The Ettley Residence is an incredible beach house designed by architects Studio 9 one 2 in Los Angeles, California. The home is a study in solid-void relationships. The Aluminum and wood “umbrella” over the blue glass, which appear to be blocks of frozen blue Pacific ocean, juxtapose against the solid wood boxes giving an appearance of a modern seaside sculpture. Situated just a few blocks from the ocean, the up-sloping lot achieves commanding views of the water while providing a cityscape foreground to the setting. The master suite located at the mid level front has a glass floor sitting area, which overlooks a reflecting pond and garden below. This patio is located off the theater/family room.
There is a vertical bamboo garden surrounded by wood slats that grow up through the building providing needed privacy to the master and to the main living spaces at the top level. This vertical garden gives a Zen like feeling completing the richness in the selected materials utilized in the designing of this home.
Studio 9one2 has become known for its particularly interesting staircases. The majority of beach houses in the LA area are designed as inverted plans with the living spaces at the top level in order to achieve the best ocean views. As a result the both visitors and occupants alike utilize the stair system quite often. Studio 9one2 always strives to make those normally mundane trips into sculptural experiences. This home with its “Esher-esque” stairs and glass floor landings is certainly no exception.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 9 one 2
Christopher Rose Architects designed this stunning Blue Heron Pond Road residence on the north end of Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The architects refer to this home as “high-tech-meets-Lowcountry” – a fitting description for the contemporary property. From the moment the design process began, it was very much a balance of stretching the architectural imagination and boundaries while maintaining an easy, ‘livable’ atmosphere for homeowners and embracing the natural setting of the home. Great emphasis was given to the uninterrupted lagoon views and sense of privacy the home encompasses. In fact, there are no neighboring properties to the north, south, or west of the home.
The architects designed the back of the residence with large expanses of glass to maximize the views. Entering the home is a breathtaking experience as the visual senses work on overload to breathe in the exquisite stone and woodwork, the towering ceilings, and the impact of the wall of windows and views beyond. The exposed steel frame further enhances the Great Room’s sense of transparency, creating a light-filled home that embraces its setting. To balance this lightness, stained bamboo floor grounds the space and provides continuity, while the cypress ceilings afford a sense of warmth overhead.
Open stair with a landing over a in ground pool with river rocks and low bubbler fountains give a hint to the pond on the other side of the home.
Dramatic stacked stone fireplace anchors with two story glass great room.
Exposed steel accentuates this stainless steel and wood kitchen.
The glass and stainless steel of the open kitchen compliment the main living areas. The soaring ceiling and walls of glass continue in the first floor master suite where, as in the Great Room, motorized window shades control sunlight and privacy. An incredibly luxurious bath, private loft area, and entrance to the pool area complete this sanctuary.
Detail view of Master Bedroom framing view to pond.
Ice blue carpet and walls complement the contemporary master bedroom. Motorized drapes are concealed in window casing.
Upstairs, there are three guest rooms, one with a private bath and the other two sharing a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom.
This guest room was named the “lips” room for its limited edition wallpaper recalling Andy Warhol’s Marilyn series. The heart cone chair by Panton is very comfortable.
View across Blue Heron Pond.
Hayes Residence has been designed by Travis Price Architects as a simple main area with a guest house connected and apart in West Virginia. The main place is a bedroom, kitchen, dining and living. Basics are met under ceilings that are vaulted in wood. The living trees were saved and become captured art as they puncture the home preserved for lovers of nature. The 200 square foot home is a path through the West Virgina hills. The path splits and meanders to know where… to know where nothing is left but self and nature. The cloak of nature and soul are equally in harmony punctured by growth and rebirth all afloat. Swaying trees and swirling winds scoop clouds of water to feed the split trees. A rock opens as a stairway and leaves paths to take in or out.
Photos: Ken Wyner
This contemporary designed property, spotted on Sotheby’s, is the epitome of open-plan lakeside living in Bobs Cove, New Zealand. The home has been exquisitely finished both internally and externally using natural schist, cedar and expansive glass walls, all of which blend beautifully into the natural surroundings. An impressive copper front door perfectly complements the exterior cladding. Floor-to-ceiling windows span the length of the north and south walls of the open-plan lounge/kitchen area, allowing the superb views of Lake Wakatipu to be enjoyed right through the house. The roof extends beyond the glazed walls over the outdoor patios, providing a form of passive heating and cooling throughout the year.
Extensive private outdoor patio areas have natural wood fires, setting the tone for the ultimate in outdoor entertainment for all seasons. The home also features an architecturally-designed modern kitchen and sumptuous lounge area with the open gas living flame fire providing the ultimate in ambiance. Two of the three expansive bedrooms offer luxurious en-suite and large walk-in closets in the east and west wings of the house and make the most of the views across the lake, with a third main bedroom featuring a private patio with magnificent mountain views. A private media room with integrated audio control system throughout the home and outdoor areas provides entertainment flexibility.
This immaculately finished lakefront statement property has private access to the beach and also the walking trails, offered at $2,076,000, from here.
The Off-Grid itHouse is a design system developed by architecture studio Taalman Koch in Pioneertown, California that utilizes a series of components prefabricated off-site to help better control the construction waste, labor, and quality of the finished product. Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the building’s impact on delicate site conditions.
Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels.
To further enhance the experience of living in a glass house, a graphic design is mapped to discreet areas of the glass walls, creating framed views, sun-shading screen patterns and privacy zones. Artists Sarah Morris and Liam Gillick custom designed the graphic outfit for the off-grid itHouse.
Photos: Gregg Segal
Joyce & Jeroen house renovation was an overhaul of a traditional townhouse in The Hague, Netherlands by Dutch studio Personal Architecture. The dilapidated state has necessitated a thorough reinforcement of the foundation and load-bearing structure of the entire house, opening up extraordinary possibilities in an otherwise commonplace apartment renovation. The combination of ambitious design visions and a large measure of trust from the client have resulted in a rigorous and uncompromising redesign, in which voids and split levels accentuate the full height of Den Haag’s typical row houses.
They added mezzanine floors, a glass elevation, a triple-height kitchen and a spiral staircase. Whilst the front half of the house retains its original facade and layout, the architects removed the brickwork garden elevation and replaced it with a steel framework and full-height glass wall, generating an optimal source of daylight. The interplay of voids, the split-levels and the glass facade, all create a spectacular drama between interior and exterior on the one hand, and between the existing and new floors on the other.
The intervention in the back of the house can be interpreted as a three-dimensional, L-shaped element of five storeys, accessed by a new steel spiral staircase. The staircase brings a new dynamic between the different parts of the house and makes a separation between owners and guests possible. Vertically, the L-shaped element ends in a roof-terrace with jacuzzi and outer kitchen that lies far above the balconies of the lower floors.
Small sets of steps connect the four mezzanine levels with the three existing floors of the house, while the original staircases provide a link between floors at the front of the house.
Above the kitchen, a translucent polycarbonate wall lets light into the master bedroom though a walk-in wardrobe positioned at its back.
A wire-fence balustrade creates a balcony on the second floor, so residents can look down from an office to the kitchen below.
Four new mezzanines overlook the kitchen from the side of the house, providing a new bathroom, library and pantry that feature untreated pine walls and floors. A steel staircase spirals up between the levels and leads up to a rooftop terrace and hot tub.
The architects cut away sections of the first and second floors, creating a triple-height kitchen filled with natural light.
Photos: René de Wit
Architect Chris Tate’s Forest House is a modular glass structure perched in the branches of the densely forested hills of the Auckland suburb of Titirangi in New Zealand. This is a residence that Tate uses himself as a weekend getaway retreat which has very little site impact. The glass home is tucked away in a deep ravine, which stands out with its flat black roof punctuated by four glass skylights with a slender set of wooden stairs snaking down next to it. The staircase leads to a small outcrop of decking in front of the home’s entryway. From the entrance, the house can be seen for what it is, a glass box perched amidst the bush with nothing around it except for massive trees.
The concept of the design was to focus more on the environment than on the house. This is particularly emphasized by the striking puriri tree that angles out from the bank and curves around the side of the house. The house has been designed around the curve of the trunk, using it as a main focal point. Nothing has been disturbed in this environment, there are no concrete foundations or retaining walls, and it feels more like a camping retreat, where Tate has deliberately not installed a TV, dishwasher or microwave.
The steep site was a challenge for the builders, yet no excavating was necessary on the sight, not even leveling. All the trees were enclosed in scaffolding to protect them and then 16 poles were entrenched into the earth, with the house constructed upon them. The home was designed with a minimalist approach, with no hidden storage spaces in the living area, but the study, bedroom and bathroom provides the perfect amount of comfortable living for two. The bedroom area is at the opposite end of the house up against the bank. Along this wall is a floor to ceiling curtain that conceals open shelving and wardrobes. Tate’s home is dominated by a black and white color palette and many elements inside the home have a botanical theme, such as the upholstery.
Integrated within the striking natural surroundings, Espinoza House is a single family home that derives its characteristics from the landscape around it, integrating, stone, wood and glass and opening up to the bay. Designed by Chilean architecture practice WMR the 1,506 square foot (140 square meters) home is nestled on the mountains surrounding Matanzas beach, on the Chilean central coast.
The architects sought to integrate the building within its striking surrounding landscape, deriving its characteristics from the environment in which it is inserted. The house is dug into the hill in such a way that it allows for a patio invaded by the morning light, while offering protection from the wind and a view of the sea.
Next to the patio, the architects have inserted the kitchen, dining and living spaces in a lower level, all built out of stone, sharing the materiality of the mountains. The rest of the house’s structure consists of a combination of Oregon pine wood and steel beams, and opens up with large windows that overlook the beach. Here, a living space, which is — conceived as a yoga room — is articulated with two bedrooms.
Photos: Sergio Pirrone
Tres Hermanos Cabin was designed by Chilean architecture studio WMR, a low-cost residence located on a spectacular cliff in Matanzas, off the Chilean central coast, which seeks to reflect the lifestyle of its young surfer inhabitants. In the same spirit of the architect’s project for Puccio House, WMR have worked with a striking location, and sought to make a minimal, rational intervention that wouldn’t destroy the slope.
Expertly using wood and glass, the studio designed a 3 x 6 meter two-storey volume with open, flexible spaces that intertwine the exterior and interior. With a total of 344 square feet (32 square meters) of living space, the ground floor features a living area, alongside a dining area and a kitchen. On the first floor, two sliding doors are the only elements defining the space, which contains a bathroom, bedroom and hall.
Photos: Sergio Pirrone
This rural Connecticut getaway is owned and designed by Lisa Gray and Alan Organschi of Gray Organschi Architecture. The Shepaug River Valley Railroad, which ran along the Bantam River in the late 19th century, stopped at this location, once the site of a tiny local train depot. The architect saved and reinforced the existing 19th century rubble foundation, using it as the base for this new house. Two simple gable structures, oriented perpendicularly to each other, create space for a large open plan between them and refer, through their forms, to neighboring barns and to the region’s agricultural heritage. The house interior is lined with bleached pine; kitchen, dining, living and family rooms overlap each other and create a rich series of spatial experiences that accommodate relaxed weekend living. The living spaces open onto a lap pool which is edged in stone-lined gabion baskets and is surrounded by a cedar deck. The six and a half acres of outdoor spaces provide views across the meadow to the Bantam River.
Consisting of two barnlike volumes set atop a stone foundation, the Depot House offers a locally rooted vision of New England modernism.
The couple made the house feel even more spacious by flooding a series of levels with natural light.
The family relaxes in their home’s dining room, sited atop the old foundation. Organschi designed and fabricated the table of wenge wood; the chairs were inherited from his uncle; and the pendant lights are Bertjan Pot designs for Moooi.
The swimming pool offers an alternative plunge to the nearby Bantam River.
The architects orchestrated all the material handling for the Depot House, from the prepainted wood siding to the fabricated stairs.