San Lorenzo Residence represents two interlocking L-shaped forms to organize the house, designed by Mike Jacobs Architecture, located at the end of a canyon road in Los Angeles, California. The house responds to and engages its surrounding landscapes: an interior private garden to the south and the manicured fairways of a golf course to the north.
Following a careful zoning study, two interlocking “L-shaped” formally organize the house: the first “L-shape”, an open and transparent enclosure and veranda (steel/glass), incorporates the communal living spaces of garden, pool, living rooms and theater; the second “L-shape,” an opaque enclosure (stucco/cedar), holds the basic form of the house and incorporates the private bedrooms and service spaces.
A large open living space is central to the organization of the house. Pocket sliding doors open the south wall to the garden and north facing windows unfold to view the fairways create direct connections to the exterior. These large openings passively cool the house and draw fresh air deep into the residual spaces to naturally ventilate the home.
Social exchange is expressed by section. An elongated formal stair links the terraced living spaces to the exterior and connects to the theater below. A pair of secondary flanking stairs provide access from the residual private rooms and service areas. These multiple points-of-entry produce a constant interchange between the family unit.
Photos: Michael Wells
Waterfall House is a single family residence tucked away in the rolling hills of West Lake, in Austin, Texas, recently completed by Dick Clark + Associates. The home features efficient design and impressive views, a unique single family spec home built to attract a discerning group of potential owners. Though comfortably removed from the thick of the city in the hills of west Austin, the stunning skyline is the most influential factor in the design of the house.
To achieve the ideal view, the house is subtly perched on a raised foundation. The main spaces in the house are located along the eastern facade to have equal access to the skyline views. The seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces of the house is achieved through material continuity, such as the tile floor that flows from inside to out, and through the massive sliding glass doors that open the living, dining, and kitchen spaces to be one with the exterior pool deck. The skyline, as viewed from this open indoor/outdoor space, is dramatically framed by an elegant negative-edge pool that disappears into the hills below.
The love of beautifully detailed architecture, shared by both the builder and the architect, are evident in the carefully executed lines, delicate proportions, and seamless spatial transitions in this high-end Austin home. The site placement of this house blurs the line between city and rural living, a characteristic that Austinites greatly value, just as the design itself softens the divide between interior and exterior.
Photos: Alexander Stross
This former garage spotted on Vtwonen has been transformed into a stunning two story working and living space for a family in Den Bosch, a city and municipality in the southern Netherlands. The garage turned home is comprised of over 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters) of living space. When you walk into the studio-cum-living room, you will be embraced by a spacious and bright space with high ceilings and open living plan. The home offers an industrial air with exposed beams, concrete flooring and herringbone wood flooring in some of the living spaces to add coziness and warmth. The furnishings are very eclectic mixing vintage and modern pieces with bold pops of color to create a truly unique living environment. There are plenty of windows and skylights to filter in natural light, lessening the need for fluorescent lighting.
Photos: Jean-Marc Wullschleger/Living Agency
631 Mansfield is a stunning contemporary designed family house that is the vision of Amit Apel Design, situated in Los Angeles, California. This five bedroom, five and a half bathroom structure does not quite fit into a particular box or label, rather it reflects a non-conforming spirit that explores an avant-garde vision – the most ancient of all functions: the home.
A path to the entry door deliberately takes visitors past the front facade to expose its volumes and architectural elements even before they can ring the bell. Once inside, they experience an open and spacious floor plan filled with abundant natural light that enters from the many floor-to-ceiling openings and a great central skylight over a double height space. Though the space is read as a whole and predominantly white, some contrasting black surfaces and changes in textures serve to define the different areas, while occasional woods soften the look.
The indoor-outdoor border disappears when the pocket doors slide into the walls and enlarge the space for gatherings; and the outdoor swimming pool elegantly extends to the wall and mirrors the house in the waters reflection. To add charm, landscape lightings are designed to emphasize the effect.
This kitchen takes the laboratory aesthetics to an extreme in which one can imagine daily molecular cuisine naturally taking place. Every room in the house has unorthodox shapes, and the corridor that connects them blurs into what feels like an exterior plaza with an inspiring view.
There is one central element whose presence is quite spectacular and is virtually visible from every corner of the house. It is a gigantic suspended planter with an equally large plant that hangs about 3 feet high at the center of the stairs space, right under the skylight. It looks like a levitating tree, just surreal.
Bathroom spaces have been stripped from their usual predictions and have matured to shapes and clad that fit with the discrete extravagant nature of the house. In such sense, private and public spaces are treated with equal design respect and attention to details.
Photos: Courtesy of Amit Apel Design
The Pit House is a minimalist family home designed by UID Architects, nestled on a terraced mountain hill in Okayama Prefecture near Seto Inland Sea, Japan. Based on the site condition, the architects considered a new way of architecture, where views open towards the north and the ground level is one meter higher than the road level. The small home has a unique open plan design concept, comprised of 1,237 square feet (115 square meters) of living space with two bedrooms and one bathroom.
The relationship is as if the site’s natural environment and the architecture coexist at the same time. The architecture has become a part of the whole landscape of undivided environment, not simply thinking about connection to the surroundings from the cut off opening in walls.This time, we came up with a living form that accepts the outside environment such as surface of the terraced land, surrounding neighboring houses’ fences and walls, residences that sit along the slope and far beyond mountains. The architectural principle is not a division from the land with a wall, but an interior that is an extension of the outside and connection of the surface like a pit dwelling that is undivided from the land. In concrete, six types of floor levels including a round floor that is created by digging the surface are connected with a concrete cylinder core at the center. Furthermore, delicate and multiple branch-like columns that support the slightly floating boxes produce various one-room spaces.
Environment and architecture create new extensive relationship by connecting surfaces. The territory is undefined in the space in a body sense. I think that is more natural relationship of an architecture standing in a landscape.
Photos: Koji Fujii / Nacasa ＆ Partners
Bayshore Drive Residence is a truly stunning custom home that has been designed by studio Brandon Architects, who worked in conjunction with Patterson Custom Homes, situated in the exclusive Bay Shores coastal community in Newport Beach, California. This two story residence is comprised of 3,200 square feet with five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, situated on a typical rectangular lot. Views of the harbor are available from the roof level, so the program incorporated a large exterior roof-top deck, complete with a built in BBQ, spa, and fire-pit. The project is a traditional Colonial/Greek Revival design, including ample indoor/outdoor living spaces integrated with a modern open living plan which maximizes natural light and ventilation in living spaces as well as outdoor patios, decks and balconies.
Photos: Courtesy of Patterson Custom Homes
The Ranchero is a modern ski cabin designed by CAST Architecture nestled at the edge of a subalpine meadow in the small community of Mazama in Washington State’s the upper Methow Valley. The Ranchero is a base camp for a family of four, offering year round outdoor adventure and a social hub for gatherings of friends and family. The architects responded with a simple, rugged design that is responsive to the environment and low on maintenance, letting the family focus on the outdoors. The open plan home offers 1,600 square feet of living space plus 800 square feet of covered outdoor space.
The deep veranda, over-sized entry and ski wax room provide family and guests a functional landing zone between activities.
A view from the south shows how the house is split into two components linked by a single sloped roofline. To the right is the 1,400-square-foot main house, and on the left is a 200-square-foot sauna. The sauna area includes a covered wooden shed and a wax room for preparing skis in the winter.
A simple material pallet focuses on highly durable, low maintenance solutions such as Cor-ten steel siding, aluminum clad windows and a concrete skirt that protects the structure’s base during the winter snowpack and spring snowmelt cycle.
With a spine that is aligned along an east west axis, the home is designed to take advantage of passive solar heat gain in the winter while minimizing solar heat gain in the summer.
Crisp white aluminum ceiling panels reflect light into the home and help blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.
The plan emphasizes simplicity, abundant natural light and a strong connection to the surrounding peaks and adjacent aspen grove. The public wing features an open floor plan with an expansive patio that sets the stage for relaxation and socializing. The corridor beyond the kitchen leads to the three bedrooms as well as the bathrooms, laundry and a small office.
Made from low-maintenance, paint-free aluminum panels, the white ceilings reflect sunlight into the home to make the interior brighter and less reliant on artificial lighting throughout the day.
The furnishings throughout the house pick up on the ruggedness of the architecture as well as the character of the landscape. Mild steel and integrally colored fiber cement panels clad the interior walls for a durable, paint free finish.
Peeling of steel also occurs at the entry, creating a shelf for keys, wallets, hats and so forth.
Low VOC finishes, concrete floors, and a heat recovery ventilator insure clean and healthy air.
Many of the unique details that take advantage of the materials are very subtle. In one corner of the kitchen, for example, the steel peels up to hold chalk for writing notes or drawings pictures on the wall.
The home features regionally crafted custom finish details, casework and furnishings throughout.
The private wing offers a master suite with an extra day bed, a ship’s berth inspired bunkroom, and peaceful getaway nooks.
Built at a modest scale with super insulated walls and ceilings, energy efficient windows and systems, the home is intended to minimize energy consumption.
A balance of rugged materials, a simple plan and clean lines help focus this mountain retreat on the place, people and adventures.
Photos: Courtesy of CAST Architecture
Westridge Residence is a single story 1950s California Ranch style home, which was given a complete overhaul by Montalba Architects in Los Angeles, California. The home is nestled hillside, capturing 270-degree views of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The architects found inspiration in the mostly covered-over details of the existing structure -a high exposed-beam ceiling in the living room and brick walls – and re-imagined these for an open, flowing series of rooms that a modern family could enjoy. The stone fireplace was replaced with white brick and numerous partitions removed to create a single, free-flowing living / family / kitchen area. The interior design of this spectacular home was carried out by Thinkpure.
The roofline was raised over the entirety of the house and clerestories, skylights, and full-height glass doors added to bring in additional natural light. A bright and reflective material palette – white brick, Carrara marble, glass tile, terrazzo, and oak – is used throughout to visually expand the space and pay homage to the original mid-century character. The sandblasted concrete hardscape, including a new spa and fire feature, is terraced to accommodate the hillside, and complimented by sustainable plantings and fruit trees. The terraces operate as extensions of the interior public spaces, creating a series of indoor-outdoor rooms.
The lifted ceiling and custom two-sided stone fireplace create a continuous great room between the living and dining areas and main garden.
Floor to ceiling windows combine with natural ipe decks and rooftop rock gardens to extend view corridors and habitable areas at the south and west elevations.
The newly-added second story offers a separated haven for extended family, including mini-kitchen and secondary family room. Light-colored, beach-inspired materials such as white-washed oak floors, white stone, teak millwork, and ocean-toned glass tiles transform the home into a tranquil, airy Southern California retreat.
Photos: John Linden Photography