Casa Val is a stunning private contemporary dwelling designed by Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura, located in Escazú in the province of San José in Costa Rica. In this project completed in 2012, a courtyard provides intimacy holding water, light, and greenery. The materials’ surfaces interact and respond to the degree of enclosure between social functions. All family members dwell within a sacred space; a place where interaction and contemplation to a distant city and mountain views is experienced. The home is nestled into the hillside taking full advantage of the incredible views and to allow unobstructed vantage points from each of the rooms through extensive glass windows. The contemporary interior is comprised of 6,027 square feet (560 square meters) of living space showcasing luxurious materials and ample natural light.
Jaime Rouillon Arquitectura (JRA) was established in 1994, as an architecture firm specialized in “ high end custom design” with a precise distinction for detailing; each project as each client is different. Jaime Rouillon “ gives a complete personalized” treatment in close contact from beginning to conclusion of the project, always assisting the client. Our seal is one where craftsmanship is determinant for that unique result. Materials are chosen carefully as a representation of the client’s need. Both interior and architecture design result in “one on one” as an intrical result of both texture and space, an identity of its own. Understanding the environment helps design a better functional “healthier” project.
Photos: Sergio Pucci
Villa Mana is an exceptional holiday retreat embracing spacious and stylish interiors, located in tropical Canggu, Bali, Indonesia, featuring spectacular rice terrace vistas read more
This stunning mountain modern home features a family friendly open layout designed by Ward Young Architecture & Planning, located in the luxury community of Martis Camp, found between historic Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, California. The 4,500 square foot residence showcases vistas from every room and on axis with circulation/hallway/gallery spaces.
The exterior of the home is composed of cedar siding, cor-ten panels, and ledge stone veneer. The interior features stained concrete floors, cedar ceilings, and stained rift-sawn white oak trim and cabinetry. Several custom precast concrete elements were fabricated by Concreteworks of Oakland, California.
Working closely with San Francisco based interior designer Martine Paquin, Concreteworks fabricated many pieces throughout this modern vacation home. Concreteworks features two fireplaces with custom floor to ceiling board form finish and satin stained pattern finish surrounds, a square Japanese style soaking tub with integrated heating, sinks and vanities throughout, stair treads and landings, and a Tinder outdoor firetable.
Throughout the interior, Paquin balanced an earthy palette of wood, stone, metal and glass against very refined, clean surfaces, textures and materials. The chocolatey-hued concrete floor running throughout the lower level quietly complements the home’s elemental material palette.
An open kitchen sits at the south end of the great room with thin, gleaming white Caesarstone countertops floating atop crisply assembled rift-sawn oak casework; a generous built-in banquet accompanies the kitchen, dressed in supple white leather sitting snug against tall walls of east- and south-facing windows.
The upper floor features a bridge from the stairs to the play room, and all the children’s bedrooms. The Great Room flows onto a terrace through a folding Nan Wall door system that allows the wall to fully open, capturing views toward the east of the Carson Range.
Photos: Mariko Reed
Set high in the hills of the São Conrado neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro is this spectacular home designed by Studio Arthur Casas, with views of the ocean and Pedra da Gávea, a 2,769-foot granite dome that is a popular spot for paragliding. This private residence is that of Brazilian television show host Alex Lerner, who interviews celebrities for his show, “Behind the Fame”. The homeowner had several requests for the architect, he wanted a big pool since he swims several times a week. He wished to live the same way he did while vacationing in St. Barts when he as at home. Cleanliness was equally important, he wanted a low maintenance home. Mr. Lerner was so particular on the details, he actually left his television job in 2011 so that he could keep on eye on the construction.
The immaculate home is comprised of 5,200 square feet of living space, which cost approximately $213 a square foot to build. It feels light and airy despite all that stone that was used in the the design, due in part to the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels used in front and back. The floors and much of the millwork are cumaru, a hardwood that Mr. Casas said “is extremely tough and great for outdoor use.”
On the ground floor are apartments for the gardener and the maid, as well as two guest rooms; the master suite is on the third floor. Visitors enter on the second level, which opens onto the pool, with a view of the ocean beyond. (Mr. Casas cleverly raised the foundation of the house, so the neighbor’s roof below is obscured.) The poolside chaises, like most of the furniture in the home, are white, with covers that can be removed and washed, or scrubbed clean, to Mr. Lerner’s delight.
The Ibiza chaises from Restoration Hardware ($1,095 each) have washable covers, which pleases Mr. Lerner. “I like things very, very clean,” he said.
Mr. Lerner insisted that the material used to build his house be the same peach-beige-gray stone he had seen years before at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem.
A nearly 12-foot-tall door beside the hot tub leads directly into the master suite.
The central stair adds a vertical element to the horizontal house. On one side it is open; on the other, a recessed slot in the wall holds a handrail.
Steps up from the third-floor landing, where Mr. Lerner has his home office, is the master bedroom. On the wall is a movable artwork by Sérgio Machado: a procession of metal insects, secured with adhesive.
In the master bedroom, a 19th-century French chest sits beside the bed. The linens are from Restoration Hardware, as is the bench at the foot of the bed. The chair is by Aristeu Pires, a São Paulo designer.
A massive stone wall on the street shields the home’s occupant from the public; the front door opens onto the second-floor living area.
On the lower level are the guest rooms and the maid and gardener’s apartments. Upstairs is the living area, and above that, the master suite.
Sliding doors throughout the house offer the option of privacy as well as a sense of openness.
Arthur Casas, the architect, raised the foundation so the house below is hidden from view. At night, Mr. Lerner can go skinny dipping in relative seclusion. “I wanted to find a place for privacy,” he said. “I live alone, and here I can be naked.”
North Rim Residence is a gorgeous two story custom designed mountain home by architecture firm Mount Bachelor Design Studio, located in Bend, Oregon. The home was designed for a down-sloping mountains-facing lot. The main level includes a central gourmet kitchen, surrounded by an east-facing nook, formal dining, and Great Room. A large master suite and laundry room complete this level, with a detached casita just off the main entry.
The lower level houses children’s bedrooms, along with media and entertainment spaces. The top level serves as a family exercise room. The west facade incorporates many innovative and contemporary sun control features, while preserving the Cascade mountain views.
Photos: Courtesy of Mount Bachelor Design Studio
El Viento residence has been designed by architects Otto Medem de la Torriente, perched on a steep slope in Collado Villalba, Madrid, Spain. Inspiration for the interior and exterior spaces of the 9,030 (839 square meters) home came from the large blocks of natural marble emerging from the steep slope and breathtaking views over the mountains of Madrid.
The environment strengthens the architectural qualities, making nice emotions that we discover while we walk through the different areas. We created a very private access to the housing, with walls that shroud you and hide the environment from you. Therefore you will discover it gradually thanks to the big windows.
From indoors the openings put in a frame the wonderful views of the environment. As a result the views turn into daily elements in our lives. We created an architectural path to show the main facade, and going down by the gentle staircase we arrive to the main porch, from where we can go into the house.
This house has three floors. Crossing the main entrance we find the amazing hall. It is surprising due to its verticality. This is the most important area in the house, from where you gain access to the other ones. The daylight goes straight through the high windows to fill the main hall. These windows have narrow dimensions and are placed at 6.5 meters from high up. Furthermore they are strategically oriented towards two waterfalls that we can find in the eastern slope of the mountain.
That hall is the center of the house, the starting point to discover the architect and the environment, the place where all different areas are organized. Most of the activities we can do in the house take place in the living-room. It is based in a large block of natural marble that we found originally in the plot. We decided to leave it intact, and to convert it into a key element for the architecture.
From outdoors the living room gains more intensity thanks to the large block. It becomes a link between the living room and the swimming pool, with the best orientation for enjoying it. The lower level of the house is south-facing and it is adjusted to the slope. However the upper level, with western orientation, is floating over the lower ones. It seems to be based on the clouds. One of the more gratifying things in this project is to see how people are delighted with our architecture, it evokes feelings.
Photos: Otto Medem de la Torriente
The Desert House is an organic modern estate that has been designed by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, situated in Joshua Tree, California. Comprised of 4,643 square feet of living space, work begun on the three bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home started in 1988 and was completed in 1993. The sprawling residence is nestled on 10 acres of desert landscape, sheltered by large boulders. The interiors were meticulously designed by John Vugrin. The end result is a dwelling in concrete, steel, glass, and copper, flawlessly blending in with its rocky landscape.
This spectacular home is currently listed for sale at $3 million, from here.
The most important architectural house you may have never seen. It is physically of the desert, a part of its surroundings. The strength of the hard and rugged protective shell exterior is drawn from the desert. The interior is a warm intimate space of flowing organic shapes wrapping gently around its inhabitants. Light enters through continuous openings that separate the towering concrete panels. The textures provide the touch and feel of the desert as materials were meticulously selected from the desert. The property highlights the masculine and feminine forms that are the hallmark of organic architecture.