Originally built in 1954 on a gently upsloping lot bordered by a creek, its most distinctive site feature is an old wooden bridge over the creek and the rock walls which carve paths through the site.
The client was interested in maintaining the residence’s historic character while updating it for today’s living standards and code requirements. This required adding more natural light with larger windows and skylights as well as adding a partial second story for a master suite.
Maintaining the wood exterior and mullion patterns of the existing windows settles the addition into the landscape as an example of a very light effect to a sensitive site.
Photos: Jeff Zaruba
The Cumberland Townhouse has been designed by Ensemble Architecture, located on a park block in the neighborhood of Fort Greene in Brooklyn, New York. The house was in a dilapidated state when the owner’s purchased the building; the rear wall was falling down and water had been entering the building for several years.
The house was completely transformed with a new rear wall and a two-story addition at the rear of the house. The addition is open to the living room above and is connected through interior steel and glass windows that mimic the two-story, exterior windows.
The doors at the garden open completely to create a seamless connection between the kitchen / dining level and the garden. Vines are planted in recessed planters along the two story party walls in the dining room–the room was designed with the idea of being an indoor-outdoor space where the garden melds with the interior spaces.
The vines will cover the double-story party walls and will add an organic quality to all of the spaces that the dining room connects. The top of the addition is a private master bedroom balcony.
Photos: Courtesy of Ensemble Architecture
This loft apartment designed by Cloud Studios offers industrial style open plan living infused with natural light, located in an old factory near Edgware Road, London, England. The loft was completely renovated in 2014 and featured in Elle Decoration’s 25th Anniversary Issue, October 2014.
Description from the designers: The apartment, which is in a converted industrial space, was completely reconfigured by Cloud to create two bedrooms and a large open plan living space.
The architectural details have an industrial feel (concrete ceilings, Critail windows and exposed pipes).
The clean lines and high ceilings were enhanced with a pale Douglas fir wide-planked floor and a contemporary kitchen.
Cloud, set up by Nia Morris and Louise Holt, has an established reputation for creating elegant, contemporary interiors for a wide range of residential and commercial projects, from prestigious London and country houses to apartments, offices and hotels. Characterized by creativity balanced by practicality and a highly personal service, we provide innovative design solutions in all the services we offer, from complete refurbishment to interior decoration of individual rooms, space planning, lighting design, bespoke furniture and bathroom and kitchen design.
Photos: Courtesy of Cloud Studios
Eng Kong Garden is a typical three storey semi-detached house that was completed in 2013 by HYLA Architects, located in Eng Kong Garden, Singapore. The 3,842 square foot (357 square meters) residence features a timber-clad facade that greets the visitor to this private semi-detached house.
The house is nestled on a site area of about 300 square meters, which opens upon to the side garden with its timber deck and lap pool. The staircase opens up in the middle of the house and an elliptical skylight brings in light to this space.
The staircase splits the house in two volumes; the front houses the Living, Dining, Family Room, Bedroom and Lounge, while the back houses the Dry and Wet kitchen, Study, Bedrooms, Master Bedroom.
HYLA Architects is an award-winning architectural practice headed and founded by Principal Architect Han Loke Kwang. HYLA’s work seeks to be timeless, unique and personal. Our experience lies strongly in designing high end landed residential projects. The design belief has won the firm numerous awards including the Singapore Institute of Architect’s Design Award and Architectural Heritage Awards by URA. Our work is regularly featured in monographs and magazines internationally, including the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture. To be selected as one of the 1,000 exemplary works of architecture around the world is indeed a humbling accolade.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Faber Terrace is a single family residence focusing on a design filled with natural light and embracing the outdoors, completed in 2014 by HYLA Architects in Singapore. Consisting of 4,025 square feet (374 square meters) of living space, this terrace sits at a corner site and thus the full side of the house fronts the side street.
To preserve the privacy but still allowing light and ventilation, a slatted timber screen covers the entire side elevation. At the front, an outdoor terrace with a high volume fronts the main garden.
The space continues into the double volume living room with a feature book shelf that extends two stories.
The 1st storey has an open plan and large glass sliding doors open up to the lush side garden. One enters the house into the triple volume space with the cantilevered stairs on both sides of the walls.
Photos: Derek Swalwell
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
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