Casa MT is a modern renovation project centered around the extension of an existing detached house by architect Rocco Borromini, located in Traona, Italy. The lot on which the intervention was, nestled in the mountains of Valtellina Rhaetian, is bordered to the east by the bed of a small stream, bordered to the north and west with the typical terraced vineyards to the south and enjoys a view of the valley and Orobian. The existing building, from traditional architectural composition, is placed in the frieze at the creek.
The intervention of extension consists of two parts. The first, used as a bedroom and bathroom, spread over 60 square meters on two levels, is located upstream of the existing house, and it takes the shape. Regarding the finishing of the interior of this area you have chosen to use an ash termocotto wall and a light marble lightly brushed to the floor and the shower.
The second part, with a surface indicative of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters), is used as a kitchen, pantry, bathroom, dining and living area with a swimming pool and is characterized by a play of volumes floors, fully clad in natural stone, for the most part covered with vegetation and open to the valley through two large windows.
The design idea arises from the need to relate to the pre-existence, from the choice of what dematerialize as possible the volumes causing them to become an integral part of the context, as a result of a major excavation in rock we proceeded to restore the original section terraced making them they themselves of the terraces.
For the flooring of the kitchen, bathroom and to the lining of the pool you chose to use an absolute black granite, sandblasted and brushed while the flooring in the living area and the area adjacent to the pool was used ash termocotto, this’ last choice to leave a strong interconnection between interior and exterior.
Also in this context it was decided to pay particular attention to alignment between interior and exterior through windows completely collected on all four sides, with sections of very thin profiles despite important light.
Photos: Marcello Mariana
Casa Pedro is a modern family home that blurs the boundaries between indoors and out, designed by VDV ARQ, located in a gated community in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The medium scale residence is nestled on an 800 square meters plot, responding to the requirements of an active social life, flexible spaces and visual amplitude, emphasizing privacy.
The project is organized in two levels, under a rectangular pattern that develops around the joint of different courtyards, each of them with a particular character. This sequence of perforations allows the entry of natural light and air in every room of the house, while it makes the interior space becomes an extension of the outdoor space.
The main entrance of the house is generated by the terrain elevation. Towards the street, the wooden skin acts as a barrier between public and private, generating a multipurpose partially covered space which, together with an open space, fully integrated with the garden, generates one unique single space. This large courtyard, which also houses the swimming pool, is the architectural heat of the project that spatially structures it, setting the difference between the service area on one side and the living area on the other, and being the scene that all the main rooms look at.
On the upper level, an unique volume holds three bedrooms and an open office. This box is opened to the north looking on the central courtyard of the house, while the rest of the facades are closed and without openings to the south, The skin that protects the north facade is a system of mobile wooden blinds that, when it’s closed, filters the light to indoor spaces, giving shade and privacy to the rooms.
Photos: Curro Palacios Taberner
Montrose Residence is the demolition of an existing home into a beautiful double volume structure by SAOTA architects, situated high on the ridge of Bishopscourt in Cape Town, South Africa. The site was divided by the existing driveway, which rose steeply from the end of the cul-de-sac below. The new building’s form, perched as it is in a commanding position, was perceived from the outset to be a pavilion overlooking the lawns and the forested valley below.
The clients’ brief had a few specific requirements; orientation towards the Constantia Valley and distant False Bay, and the dramatic views up the mountains above Kirstenbosch were essential, as was the emphasis on developing the site to maximize the garden and lawn area. Following the brief the driveway was relocated to the southern boundary of the site to allow this and open up the lawns and the gardens towards the sun and mountain views. There are panoramic vistas towards the south and west from the bedrooms and living rooms; while the pool and terraces are located on the north-east side, in a courtyard protected from the Southeaster gales by the intersecting linear forms of the house.
The triangular shape of the site, and its elevation above the street and steep incline, required extensive excavation and retaining, in order to provide a driveway of acceptable gradient, and extensive building platform on one level, and garden terraces all round.
The double-winged roof, floating above the bedroom wing, and virtually glass box-enclosed living rooms, are the main architectural features. These are complemented by secondary architectural elements such as the cantilevered end of the main entrance feature wall, the floating stone-clad fireplace, continuous perimeter cantilever terraces to the bedrooms and the wrap-around cantilever eyebrow.
Finishes include: polished granite floors, no carpets, no curtains and the floating feature roof with clerestory lighting. The clients’ preference was towards a slick modernist environment with a definitive northern European flair. The imported light grey granite floor slabs set the tone for a color palette of cool greys rather than natural browns, a refreshing change from prevailing trends.
The dual living areas on the ground and first floors are linked by a double volume and are wrapped in glass which takes advantage of the views.
Photos: Wieland Gleich
Colunata House is a sleek and modern designed single level property completed in 2011 by Portuguese architect Mario Martins, located in Lagos, in the south of Portugal. The design configuration of the residence was aimed at making the most of its location, by offering staggering panoramic views. Its curving shape permitted extensive openings towards a centrally located swimming pool and the sea beyond.
Designing the house with its unique location facing the sea, was defined by a set of guidelines, namely:
– The creation of a contemporary architectural element;
– Respect for and connection with the surrounding area, natural and built upon;
– The use of local materials and building techniques;
– Deciding the solar orientation and having effective wind protection;
– Making the most of the excellent location and its panoramic views;
– Creating a gentle interior/exterior transition. So that the exterior is a pleasant space for living and leisure.
These guidelines result in a set of white volumes, free and organically grouped, culminating in a semi-circular opening, which embraces the pool and opens out to the privileged sea view. This results in the central terrace, the main space of the house, where the privacy is felt and where the horizon is predominant.
It is around this terrace that the functional organization of the house is structured, on one floor. There are five bedrooms with bathrooms and a large living room which leads to the kitchen. The garage, technical and service areas ensure the smooth running of the house.
The house is all in white. It is a southern house, and as such the light is intense. It is this light, with its strong, distinct shadows, that gives colour and meaning to the white that covers the building. The strong presence of water and the landscaping surrounding the area accentuate the tranquility of the place.
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