Kloof 151 is a family home with a guest and a ‘work-from-home’ wing spread over two levels, designed by architecture firm SAOTA, located in Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa. The home was designed to not only to enjoy the dramatic views of the Clifton beaches, but also to engage with the natural fynbos on the slopes of Lion’s Head to the North.
The house is a 3 storey building with building parking. The large entrance to the basement allows for direct sunlight and a pleasantly warm entrance to the house. At the ground floor, the main living room enjoys a fantastic position overlooking Clifton. The majority of the living levels – including the open plan kitchen – open onto the large well covered terraces to the West or North facing the mountain slope and Lion’s Head. The extreme heat and glare of the setting sun is addressed by the cantilevering balconies, extended irregular and striking hardwood screens and motorised vertical fabric blinds. These devices along with the performance glazing result in an all year round cool interior.
The terraces are surrounded to the most part with either planting beds that have been planted with indigenous flora to echo the adjacent nature reserve and to minimize the use for additional irrigation. On the North Western corner of the site, a rim flow pool is situated that creates a seamless connection to the ocean.
The ground floor is bisected by a double volume to enrich the spatial experience and create a dialogue with the double volume stairwell towards the rear. A more intimate second lounge and external terrace has been created which looks out onto the dense natural fynbos of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve. The finishes are characteristically clean and simple and include natural and robust finishes, such as wide plank Walnut floors, off-shutter concrete soffits as well as unpolished large porcelain floor tiles. This also allows features such as the imported kitchen and the stone clad fireplace to contrast with the less refined elements.
The first floor of the house accommodates 4 en-suite bedrooms, a gym and a studio space. To reduce the effect of glare experienced at the house, the finishes palette is rich and in deep colours. The bedrooms are generally lighter and contemporary with accents of classic pieces of furniture and a fresh fabric selection that create tranquil spaces. Frameless glass balustrades are used to the stairwell to increase the sense of openness and transparency in the stairwell.
Photos: Courtesy of SAOTA
Chalet Lac Champlain is a stunning cottage retreat designed by Atelier BOOM TOWN, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, a few meters from the US border, in the heart of Phillipsburg Bird Sanctuary, Quebec, Canada. The land consists of two plates separated by a steep cliff of more than 10 meters and a gently sloping lake access, a rare privilege in this sector. It offers a magnificent view to the west on this huge lake.
The three-storey cottage is part of the landscape in the manner of an observation post of the surrounding nature. Vertical circulation in the cottage overlooks both the cliff on which the building is almost lean, and on the lake, thinly veiled by trees with long trunks lining the shore. These parts are widely fenestrated.
Two large terraces on the upper levels of the south side, allowing occupants to inhabit the landscape and continue its contemplation. These terraces are fragmented volumes of the chalet already separated by slight shifts between the southern, northern and central (where the staircase is located). These sets of volume are also underlined by variations in color or set of wooden facade cladding.
Photos: Angus McRitchie
The Canyon Residence was designed by Kevin B Howard Architects to make living in the Sonoran Desert an integrated part of daily life in The Canyons, Catalina Foothills, Tuscon, Arizona. This was accomplished by creating architecture that was part of the landscape and allowing the site to influence form. Rock outcroppings and water shed patterns dictated formal responses and anchored the residence. A juxtaposing of horizontals lines and solid masses complement the vertical nature of the saguaro cacti. The entry steps up in time with the hillside meeting the main floor where it rests, bridging the ephemeral wash below.
The residence spans across a wash preserving the existing water shed patterns. The entry walk was designed to raise guests up out of the site along this wash. The main living space is located immediately beyond the entrance, providing a striking mountain panorama from the northeast- facing wall of glass. In addition to the site integration, materials were chosen not to contrast with the site, but instead compliment its beauty.
The entry bridge, looking back over the expansive desert views.
The unique qualities of the site demanded an organically designed residence. The design grew out of site integration and minimal impact. By specifying materials and colors contextual to the southwest, the final design created a home that is both timeless and complimentary to its surroundings.
The living room opens to the edge of the Coronado National Forest. The boundary between interior and exterior is blurred by the continuation of the tongue and groove ceiling finish.
There are 72 Solar PV panels installed on the roof. The first full month of Solar PV production showed 115% above the original estimated amounts. This is due to the slope of the roof being optimized for spring and summer solar orientation.
Photos: Dominique Vorillon Photography
Crafthouse is a modern residential infill project designed by Symbolics Architecture + Design, located in the Bayview Village neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located in a part of north Toronto renowned for its modernist traditions, this limited collection of 20 residences predicts a life that’s as much about today as it is about tomorrow. Homes where light, transparency, and exceptional detail play an essential role in defining family living spaces that are more modern, more design-conscious, more relaxed, and more architecturally “crafted” to new expressions of live, work, and play.
Twenty unique homes, tailored for modern living and unequalled in architectural excellence. The design of each home celebrate openness, fostering connections between the interior and exterior, and privilege natural light throughout. Details such as abundant glass, double volume space, gallery areas, vast windows and custom millwork distinguish these homes.
Homes scaled for graceful family living, some as large as 5,400 square feet above grade. Four or five bedroom plans, each featuring a 2 car garage, custom kitchen with Sub Zero and Wolf appliances, imported hardwoods and stunning modern staircases. Homes on gracious lots, starting at $1.8M.
Photos: Courtesy of Symbolics Architecture + Design
Most homes are traditional, and boring. But, that’s largely because there’s a perception in the marketplace that homes need to conform to a specific standard so that they will appeal to everyone. Of course, not everyone thinks this way. If you’re tired of the same old, same old, here are a few homes that should get your creative juices flowing. They’re easy on the eyes and the planet.
A Cloud House
The cloud house, designed by McBride Charles Ryan, is shaped like what most kids’ vision of a cloud. It’s a bubbly home nestled in the heard of Melbourne. There are three main sections to the house – the red-box kitchen, the cloud-shaped rear extension, and a double-fronted Edwardian facade.
Currently, a young couple and their small child live here.
The Mushroom House
The Mushroom House is not your ordinary home by any stretch of the imagination. it’s actually a series of “pods” that are supported in the air by a beam – one beam per pod. It sort of resembles a mushroom, and it blends in almost perfectly with the scenery. Built in 1971, this home was designed by architect James Johnson and was eventually designated a historical site in Periton, New York.
The house is 388 square meters and includes a sculpted tree and branches that “grow” out of the floor. The walls are naturalistic – sand-moulded – with mahogany doors and custom metal walkways that connect the pods together. There’s even a time tunnel that connects the main home pods to a new addition.
A Dome Home
Geodesic homes have no corners and are structurally more sound than their box-home counterparts. They can also be a luxurious design for your home since they’re aesthetically pleasing to look at. These houses are domes, typically with an open floor plan and either one or two floors.
The homes may be either partially or fully Earth-bermed or free-standing. Earth-berming means that part of the home is covered by the Earth. For example, a home that’s built into the side of a mountain or hillside is said to be Earth-bermed or Earth-sheltered. The benefits of such a design are that the home is insulated from extreme temperatures and can better maintain a constant temperature throughout the day, regardless of the season.
A firehouse-inspired home in San Francisco, California is literally a converted firehouse from the late 1800s. At that time, fire trucks were smaller in size. The reason the building was abandoned, and later turned into a home, was that larger fire trucks were being designed in the 1970s and the building’s doors could not accommodate them.
The owners of the house have maintained a lot of the charm inherent in the building, including the lockers the firemen used to use, and of course the fire pole they slid down.
The Connecticut Round House, as it is called, is a single structure home that is circular in shape, designed by Richard T. Foster. It sits 12 feet off the ground on its “base” and has the ability to slowly rotate 360 degrees. It takes approximately an hour to complete an entire rotation and it can be stopped, slowed down or even sped up.
The building is made of steel, glass, and shingles – oh, and it retails for almost $3 million.
The Cave House
The Cave House in St Festus MO is a stunning 17,000 square feet (1,579 sqm), and contains all the usual stuff – three bedrooms, a middle chamber with a laundry room, lots of storage space, and even a spare bathroom.
But, one of the more amazing things about this home is that it doesn’t need heating or air conditioning. Geothermal and passive solar systems keep the home comfortable all year long. Would you want to live in a cave? It might seem like a lot to clean, but the Sleepers (the owners) manage somehow.
This guest post was contributed by Jeremy Hague who is a home decorating aficionado and writer. When he’s not renovating, he’s providing information to help his readers improve their own homes. Look for his informative posts on many of today’s DIY and home improvement websites.
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