Cement, wood and glass comprise this simple yet stylish Finnish home as spotted on Nuevo Estilo, created by two designers, Ulla Koskinen and Sameli Rantanen as a prototype for construction company Kannustalo. The home, whose model name is called Lato (which means ‘barn’ in English), is now their own residence and center of operations. Ulla has designed from known Finnish companies, Marimekko and Artek, among other firms. Her husband is a graphic designer and photographer who lives and works in this house, just outside of the city of Helsinki. The 5,758 square foot (535 square meters) home has been portioned between study, housing and store to create an environment full of peace and quiet.
The home was been designed on the estate of Sameli’s parents, conceived as a cross between farm and country house to merge with the environment. Almost half of the total area corresponds to the seating area, open-plan, where areas intended for kitchen, dining room and lounge flow without barriers while maintaining their independence. This great atmosphere shares space in the lower part with the master bedroom and the office, while the first floor is destined to the nurseries. “Distribution offers a strong sense of union and peace of mind, and open space is sufficiently large so that all functions are developed without interfering,” says Ulla. The building, which resembles the old farms of quadrangular structure and central courtyard, is notable for the large windows, which draws in natural light and invites you to enjoy a natural setting that is part of the decoration.
The materials selected for the exterior are simple and rustic: wood, cement and glass, while the colors of the decoration follow this same simplicity. Black and gray combine with natural elements in shades that are well adapted to the location. Much of the wood used in the construction comes from trees felled on the ground where the house stands. Load-bearing walls are made of the same material and have been plastered with a cast that looks like cement. Inside, the contrasts attracts everywhere and every detail has been carefully chosen. “The best of living here is the amplitude of spaces, peace and quiet of the views. And that we are now more aware and sensitive to seasonal changes,” stresses the owner.
Open span allows access from the living room to the master bedroom, where other similar opening gives way to the dressing room.
Natural light penetrates the dining room from the courtyard.
Wall plaster treated to resemble cement provides insulation to the kitchen. In addition, it acts as support for a great module that houses the cooking zone, which it has attached a practical bar created with a simple envelope of untreated wood and simple legs of steel.
Conceived as a suite, the views from the bed are spectacular. The headboard rests on a wall painted in blue that is in tune with the quilt, a Danish design.
On the dresser, Muurame signature, a picture painted by the owner and several vases collected over the years. The lamp was bought at a flea market in Paris.
The en-suite bathroom, with access from the bedroom and also from the dining room, has a large window that introduces the landscape inside.
For their views, a terrace, covered in wood, like the facade, runs around the front of the House.
This is a redesign and renovation of 1950′s house on a hill overlooking Johannesburg by Nico van der Meulen Architects. This stunning home is situated in Bedfordview, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, with interior design by M Square Lifestyle Design. Most of the furniture was supplied by M Square Lifestyle Necessities. Little was added to the footprint of the existing house (except for the new garages), but almost all of the internal walls were removed to create the open plan layout and maximize the views. The 270 degree view can be enjoyed from just about every room in the house.
Frameless sliding/folding doors were used around the living area, enabling the area to function like a veranda during the mild days experienced almost year round. The pool infinity edge is cantilevered out nearly six meters, supported on a column and protrudes into the house when the doors are open, acting as a temperature stabilizer. The original cellar was retained as a wine cellar and a home theatre with views into the pool. A story was added containing the main suite, pajama lounge, kid’s study area and kid’s bedrooms. The original two kid’s bedrooms became a study, and the original main suite a guest suite. Extra garages were needed and the housekeeper’s cottage was built on this.
The original balcony is still visible in the next photograph, the new lanai and pool were built where the small lawn used to be.
The original house was north-facing, but on an extremely limited level platform: The site has a five story fall from the south-east to the north- west corner.
Werner van der Meulen designed the infinity edge pool to extend over the steep fall, placing it on a single 3m diameter column, cantilevering nearly six meters. He created a massive rock clad wall which bisects the building on a north-south axis, then transforms into a huge red-painted beam which helps to support the lanai roof.
The ground floor living space was gutted, and a large open plan, partially double volume living space housing the family room, dining room, kitchen and ancillary spaces created.
A new 6×13 meters lanai next to the pool was added on the only piece of usable land on the north side, growing out of the mountain, with spectacular views to the north and west.
Photos: David Ross, Barry Goldman and Nico van der Meulen
A translucent glass bridge connects this 1,820 square foot Corten steel and glass pavilion to a mid-century modern house, Ocean Beach Residence has been designed by San Francisco Bay Area architect Ernest Born of studio Aidlin Darling Design. Gently placed among existing trees, the addition, though physically simple, is phenomenally complex. A private cypress grove in the rear and the Pacific Ocean in front are experientially connected through a strategic layering of space, view, reflection, acoustics, and nature.
The project M, a residential building in the center of Meran, Italy is embedded in the quite area of Obermais, designed by monovolume architecture + design. The concept of the design was to play with transparent and solid surfaces, what follows are fascinating insights and outlooks. The interior melts together with the outside space. The terrain flows through the building and finds its renewal in the pool and meadow area. Because of a refined external design and the arrangement of the pool, lawn, garden and house the whole concept seems like a unity with seamless transition.
The ground floor follows the slightly sloping ground like a staircase to get a large garden area. Because of engineering technology considerations the building is conceived as a compact volume with one underground and two upper floors. From the construction point of view the 3,875 square foot (360 square meters) house is built as a concrete construction, furnished with upgraded insulation. The glass-facade, door and window elements are executed as 3 layered glazier.
Photos: Courtesy of monovolume architecture + design
House Ber, the latest masterpiece by Nico van der Meulen Architects and M Square Lifestyle Design is an indication of what happens when granite, steel, light and water come together. Situated in Midrand, South Africa, the residence presents itself as a sequence of irregular steel bars randomly placed creating patterned facades which initially were conceived to represent security but now have become the very feature which distinguishes this house from its surrounding.
The house simply rectangular in form is structured around the living room as the center of this home. Unimposing and nearly invisible, the frameless glass doors seamlessly separate the interior from the exterior. Thresholds’ being kept to a minimum leaves one wondering whether you have just stepped inside or outside.
Stairs disguised as Granite slabs punched with steel inserts, one cannot help but glide down the entrance hall into the living spaces. M Square Lifestyle Design’s final product presents black steel inlays that are seen throughout the house in various forms. Ensuring that each room captured a feeling of transparency, M Square Lifestyle Design demonstrated their ability to work with materials in their purest forms, making use of natural products like marble floors and Caesarstone kitchen counter tops. The illuminated ceilings highlight the contrasts between different textures and forms, leaving you in a state of anticipation as you move through this house. In keeping with the theme of randomly placed steel bars, the interior designers conceptualized a line drawn across the house linking all elements and spaces together. In doing so, they managed to create a feeling of connection that can be felt throughout the house.
M Square Lifestyle Necessities provided the final touch in furnishing this house with European furniture pieces and lighting to compliment the design, while Regardt van der Meulen’s sculpture livens up the space in its tri-dimensionality.
Photos: Barend Roberts, David Ross, Victoria Pilcher
This 1950’s ranch house was brought into the 21st century and integrated with the landscape in Sands Point, New York, by studio Ohlhausen DuBois Architects. A glass pavilion for the daily living, cooking and dining activities was added to the original structure. This glass pavilion ties into a series of terraces, gardens, swimming pool and outdoor living spaces.
The addition of the glass pavilion allows the house to extend out into the property. The use of glass on three sides contrasts with the more closed nature of the original structure, which was converted to bedrooms, bathrooms, and a study. The gardens and outdoor living spaces were designed simultaneously with the glass pavilion and were conceived as extensions of the new indoor living spaces.
The architects incorporated sustainability into their project, which includes, “reuse the existing structure and as much of the landscape as we could, which allowed us to take advantage of the mature plantings and the good south facing orientation of the original house. Highly insulate the existing house and install high performance windows and glass doors. Minimize summer cooling with high performance glazing, deep overhangs, and good sun screening. Minimize winter heating with dark stone floors and a radiant heating system.”
The brief of this incredible project was to transform the interior of a house that was a concrete minimalist box into a warm but still contemporary home in Russia. Taking on this design task was Moscow-based Olga Freimann’s architectural bureau. Freimann used exposed timber and timber veneer as well as dark accents of color in the furniture and decoration to fill the space with a sense of warmth and comfort. The house is surrounded by forest and Freimann has made use of this natural source of color and texture by using large floor to ceiling spans of glass that provide amazing views out into the surrounding landscape, blurring the boundaries between indoors and out. The most impressive feature in this home is the incredible indoor pool that features a double height ceiling. With stunning light fixtures and floor to ceiling glass that looks out to the forested landscape beyond, one feels like they are one with nature when taking a dip in this heavenly pool.
This very tastefully designed villa, which was spotted on Skeppsholmen, is situated in the coveted region of Djursholm, Stockholm County, Sweden and was designed by high profile architect Franson Wreland. The wide open 1,388 square foot (129 square meters) contemporary house has large expanses glass that opens up to a sheltered garden and cozy terrace. Inside the glass wall is a very generous sized living room with fireplace and integrated kitchen with bar solution. The room’s double ceiling height offers magnificent volume. An additional exit to the terrace with the houses L-shaped form shelters the backyard.
The living room and the rest of the lower level features a beautifully faceted concrete floor with water-borne floor heating. This level also contains a mudroom/laundry room and storage. In addition, a serene master bedroom retreat with adjacent spa, separate water closet and both walk in closet and wardrobe. There is a mezzanine level above the kitchen that hosts a beautiful home library. There is also a separate media/living room with two additional bedrooms next to an attached bathroom.
Designed by Turett Collaborative Architects for a single owner, this 2,400 square foot triplex apartment in a new condominium development on the Upper East Side, New York is full of air and light. Working closely with the building architects, TCA has designed a soaring, dramatic space with double-height entry foyer and a large living room with a custom fire trough that runs along the length of the space. A unique feature of the condominium is the two-story Vals quartzite stone wall that runs along the west side of the apartment, with stones that were handpicked by the owner and architect from a remote Swiss quarry. Cantilevered built-in shelves create a table and night stand, while niches in the stone wall are reserved for the client’s various toiletries.
Other striking features of this incredible penthouse are the stairs, made of black oxidized steel, which tie the three levels of the home together. Near the top, the steps lead to a “bridge” suspended over three stories, providing a dramatic view of the space. A clear glass box containing a full bathroom resides between the master bedroom and the study on the second level; when privacy is required, an inner layer of the glass can be activated to turn the walls opaque. On the third level, a lounge looks out onto an idyllic landscaped roof terrace and sun-deck; the ultimate escape from the city.
Stair tread detail. They cast warm, orange-tinted shadows through the halls.
A detail of the faucets in the trough sink.
Photos: Travis Dubreuil
The Lemperle Residence has been designed by Jonathan Segal, FAIA on a small pie shaped lot focusing outwards from the street and onto the ocean in La Jolla, California. This ocean front residence promotes an outdoor connection through the use of expansive glass and deck areas.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “Every room above grade space in the house is forced to the ocean through the use of vertical and horizontal planes defining visual edges. These edges also create an air of privacy from the adjacent neighbors. Built entirely of concrete, steel and walnut the home combines warmth with a machine like precision.”
“In addition to the above grade spaces the basement maximizes allowable floor area with lighting provided by glass flooring and light wells. Although very well concealed the home is almost entirely powered by highly efficient solar panels. In addition, due to the temperate climate cross ventilation provides all of the cooling needs, while heating needs are provided through high efficiency in floor heating throughout.”
Photos: Paul Body