House A is a modern single family property designed by Amitzi Architects for a family with three children, located in a high-density neighborhood of Bnei Dror, Israel. The street facade is modest and lower than the adjacent houses, and the lofty, one-and-a-half storey high interior is unexpectedly revealed only when entering the 3,229 square foot (300 square meters) house.
The exposed concrete ceiling floats 60 centimeters above the peripheral walls using steel columns. The resulting clerestory windows provide outside views and ample natural light. The extension of the ceiling outside as an overhang blocks the sun’s heat and glare. To maintain privacy, the side walls are windowless, and the living room opens only towards the back garden.
Materials are simple and typical to the area: exposed concrete ceiling, white-washed walls and oak floors. The approach path is combed concrete and the back garden holds a pine-wood deck.
A split-level section enabled us to create a house which is much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. The master bedroom is partially submerged in the ground, yet well lit and cozy. The children’s’ bedrooms sit directly on top of it and are thus elevated and separated from street level. The middle-, ground level holds the entrance and public zone. The living area is directly connected to the higher children’s’ area and the lower master bedroom.
Photos: Courtesy of Amitzi Architects
House L is a renovation project of a semi-detached house built in the 1970’s by Amitzi Architects, for a family with 3 children, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Despite a cramped and dark interior caused by low ceilings and a split-level section, it turned out that demolition was out of the question, due to budget and schedule. It was decided, therefore, to renovate within the existing envelope, tear open large apertures and dismantle interior partitions, thus creating a spacious and well-lit space.
The kitchen was reorganized to place the dining-area in front of a glass sliding door leading to an outside deck. An axis crosses the entire length of the house – starting from the front deck, through the dining area, entrance hall, living room and up to the back garden – allowing longitudinal views and a natural cross-ventilation.
The entrance hall is lit by glass portholes set within the door. The living room was equipped with a fireplace, a library and a home-cinema system.
The bedrooms’ hall on the first floor is a windowless interior space. Natural light penetrates via a skylight, enabling the use of this space as a study.
Photos: Amitzi Architects
The Conrad Residence is a modern property redesigned to maximize views and living space by Swatt | Miers Architects, located in Sausalito, a San Francisco Bay Area city in Marin County, California. The residence was built over the footprint of a 1950’s residence by noted Bay Area modernist Rodger Lee that over the years had suffered irreparable structural damage.
The new design doubles the area of the house to 2,700 square feet while maintaining the original emphasis on the expressive use of wood and the distribution of public and private spaces.
The new design retains the spirit of the original on the exterior and the interior through its expressive use of wood structure and finishes. Strip windows and cedar siding emphasize the horizontality of the design, extending the lines of the house into the site, and helping nestle the house into the hillside.
Post-and-beam construction is used to reveal the structure of the house and articulates the grid upon which is it is base. Tongue and groove cedar soffits visually connect interior spaces to decks and terraces beyond.
Exposed woodwork, concrete, and stainless steel details complete the plan.
Photos: Cesar Rubio
LA House is a modern single family residence just recently designed by Elías Rizo Arquitectos in collaboration with interior designer Kárima Dipp, located in Mexico. Breaking with the norm established by all the houses in the vicinity, the residence recedes a considerable distance from the setback line, to yield a large open space below the tree canopies, a stark welcome gesture.
The main entry into the complex proceeds to an open passageway that runs along a rough-hewn stone wall and postpones the access into the house an additional number of meters. A glazed box containing a studio protrudes from the building. It hovers above a large pond that can be crossed via a series of stone pavers that rise above the water and lead directly into the public areas of the house. The garage, concealed on the other side of the stone wall, compels cars to park sideways so as to render them invisible from any space in the house.
The entry sequence into the building presents a series of layers, starting with the garden space beyond the setback lines, following through the open corridor past the pond, and crossing through the central courtyard all the way to the living spaces at the back of the main building.
A central courtyard scheme was implemented to introduce natural ventilation into every space of the house without compromising privacy. The corridors around the courtyard on the ground floor are defined by a series of operable windows that allow the kitchen and living spaces to bleed out into the exterior, when the weather allows it.
Expanding on the theme of permeability that dominates the ground floor, similar solutions were implemented throughout the living quarters on the second level, to allow for the private, open spaces. Such is the case with the small, glazed atrium that ventilates the master bathroom and the deeply recessed balconies that yield generous exterior areas to all bedrooms.
Dark gray steel, glass, wood, concrete and stone compose the greater part of the material palette throughout the house, wich is complemented by accents in leather and stainless steel. The master bathroom receives a special treatment as it is covered almost in its entirety with white marble.
Crossing the lawn, beyond the living spaces on the ground floor, a pool and a concrete volume containing an entertainment room overlook a small ravine outside of the property. Below this volume a staggered pathway descends gently to negotiate the changes in topography on a pronounced cliff, leading down to a lower landscape area.
Photos: Marcos García
This newly built modern villa is located in the exclusive residential area of Santa Ponsa, Mallorca, Spain, with stunning sea and mountain views, close to the marina of Port Adriano. This sensational home encompasses 4,994 square feet (464 square meters) of living space with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The ground floor offers an open kitchen with spacious living/dining room, another room that could be used as an office or TV room plus a guest toilet.
This fabulous property is currently listed for sale, spotted on Sotheby’s at $3,636,885.
The first floor disposes of four bedrooms, two of them with en-suite bathroom and dressing room, plus another separate bathroom. All bedrooms enjoy access to the terrace with fantastic views over the bay of Santa Ponsa. On the roof terrace there is an outdoor kitchen with dining and chill-out area.
The basement disposes of built-in closets/wardrobe, fitness room, laundry room and a garage with three parking spaces. Special features include a ‘Bulthaupt’ kitchen with built-in appliances from Miele and Gaggenau, floor heating, lift, marble flooring in the ground floor, oak flooring on the first floor, oak cupboards, double glazed windows from Schüco, Infinity-pool with green marble stones, private outdoor courtyard, lighting system, integrated sound system, air conditioning hot/cold, solar panels, fireplace, high-quality equipment and facilities and outdoor blinds on all windows.
The shopping possibilities in Santa Ponsa are just a short drive away and the luxury marina of Port Adriano with its restaurants, cafes and shops can be reached in just three minutes by car.
The Syncline house was designed as a place of solitude for a professional couple by architecture studio Arch11, located near Boulder, Colorado. Situated at the fold between the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Great Plains, the house mediates horizons and peaks, city and alpine meadows. Conceived as a frame for viewing the landscape, Arch11 meticulously modeled the residence within the site to ensure that planes of glass capture ridgetop views while respecting the city’s height restrictions.
A Pre-Paleozoic fold creates a distinction between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Geologically referred to as a syncline, a crease caused by uplift of an ancient sea bed, the fold distinguishes the inhabited plains from mountain park space. The upward plane of the fold presents a landscape described and observed moving sectionally through the house.
The wedge shaped site was bound by numerous restrictive land use limitations: a wetland buffer, height restrictions, a solar access restriction, and multiple setback and easement boundary requirements. A three-dimensional computer model was developed describing the limits of the buildable envelope.
The project was conceived as a threshold between the city and the mountain park. The client, an entrepreneurial and professional rock climbing couple, requested the house to be “a place where town life can be left behind.” The house is a threshold between both the cultural and geologic creases: one between the domestic and the feral, the other between horizontal and vertical. Through a domestic grove of flowering trees, a solid wood wall, broken only by a perpendicular stone wall, opens to the house interior. Once inside, the stone wall becomes a thickened poche of mechanical and service elements leading through to the west wall of the house, a glazed wall framing the mountain parks.
The western wall phenomenally erodes, revealing the landscape with varying degrees of openness. At the entry, framed apertures provide controlled vignettes of the landscape from foreground meadow to high ground cliffs. As the entry opens to the living spaces the apertures transform in scale to reveal the expansive landscape in its entirety. At the southwest corner thirty feet of glass retracts into the walls, dissolving the boundary between the domestic and the wild; the living spaces are then bounded only by the uplifted cliffs beyond. Reciprocally, the native meadow to the west folds onto the garage roof providing easy outdoor access for visiting guests in the house’s guest suite.
A simple stair cantilevers from the stone wall. Climbing the stairs, the foreground, mid range, and ridge views are sequentially revealed. Experientially scissoring into the landscape and back into the house the stairs connect the mountain park with the house. The west wall of glazing extends the western room boundaries to the wall of rock and meadows beyond. The east wall remains closed, allowing only privileged, controlled views and light from the clerestory above.
Working within some of the strictest energy performance codes in the country, the house is designed to be self sustained utilizing a ground loop heat exchange system that taps into the very bedrock seen at the distant ridge. A ten kilovolt photo-voltaic electrical system powers pumps, compressors and the domestic electrical needs.
To support an envelope comprised of 50% glazing, a structural steel frame is used in place of traditional stick framing throughout the home. The western facade was challenged by height and wind exposure. The thickened wall is a steel brace frame that incorporates vertical vierendeel trusses to resist the 120 mile per hour winds coming down out of the mountains. Additionally, it accommodates the primary vertical mechanical chases.
Built with innovative renewable energy systems and materials crafted to last centuries, the house is a model of cutting-edge sustainable design and attains a LEED gold certification. Roof gardens allow the land to literally envelop the house, and expansive, retracting glass walls provide full views of the Flatirons to the west while connecting interiors with outdoor rooms. Executed with uncompromising detail, surfaces meet with quiet precision, creating a serene background for the landscape and mountains beyond.
Photos: Courtesy of Arch11
House in Zabrze showcases modern and bright interiors, designed for a family of four by Widawscy Studio Architektury, located in Zabrze, Poland. The clients wanted an open and airy interior, with all other design issues being relied upon by the architect to take care of. Consequently, this has resulted in good cooperation and the creation of the present interior.
Living area (kitchen, dining room, living room) is left open, creating one, but well-ordered space. The interior is dominated by whites and grays tones connected with structure of natural oak. Uniform colors of the interior is highlighted by the diversity of white surface textures: glossy fronts of furniture, mat walls, linen fabric and structural plate. The living room is dominated by graphite sofa and together with white armchairs Barcelona project Mies van der Rohe, perfectly suited to the minimalist character of the interior.
The centerpiece of the house is a simple block of double-sided fireplace covered with graphite, natural stone. Dining space is highlighted by a white, large lamp hanging over veneered table surrounded by chairs design Verner Panton. Large table used in the project also serves as a pool table, creating a space for evening games. The bright colors and minimalist character of the interior has been kept in every space of the house.
Both – the bedroom and the bathroom is dominated by white, which visually expands the space and the variety of white structures in conjunction with veneered surfaces adds a modern expression to the interior. Special and distinctive space in the house is a playroom. Unlike the other rooms is filled with color accents.
Photos: Courtesy of Widawscy Studio Architektury
Casa ML is a three story single family residence designed for open and casual living by Gantous Arquitectos, located in Mexico City, Mexico.
Intense Volume Veiled In Light
A narrow, dense lot called for design solutions that supported the owners’ open, casual lifestyle at the same time it created a dramatic, luxurious and intensely built space.
The single family residential structure rises three levels, straight up, to afford city views; yet spaces flow openly between a formal living room, the inviting family area and the all-out glamor of the dramatic central staircase.
Walls assert impose sculptural volume in steel, glass, stone and colored concrete, yet create light and delicacy that veil the structure’s intense efficiency and multi-level volume.
Photos: Michael Calderwood
One Beacon Court is a modern Central Park Condo, located in one of Manhattan’s most luxurious condominium residences, the Bloomberg Tower. Designed by local interior designer and painter, Tara Benet, the condo offers sweeping views of New York City. With large expanses of windows, the mostly white interiors are flooded with natural light, giving an open and airy feel. Benet worked with art advisor Kati Lovaas to fill the space with emerging art that pops against the white walls.
Pairing a calacatta marble dining table with leather chairs from Poliform on top of a neutral rug from ABC Carpet & Home creates a neutral environment for the artwork that’s featured in the dining room. The large green “X” is from Philippe Decrauzat and the iron sculpture that hangs is by Valentin Carron, both of which add visual interest into the space.
The white sofa is accented with dark gray and black pillows providing a nice contrast. The dark wood floors also set the tone for the entire apartment making white the perfect choice for the walls and ceilings.
The massive modular book shelf, also from Poliform, features gray cubbies helping to break up the white.
The living room is complete with the placement of an Arco lamp from Flos.
The painting is by Gardar Eide Einarsson and the white marble credenza below is from Cassina.
In the kitchen, a Knoll Saarinen dining table is partnered with Cassina Philippe Starck 245 Caprice chairs.
Photos: Marili Forastieri