Astley Castle originally served as the royal family’s fortified manor for three generations before being turned into a hotel in World War 2 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom. After years of abandon, it became a ruined curiosity for those who knew of its location, serving as an unofficial impromptu venue for a range of activities until The Landmark Trust – a building preservation charity – proposed to restore the structure. They hosted a competition inviting architects to submit their ideas for the renovation of the residence and accompanying mote, entry gateway, curtain walls, lake, church, and vestiges of Elizabethan pleasure gardens. London-based Witherford Watson Mann Architects were chosen to carry out the project, breathing a new life into the ancient construction. The design tackled big questions regarding renovations, especially given a project of this scale: what will the relationship be between the old and new, and how can the new structure fortify the collapsing edifice?
The design strategy aimed to reoccupy the old residence, to re-institute the spaces as they had historically been used, retaining as much of the original feel of the space as possible. Brick became the material of choice for the intervention as it matched the idea of the first construction but retained a visually evident difference. it also allowed the new construction to transition into the old masonry elements following the uneven joints created by the dilapidated walls. Construction crew worked hand in hand with archaeologists to excavate the site in preparation for the insertion of new materials. Large concrete lintels and other larger structural members had to be craned in from outside the mote, which also complicated the construction process. Cintec ties were used to strengthen existing walls without adding any visible structure with a process that includes drilling holes into the partitions and filling them with a steel rod and expanding cementitious grout.
The site is owned by The Landmark Trust and its holiday accommodation can be booked at a rate of $1,015.00, for four nights sleeping up to eight people.
Photos: Courtesy of The Landmark Trust
This incredible conversion of an 1860′s Venetian Gothic style water tower by Arc Restoration encompasses five bedrooms, each with a different theme, two reception rooms, one with panoramic views of London and an eat-in, contemporary designed kitchen. The tower has an extension, nick named The Cube which houses the kitchen and reception room, as well as providing roof space for a fabulous terrace with skyline views. The Prospect Room at the top of the tower, in what was the original water tank, is the crowning glory of this monumental conversion comprised of 4,483 square feet (416 square meters). The four bathrooms, each with a personality of its own, have views and smart glass windows to switch between clear and opaque glass to ensure no view is unappreciated while privacy is retained when required. The property also features excellent security, a gym, lift, cellar and a garage, all of which are added benefits. Excellent attention to detail in the entire property, which was once owned by Charlie Chaplin, has been carefully considered.
Listed for sale at $7,393,375.00, from here.
Three hundred ballot boxes turn an ex-industrial space used for carpentry into a spacious and original loft in Florence, Italy designed by b-arch architecture. The property was once a dyeworks in the nineteenth century, a carpenter’s workshop in the fifties, today ‘Box House’ is the residential loft of an architect whose design language and signature style is the fusion of modern and antique. Alessandro Capellaro and his partner Sabrina Bignami of B-arch architecture studio are both interested in the integration of contemporary language into historical contexts.
The architect has the challenge of foreseeing the potential of a space that might look very different from the final project, renovating it in a modern key, and adapting it to modern aesthetics and ways of life that still preserve the charm and essence of the historic atmosphere. As soon as Capellaro saw this space, he knew he wanted to transform the ex-industrial carpentry area into his own living room. “Behind the saws and planers that submerged from the wood, I saw an open space, free from conventions and full of memories.”
His design aimed to free up the space, removing partitions and replacing extant small windows with much larger ones that go all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, in order to create extra-large, bright space. But the memory of the old carpenter’s workshop is not dismissed, but it is indeed evoked in a new, original and fun way through the distinctive furniture which is the true, leading character of the house.
Three hundred wooden boxes – authentic ballot boxes from the 1940s – are arranged in every room, acting as creative boiserie in the dining room, a mobile counter in the kitchen, as a cupboard, couch, desk, and even bed. Sensing the enormous creative potential in these boxes, the architect purchased them en bloc at an auction with the intention of turning them into shelves or real base modules with which to design very personal furniture.
The natural wood tones are also found in the industrial hardwood flooring that paves all environments. The harmonic shades of this material are maintained and matched in relation with other materials used, such as cement which accents soft and natural atmospheres, or iron; originally used as coating in the bathroom.
Even more fascinating is the contrast of the colorful design pieces that architect has surrounded himself with, collected over time, or of the vintage lamps of his own production, paintings and vases. Original Robin Day chairs from the sixties surround the old dining table and “readymade” found objects that come directly from the streets are located at the entrance, such as the operating-room lamp.
In this modern loft in the heart of the historical center of Florence, pieces of personal life relate dialectically with recycled objects in an installation that relates both to collective national memory and to fresh, real life.
CCS Architecture is best known for their modernist creations and interior design firm Woodson & Woodson Interior Design, is not linked to a particular style, but has work that is more traditional in nature. What happens when the two work on a South of Market condominium in San Francisco is an electric combination of aesthetics. The concrete building was originally built in 1926 as a warehouse for the B.F. Goodrich tire company. Although the building was turned into condos in 1996, it retains metal factory-style windows, exposed ductwork and concrete walls and pillars. Via
The homeowners relocated from a larger, more traditional home. Smith chose celebrate the existing style, but reorganize the spaces around a central core. The effect is a doughnut shape where most of the living and entertaining space is in the ring, while the hole, or core, contains office spaces, workout areas, bathrooms and closets. “We chose to put the rooms that don’t require as much light in the center,” says Smith. “The rooms where people gather, like the kitchen and dining room, are built around that.”
The dining room is framed by two large metal support beams. Smith wouldn’t have it any other way. “I like how they define the space,” he says.
The homeowner says that, in her former residence, she had a set of Chippendale chairs around a dining room table. The chairs didn’t work here, so she and Woodson purchased a set of Chippendale-style chairs and had them lacquered, giving the traditional style a fun update.
Smith chose to do the kitchen cabinets and countertops in a muted shade in order to have the area blend into the open space plan. “Because it’s so visible, I didn’t want it to stand out as a separate room,” he says.
The media room is outfitted with four swiveling chairs. They can remain stationary for conversation, or turned toward the television or the living room.
The master bedroom shows how two styles can live in harmony. The baroque bed is flanked by two metal nightstands and sits in front of sleek cabinetry.
When Eva and Gerard Rüecker moved to Berlin, Germany after several years of living in London, they sought to settle in a home that at first seemed impossible. The couple dreamed to find a paradise in the middle of the city, a bright and spacious home with a garden for children to play. They purchased a derelict old factory building, preserving the facade to fulfill their wish. They then surrendered to the charm of the building and its great possibilities. They hired Berlin architecture Studio Miethe+Quehl to conduct a total rehabilitation, creating a light-filled home with highly functional and open spaces.
The Swedish owner wanted to reflect their Scandinavian roots in the basics of interior design, creating family environments, a sauna on the top floor and light wood flooring throughout by the brand Dinesen, which brings a fantastic natural atmosphere, in addition to the natural light that enters through the large windows of the old factory. The comfort of the home is not only through the articulation of spaces, the family favorite is, in addition to the garden, the kitchen/living room/play space of 1,076 square feet (100 square meters), but also furniture and details. There are a few comfortable and classic pieces of design mixed with more current furnishings, even some vintage pieces; all, with a cozy touch of freshness and naturalness.
Photos: Spotted on Nuevo Estilo
Manor House Stables was once a stable that housed a retired racehorse named “Lovely Cottage” in Headbourne Worthy, Winchester, United Kingdom. The stables were once beautiful and functioning but have since the mid 1900’s have remained unused and have fallen into shambles. Since the stable block is steeped in historical character, it has since been transformed into an elegant and contemporary three bedroom family home by AR Design Studio. The concept was to preserve the existing while making any new additions simple and pure in order to let the original character shine.
This results in an innovative arrangement of spaces according to the Stable’s existing layout, in order to maintain many of the existing exposed timber interior walls. These were then cleaned, stripped back and refurbished to reveal an exquisite amount of detailing and craftsmanship. With the existing internal walls brought back to life, the next task was to turn the Stables into a home for the modern family and bring it into the present day. In order to respect the character of the property a clean, contemporary and neutral approach was taken to the rest of the renovation which juxtaposes perfectly with the original timber walls, allowing them to stand out as pieces of art against a beautifully simple contemporary backdrop.
Many of the existing features were refurbished and re-purposed for use in the home environment; the original horse troughs were cleaned and converted for use as sink basins, the old horse ties act as towel rings in the bathrooms and original doors are preserved where possible to give a sense of real period character. The Stables benefit from three large double bedrooms, with two en-suite rooms to accompany a spacious family bathroom.
Being a single storey property with long continuous views, the layout was tailored and split between sleeping and living accommodation with a single constant circulation running through the entire building. The welcoming and spacious open-plan kitchen dining area is conveniently located at the heart of the home, leading into the light and roomy lounge which benefits from full height glazed doors that open out onto the sleepy village setting.
The entire property is super insulated, and the heated polished concrete floor throughout provides a functional uniformity to the spaces as well as recounting the Stable’s agricultural history. New windows and roof lights fitted throughout give the whole place a warm, bright and clean feel; creating an excellent environment as a backdrop for a family home.
The finished Stables is completely transformed from its existing dilapidated condition and is now a perfectly working family home, bursting with contemporary style juxtaposed against delightful period character.
Prior to the Renovation:
Photos: Martin Gardner
Complete renovation of historic Cow Hollow home in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California. The home was designed by architect David Gast in conjunction with interior designer Martha Angus and builder Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders. The home is comprised of 5,500 square feet of living space with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, living room, kitchen, family room, office, playroom, laundry room, two rooftop decks, a rear yard and terrace. The existing front facade remained for historical preservation. The scope of the project included framing the entire three story structure, constructing large concrete retaining walls, and installing a storefront folding door system at the family room that opens onto a rear stone patio. The rear yard features terraced concrete planters and living wall.
Photos: Bruce DaMonte
South Yarra Residence is a modern addition and remodel by architecture studio Nixon Tulloch Fortey in South Yarra, Australia. If you notice in the last picture, the front of the Victorian home has been historically preserved in keeping with the surrounding neighborhood. The interior features modern updates with splashes of bold colors throughout. The back of the house has been completely modernized and looks fabulous with the large expanse of glass that helps blur the boundaries between the outdoors and in. What do you think of this remodel, would you have left the original front facade or would you have updated it to match the rear facade?
The Maison d’Ulysse is an historic 17th century fortified farmhouse in the South of France and bears the name of one of its former owners, the archaeologist and poet Ulysse Dumas. Dumas (1872-1909) is a major figure in local history. He made important archaeological discoveries about the prehistoric settlement of the region. Since that time, the farmhouse and its garden have retained a great deal of their poetry, as can be seen from the mulberry trees, ancient oaks and fig trees which border the property. Today, the house – which is listed by the “Fondation du Patrimoine” heritage foundation, with a label for its historical value – is one of France’s finest high-class guest houses.
Inside, you will be immersed in the magic of the house, which has been restored with due respect for its authenticity. Settle down in the comfort of your luxury guest house room and rest in the coolness of its natural limewashed walls. You will be charmed by the contemporary decoration, combining modernity of lines and sobriety of materials, from the Baron Perché room to the Chant du Mûrier suite. Round-off your well-being stay with a swim in the magnificent swimming pool, before relaxing in the spa area and Turkish bath. Then take a stroll in the Mediterranean dry gardens, where luxuriant perennials, shrubs and climbing plants grow side by side.
To stay at the beautiful La Maison d’Ulysse, prices range from $160 – $400 per night, from here.
A true mansion, originally from 1922, with preserved architecture and full of details that reveal a rare magnificence, is the headquarters of the 22nd Edition of Casa Cor Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With very high ceilings and large windows, the beautiful and famous building has been designed in an eclectic style with over 5,400 square meters of constructed area, divided into 52 environments, with about 80 professionals that have demonstrated that it is possible to renew with style, but without deleting the marks of time. The building was once a Boarding School of Nursing Anna Nery (1926 – 1973) and the College Student House (1973 – 1995). Here, past, present and future coexist in harmony. Enjoy the amazing photos of interior design and architecture!
The hotel’s lounge is a a 130 square meters balanced composition between pieces of diverse styles by architect Gisele Taranto. Imperfections were left on the floor, walls and frames as a way to rescue the memory of the mansion. The space also gathers pieces of art selected by curator Mara Fainziliber. Maneco Quinderé did the lighting.
The ceiling received a new structure made of corten steel and polycarbonate below the existing one, creating a semi-transparent layer that allows a partial view of it in its real condition.
Gisele also created a “book wall”, using books as bricks to complete part of a missing wall, making reference to the works of the german Hubertus Gojowczyk.
Lobby/reception. Hot pink walls contrast with the old, original elements of the property, in the environment of architect Pedro Paranaguá. Italian sofa, fitted with low modules and loose, reaffirm the contemporary twist. The Wave of Italian lamp Foscarini, bring movement to the high ceiling, with apparent frame. With organic form, the sculpture of Gabriela Maciel finished off the decor.
SPA Deca. The Tunisian marble floor tilts and turns into a ramp where they were carved lounge chairs and a niche for candles and books. Creativity excelled in architect Miguel Pinto Guimarães Playbook. He also designed a concrete Pergola which looks like a lace, in partnership with the artist Fabian Benicio. Among the decorative objects, Italian pads Lisa Corti and Alice Felzenszwalb ceramics give touches of color along the vertical wall landscaping. Italian lamps Tolomeo, on the sides, focus only the essentials.
Designer’s Studio. The mix between rustic and luxurious materials is the keynote of this space, a loft built by the architects Gabriela Eloy and Carolina Travaglini (1883–1961) for a young woman tied to the universe of fashion.
Jewelry. Divided into lounge and area, the space of Interior designers Mariana Dean, Jason Sartori and Luciana Arnaud pays homage to the fashion designer Coco Chanel and makes reference to her collection of jewelry. Crystal pendant refers to the retro atmosphere that permeates the atmosphere.
Loft + River. The architect Luiz Fernando Grabowsky idealized a space with a mixture of lounge, and office suite, based on a sophisticated and versatile dweller. The stacking bookcase modules of different sizes and finishes (mimics the wood), in the background, and the shiny lacquer orange and navy blue.
Kitchen. Orange and off-white were the choices of architects Lia Lamego and Fernanda Mancini to color the four corners of the kitchen. The project design was based on practicality. Porcelain flooring rustic texture coating won, in contrast to the softness of the glass countertop, in the same tone. A cutout in the ceiling gives lighting.
Reading room. The soft sofa by Sergio Rodrigues, is paired with the model of straight lines created by Lena Machado. They make up the elegant living drafted by the duo of architects Cristina Bezamat and Laura Bezamat.
Interactive room. Reuse was the watchword for Tiana Meggiolaro and Bia Lynch who set up the room with brick walls left exposed. “Based on the concept of upcycling and demos new function was given to the pallets, wooden structures used in freight transport that became bookshelf and countertop,” says Tiana.
Public bathroom. A dress with promotional stickers on the door leaves no doubt: the space is for women. But the architect was Adenowo Ketlein plus and extra effort in other women: walls with paper printed with rose petals and a showy red bench. In lighting, the trough with cold light, clipped on the ceiling, help in the retouching of makeup.
Foyer of Brigadier. As they could not interfere in the architecture of the house, architects Carolina Ladder and Patricia Landau created a Pergola of iron blue that announces the entrance to the shop of Brigadier. Attached to this structure, is a canvas blue pendant armchair. To taste the sweets of Fabiana D ‘ Ângelo, round wooden tables surrounded by classical Platner chairs were lined with citrus-green tone twill.