4 Springs Lane is a contemporary custom home designed by Robert M. Gurney Architect, sited on 24 acres of rolling topography, open fields and woodlands in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Extensive site investigation, including erecting scaffolding at various locations, resulted in the placement of the house high on one of the hills, overlooking a meadow at the base of woodlands.
From the architect: The house is organized as a series of volumes, arranged linearly and positioned to optimize distant views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The structure itself becomes a threshold and defines a more intimate, manicured outdoor environment between the house and the edge of the forest. The linear organization allows the majority of spaces to maintain mountain views while providing accessibility to a terrace with the swimming pool and the manicured area. The two-story living / dining space has floor-to-ceiling glass at each end, providing a lens through which to view the mountains from the terrace.
The rigorous, refined and geometric forms of the building are designed in sharp contrast to the undulating, natural landscape. The contrast is intended to magnify the beauty of the site while allowing the house to provide a framework to view the landscape. These views become the orienting device. Simple volumes comprised of glass, wood, stone and fiber cement panels are combined to render a more complex composition while garnering a serene unity.
Interior spaces are active and intricate, tranquil and minimal. With vistas in all directions, large expanses of glass allow the landscape views to provide the primary sensory experience.
A geothermal HVAC system, energy efficient appliances, wall and ceiling infrastructure with maximum insulation, a rain-screen cladding system, extensive daylighting and solar-sensored shades are employed with the expectation of reducing fossil fuel consumption. Large operable windows and doors are placed to provide natural ventilation.
This house is pragmatic and pristine. Proportion, texture and light organize and animate the project. The composition is simultaneously complex and distilled. Most importantly, the house provides a framework to experience an inherently beautiful landscape.
Photos: Maxwell MacKenzie
Scape House is a modern family residence that has just recently been completed in 2014 by FORM | Kouichi Kimura Architects, located in Shiga, Japan. The house is nestled on a hillside in a tiered-developed residential area. The development of the home was dictated based on the beautiful scenery of the lake that could be viewed from the site. The client also requested that the 1,474 square foot (137 square meters) house be very open while at the same time be designed to prevent prying eyes from viewing into the home.
From the architects: In this project, versatile spaces that incorporate light and scenery were intended by the windows in order to bring out the best in this house.
The dynamic configuration involving the box-shape volume with rhythmical layout of the windows produces beautiful life scenes where light and scenery are taken in while the eyes of neighborhood are blocked.
Scenery viewed through a window is greatly affected by the size or position of the window.
It is therefore essential to consider what should be viewed or not in the scenery framed by the window, instead of being stereotyped to take in the large area of the scenery by providing the largely-opening window.
The windows as framings produce comfortable spaces where you can enjoy light and scenery without being annoyed by eyes of neighborhood. The spaces incorporate a table, bench, book shelf, niche, and other furniture items so that you can utilize there to view outside, read books, eat meals, etc., which brings out characteristics of each space and provides its versatility.
The space is composed of mortar with a feel of texture, highlighting its presence. At the same time, it provides openness created by the clear and continuous sightline.
In addition, the space also serves as an indispensable element that reflects visual changes of light and scenery developed while moving around the room.
Photos: Yoshihiro Asada
This extraordinary modern farmhouse has been designed by Olsen Studios, located just West of Preston Hollow, a neighborhood outside of Dallas, Texas. The farmhouse gives the impression of a Napa Valley Estate nestled amongst the large Pecan and Oak Trees of “rural” Dallas.
The simple board and batten, gabled structures are mixed with highly textured elements in the landscape to create a perfect visual balance for this Urban Dallas location.
Olsen Studios designed the house as a series of small pavilions connected by glass links. The structures weave their way through the existing trees and site amenities.
It incorporates a south facing courtyard and porch to take advantage of the Texas climate, and a north facing evening court to enjoy the rural streetscape and converse with neighbors.
Enclosed dog run type entry to this Modern Farmhouse, with antique console and limestone floors.
The interior is filled with natural light and views, and is appointed with the Owner’s incredible collection of local artisan paintings and sculpture.
The great room with limestone fireplace and ebonized oak cabinetry.
The home office space features a sliding antique barn door.
The kitchen showcases ebonized oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances, silestone counters and natural white oak floors.
Freestanding Queen Victoria tub in modern bath.
Olsen Studios began its creative existence with founding Principal Jamie Olsen Ali. She started the firm with the simple concept that buildings are experienced from the inside out, and that architecture and interior design should be developed together. As a full service design firm, Olsen Studios creates integrated buildings and environments to last a lifetime.
Photos: Sean Gallagher
96 Golden Beach Drive is a residential project with a minimalist zen feel, completed in 2012 by SDH Studio, located in Golden Beach, Florida. The residence is nestled on a 13,000 square foot lot, designed around a 27 foot high space that would be the heart of this home.
From the architects: With the idea of bringing in the outdoor landscape, the house opens up towards the water and fills the triple height space with natural light and green.
With a Minimalist/Zen approach every space was carefully designed to accommodate a family with three children. The house reinforces one of the basic philosophies of sdh studio which emphasizes the value of environmentally sustainable design.
Photos: Robin Hill
Ballantrae Court is a contemporary single family residence just recently completed by KZ Architecture, located in a golf community in South Florida. Comprised of 10,000 square feet of living space, this stunning home showcases unique rooflines, accented with warm wood and plenty of glass to emit natural light.
From the architects: The project involved a large program that would yield a home on a limited and restricted site. The design strategy involved deconstructing the volume into pavilions that could generate a dialogue between built form and landscape and create intimate connections between the golf course and the living spaces.
This Residence was developed as a home in a golf community in South Florida. The program specified ample guest accommodations for the clients’ extended family and friends.
The aesthetic of the project developed in response to the client’s wish for a modern house, and the community’s requirements for sloped roofs. The zoning manual stipulated for a minimum 6/12 roof slope. However, the design team was successful in obtaining a variance to adjust the slope to a 3/12 ratio for portions of the roof.
The house consists of a main volume, capped with a gable roof at the required slope and four shed roof legs at the lesser slope that define the house and frame the outdoor spaces in the front and the rear of the property. In the front, these elements materialize as an inviting entry porch on one side, and help transform what would be an otherwise massive three car garage on the other.
In the rear, the volumes thrust into the golf course, emphasizing the desired interaction between the landscape and the architecture. The home strives to embrace Florida living and be respectful of its context.
The choice of materials which include zinc for the roof and “C” structures, natural coral keystone for walls and wood for ceilings and decks, reflect the vernacular building traditions of the area. The planes and volumes clad in these three materials, weave in and out of the structure defining the architecture throughout.
Photos: Robin Hill
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