
Photos: Dwell & Yoshihiro Koitani, Rafael Gamo
Wrap House is an impressive property that has been recently re-designed by Edgley Design, nestled in a rural area of Godalming, Surrey, England, United Kingdom. Situated on 2.5 acres of gardens, this contemporary home features 4,890 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms. Originally designed in the 1960s, the architects employed a more sustainable approach by upcycling the structure. This encompassed keeping the original distinctive silhouette intact, cladding it in insulation, then boldly wrapping it in stainless steel. The interior spaces are largely arranged over a single level with extensive garden views. Upon entry into the home, you are welcomed by a spacious entrance hall that leads into an open kitchen and reception area with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the gardens. Beyond this point is a whole wing encompassing the private zones of the home, with seven bedrooms (fours with en-suite bathrooms) and a family bathroom. The spacious master bedroom retreat offers a dressing room, en-suite bathroom with a freestanding tub and full height glazing with fabulous garden views. A utility room and wine cellar are also located on the lower level. Up to the second level, there is a living/bedroom suite with a bathroom. The property just recently awarded the winner in the Architects Journal Retrofit Awards 2014.
If you enjoy this welcoming property in the countryside, it can be all yours, listed for sale at $4,443,933, from here.
Surrounded by extensive gardens, the property allows for complete privacy and tranquility. There is a hard surfaced tennis court situated in the front gardens. At the rear of the tree lined property, a post and rail fencing defines the boundary lines with peaceful views out to open farmland.
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Maison Toscana is a rustic country estate with a Mediterranean lifestyle transformed by designer Jessica Bataille, found in the coastal town of Jávea, in the province of Alicante, Valencia, Spain. The owners discovered this dream retreat nestled in the middle of a pine forest near the beach. A 19th century villa built in traditional architecture, resulting in a comfortable home with simple and chic touches, designed to delight the senses with a slow life philosophy. Unique characteristics are featured throughout the home, such as thick stone walls, stone arches, a mediterranean garden and romantic arabic pool.
Despite the rustic building strength, the rooms exude a sophisticated romantic charm. Decorating styles and cultures with traditional Mediterranean architecture seem to intermingle; such as mixing Oriental and European antique pieces. In turn, the pursuit of warmth has been a constant. The selected textiles with rich textures of silk, velvets and lines to create an atmosphere that brings in the glamor of environments. An example of this is in the living room, where pink raw silk curtains and colorful cushions on the blue couch show a simple yet gorgeous appeal.
All lights are on dimmer switches, including the outdoors. The interior was considered essential to igniting ‘magic’ into the environment. Warmth was infused throughout with three fireplaces, with the fire and candles being basic to creating a cozy atmosphere and soul.
Photos: Nuevo Estilo
As spring approaches and we wave goodbye to those chilly wintery months it’s time once more to turn our attention and our green thumbs to some fine tuning in the garden. Aside from the essentials such as a little pruning here and there, making sure your lawns are well cut, cleaned up and weed free and some all round tender loving care your garden can be reborn for the spring season. But of course there is plenty of other gardening tips and advice that could help you to recreate the visual appeal of your garden area and help you to inject a little creativity into your surroundings.
Time for a Spring Clean
It’s imperative to ensure that everything in your garden is readily prepared for the forthcoming spring months following its neglect during the winter time. Tidy up your shrubs, bushes and trees to lighten certain areas to make sure the sun hits all the right spots in your garden. Even taking a little time to clean your gardening tools will pay dividends.
Weeding Things Out
If you have a number of weeds poking their way through your greenery in your garden then there’s no better time than to rip them out. The roots will be shallow and easily removable.
Paving the Way
Whilst the natural side of your garden will be blooming this spring after a much needed clean-up you mustn’t overlook the other items in your garden. Wash down your paving tiles, ornaments and other outdoor décor.
Time to Veg Out
If you’re self-sufficient or interested in growing your own vegetables then once spring is upon us and the soil becomes more workable, then it’s the ideal time to plant a number of popular spring vegetables like spinach, lettuce and leeks.
Gates and Fencing
Introducing an eye-catching fixture such as a set of attractive fences or a uniquely outstanding gate design, such as the Portcullis automatic gates, will frame your garden area and help to envelop your new spring garden. If you already something similar in place then give it a spruce up or a new paint job to help freshen things up.
Preparing for Summer
It may seem crazy to even be considering the summertime before spring has well and truly spring but it really is the best time of the year to plant a number of notable seeds and bulbs. Gladiolus and Lilies are just a couple of examples of some fantastic bulbs that flower perfectly in those warm summer months.
Photo Sources: 1. Matloboes, 2. Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc., 3. – 4. Pinterest, 5. Taylor Bryan Company, 6. Pinterest, 7. Mother Earth News, 8. Zaremba & Company, 9. Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, 10. Pinterest
Tetris House is a modern wooden volume promoting indoor / outdoor living, architecturally designed in 2012 by Studio MK27, located in São Paulo, Brazil. Comprised of 6,673 square feet (620 square meters) of living space showcasing a warm and intimate open plan design, high ceilings and welcoming views out to the swimming pool and garden.
Description from the architect: A wooden volume in line with the eastern facade – with a little more 2.85 meters high and 19 meters long – rests within a ceiling height of 5.15 meters and 11.75 in the front. Configuring a permeable space between the entrance and the back of the lot, the living room is the emptiness that results from this organization of the plan on this lot. The space is delimited – together with the eastern facade – by a wooden shelf that contains the library and a fireplace. This is the architectural design of Tetris House, located in São Paulo.
The wooden Box on the lot shelters on the inside, the washroom, the stairs and the dining room, which opens entirely to the ample garden in the back, like an esplanade (terrace), looking from the inside in. (de dentro para dentro) The ceiling of this living room, a slatted wooden lining – creates a cozy, intimate sensation, contrasting with the spatial sensation of larger monumentality of the lot. The four bedrooms, including a master suite looking out to the garden in the back, are on the floor upstairs.
The seals – such as the wooden slats that function as a filter applied to movable panels– were designed to create greater comfort for the inner spaces. The sun’s heat, when the panels are closed, is retained by this type of brise soleil, while the wind continues to chill the inside. The shape of the lot, long and straight, has traced a longitudinal implantation of the house and the living room can have a cross-ventilation to the gardens.
The wooden lining of the ground floor is prolonged to the outside and becomes the very façade. The stone on the floor of the living room goes out to the terrace and the same material on the inner walls continues out to the façade. In this way, there is continuity not only of the circulation between the inside and out, but also of the materials, dissolving spatial limits.
Photos: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
V9 House is a bright and airy residence that caters to the lifestyle of the homeowners, designed by VGZ Arquitectura, located in Mexico City, Mexico. The volumes of the 10,333 square foot (960 square meters) home were oriented to maximize the sunshine and views. The residence offers sustainable features such as rainwater harvesting and use of solar energy.
Description from the architect: The house is built on a fan-shaped 800 square meters plot, open to the northeast. After volumetric studies, we decided on an H scheme, rotating the north body to get the most sunlight and south aperture, and tilting the roofs to the north.
The objective was open spaces and low footprint, creating a house surrounded by gardens, where every space has natural light and fresh air during the day, opening up to the south and making the most of the views.
The program responds to client needs on three levels: basement for parking and services, first floor for social life and second floor for family life. The gardens, with an exterior kitchen and dinning space on one side and a sunset terrace with a fireplace on the other, become an important part of this family´s life.
The steel structure allowed us to have longer spans of open space and continuity on transparency, integrating the interior and exterior, while the rotated volumes result in interesting angle intersections of stone and glass with steel frames.
For the material palette, we concentrated on stone for the vertical planes and wood for the horizontal ones, creating a warm environment that sets a canvas for eclectic decoration.
Landscape and natural light were essential design instruments, while lighting plays an important role in the design intention. We used a siphon system to collect rainwater and purify it so that during rainy season there is no need for municipal water. The garden and parking use only treated water.
Electricity and hot water are generated by solar energy and the entire facade is double insulated glass with UV protection for maximum energy conservation.
Photos: Rafael Gamo
25 Green was designed by Luciano Pia as a residential steel structure appearing like a forest where trees are rooting in terraces, located in Torino, Italy. Built in 2012, the building has been thought as a living forest, a house on the trees like the houses children dream of and sometimes build. The property also features ponds which are crossed by footings and lush gardens covering the roofs.
The project comes from the necessity of making a residential building of 80,729 square feet (7500 square meters) to complement a block featured by lack of homogeneity and heterogeneous prospects. The aim of the project is both the construction of the block perimeter with a continuous facade and the making of a filter between the internal inhabited space and the streets. The project wants to create a flowing and smooth transition space to soften the passage from the inside to the outside where the space is always enjoyable. The smooth and changeable transition is emphasized by a targeted use of the green and the building materials so to create a structure which is compact and distinct but also transparent, mutable and enjoyable.
It is a special building because it is alive: it grows up, it breaths and it changes since 150 trees with tall trunks cover its terraces. Together with 50 trees planted in the court garden they produce oxygen, absorb carbonic anhydride, cut down air pollution, protect from noise, follow the natural cycle of Seasons, grow up day after day and create a perfect microclimate inside the building so diminuishing the fall and rise in temperature in summertime and wintertime.
The streeps in solid wood that floor the terraces filter the sunlight in summer, while in winter they let the light break into the house. The wainscot in larch shingles is a sort of soft and vibrant surface. The metal structures look like trees and they “grow” from the groundfloor to the roof while holding up the wooden planking of the terraces: they become entwined with the vegetation to form a unique facade.
One of the aims of the project is the increase of the energetic efficiency and for this reason several integrated solutions have been adopted: continuous insulation, sun protection, heating and cooling systems which make use of the geothermal energy with heat pumps and recycling of the falling rain to water the green.
There are 63 residential units in the building and they are all different and fitted with wide terraces of irregular shapes that surround the trees. The last floor is covered with private green roofs.
The green is diversified: big vases on the terraces, court gardens, green walls and roof gardens just in front of the lofts.
In the vases there are trees or shrubs of different heights from 2.5 meters to 8 meters. Deciduous species have been planted to have sun irradiation in wintertime too. The choise of the species, even if diversified according to the different needs, has been made to grant a variety of leaves, colors and flowering.
When all the green is fully blooming it gives the feeling of living in a tree house. You can dream of a house or live in a dream!
Photos: Beppe Giardino
Casa CP 78 is a project offering better quality of life through functional and contemporary design by Taller Estilo Arquitectura, located in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The design of the 5,209 square foot (484 square meters) home plays with the existing building and the built elements, where the value of the textures and details in highlights new forms of contemporary expression.
An architecture with soft limits that can react to the natural environment answering their varied elements: light, water, wind, etc. This means sensitive to the nature architecture.
Part of the original structure became the axis computer remodeling, establishing a dialogue between old and new, this provides a linear path toward providing all visual spaces and gardens of the house with the idea of achieving transparency and uniformity making possible the special features of the site.
The house consists of two floors:
Downstairs the original building which remained without major alterations houses, spaces that shape are: Garage, hallway, living room, guest bedroom and bathroom. The staircase as a sculptural element contained in a double-height space plays the role of connector, giving way to the new building open plan that enhances the contrast between the original building and the new elements where the kitchen space, living room. Curtain walls generate integrated and wider spaces.
A home to be lived outside where the double height terrace, pool and gardens is in the main service area; the end result is an open space with sophisticated finishes that give the house a unique character, where people regain a sense of being truly alive.
Upstairs the bedrooms are located, where the master bedroom has a semi-open double height terrace where architectural hierarchy is established.
Photos: Alberto Cáceres
Gubbins House is a contemporary property designed by Antonio Zaninovic Architecture Studio in collaboration with Rees Roberts & Partners, located at the base of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. The project won a 2010 Honor Award from the American Society and Landscape Architects for its many sustainable features and its incredible local flora garden.
Surrounded by protected natural parklands on three sides, the house was built on an exceptional plot at the base of Table Mountain with sweeping views down to the city and harbor below. The site lies alongside a ravine, where amid the dense vegetation a stream flows in an uninterrupted path from the mountain parks above all the way to the city dams below.
Tucked in against the mountain, the structure was designed to integrate as much as possible with its surrounding landscape. An excavated courtyard gives access to the house, ensuring total privacy from the street and an adjacent neighbor and also protecting its inhabitants from the strong southern winds. This tranquil space complete with a pond and sculptural indigenous trees leads to the six-meter-high foyer tower which articulates the different elements of the house that continue out from that central focal point.
From there, the sleeping quarters branch off to the west and hover over the ravine and trees. The more public entertaining spaces extend towards the north, and by cantilevering these spaces over the garden and swimming pool below, views afforded to the forest, city, and ocean below were maximized. Towards the south, the kitchen and service rooms enjoy the protection of the mountainside from the fierce natural elements.
In terms of energy and functional programming, the foyer is the central location for various processes that keep the house running efficiently. A reflective pond filled with borehole water flows from the interiors to the outside; in turn, breezes travel over the water back inside through low windows, helping to cool the house in the summer. Once outside, the pond continues into a waterfall, which becomes a filter for the natural swimming pool below as well as a seamless water wall for the sauna room behind. The foyer’s roof also houses the solar components that provide under-floor water heating during the winter months, in addition to hot water year round.
While the house was designed to employ cross-ventilation, temperature control is also achieved through the inclusion of semi-excavated rooms in the built house, which allow the stable temperatures of the earth to act as a climactic moderator. Heat-repelling glass and appropriate cantilevers to the north combined with highly insulated glass to the south keep heat in or out, depending on the season. Notably, the house was built with locally produced materials to maximize constructive potential by utilizing the craftsmanship and techniques native to the region.
The landscape draws on the context of the site by continuing the Fynbos, a natural heathland vegetation native to a small belt of the Western Cape, down from Table Mountain and through the garden landscape, effectively marrying it with the surrounding mountains. Garden pathways and steps meander through the varied planting areas, creating a seamless connection between interior and garden rooms. An outdoor seating area is nestled in the plantings away from the mountain winds, yet has dynamic views of the Cape Town Harbor below. In addition to the waterfall, the natural swimming pool also uses plantings to filter the water, giving the experience of swimming in a crystal clear lake. Ultimately, the landscape is designed to fully integrate the built house with its natural surrounding environment.
The design strategy for the interiors also takes cues from the surrounding site. Rich carpets and fabrics are juxtaposed against hard concrete floors and other simple surfaces. Modern furniture with clean lines is employed along with more sculptural pieces and artwork that add character and vitality to the interior mood. The simple color palette of the house gives a bright and airy feeling that defers to the views outside. The outdoors is also actively engaged, as in the case of the Master Bedroom and its free form plan that extends toward an open air screening space. Despite its carefully planned and richly treated interiors, the house retains a comfortable and relaxed style that draws upon recognizably native elements such as local wood paneled walls and pieces by local artists.
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