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
The Arboretum Residence is a unique modern home situated in Portland, Oregon, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. This fabulous dwelling has been designed by Skylab Architecture and completed in 2011, comprised of 4,200 square feet of living space. The home features clean geometric lines, a minimalist design aesthetic and a stunning palette of neutral hues and black and white are used in abundance throughout the home as well as natural textures such as jute and linen adds a cozy and welcoming feel to the space and breaks up the hard geometric lines. An open floor plan with ample windows and sliding glass patio doors helps to filter natural light into the space and blurs the boundaries between indoors and out.
Photos: Courtesy of Skylab Architecture
This decaying mid century modern home in Berkeley Hills, California home was remodeled and restored by YamaMar Design. Built in the 1960s of redwood siding and concrete block, the home was weathered and rotting, with a black, decayed pond in the courtyard. It was dark and dingy and falling apart. The homeowner, Derek Holley, lived in faraway place such as Berlin, Tuscany and Manila (where he made a fortune in the call center business) and wished for a place for his family to call home. The owners split their residency between an apartment in Siena, Italy and the US and wanted their home to reflect true California living. Despite the obvious cosmetic challenges, the 2,700 square foot home was structurally sound. It had a wonderful open floor plan and the interior was filled with old-growth redwood shelving and paneling that could be repurposed in the remodel. The home boasted uninterrupted views of the Bay Area and Golden Gate Bridge from two levels, the main living level and the bedroom level below.
Living lightly on the land was very important to the Holley family, who are both active outdoor types that have few possessions and low carbon footprints, they wished for simplicity. They wished to reuse as much of the house as possible, a home that reflected sustainability and style. A mix of modern minimalism and earthy and warm. The renovation includes a voluntary seismic upgrade, envelope and energy efficiency upgrades, and enhanced daylight and panoramic views. A new landscaped entry courtyard creates a wind sheltered entertaining space and garden. Interior plan changes include a new en-suite master bath, and expanded stairwell as well as a home gym and bicycle storage for Derek who is an avid bicyclist. NanaWall doors spanning the width of the house allow seamless flow from inside to out, and railings are designed to be visually quite. A restored redwood wall anchors the design and creates a new heart for the lightened interior.
Photos: Bruce Damonte
18th Residence is a modern home renovation, located along one of the Mission District’s most cosmopolitan blocks in San Francisco, California, designed by Chr DAUER Architects. The Italianate home was expanded with two substantial yet stealthy additions. Peeking out above the restored front facade, a new third story bedroom level hints at the comprehensively transformed spaces within. The project integrates modern design, bountiful natural light sources, high efficiency systems, and re-purposed building materials with new and original hand-crafted detailing.
The kitchen addition connects with the rear green space and floods the room with natural light through large horizontally banded, counter height windows. Formaldehyde-free painted cabinetry with countertops made of resin coated recycled paper are easily maintained and environmentally sound.
The kitchen table, crafted by a local artisan using salvaged redwood and Douglas fir from the building site, is the center of daily family meals. The 1940’s Magic Chef double oven range—inherited from the client’s family—was restored and incorporated seamlessly into its new modern environment.
The living room was restored to be a bright and crisply appointed space for entertaining and music. The original Douglas fir flooring was refinished and complimented by the pale green painted trim.
A new ceiling oculus-skylight with spherical chrome pendant fixture diffuses natural light throughout the room, The original faux-grained built-ins and trim were restored to reinstate the dining room’s prominence.
The main floor bath-laundry features the original clawfoot tub in the midst of modern fixtures, finishes, and conveniences.
Fabricated by the architect, the threaded wood balusters offer contrast to the naturally finished Douglas fir railings. In series, the balusters resemble both a finely turned woodwork and raw pieces of building hardware.
The balusters were turned for the owners as a “house warming gift”.
The composition of the large north-facing master bedroom window system provides visual access to the out-of-doors while screening views from adjacent neighbors.
The 2nd and 3rd story additions at the rear of the house share a common paint scheme, but differ in siding treatments to accentuate their respective volumes and reduce the presence of the back of the building. The third floor roof and lower kitchen decks are bordered by redwood railings with looped wire panels, made from fencing that typically bordered Victorian gardens.
Photos: Bruce Damonte
The Davis Residence was designed by Abramson Teiger Architects who were asked to design a house with light-filled spaces and an indoor/outdoor integration seen in the firm’s Southern California work, but adapted to the Toronto, Ontario climate. The first floor is clad in black Algonquin limestone, used commonly in Ontario, and layered with wood, detailed as a rain-screen, which stands proud of the stone below it. In contract, the second floor is light, with exterior walls that disappear as they rise towards the roof, turning into windows that allow for views of the densely wooded surroundings. (The effect is inverted inside the house, where walls at times do not meet the floor.) The sense of lightness continues to the roof, which has a thin, six-inch profile.
Inside the 12,500 square foot house, natural light is central to the design. On the first floor, the combined kitchen/family room – with Abramson Teiger signatures such as a skylight and expansive disappearing sliding doors – has an open flow to the living and dining rooms. From these rooms, views are layered through the 16-foot-wide by 5-foot-high fish tank and over the water of the swimming pool to the garden beyond. Upstairs, the airy bedrooms opens to a central hall with a sitting area, lit by clerestory windows.
Photos: Courtesy of Abramson Teiger Architects
The Fairfield House has been designed by Webber + Studio, located on a tree-lined street in the Austin, Texas, neighborhood of North Hyde Park. The Hyde Park Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic places, and the area’s popularity has been growing in recent years due to its proximity to the University of Texas. In many respects, the 3,180 square foot home draws upon the district’s rich architectural traditions, just as its neighbors do. In response to Texas’s hot, humid climate, for example, the house is separated into small building masses that are open to ventilation. A breezeway – another classic architectural element – connects the front and the back portions of the building, but that is where the nod to tradition ends. In every other aspect of its design, the Fairfield House is an exercise in modernism.
The program lent itself to the creation of separate massings. The clients wanted a main house with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths because they anticipate a growing family. “They also wanted an in-law suite for a father-in-law who lives out of state and comes for extended periods, and needs his own suite,” says David Webber, Principal Architect of Webber + Studio. “The father-in-law was also interested in owning property in Austin,” Webber explains, adding that this made the inclusion of his own suite a desirable option.
The bridge, by crossing from one part of the house to another, captures a space below it which becomes a breezeway,” says Webber. Overall, the weaving together of interior and exterior space creates a house that is “intertwined with its site, since it wraps around edges of the site to create an enclosed backyard. Yet it still allows an easy flow from the backyard, under the bridge, to the front of the property. Also, from inside the house’s first floor, several windows and doors allow easy flow out into the backyard spaces,” Webber continues. Several small patios extend daily living into the outdoors, and the ground floor living area of the in-law suite is glazed to allow a visual flow of space between the interior and exterior.
The building volume is further broken down at its western elevation by “pop-outs.” These allow the bedrooms along the bridge to have north- and south-facing windows, thereby avoiding solar gain from the western exposure. Along this side of the site, a driveway is pushed to the edge of the property line, providing ample access and parking without bisecting the 60’ x 125’ lot and sacrificing valuable space.
One of the architects’ captured spaces is a double-height interior space. Representing the front portion of the conceptual programmatic volume, the extra height gained here makes for a dramatic entryway. Three vertical “columns” of glazing make the volume read on the planar front facade. Even the front porch and pergola don’t interfere with the purity of the volume, thanks to the use of contrasting materials (concrete, redwood, and ebony-colored steel) and minimalist styling.
Local materials were also used inside the house: pecan for interior hardwood flooring and cabinetry, and Lueders Limestone tile for bathroom floors and walls. A countertop in the powder room is made of mesquite wood.
For the center island, undercounter drawers stand in for base cabinets.
The luxury of airiness and light trumped the luxury of stuff in this kitchen.
The kitchen’s design allows for countertop-to-ceiling windows that bring in backyard views.
Full-height windows and partial walls allow sunlight to stream into adjacent rooms.
The western facade is clad in metal siding with vertical standing seams. “Metal resists harsh exposures,” explains Webber, “and it has a long legacy in Texas, like many places in the south. Many metal manufacturers are based in Texas.” This fact meshed well with the architects’ desire to use materials with local origins. Webber explains that wood siding was chosen for use on the home’s more prominent facades because wood gives a humaneness to the building; local cypress keeps the material sourcing regional.
By marrying modernism’s diagrammatic flexibility to some traditional architectural solutions, Webber + Studio not only maximized usable space but achieved a separation of the home’s two distinct living areas, while still allowing them to maintain a dialogue.
In a concept diagram, the architects show how they took a typical cubic house volume dictated by the program, then unfolded and extruded portions of it. Doing so allowed them to integrate, or capture, extra space within the site. “The house stretches along the length of the property and then kicks back into the backyard, essentially wrapping around a large pecan tree and capturing that space as its own discrete area.