The first floor spaces were expanded and joined so that dining and gathering can occur “anywhere and everywhere.” The kitchen became the nexus of all activity, joining the living and dining spaces on the first floor to the study/ loggia and entry hall on the half-level below. The new living space is tall and spacious with terrace doors, windows, skylights and a light shelf on the south wall, welcoming in abundant cross ventilation and natural light. The L-shaped addition embraces a new cypress deck that floats across a grass terrace to a stone wall and rock garden, creating a unifying transition to the outdoors. This main level addition and the second floor addition, perched as a treehouse, embrace the backyard and capture the traversing daylight.
Descending from the kitchen at an angle to the addition, a reclaimed walnut stair the full width of the loggia leads down to a study with a honed concrete radiant floor, bamboo casework, and a Paperstone desk.
A second-floor master bath designed as a retreat, a connecting entry hall and new play room adjacent to the study, and a new bedroom and bath carved from an enclosed garage round out the plan. Throughout, the use of smart envelope design, passive solar gain, radiant heat, high insulation values, water-saving fixtures, and low VOC/formaldehyde-free materials complete the sustainably-minded, balanced design.
The Brick Loft House was once a dingy looking office unit that received a complete overhaul by architecture firm FARM, situated in Joo Chiat Ln, Singapore. The new owners saw the potential of this apartment and so did the architects. Situated on the second storey of a shophouse unit in the charming JooChiat area, the architects wanted to reinvent, with a localized design language, the concept of a chic industrial loft.
From the onset, we knew the importance of bringing light and the sense of lightness to the space within. The apartment has to feel as if it’s suffused with light. To do that, walls were knocked down to create an outdoor verandah area upon entry. Huge timber framed glass sliding doors are used to further increase light porosity. Generous amount of louvres are used at the rooftop to bring in more light to the mezzanine bedroom.
The feel of the industrial is brought out through the sensitive use of building materials and the reinvention of their vocabulary and usage. Taking a cue from concrete ventilation blocks found in old houses, we updated the look with a new custom-made pattern. This pattern is then abstracted and transformed again and brought into the living area via a laser-cut metal screen folding door.
The old plaster of the house was also peeled off to reveal bricks in their original gritty but charming condition. What are ‘industrial lofts’ without some bricks eh? Then using the idea of these bricks as basic building blocks, we created continuous wall shelving with a similar structure and framing. The key unmissable feature in the apartment is the spiral staircase constructed entirely out of metal, spray-painted all glossy white, and with its balustrade in the dangerously-sexy form of a curving brick wall.
Photos: Jeremy San TzerNing
Sunset Residence is a private family home situated in a secluded cul-de-sac in the fashionable area of Bukit Timah in Singapore, designed by Topos Design Studio. The residence is a beautiful and understated piece of bespoke and holistic architectural design. The modest entrance facade gently invites you through into a stunning pool area which reveals the U-shaped plan of this 6,350 square foot (590 square meters) building. This form allows for seclusion as well as views of the pool area from virtually every room in the house as well as fantastic ventilation through full height sliding louver and glass doors. This is helped by the orientation of residence to make full use of the day and night prevailing breeze.
The simple no fuss architectural language of the house is further accentuated by a 4 tone color palette to not only highlight the form, but also to allow the client’s stunning pieces of furniture to take center stage. This unpretentious approach in keeping to the natural and simplistic setting of the built environment led to a refined and elegant feel to the spaces, worthy of the esteemed client.
The quality of light and the form on the interior spaces were key to the design which is evident from the generously proportioned lounge and the double height dining area of the first floor. These grand rooms offer fantastic spaces for the family to congregate and enjoy time together.
The second floor of the property is dedicated to the private realms of the users and a relaxing alternative lounge away from the main family area. A comprehensive aluminum louver system, across this floor, aids in sun shading, so as to minimize air-con usages well as to offer exclusive and spiritual privacy against the surrounding properties.
Some Materials and Finishes used for the Surfaces, Partitions, Floorings, Walls:
1. BiancoCarraraand Molton Brown Marble for Living, Dining, Dry Kitchen floor.
2. Bush hammered and flamed Kur Grey Granite for all outdoors and external walls.
3. Blue turquoise mosaic for the pool and Burmese Teak Timber flooring for all bedrooms and common corridors.
4. Calacatta Oro and Breccia Paradiso Marble for all the bathrooms. Various vinyl backed Essex Singapore Wall paper for all the bedrooms and common areas.
5. Duravit, Hansgrohe and GerebitSanitary Wares and system
6. Jung EIB Switch Systems
7. Ferro Aluminum Sun shading and Window System
8. Hunter Douglas Mechanical Sun shading Blinds
9. RIMADESIO Velaria Glass Sliding Partition Door System supplied By Vivo Systems Singapore
10. Ironmongeries by Dorma Systems andHewi180 Series (Door Handles)
Summarised Design Concept
1. Proportioned, Timeless, Tailored Elegance
Photos: Derek Swalwell
Elliott Ripper House is the addition and expansion of a two story contemporary home in Rozelle, a suburb in the inner west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, designed by Christopher Polly Architect. The 1,703 square foot project, “simply and directly extrapolates existing formal qualities in plan and section, with extension of key existing materials and finishes to retain some memory of its previous incarnation – while providing a significantly expanded series of connected interior volumes that harness access to sunlight, ventilation and views of tree canopies, sky and district beyond.”
The design strategy entails: 1. The insertion of a ground floor open plan kitchen, dining and living volume generated by extension of the existing envelope and ceiling and floor levels to an averaged plan footprint of a former lean-to, followed by a rear first floor addition that extrudes the previous floor plate and gable-ended pitched roof form over the new ground floor spaces.
The retention of the cathedral volume within the new first floor room arrangement and extrapolation of the first floor raked ceiling-to-wall datum that scribes the alignment of all heights wrapped around this volume, delicately bridged to raked ceiling lines by lightweight translucent polycarbonate – with an open stair and large sculpted void that vertically expands the relationship between two previously unrelated floors.
Fine steel plate elements contrast an age-old weatherboard cladding profile and large expanses of shallow pocket fixed glass and western red cedar externally sliding doors & pivoting windows offer varying degrees of openness and enclosure.
A centrally located ground floor service core accommodates an enlarged bathroom, laundry and storage, enabling direct connection of living spaces to clearly defined landscaped outdoor spaces, while a first floor bathroom enhances amenity to two added bedrooms. The plan arrangement reflects modern patterns of use by the provision of two living spaces to enable vital separation of adult and children functions.
The rear open plan volume provides a ‘day’ space for meals preparation, eating and expansive enjoyment of the rear garden, while the upper living room provides an ‘evening’ space for watching TV, reading and separation from utilities. A third first floor bedroom provides flexibility for future use as a study.
Surrendered floor space enables delight in a sculpted expanded stair void and cantilevered balcony. Inexpensive gloss opalescent polycarbonate reflects & transmits light by day while enabling a lantern-like quality of spaces by night to emphasise the volumetric expansiveness of first floor interior forms. Recycled Blackbutt flooring stitch old and new ground floor zones, economical LVL frames a recycled Blackbutt lined stair, while walnut stain over extended existing pine flooring enriches the first floor.
Significant parts of the of the existing structure were consciously retained to reduce its carbon input. Use was made of recycled Blackbutt timber externally and internally; high-performance glazing to reduce heat loads; external retractable blind to control northern solar access and heat gain; substantial wall and ceiling thermal insulation; energy efficient lights & appliances and water-saving fittings.
Photos: Brett Boardman
This stunning modern home renovation is of a 1980’s residence in Tryol Hills, Minneapolis, designed by Peterssen/Keller Architecture. Though awkwardly configured and dated on the interior, the architects recognized the potential of the home’s underlying architecture and its site. they removed all the interior walls, exposing the tall vaulted spaces hidden within the roof trusses. The new design combines a contemporary open floor plan that addresses the needs of a modern family with traditional detailing that fits comfortably within the surrounding neighborhood. The house was carefully designed and sited to encourage indoor/outdoor living through its multiple porches.
The interiors were designed by Eminent Interior Design, selecting materials that would hold up to heavy use among four active boys. Spaces are defined by walls of red birch cabinetry, while glass transoms and hidden doors provide acoustic separation. Large windows and a 16-foot folding glass door open the home to its wooded site. Unusual materials bring warmth and depth to the “organic modern” design, including an undulating stone floor and custom mosaic backsplash. High shelves above the kitchen, accessed by a sliding library ladder, provide spaces to showcase art and books.
This home was featured on the 2011 Parade of Homes Tour, and appears in the February 2012 issue of Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine.
The designer retained neutral tones in the home’s fixtures, with grey walls, warm woods and mellow upholsteries. Colorful accents, including rugs, artwork and pillows jazz up the space white providing far-out focal points.
Sustainable features are seamlessly integrated into the design from the ground up, including geothermal heating/cooling, photovoltaic solar panels and a whole house control system. This nearly “net-zero” energy use home is a study in how green architecture and traditional design can successfully work together.
We just received images of the latest project by AR Design Studio, The Medic’s House, which is an incredible modern addition of a 1950s three bedroom house situated in Winchester, United Kingdom. The architects, Andy Ramus & Laurent Metrich, were commissioned to update the home by two doctors who are based in Winchester to meet the needs of their growing family. The brief required that the architects add two additional bedrooms to the upstairs and create a spacious open plan family space with plenty of light, views and access to the beautiful garden on the lower level.
From the architects: AR Design Studio’s solution was to create a large charcoal grey living box at ground level with a full height glazed opening elevation to the garden. A timber clad sleeping pod is perched above at first floor level providing the additional bedrooms.
The fenestration was resolved as a series of verticals that celebrate the depth of the walls with a combination of recessed and flush frameless windows. The overall composition was influenced by the ancient Greek theory of the ‘Golden Section’ in order to provide a well-balanced and proportioned rear elevation.
At ground floor level the extension contains a utility, WC, kitchen, dining room and lounge area, fitted with 3 large eco-friendly sliding glass panels creating an uninterrupted view of the garden. The flush threshold and continuous floor surface enhance this connection with the garden by allowing the internal space to flow seamlessly out into it on warmer days.
The walls are constructed from super insulated block and oversized insulated cavities ensuring a very thermally efficient envelope. Large opaque glass panels to the sides allow etch light to enter deep into the plan of the space. The structure is hidden in strategically placed fins that suggest living zones within the open-plan space.
Upstairs, the western red cedar clad addition consists of a generous master suite with a separate dressing area and one other additional bedroom. This upper box is also fabricated in timber, allowing for a light weight structure that reduces the need for unsightly columns beneath. The construction contains over 250mm of insulation which AR felt was important at the upper level. This approach to construction was also carried through into the over insulated single-ply roof.
Photos: Martin Gardner
This striking modern designed residence in Ancram, Upstate New York has been designed by HHF Architects and interior design firm Kathryn Scott Design Studio Ltd. The home is comprised of 4,000 square feet of living space, designed as a country house for two young art collectors as a retreat from life in the city. The architectural design reflects their desire for a simple, sculptural residence standing in contrast to its natural surrounding landscape. The four equal sized boxes covered with corrugated metal panels on the outside create a striking and unexpected home. The interior was kept minimally furnished with the focus remaining on the owners’ contemporary Chinese art collection. Access to the view of the countryside is carefully orchestrated and subtly present without dominating the interior, creating an introspective intimacy and highlighting the art within. Natural light pours though the openings in between the outer boxes creating a changing sculptural display of its own inside each room. The simplicity and careful selection of the furnishings are a reflection of the owners clear vision of their personal style.
Photos: Ellen McDermott
This sensational fifth floor Prince Street loft, spotted on Sotheby’s, is located in the SoHo district of New York City, New York. Featuring plenty of incredible details in the newly renovated 2,500 square foot loft, including six gorgeous wood-framed windows offering an abundance of natural light in the open plan living room, cast iron columns, exposed brick and wood beams. The living room boasts 11’+/- ceilings, an Eco Smart Fireplace and fully integrated audio/visual system including a 103” drop down projector screen. The kitchen is fit for a chef and replete with custom stainless counters, cherry wood cabinets, and top tier professional appliances ranging from SubZero to Wolf, Fisher Paykel to Miele.
The luxurious master bedroom has a walk-in closet and en suite bath featuring floor to ceiling Limestone, Neptune soaking tub, Koehler fittings and a large glass enclosed shower. The residence includes three-four bedrooms, two baths and media room with custom Murphy bed. The home also offers abundant storage, private laundry room, and 2-zone central air. There is a common roof deck and private storage within this intimate 5-unit Cast Iron landmarked building.
This sensational loft could be all yours, listed for sale at $4,650,000, from here.
Big and Small House has been designed by Anonymous Architects on Mt Washington, Los Angeles, California. Starting with an empty lot which was half the size of the typical minimum lot size, the objective was to maximize the interior volume of the dwelling. To achieve this there are only two full height walls inside the house which makes the main interior room nearly as large as the building footprint. This gives the 1,200 square foot house an open lofted feeling with very high ceilings and abundant natural light. It is an inversion of expectation, so that the smallest house contains the largest room. What the house lacks in square footage it provides in volume. The free plan of the vacant lot is preserved since the house touches the ground only at the four small piles, giving full access to use the space between the house and the lot. The footprint of the foundation is in fact less than 20 sq.ft. and the house doesn’t touch the ground at any point. The plan of the house follows the shape of the site which is an asymmetric parallelogram. This form resulted in unusual geometry inside and outside the dwelling and explains the shape of the house. The elevations of the house are designed to mirror the plan.
Photos: Courtesy of Anonymous Architects
Creek House is a weekend retreat for a family from Manhattan, designed by Studio MM, situated in Ulster County, New York. The architect had purchased 38 acres in the area with plans to design and build five custom homes; this one is the first completed. The contemporary 2,600 square foot, three bedroom, three bathroom split-level home is set within 7 acres of dense woods and undulating terrain, drawing on the privacy of the surrounding landscape to provide a peaceful escape from the intensity of the city. One side of the house is nestled into the hillside, minimizing the impact of the mass of the house on the site and taking advantage of the geothermal qualities of the earth. The opposite facade opens up at the edge of a steep slope to capture the view of the rushing stream 100 feet below. The goal for the design of the house is to maintain a functional yet modest floor plan that offers an open and spacious home for its users. To accomplish this, the living room, dining room and kitchen are designed as one interactive space with expansive exterior glass walls which open up to increase the living area of the home by almost double. Essentially, the outdoors becomes the living room. Plenty of sunlight with large windows on both floors facing toward the south contributes some passive solar heating in the winter, while the trees keep the house from overheating and relying on air conditioning by blocking the high summer sun.
The narrow widths of glass and vertical frames echo the trunks of the trees beyond.
The kitchen island is the main gathering space for family and guests. The architect specified a slab of Statuarietto marble for the kitchen counters, one of the main features of the house.
The kitchen features back-painted glass on the wall behind the stove and range hood. “The reflections in the glass from the indirect lighting above and the trees from the living room windows opposite create the feeling of a window even though the kitchen is along the wall which backs up to the earth,” states the architect.
Like the cedar outside, the wood flooring is treated for protection; these floors are solid oak with linseed oil. The deck’s wood flooring lets it read like a literal continuation of the floor from inside to outside.
Given that the house has bedrooms above the living space, one enters on the top and either turns left to head up a few steps to the master bedroom and second bedroom, or descends the stairs to the living area and guest bedroom.
Natural light comes in through a narrow window, placed so somebody taking a shower can see outside without being seen.
Photos: Paul Warchol