San Lorenzo Residence represents two interlocking L-shaped forms to organize the house, designed by Mike Jacobs Architecture, located at the end of a canyon road in Los Angeles, California. The house responds to and engages its surrounding landscapes: an interior private garden to the south and the manicured fairways of a golf course to the north.
Following a careful zoning study, two interlocking “L-shaped” formally organize the house: the first “L-shape”, an open and transparent enclosure and veranda (steel/glass), incorporates the communal living spaces of garden, pool, living rooms and theater; the second “L-shape,” an opaque enclosure (stucco/cedar), holds the basic form of the house and incorporates the private bedrooms and service spaces.
A large open living space is central to the organization of the house. Pocket sliding doors open the south wall to the garden and north facing windows unfold to view the fairways create direct connections to the exterior. These large openings passively cool the house and draw fresh air deep into the residual spaces to naturally ventilate the home.
Social exchange is expressed by section. An elongated formal stair links the terraced living spaces to the exterior and connects to the theater below. A pair of secondary flanking stairs provide access from the residual private rooms and service areas. These multiple points-of-entry produce a constant interchange between the family unit.
Photos: Michael Wells
Trahan Ranch is a stunning residential modern compound designed by Patrick Tighe Architecture, situated in the heart of hill country in Austin, Texas. The 3200 square foot residence is on a fourteen acre sloped site with native oaks, natural springs and unobstructed views. The layout of the house is a direct response to the site conditions.
The plan is organized to integrate and enhance the many features of the landscape. A panoramic view that spans 260 degrees is experienced as well as other more site specific orientations. The front of the house is made of heavy materials that rise from the earth. The building is nestled into the brow of the hill and have an unassuming appearance when seen from a distance.
The heavy, solid, grounded front is in sharp contrast to the more ephemeral back. At the down slope side of the house, the structure becomes lighter and opens to the landscape. Steel pipe columns splay at unsuspecting angles dancing along the rugged landscape.
The architecture explores a series of counterpoints including heavy and light, front and back, open and closed and contemporary and vernacular. The grounded front is composed of heavy materials rising from the earth in sharp contrast to the more ephemeral back. The structure rises and becomes lighter at the down-slope side of the house as it opens to the landscape. The main house is a contemporary interpretation of Texas Hill Country post-and-beam construction that exploits regional materials and the expertise of local trades-people. The spaces of the main house flow from one to the other without doors while the guest room appendage is a more traditional layout.
The environmentally mindful design includes a hydronically-heated concrete slab on grade. The concrete foundation and walls provide high thermal mass. Large overhangs and covered walkways offer protection from the sun and cross- ventilation is used. Natural materials are used throughout including concrete, steel, stone and metals.
Texas Hill Country limestone was chosen from the site to create the over-sized Rumford fireplace that is central to the living space. An arbor connects building components and functions as an armature for solar photovoltaic panels that provide power for the property. The landscape consists of regional drought- tolerant plants that are native to the area and the local ecosystem.
The steel frame structure is a kit of parts prefabricated in a shop and erected on-site. The steel pieces attach to a series of exposed board-formed reinforced concrete pylons that are a vertical extension of the foundation.
Photos: Art Gray Photography
Prospect House is a result of celebrating a stunning Seattle panorama while accommodating a modest budget and a family with two young children, designed by Janof Architecture. The 5,663 square foot house honors the owner’s desire for a domestic refuge while maximizing the experience of its location.
We began with the domestic, and planted two gabled, bearing-wall “houses” deep into the hillside. These contain rooms requiring enclosure, and they give the house the conventional street facade that the neighborhood deserves. The steel-framed “glass box” occupies the view facade and sews the houses together. These simple parts, simply combined, create complex social and spatial relationships within the house.
The budget required basic construction using off-the-shelf parts. Rigorous but un-precious detailing followed. The greatest technical effort went into the design of the two-story window wall: residential wood windows assembled as a true curtain wall. The 19-foot-high dining room was designed for extraordinary nighttime views of the city.
The kitchen is a warm and functional space that utilizes custom walnut cabinetry, stainless steel, and extra-thick calacatta marble.
The breakfast area adjacent to the kitchen has an eclectic feel and commanding views of the city. The mural was created by the owners specifically for the space.
The delightful powder room of this house gets its charm from custom wallpaper designed by the owners.
The master bedroom has a top-of-the-world view that is made cozy by the inclusion of a fireplace and subtly concealed lighting.
The elegant master bath features callacatta carrera marble and polished nickel fittings.
The home office has a spectacular view; light is further introduced by the small dormer window above the desk.
The energy efficiency of the house was designed around the passive use of its southern orientation, with high-performance glass, cross-ventilating windows, and precisely calculated overhangs making air conditioning unnecessary this summer. The winter sun will bring warmth deep into the house, and the industrial-size fan above the dining room is designed to slowly move air throughout the house.
Sustainability was a constant topic. While the house meets Energy Star rating, much thought went into what sustainability really means. There is no bravura use of natural resources. Structural elements are sized at their calculated minimums. Precious materials were used sparingly, often where they would be touched by the user, and salvaged material was valued for its patina.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
The Woodlands project is an Edwardian red brick family home that has been designed by Madcow Interiors, located in Woodlands, a small area located in the borough of Hounslow, London. This restored home showcases an industrial rough luxe theme, mixed with various mid century modern touches.
Our brief was too restore, add period features and rebuild this North London Edwardian red brick family home. Using reclaimed materials and upcycling into bespoke designed furniture, our goal was to create a thoroughly industrial rough luxe theme, mixed with various mid century modern touches.
The Woodlands Project required us to plan and manage structural modification to the property, including the building of a new basement, rear extension, a 2 storey corner extension and a new loft conversion/extension. Once structurally complete, the interior design and bespoke styling began.
This was a huge project, which saw us working closely with a team of professionals and tradesmen. We custom designed and manufactured all the joinery and various bespoke (and upcycled) furniture; some of which are available to order. Other specialists were brought in who helped achieve the very specific finishes around the house.
Photos: Courtesy of Mad Cow Interiors
MODECO residence is a modern single family property designed by Modern House Architects, located in Los Altos, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. This spacious newly built family home features open plan living, comprised of materials of wood, concrete and glass.
We were fortunate to have been commissioned by an owner/developer who wished to create a new home that was both site specific and sensitive to the remaining mid-century character of existing homes left in this neighborhood. We drew upon archetypes of the 40‘s and 50‘s, such as limited front facade fenestration and appropriately located roof overhangs, while using materials more common to current modernist homes.
The floors in the kitchen are plain sawn white oak, no stain.
The structure incorporates passive house standard technology that approaches the current European model of passive home. MODECO utilizes natural ventilation and light, solar photovoltaic (PV), and a mechanical/fresh air system with heat recovery. Concrete walls have a thermally broken core, and all other exterior walls and roof have 1.75 inch ridged outsulation wrap.
Photos: Assassi Productions
House in Ontinyent is a modern minimalist design by Spanish architect Borja García, located in Calle Músico Vert, Ontinyent, Valencia, Spain. The core of the project is a large open space on the ground floor and a sculptural staircase made of concrete that guide visitors to the upper floors. The materials, with an absolute use of white, are always naked and honest. The basement, a large open space between concrete walls, connect the 5,920 square foot (550 square meters) house with the pool. The pool, built in white concrete, represents a large floating water surface.
We are in the historic heart of Ontinyent (Valencia), in a old textiles factory now converted into the headquarters of the outdoor furniture manufacturer Gandia Blasco. The aim of the project is to integrate new residential activity into the existing building. For this reason the house is proposed as an extension of modulation and structural system of the old building.
The house is located between party walls with dimensions of 22×7 meters and has five levels constructed. The distribution is solved with a simple band diagram that goes through the house drawing the small spaces (bathrooms, laundry, toilets, etc.). The rest of stays overturn both facades leaving the central area of the building reserved for the concrete stairway.
The ground floor has some social spaces that ends into a vertical space chaired by a huge mural with a visual overview from the history of the company. All materials selection has been carefully choose to ensure the coherence between the project and the company Gandia Blasco. The absolute present throughout the work and the nude and matte treatment complete the imagery projected by the brand through its products.
Finally, a white concrete pool that encloses a water box suspended inside. The proportions of the pool dialogue with the rear facade. Also the access stairway is a continuation of the system used inside the project.
The overall result is a elemental house in its design and its realization but with a powerful constructive solution that gives the project a strong identity and character.
Photos: Courtesy of Borja García
Waterfall House is a single family residence tucked away in the rolling hills of West Lake, in Austin, Texas, recently completed by Dick Clark + Associates. The home features efficient design and impressive views, a unique single family spec home built to attract a discerning group of potential owners. Though comfortably removed from the thick of the city in the hills of west Austin, the stunning skyline is the most influential factor in the design of the house.
To achieve the ideal view, the house is subtly perched on a raised foundation. The main spaces in the house are located along the eastern facade to have equal access to the skyline views. The seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces of the house is achieved through material continuity, such as the tile floor that flows from inside to out, and through the massive sliding glass doors that open the living, dining, and kitchen spaces to be one with the exterior pool deck. The skyline, as viewed from this open indoor/outdoor space, is dramatically framed by an elegant negative-edge pool that disappears into the hills below.
The love of beautifully detailed architecture, shared by both the builder and the architect, are evident in the carefully executed lines, delicate proportions, and seamless spatial transitions in this high-end Austin home. The site placement of this house blurs the line between city and rural living, a characteristic that Austinites greatly value, just as the design itself softens the divide between interior and exterior.
Photos: Alexander Stross
The Sinbad Creek Residence is a modern dream home designed by Swatt | Miers Architects for a retired couple located on a beautiful 5.3 acre east-facing hillside in the rural town of Sunol, Alameda County, California. The clients requested a home that was modern, livable and warm, where the indoors and outdoors melded. Something utterly serene, where views of the landscape came first. With unique wall-to-wall views in every direction of Mission Peak, a hillside of mature oaks and a canyon ridge, this two bedroom, 4,000 square foot home has been designed so that every major space has its own special focus.
The front door opens to a dramatic two-story window in the dining area and a more intimate living room beyond.
Organized on alternating sides of a linear north-south circulation spine, each space is placed diagonally across the spine from its neighbor space. With varying ceiling heights that range from a low, compressed entry to a dramatic two-story dining room with bridge above, the result is a composition of dynamic interlocking interior spaces, where each space derives its special character from its unique scale, its relationship to adjacent spaces, and its relationship to the surrounding natural landscape.
Designer Jorie Clark selected furnishings in a neutral color palette of graphite, sand and white with occasional red accents – pieces that were less ubiquitous than “iconic” designs and would most importantly not compete with the setting. For example, the minimalist Judd dining table in glass, stainless steel and olive ash allows you to see right through to the canyon. This sensibility extended even to the art, where if there was a view that was the central focus, the art should not call much attention to itself.
Morning sun floods the kitchen, where there’s ample prep space and room for people to gather. The house is “future proofed” – two closets are framed out with power so they can install a lift when needed.
The home’s strong horizontal lines are a counterpoint to the rolling hills, the integrated stucco and stained cedar blending with the gray-green of the olive trees.
Photos: Russell Abraham