House R is a family home for a couple with three kids which has been designed by Colboc Franzen & Associés, situated in Sèvres, a Parisian suburb in France. The family had acquired a plot of land, which was, at the time, occupied by an orchard and its gardener’s shed. The small construction along with the healthy trees were preserved in memory of the past. The program was discussed and analyzed. The 3,223 square foot (299.5 square meters) house consists of three separate sets: the amenities (lobby, office, laundry room, basement, garage), the common areas (living room, dining room, kitchen and the parental suite), and finally the children’s bedrooms, arranged around a multipurpose space.
The methods and time of occupation are distinct and expectations are different: practicality for the first feature, collective life and reception area for the second and cosiness for the third. Furthermore, this fragmentation comes into resonance with the context: it is not just a house anymore but three volumes that come across the scale of heterogeneous nearby constructions. Due to the small size of the site volumes are superimposed.
The first volume is built backing on to the neighboring construction and runs parallel to the street. It’s half buried in the slope and therefore levels the ground. Made out of masonry, quenched with a single layer of bitumen and recovered with Corten steel sheets, this first floor contains all the amenities. Walls, ceiling and floor are white and contrast with the exterior. Those elements converge on the staircase and accelerate the perspective so the visitor is quickly projected into the house. The hall leads to the office and the laundry. The cloakroom and the restrooms are hidden in the thickness of the walls. Thanks to the first volume which levels the ground, the second floor is in direct relation with the garden. As far as the cantilever is concerned, it constitutes a canopy for the main entrance of the house. This floor is dedicated to the collective life. It’s a really opened and fluid space.
The second floor is divided by two “pieces of furniture”. The first piece incorporates the stairs, the kitchen, the restrooms and the chimney whereas the second one is composed of the dressing and the bathroom. Those two blocks delineate the living room, the dining room and the parental suite. It’s a very minimalist place.
All the terraces offer various points of view and different aspects depending on the season.
The third and last floor is, once again, leaning on the neighboring building. The volume is wrapped with pine lath so the house can be in the line of the predominant color shades of the district. Since the volume is on the top of the construction and dedicated to the children, the wooden cladding was also a wink to tree houses. On the third floor three bedrooms and their bathrooms are organized around a multipurpose space. This double-oriented space is protected by a screen wall on the street side, and leads to a large terrace (rooftop of the second floor) on the south side. Bedrooms are also double-oriented to optimize views and natural lightening and provide natural and efficient ventilation.
Sustainability was a main objective of the project: exterior isolation, recyclable materials with low environmental impact, high-performance glazing.
Photographs: Cécile Septet
Fisher Street Residence is a modern beach house designed by Chris Barrett Design, exuding a casual sophistication, drawing influence from Frank Sinatra to the surf culture of Manhattan Beach, California. The open architecture seamlessly integrates the exterior elements with the vibrant color palette of the interior.
Named for its owner – interior designer and Southern California native Chris Barrett – the firm is renowned for its breathtaking residential interiors and chic commercial spaces. Alchemists with color, light, pattern and scale, Barrett and her team execute bold visions for their fast-growing portfolio of clients, consistently revealing functionally creative living spaces with a balanced look that is both dramatic yet restrained.
Photos: Courtesy of Chris Barrett Design
Oban House is a modern property showcasing a natural and organic material pallet by building company AGUSHI, teaming up with Workroom Design in South Yarra, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The client wanted a low maintenance home that not only has a natural and organic material pallet but also has a slightly industrial, yet warm feel. The residence accommodates two living zones, study, kitchen with butler’s pantry, four bedrooms with three bathrooms and a separate upstairs living zone. The two levels of the house are accessed by a lift and the house offers a rarity for South Yarra being a generous two car off street garage.
Positioned on only 5,166 (square feet) 480 square meters of land, this house at 3,982 square feet (370 square meters) of living and garage offer a highly unique experience for inner city Melbourne living. The spaces are large without feeling cavernous and the abundant use of glazing brings so much natural light into the home that ones feels like they are outside as much as they are inside.
Outside is an 8 meter pool and north east facing garden, tiled alfresco area for outdoor entertainment and discreet plant and equipment area. The house is orientated around a central courtyard providing northern light into the two living areas and a smaller north courtyard fills the study with a bright landscaped outlook.
Externally the house is largely rendered in a Roman finished render offering a crazed patina look and has a kind of fortress appeal with only one front facing window which is covered by operable louvred screen to protect the bedroom from the harsh afternoon sun. The lower section of the house is largely comprised of floor to ceiling windows and black Zinc cladding conceals the garage.
Internally natural and blackened American Oak is abundant in the joinery and wall paneling whilst European oak and travertine dominate the floor finishes. An Oak battened ceiling gives the dining and alfresco areas a distinct sense of separation from the open plan design. Off form concrete walls and structural columns, and oxidized steel cladding in bathrooms give an industrial touch with Calacutta marble offsetting this industrial feel with a lux enhancement.
Photos: Courtesy of AGUSHI
Classic and modern describes the interiors of this countryside family home designed by S. B. Long Interiors, situated in Rye, Westchester County, New York. A variety of colors, patterns and textures were used to add depth and interest to each space and finished it off with a mixture of contemporary painting and fine art photography. The light fixtures are fun and modern and compliment the distinctive color palettes. This home features exciting ceiling and floor details such as crocodile porcelain tiles in the Sunroom. Metallic croc ceilings in the Butler’s Pantry, chevron patterned floors and ceilings in Her Office and Bath, and a boldly striped floor in the Mudroom. Each room in this vibrant family home has its own unique personality.
Photos: Neil Landino
Watch Hill House is a modern weekend retreat designed to frame its landscape by Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, nestled on a secluded plot of land in the coastal village of Watch Hill, Westerly, Rhode Island. When a lively family of five considered building this three storey weekend home to serve as a hub for their extensive network of family and friends, they selected a 3.5 acre site fronting a nature preserve. A visitor to the site first encounters the slender pool house, which introduces the recurring palette of cedar, copper, and slate. On the main 5,200 square foot house, cedar “straps” of horizontal siding rotate individually to become lighting-filtering railings, or fold in to create programmed porches. A journey across the site unfolds as a conversation between openness and constructed site lines.
A restrained materials palette was used on the exterior, which was inspired by the landscape. “Since the site is wooded and wild, we used natural materials like cedar and slate instead of synthetic siding,” states the architect. The facade was treated like a piece of millwork and spent nearly six months working with the contractor to come up with the pattern of the shiplapped boards.
In the stairwell, floor-to-ceiling glass walls showcase the outdoors. “As you move up and down the stairs you have a view in all directions. As you move off that axis into the rooms, the view is carefully framed,” states the architects.
Floor-to-ceiling glass was used for the mater bedroom, which leads onto a deck. “We wanted a place that just drew us up like a magnet,” states the homeowner about creating her dream home. “The house’s design, comfort, and style certainly achieves that.”
Photos: Chris Cooper Photographer
Modern Green Renovation has been carried out by the design team of Marken Projects who turned a 50’s bungalow in Vancouver, British Columbia into a durable, modern and energy efficient home. They added a half storey maximizing the allowable living area (FSR) with the focus on improving the overall energy efficiency, using environmental friendly materials and ensuring a healthy indoor environment for this young family to enjoy. At the same time they gave it a new and exciting look. From the architects, “For us, it is common sense to plan along the Passive Design principles, which essentially means optimizing solar gain, optimizing insulation, ensuring an airtight envelope, installing a high performance heat recovery insulation system and making the house as energy efficient as possible.”
Main energy-efficient features in the home includes: Modern Passive Design, Low-VOC Products, Energuide 86, Air-to-Air Source Heat, Pump for Heating, Airtight Envelope at 1 ACH, Efficient Heat Recovery Ventilation.
The different blue colors on the exterior facade of the residence is stucco. The porch ceiling is engineered cedar wood.
50′s Vancouver Bungalow — Before
Photos: Ema Peter Photography
Russet Residence is a modern project with dramatic cantilevers designed by Splyce Design in West Vancouver, British Columbia on a steep site with mature cedar and douglas fir to the west and an ocean view to the south. The 4,600 square foot, five bedroom, five bathroom house responds to these conditions by nestling itself into the hill while also projecting out over it to maximize views and connectivity to the landscape.
Due to its proximity to the rugged and sloping creekside bank to the west, the house was subject to strict environmental and geotechnical conditions, including a required setback from the top of the bank that pushed the building’s foundation eastwards. The resultant footprint was awkwardly narrow, so to gain back valuable space, a portion of the main and upper floor is cantilevered back out past the foundation, allowing the native creekside vegetation to grow up, under and around as an uninterrupted, wild, forest floor.
Tucked into the hill, the front of the house is deceptively modest in scale, set off by the large mature cedar that anchors the front yard. A discreet overhang is all that distinguishes the garage, which is covered with Swisspearl, a cementitious panel with integrated color that requires no painting. (The same material is repeated on the barbecue pit out back.) The rest of the facade is covered in western red cedar — a nod to the towering evergreen that dominates the front yard.
The dining room cantilevers 15 feet from the foundation. The glass walls extend below the floor plane and above the ceiling plane, minimizing divisions between the interior and exterior.
The topography of the site reveals itself as one descends the exterior stairs adjacent to the forest and follows the exposed concrete wall to the main entry. Continuing through to the interior, the wall rises up seventeen feet to help frame the bright circulation volume, with stairs leading to the upper floor and down to the main living spaces.
A stairway on the east side of the house provides access between the living room deck and the yard and pool below. The adjoining wall screens bathers as they dart between the two.
The floors throughout most of the house are polished concrete. As the slurry set, it was agitated with power trowels to give the surface a mottled patina.
“We wanted the walls to dissolve into the forest,” states the architect. He joined the dining room windows with black silicone in lieu of frames to minimize the structure. Stepping into the space, you can see the woods straight ahead or turn to the left to view the bay.
“We wanted everything to be simple and timeless and to not distract from the outdoors,” states the architect. The custom cabinets are finished in white oak and Formica’s ColorCore laminate, which the designer considers a more durable alternative to lacquer. The perimeter counters and backsplash are black honed granite; the island is topped with Caesarstone.
Parish warmed the room with white oak floors and cabinetry. B&B Italia’s low-profile Charles coffee table is echoed in the Panavision proportions of the gas fireplace, which emits a ribbon of flames.
The front door opens into a split-level entry dominated by a dramatic staircase. The white oak treads project from the concrete wall at right but are not supported on the other end, defying gravity and adding drama to the ascent.
In a house with so many remarkable design elements, one that provokes a fair share of comments is this guest bathroom off the pool. A single stone bench extends from the shower to the cylindrical sink, with a Duravit toilet discreetly mounted between the two — atop what is, essentially, the vanity. The architect insists he came up with the plan simply to save space, but admits it’s become a conversation piece at parties.
In the master bedroom, a custom bed backs up against a white oak wall that divides the space from the dressing area behind it. Walls of glass overlook the adjacent forest, assuring privacy and an ever-changing panorama of flora and fauna. A portion of the master bathroom is visible at the back.
A mirrored wall behind the vanity reflects the neighboring woods, making the narrow master bath appear much larger. “You can sit in the tub and feel like you’re sitting in the trees,” states the architect.
Photos: Ivan Hunter
Ensconced in a beautiful, leafy corner of Brook Green, DOS Architects have turned two classic Victorian terraces into one outstanding family home on Souldern Road, London, UK. The client’s vision was a bright, modern and spacious home which the architects achieved by retaining the overall structure of the 4,574 square foot (425 square meters) house and creating an ambitious rear extension. The result is a gracious double-height void which connects the kitchen and dining room on the lower floor to the rest of the public areas of the house.
The glass box is flanked by a cantilevered shear wall, serving to realign the house on a north-south axis. The new volume of the house is a natural continuation of the house’s existing geometry, and we used material contrasts to create a smooth but visually exciting contrast between the indoor and outdoor spaces. We are very proud of this entirely liveable, comfortable and yet definitively stylish home which our clients tell us they now never want to leave.
Photos: Courtesy of DOS Architects
Pima Canyon Residence is a spectacular modern interior renovation project that was carried out by John Senhauser Architects, situated in Tucson, Arizona. The client had initially asked the architects to assist them in selecting materials and designing a guest bath for their new home. Yet their scope of work “progressively expanded into interior architecture and detailing, including the kitchen, baths, fireplaces, stair, custom millwork, doors, guardrails, and lighting for the residence – essentially everything except the furniture. The home is loosely defined by a series of thick, parallel walls supporting planar roof elements floating above the desert floor.”
From the architects: Our approach was to not only reinforce the general intentions of the architecture but to more clearly articulate its meaning. We began by adopting a limited palette of desert neutrals, providing continuity to the uniquely differentiated spaces. Much of the detailing shares a common vocabulary, while numerous objects (such as the elements of the master bath – each operating on their own terms) coalesce comfortably in the rich compositional language.
Photos: William Lesch
JH Modern is a contemporary mountain retreat for a couple from Texas designed by Pearson Design Group, situated in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The owners, one a physician turned entrepreneur and the other an oncologist, wanted a house that took full advantage of the outdoors. After having visited the area eight years ago, they had decided that this is where they wanted to be. With the Teton Range to the west and the Gros Ventre Range to the east, it’s hard to avoid having a spectacular view. In 2011, the couple purchased a five-acre lot for $1.2 million, turning it over to Montana-based Pearson Design Group whose firm had a 5,400-square-foot home built and furnished for them in just 16 months, for about $4 million. General requests by the homeowners included wanting the home to blend with the outside. “We wanted to be able to leave the doors open, and walk in and out. And have living areas outside,” states the owners.
In place of a formal entry hall, the architects substituted an outdoor room.
The outdoor room features an outdoor fireplace, something that comes in handy when the weather is frigid and the snow is knee-deep, as it is in Wyoming during the winter. There are also sliding barn doors, in case it gets too windy. The entry features the best view of the whole house.
The furnishings were chosen to withstand the elements, but the owners do bring the cushions and the pendant light in when they’re not here.
On the floor below the bison heads on the wall is a panel of chevron-patterned French oak set into poured concrete.
Each of the fireplaces is anchored with a slab of Two Dot stone.
In a corner of the living room is a New York Chair from Alchemy Collections; the vintage arrows were found on Etsy.
In one of the bathrooms, a Siena Tamburo Vessel sink from Stone Forest sits on a counter of Claro walnut.
The solid walnut kitchen cabinetry was custom made, with Shift knobs by Ted Boerner for Rocky Mountain Hardware.
The hand-cut plywood letters in the kitchen are from Gregory Morris’s Etsy shop, SlippinSouthern.
The black walnut slab kitchen table is surrounded by Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs from Design Within Reach. The hanging fixture was made by IronGlass Lighting.
The black walnut staircase has LED lights mounted beneath each riser to illuminate the way at night.
In the master bedroom is a custom-designed Claro walnut bed. Over the shagreen-covered Sorin Dresser from Made Goods hangs “A Calf in Between,” by Craig Spankie. The antler chandelier is by Frank Long.
A fuzzy Cortina chair from Refuge sits beside a Modo desk lamp by Jason Miller for Roll & Hill.
In the master bathroom, Ronbow round ceramic sinks with Purist fixtures from Kohler sit on Calacatta marble counters. The Bella Modern Pendant Light is from Niche.
A custom-made cabinet in the master bedroom has Brut Pendant pulls by Ted Boerner for Rocky Mountain Hardware.
Mr. Pearson said he thought of the house as “an extension of the landscape.” He added, “A mountain home is part of something much grander.”