Thao Dien House is a beautiful renovation project carried out in 2014 by MM++ Architects, located in Thảo Điền, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The contemporary villa is comprised of 3,013 square feet (280 square meters), showcasing clean lines and wide open spaces.
From the architect: The intention was to turn the existing construction, a “pastiche” art deco, into a contemporary villa with clean lines and open spaces while keeping the entire existing concrete structure. The cost saving, which represents around 30% of total construction cost and the time saving on the construction schedule was a huge benefit for the client, an investor. Therefore, with balancing the cost, it was possible to add new elements to the construction.
The building has been reduced to his most minimal expression, a white cubic shape with two vertical vegetal walls added on the front and back of the house in order to bring privacy for the bedrooms and allowing large openings for natural ventilation without crossing views. The vertical garden “extends” the surrounding vegetation onto the walls and makes the house “disappearing” into the landscape. It creates a strong visual connection between the house and the garden and gives an identity to the place.
On the ground floor, living room, dining and kitchen are merged in one unique space fully open to the outdoor on three sides, bringing the garden inside the house. Swimming pool and decking have been reshaped as an extension of the interior space. The staircase has been relocated for a better distribution of the first floor and creates the main feature of the living room with a floating steps design. On the first floor, three bedrooms instead of the four existing in order to gain space to create a real master suite.
Starting from a poor existing space quality, enclosed, with no connection to the garden, this project is an experiment to demonstrate how it can be versatile and fun to “play” with an existing structure and to turn the construction into a radically different layout and design, revealing better spaces, adding value to the place and proposing a life style closer to nature.
Photos: Hiroyuki OKI
Head Road 1816 is a spacious family home designed for luxurious open plan living by SAOTA architects, located in Fresnaye, Cape Town, South Africa. The clients required a four bedroom home for their young family, the design of which had to encapsulate all the qualities of luxury open-plan living while still providing a homely environment.
From the architects: The practicalities of the site – steepness and town planning restrictions – were key initial drivers in determining the parameters available. The narrow proportion of the property also necessitated the careful consideration of privacy and bedroom accommodation, which is set back from the street or suitably screened.
Effort was put into capitalising on views to the rear onto Lions Head as well as across Sea Point and the Atlantic Seaboard. There is a clear vertical distinction between the living and bedroom accommodation. With young children, the bedrooms needed to be in close proximity to each other and to the parents thus a securable ‘family only’ portion of the home was a result. The upper-most level accommodates the master bedroom; a generous open-plan space inclusive of a dressing area and en suite bathroom. From the entrance a timber staircase accesses the primary living and entertainment area. The living areas are arranged to allow seamless connection to the garden, covered terrace and pool. Level changes, the ceiling plane and sliding doors subtly define this versatile space.
The language of the house reflects bold contemporary lines and extended planes, but the introduction of timber has softened and blurred this distinction. The tactile qualities of timber and the way it is used activate the senses – the sound and smell of the hardwood timber underfoot on the staircase sets a tone on entering the house. Screening elements ensuring privacy have become an integral component of the aesthetic. The juxtaposition of solid mass to large expanses of transparency is transitioned with semi-transparent slatted screens and shutters. The architectural language takes its cues from a Spanish approach to simple cubic volumes with punctured openings and planar walls that open up to create generous ocean views.
Such a narrow, steep site often compromises the final outcome but here, with the seamless connection of indoor and outdoor spaces, the heart of the house was successfully extended from boundary to boundary.
Photos: Adam Letch
Broad Ripple Bungalow was completely remodeled for open concept living by HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 1920s bungalow remodel includes new skylights, new exposed trusses, and more natural light.
1920’s Bungalow revitalized open concept living, dining, kitchen.
Grandma’s vibrant retro sofas are at home paired with new pallet coffee table on coasters in this cozy, eclectic, light-filled family space – the cat clearly concurs.
Kitchen opens to Living/Dining in this revitalized 1920’s Bungalow.
Remodeled Master Suite includes new spa and bedroom space combined for open concept living and perceived larger space.
Open-concept Master Bathroom opens to Bedroom (foreground) and Master Closet (beyond) via sliding barn door.
Open-concept Master Bathroom opens to Bedroom and Master Closet beyond via sliding barn door.
Open-concept Master Bathroom opens to Bedroom (beyond) and Master Closet (foreground) via sliding barn doors.
Carriage House Loft provides a cozy guest retreat in this revitalized 1920’s Bungalow.
Carriage House Loft provides a cozy guest retreat in this revitalized 1920’s Bungalow.
Guest Loft Bedroom accessed via barn door.
Guest Loft Bedroom/Bathroom accessed via sliding barn door.
Bonus Room Bathroom shares open space with Loft Bedroom.
Photos: Courtesy of HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles
The Long Valley Ranch House is an incredible modern vacation home designed by Marmol Radziner, set on the crest of a grassy knoll in Mendocino County, California. The goal was to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the 160-acre property by siting the retreat in a careful and unobtrusive manner. The 10-module home forms an L-shaped plan, framing views of a canopy of mature oak trees to the south and east.
The main volume is oriented east to west and arranged in an open plan. The living room, kitchen, and dining room collectively open southward onto a covered patio with an outdoor fireplace and pool area. From the main volume, the master bedroom extends to the north, following the edge of the hilltop and ending in a private deck that takes in the morning light from the east.
Marmol Radziner is a full service architectural firm that provides architectural design, interior design, landscape design, furniture design, jewelry design and prefab. In addition, we provide construction services, as a design-build firm. We operate our own custom cabinet shop and metal shop. We want our collaborative design vision to be realized coherently and elegantly.
Photos: Joe Fletcher
Ellis Residence is a new single family home designed in a warm contemporary style in 2014 by McClean Design, located in Laguna Beach, California. The clients wanted to move to a smaller home now that their children had moved out and chose a street to street lot high on a hill overlooking Laguna Beach and its famous beaches. The beauty of this sensational 3,500 square foot property is that views are available from both levels.
A key issue was trying to decide where to locate parking and entry. There was early opposition from the local review board which led to a split solution where parking is taken from the street below with guests entering from above. The garage can be reached by staircase or elevator ensuring that the house will continue to work for our clients as they grow older.
Removing the garage from the upper street allowed us to create an attractive garden for the kitchen to look out on. The entryway is reached by a staircase that traverses a water feature before the view is revealed. The house is designed for the couple to live mainly on one level which has the master bedroom sharing the top floor with the primary living spaces while guest rooms, an office, and storage are created below.
Photos: Jim Bartsch Photographer
Kloof 151 is a family home with a guest and a ‘work-from-home’ wing spread over two levels, designed by architecture firm SAOTA, located in Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa. The home was designed to not only to enjoy the dramatic views of the Clifton beaches, but also to engage with the natural fynbos on the slopes of Lion’s Head to the North.
The house is a 3 storey building with building parking. The large entrance to the basement allows for direct sunlight and a pleasantly warm entrance to the house. At the ground floor, the main living room enjoys a fantastic position overlooking Clifton. The majority of the living levels – including the open plan kitchen – open onto the large well covered terraces to the West or North facing the mountain slope and Lion’s Head. The extreme heat and glare of the setting sun is addressed by the cantilevering balconies, extended irregular and striking hardwood screens and motorised vertical fabric blinds. These devices along with the performance glazing result in an all year round cool interior.
The terraces are surrounded to the most part with either planting beds that have been planted with indigenous flora to echo the adjacent nature reserve and to minimize the use for additional irrigation. On the North Western corner of the site, a rim flow pool is situated that creates a seamless connection to the ocean.
The ground floor is bisected by a double volume to enrich the spatial experience and create a dialogue with the double volume stairwell towards the rear. A more intimate second lounge and external terrace has been created which looks out onto the dense natural fynbos of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve. The finishes are characteristically clean and simple and include natural and robust finishes, such as wide plank Walnut floors, off-shutter concrete soffits as well as unpolished large porcelain floor tiles. This also allows features such as the imported kitchen and the stone clad fireplace to contrast with the less refined elements.
The first floor of the house accommodates 4 en-suite bedrooms, a gym and a studio space. To reduce the effect of glare experienced at the house, the finishes palette is rich and in deep colours. The bedrooms are generally lighter and contemporary with accents of classic pieces of furniture and a fresh fabric selection that create tranquil spaces. Frameless glass balustrades are used to the stairwell to increase the sense of openness and transparency in the stairwell.
Photos: Courtesy of SAOTA
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