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
632 Hudson Street, as spotted on Douglas Elliman, is an exquisite building with fascinating history, situated in the West Village, Meat Packing District, New York. In a class of its own stands this brilliant example of adaptive reuse, from sausage factory to palazzo, stunning in its intriguing complexity and fascinating in its alluring detail. This 8,000 square foot building comprises a sensational triplex with a central 40 foot atrium and a grand staircase and elevator leading up to a solarium and a magical roof garden, shaded by mature trees and flowering plants. Below the triplex, a charming bright floor through apartment replete with old world details high ceilings and a luxurious bathroom. It can be joined to the contiguous studio apartment next door. The pristinely renovated commercial ground floor overlooking lavish plantings offers a wide range of possibilities. Adjoining this floor below is a prohibition style licensed “speak easy”, well known in Event circles, and constantly rented.
Originally built in 1847 as a townhouse for the family of a sash maker, 632 Hudson Street was converted to a general store and produce market late in the 19th century by Hugh King. He operated an import business and general store, purveying fine whiskies, wines and brandies among other goods, and owned the buildings until the start of World War II. This particular owner left a clear imprint on the buildings; from across the street one can make out the faded letters of the words “fine whiskies and wine”, and “Hugh King 1881″ is visible on the pediment to this day. In the 1930′s, the building became home to an import export business and chorizo sausage factory, which it remained until 1992. Among the imports were Spanish nougat, guava products from Cuba, Canadian salt codfish, as well as rice and beans. Manufacturing mainly Spanish-style sausages such as sobrasada, butifarra and longoniza, the factory also produced Esteve brand olives, olive oil and capers.
In 1992, the current owner fell in love with the now derelict building and, with her mother, ended up purchasing it, determined to transform the vacant factory into a beautiful home. Whenever possible the original historical elements of the building have been preserved; old floorboards cleaned and treated and reused, beams and brick left exposed. In some cases it was necessary to get creative; the concrete of the “new” fireplace was rubbed by hand with coffee and mustard to give it an aged-by-time feel. The building is a never-ending labor of love for the owner, and for this reason it is full of fantasy, romance and imagination. Following the filming of The Real World’s 10th season within its walls, the owner took the opportunity to share her work with others, making the building available for photo and film shoots, celebratory events as well as for living. The personality and history of the building remain strong and ever-changing, growing with each new visitor.
This property is being sold for $22,000,000, from here.
Architect Henri Cleinge was approached to renovate and design a significant addition to Bord-du-Lac House, a 200 year old stone dwelling in Quebec, Canada. The architects were challenged to define a clear conceptual approach which would reconcile a contemporary architectural language to the ancestral home. The original structure once belonged to the Hudson Bay Company and had the main entrance facing the river, where the old road was situated. Over time, a new road was built on the back side of the house, which now became the front. The program required sheltering four generations: the great grandfather, the grandparents and the children in the old house, and the parents in the addition.
This led to the idea of drawing a parallel between the multi-generational component of the program and the fact that a contemporary project would be built alongside a historical house. In this manner, the design expresses the passage of time. The strategy defined itself as a contemporary project contrasting the existing stone house, yet having an obvious relationship to the ancestral home. This idea extended to the way the spaces are defined, as two double height living rooms are at opposite ends, one in each volume, linked by a path highlighted by a bridge linking the old house to the new volume.
Photos: Marc Cramer
This beautiful contemporary home has undergone a complete overhaul in Leichhardt, a suburb of Sydney, Australia by Rolf Ockert Design. With a two-story addition to the existing home, the site is located in a heritage conservation area. Being in one of the few streets in the Inner West Sydney that are still largely original in their streetscape, any alteration or addition was bound to be somewhere between controversial and impossible.
Being only about 100 square meters in size, the existing free-standing house was far too small for its intended use as a home for a young family with children. The only way to accommodate the intended brief was to build a two storey addition, something that did not exist in the area. After long negotiations with the planning department who told the architects that the scheme was not approvable, the project was called to a full council meeting. The mayor acknowledged that old houses like this one were too small to be sufficient as family homes these days and instead of increasing the floor plan to decrease outdoor living space, adding a second storey was promoted as the best approach.
The architects approach was to maintain and preserve the existing house in its entirety while designing the addition to be visibly modern. This was in the end supported by council’s planning and heritage departments. Their only requests were to change the color of the addition from white to gum tree grey (to match an existing tree on site) and to prevent overlooking into neighboring sites.
The latter resulted in high level slot windows to the side laneway, thus allowing tree and sky views whilst still maintaining privacy. These slots then became a major design feature that was then continued in the pattern on the side facade.
The site was very narrow, meaning that the internal layout of the building had to be organized very simply. The linear stairs are not placed in line with the existing corridor of the old house but on the other side of the extension. As a result the relatively small space reads to be quite generous.
To facilitate ease of construction whilst maintaining integrity of the original building, the existing house was kept completely intact and largely untouched. A glass side strip and rooflights were inserted between the old and the new, not only clearly defining the two but also bringing light into the core of the house.
This historic pre-war single family home spotted on Sotheby’s is the perfect marriage of resort lifestyle and ranch living, recently restored to its former glory as a 1922 Spanish Hacienda in an exclusive area of Ojai, a village east of Santa Barbara, California. Hidden amongst 20 acres of organic oranges, stone walls and graced by the majestic Topa Topa Mountains, this magical three bedroom, three bathroom property offers hardwood flooring, home theater, spa / hot tub, bonus room, first floor master retreat and guest suite. Exterior features includes a spacious deck / patio, stunning gardens, swimming pool, guest house and terrace.
This fabulous ranch is listed for sale at $4,500,000, from here.
This century-old Pacific Heights, California property is the home of David Fraze and Gary Loeb, who hired Sutro Architects to transform it back to its glory. The historic home built in 1897 had excellent craftsmanship and once contained servants quarters, passageways (to ensure the owners and servants never crossed paths) and workspaces both upstairs and in the basement level, which was all given a new identity, transformed into additional living spaces while keeping the historic character of the building still intact. The kitchen was once a prep space for the servants, but was too small for two men who enjoyed cooking. The owners wanted a space that was more casual and comfortable where they could relax and entertain friends as well as display their significant modern art collection. The home features traditional woodwork and details, the couple used inspiration from old Parisian apartments that have traditional spaces and have been renovated and decorated with modern art. Interior design firm John K. Anderson Design was brought on board to coordinate the 6,982 square foot home’s colors and furnishings. “What drove my part of the project was getting the right neutral backdrops for the artwork,” says Anderson. “We spent at least four months on the wall colors alone.” The vibrant artwork is electric against a palette comprised of mostly grays. Via
Windows were inserted to open spaces up to the jaw-dropping bay views.
“The existing woodwork was beautiful but very oppressive,” says the designer. “In the living room, the baseboard was tall, and it made the room seem low-ceilinged.” Anderson solved the problem by painting the walls, ceiling and upper and lower moldings all the same color—Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Embers—in order to elongate the room. Painting the never-before-covered woodwork took some panache, but as Anderson puts it, “You have to respect the past, but also make the home work for the clients and their needs now.”
The redwood paneling in the media room is original to the 1897 home. A contemporary chromogenic print by Dale Yudelman takes the room into the 21st century.
Although the rest of the house has references to the past, the powder room on the first floor is overtly modern. “We added this bath, and because it was a new element and not visible to the rest of the space, we felt we could go a little crazy,” says Loeb. The couple was drawn to Trove’s Auva wallpaper, which was recently selected as a permanent addition to the Brooklyn Museum’s decorative arts collection.
“This was once a very small, closed-off room,” says architect Stephen Sutro. “It was likely a nursery. By removing the wall that separated it from the stairs, we allowed light to pour into the hall and stairway.” The new open space gives the owners a place to enjoy a book and the view.
In the master bedroom, a picture rail molding gives Fraze the ability to display his art collection and the flexibility to change it easily and often.
The unique Xline tub by Agape features display shelves and is positioned to allow bathers to soak and enjoy the view.
Fraze’s upstairs study gives him a place to contemplate and build his art collection. Behind the desk is a piece by British artist Ian Davenport. The black-and-white artwork, made by puddling paint painstakingly on an oversize canvas, illustrates the unifying factor in Fraze’s collection: All the works are created using interesting processes.
Photos: Aaron Leitz Photography
This new residential project has been designed by bfs Design Flachsbarth Schultz, a 1957 atrium house (bungalow) in the middle of the Tiergarten Park in the center of Berlin, Germany. The former one family house was built for the International Building Exhibtion 1957 (Hansaviertel) and has not been changed until the new owner took over that building from an old lady. When he asked the architecture studio to create a contemporary and very special and fully furnished home and garden for him and his model casting agency, they were more than happy. Because the entire building including the garden was protected as an historic monument the architects had to work carefully.
This stunning 1892 Anglican church conversion was designed by owner and architect duo Dominic and Marie Bagnato of Bagnato Architects in the suburb of Moonee Ponds, in Melbourne, Australia. The Gothic-style timber church was originally built by Tadgell Brothers, it is now a residence that thrills the senses throughout spectacular spaces of unlimited luxury and unforgettable refinement. The innovative re-design marries old with new throughout unique dimensions including vast living, dining and entertaining areas arranged around a stunning Nero Tempesta marble fire-place. Flexibly formal and informal, these spaces feature limestone floors beneath dramatic, Baltic Pine ceilings and are served by a kitchen in which Calacatta marble surfaces, butler’s pantry and Ilve double ovens match form to function with conspicuous success.
Above, a mezzanine level lounge of light filled proportions precedes a roof space loft that sees the city and represents the ultimate escape, ideal as a teenagers’ retreat or work from home space. There are five bedrooms and five bathrooms, which includes a seductive main suite in an individual wing which evokes your favorite 5 star hotel and features a sublime marble and limestone bathroom while a guest room with its own en-suite enjoys its own access to elegantly landscaped outdoor dimensions.
A basement level boasts a wine room with recycled messmate ceilings and beautiful onyx marble paneling, equipped to accommodate 700 bottles. On the same level, a versatile gym or games room with its own bathroom includes a day bed retreat.
An al fresco pavilion with BBQ kitchen, LED lighting and surround sound overlooks a sunny lawn, which conceals a 6,000 liters water tank, and solar heated pool which ensures outdoor appeal matches indoor allure.
Photos: Courtesy of Bagnato Architects
This stunning and immaculately restored 18th Century water mill is situated in Corwen, North Wales featuring an extensive use of timber throughout the property which was a deliberate design concept to reflect the buildings original use as a working sawmill. Designed by The DMD Group, The Mill occupies an idyllic rural position amongst 3 acres of terraced woodland. It features a landscaped garden and three peaceful woodland walks. Completing the setting, a tributary of the River Dee flows through the grounds forming a series of cascading waterfalls. The property offers spacious, flexible accommodation which has been tastefully and comprehensively remodeled to an extremely high standard.
Upon entrance to the Mill you are greeted with a large solid oak sliding door that disappears into the wall to reveal a stunning and most impressive spacious open plan living/dining room. Through the extensive glass sliding doors, this space leads out onto a full length rear balcony overlooking a 4 meters waterfall. Linked to the open plan living/dining room is a spacious high spec kitchen/ breakfast room with double sided ‘inside/outside’ feature fire place. The extensive sliding doors reveal a cantilevered floating roof and an external hardwood timber deck. The kitchen countertops are solid American white oak, one of 11 different types of wood used throughout the property.
This fascinating property is listed for sale at $1,047,127, from here.
Direct access to the river and the remains of the historic pelton water wheel can be accessed from the elevated deck area to the rear of the property. The garden on the opposite side of the river offers a rope lined woodland stroll, with the remains of an old cottage providing a south facing alfresco dining space.
A back lit floating oak staircase leads from the open plan space up to the first floor level. The stairway projects into an overhanging bay window giving expansive views over the waterfall. The landing area is contained by minimal steel cables which act as a unique balustrade system to the floating stair element. Exposed beams maximize the volume of this double height space.
The master suite with back lit stone wall,exposed timber beams and open plan free standing stone resin bath gives the user a real sense of opulence and tranquility. The bedroom leads out onto an oak balcony with superb sunset views over the garden and various cascading waterfalls.
The timber design concept continues in this unique bathroom with power shower, which features solid wood Beech panels treated in high specification marine yacht oil.
The old cowshed in Glebe, New South Wales, Australia has been designed by Carter Williamson Architects. The home was a surprising find; a rare opportunity to preserve some of the character and charm of this eclectic neighborhood and one the architects encouraged for their clients to seize when they sought their advice on purchasing the property. The cowshed sat on a small parcel of land bounded on three sides by roads. The building was simple, essentially a long brick wall that held the urban edge of corner and street and returned to house a few bedrooms in the place of the former stalls.
It was the most basic of accommodation but the shed had a worn patina of stories and was well situated, hugging the southern boundary with provision for a private, north facing courtyard. The clients share a vision for gregarious family life which is reflected in their home. The spaces are truly ‘open plan’, each room connected to the others and to the sunny, green courtyard that acts as a natural extension of the living spaces.
The plan of the house was kept largely as it was with the kitchen to the street corner, hidden behind the strong brick envelope and spilling over into the dining and living rooms. The kids’ bedrooms, replete with requisite hammocks, were tucked into the return of the L-shaped plan with a vivid red bathroom at the pivot, a nod to our client’s proud Venezuelan heritage.
By expanding the width of the building from three to four metres and locating the bedroom mezzanine above the kitchen, the urban edge of the street was held by a tall forward element much like the bald face shop fronts at the end of a row of terraces; a good urban response which marks corner buildings as distinctive landmarks in an urban streetscape.
The cowshed sits under a big jacaranda tree whose leaves and blooms blocked the valley gutters and flooded the existing house when it rained. In response, a long steep roof plane was pulled up and over the second storey bedroom and tucked down at the rear of the site, designed to prevent accumulating organic matter and giving the building it’s distinctive profile.
A ribbon of high clerestory windows that capture light and breeze, wrap the building and climb upwards with the roofline allowing the home to feel bright but private, despite it’s dense urban context.
Wherever possible the existing building fabric of the original cowshed was preserved, but sadly much was structurally unsound. What was rebuilt carries the spirit of the cowshed, composed from a palette of simple, robust materials that simultaneously address the restraints of the tight budget; concrete slabs were polished as flooring, recycled bricks left as face for the internal walls and the timber structure exposed. Oiled timber doors and windows and corrugated cladding hint at the Australian pastural vernacular now all but forgotten in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
Photos: Brett Boardman