House at Neil Road celebrates the traditional charm of Peranakan shophouses with the addition of new spaces sensitive to the building’s rich heritage, by ONG&ONG, in the conservation district of Singapore. Akin to traditional shophouses, the spaces are interspersed with courtyards that serve as visual focal points. The original courtyard forms the heart of the common areas while a newer courtyard marks the transition from the old structure into its new extension.
The shophouse walls tell a similar story of progression from old to new, with paintwork along the forecourt’s boundary walls stripped and left unfinished, revealing layers of paintwork and the shophouse’s history. Exposed brick walls reveal old bricks manufactured with local clay that are no longer in production. This creates a stark contrast when juxtaposed with the original courtyard wall – its original blue paintwork and folklore-inspired fresco restored to celebrate the shophouse’s Peranakan heritage.
Other preservation efforts include the restoration of the facade; the original red cement flooring of the five-foot way, living and dining spaces; the original timber flooring and exposed floor joists of the upper levels; and the terrazzo finish for the bathrooms, which highlights an age-old craft that is becoming a dying trade in Singapore. Details such as bathroom vanities accented with glazed Peranakan tiles, the old iron main gate and the “pintu pagar” (Malay for “door gate”) demarcating the master bedroom’s entrance further enrich the authentic tonalities of the shophouse.
With its blending of old and new elements, this house not only preserves a unique cultural heritage, but also acts as a storytelling device that narrates the histories of its past and present occupants.
Photos: Courtesy of ONG&ONG
The Cube House project is an old Victorian home that has been re-imagined by John Maniscalco Architecture for a family of four, located in San Francisco, California. This dilapidated 1895 Victorian with a historically protected facade, abnormally long building footprint, and zero lot-line configuration was transformed into a light-filled home. The introduction of a two-story atrium (which is open to the sky) brings the exterior into the very center of the urban dwelling becoming the spatial organizing gesture, allowing all areas of the house to partake of the light, air, and landscape (both earth and sky) that this protected garden provides.
Utilizing both the transparent and reflective qualities, the glass cube acts to both define each distinct space and extend it. The Jarrah stair, which is framed by the cube, cantilevers from the wall, adding to the transparency and lightness. A wall of Sapele cabinets transforms to respond to the changing requirements of each space, while maintaining the scale of the larger space.
The house maintains an appropriately formal programmatic element – a library – in the room behind the preserved facade. The dining room and living room flank the garden, which a large kitchen opens on two sides to the rear garden and views to the north. Above, the cube is surrounded by two bedrooms and a master bedroom suite with a large rear deck.
The lower level features a media room/guest suite, exercise room, laundry, and a three-car garage.
The solution maintains and restores the historic facade, while adding an additional floor, set back from the street, which utilizes an abstraction of the cornice and fenestration patterns of the existing house.
Photos: Courtesy of John Maniscalco Architecture
Greenwich Village Townhouse is a landmark Greek Revival townhouse from the 1840’s that has been designed by Axis Mundi, situated on a charming street in New York’s Greenwich Village. The four floor building (plus sub-basement) was gutted to the original brick building envelope. All new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were installed, and the garden was redesigned. Axis Mundi was responsible for the complete architectural, interior design and decorating of this home.
The goal of the project was to respect the charms and scale of the original historical style without mimicking period details, and create a suitably modern context for the owner’s collection of artwork by Warhol, Haring and Basquiat. While restrained, the interior resolves certain contextual issues related to the site, yet is decidedly modernist in its attention to details.
A sculptural bronze and mirrored screen was designed by Axis Mundi to create an entrance foyer, using cast glass that was salvaged from Gio Ponti’s Alitalia showroom on Fifth Avenue. A chandelier was created with glass from the same project, all superbly fabricated by Urban Archeology.
Various surrealist touches, such as a painting by Matta, and furniture by Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi, add a touch of humor to a formally rigorous design scheme.
Most of the details were custom designed, from the marble mosaics in the bathrooms, to the millwork and Prouve-inspired shutters on the kitchen floor.
A custom bronze staircase, anodized aluminum metalwork, and overall spatial concerns relate to a contemporary sense of materiality.
Photos: Adriana Bufi, Andrew Garn, and Annie Schlecter
This striking farmhouse renovation project was designed for the 2012 Southern Living Idea House by Historical Concepts, located in the tiny town of Senoia, Georgia. The project was Southern Living Magazines first ever historical renovation project. Over a period of seven months, a tired 19th century home located in this historic town south of Atlanta was transformed into a charming and up-to-date farmhouse. Multiple renovations had masked much of the historic character, so the restoration began by peeling back generations of changes to uncover the essence of the 1830s home. The design team then set out to salvage what remained of the home’s original materials, retaining heart pine floors and hand planed wall boards. Additions sympathetic to the style and massing provided room for porches, a laundry room, mud room, office and carriage house, accommodating modern living while staying true to the home’s architectural heritage and rural roots.
Photos: Laurey W. Glenn (Courtesy of Southern Living)
Four Floors consists of four couture apartments dispersed over four floors of an historic 19th century stone Galata building that was immaculately restored in Istanbul, Turkey. The contemporary renovation was carried out by it’s owner and designer Sema Topaloğlu, one of Istanbul’s most original designers, and her team of furniture designers and craftsmen. Inspiration for this small and sleek boutique hotel came from the historic culture of Istanbul and the deep-rooted Istanbul traditions of handcraft. The spacious interiors of the 4 Floors contains furniture from Topaloğlu’s own unique collections and other leading contemporary designers such as Marc Newson, Ingo Maurer and Marcel Wanders. These stylish interiors feature sweeping views of Istanbul, combining the new and old to dramatic affect that represents the new contemporary culture of Istanbul.
Features includes a peaceful environment within the busy city is created by the personalized service of Murat Topaloğlu. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and panoramic views of the famous skyline and Bosphorus, unique design and furniture by Sema Topaloğlu Studio, contemporary amenities including fully outfitted kitchens, music players, high-speed internet, in-room coffee makers and selected international and Istanbul magazines. The top floor Penthouse features executive accommodation provides striking views across the Sea of Marmara framing the old Istanbul from atop the living loft and terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of Four Floors Istanbul
Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
This farm house preservation is comprised of a traditional style historic home designed by Crisp Architects situated on a dirt road in the countryside of Massachusetts. The property had been uninhabited for several years. The clients came along at just the right time to resurrect this beautiful bit of history. By carefully preserving the antique portions of the home while renovating and adding to the newer sections, the architects were able to create a home that has a foot in several centuries. Best of all it still feels comfortable on that tiny dirt road. Have a look inside this cozy home with warm interiors and let us know what you think!
The gorgeous countertops in the kitchen are comprised of Costa Esmeralda Granite.
This stunning coffee table in the living room can be found at Restoration Hardware.
The wood flooring used throughout is a mushroom cypress wood with a natural finish.
Like the look of this bathroom? Here are some of the specs: Kensington Pivot Mirror, Extra Large Oval, Polished Nickel finish from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware Bistro Sconce, and Porcelain Hexagon White Penny Tile from the Home Depot.
Prior to Renovation
Photos: Rob Karosis
Franken House has been designed by Bekhor Architecte and is situated in an urban environment of Brussels, Belgium where row or town houses in well aligned facades are the standard. The home was originally a carpentry workshop that had become neglected during the last 20 years. At the very beginning, a fence wall was used as protection between the private property and the public space. It was just 2 meters high with no other utility than to separate. The existing volume was constructed around 1930 by raising the main elevation over the existing fence wall and completing the volume enclosure behind it.
The suspended cube that can be seen on the exterior facade is a result of the structure’s extension. The structural grid in steel is filled by a wooden frame. The facade is expressed backwards against the existing blank wall. In order to emphasize the attitude towards this brick wall, a stair is backed on it and animated by an overhead light, offering different atmospheres during the day.
The second guideline was to relink this unordered urban space. The new “skyline” of the project is made of different in a row of “step volumetry”. Levels are open spaces, but each have connection with closed rooms in order to make privacy possible. Material treatments are chosen to break the frontier between the inside and the outside. These materials like steel, zinc, wood or coating are used in both situation in a fluid continuity.
Photos: Laurent Brandajs