The Cube House project is an old Victorian home that has been re-imagined by John Maniscalco Architecture for a family of four, located in San Francisco, California. This dilapidated 1895 Victorian with a historically protected facade, abnormally long building footprint, and zero lot-line configuration was transformed into a light-filled home. The introduction of a two-story atrium (which is open to the sky) brings the exterior into the very center of the urban dwelling becoming the spatial organizing gesture, allowing all areas of the house to partake of the light, air, and landscape (both earth and sky) that this protected garden provides.
Utilizing both the transparent and reflective qualities, the glass cube acts to both define each distinct space and extend it. The Jarrah stair, which is framed by the cube, cantilevers from the wall, adding to the transparency and lightness. A wall of Sapele cabinets transforms to respond to the changing requirements of each space, while maintaining the scale of the larger space.
The house maintains an appropriately formal programmatic element – a library – in the room behind the preserved facade. The dining room and living room flank the garden, which a large kitchen opens on two sides to the rear garden and views to the north. Above, the cube is surrounded by two bedrooms and a master bedroom suite with a large rear deck.
The lower level features a media room/guest suite, exercise room, laundry, and a three-car garage.
The solution maintains and restores the historic facade, while adding an additional floor, set back from the street, which utilizes an abstraction of the cornice and fenestration patterns of the existing house.
Photos: Courtesy of John Maniscalco Architecture
This rural mid-century modern home was originally built by local architect James Cowan in 1957 for the Devney family, located in the Craig Hill neighborhood of Ellensburg, Washington. The home is a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian style, with its L-shaped plan, native materials, flat roof, clerestory windows, and large cantilevered overhang for passive solar heating and cooling. The homeowner is an architect and furniture maker, who hand-made most of the plywood furniture seen throughout the home. Although the previous owners had renovated the home in 2006, most of the home’s original character remains untouched. The homeowner’s were fortunate enough to obtain a complete set of the original construction drawings of the house, and they plan to honor and reflect Cowan’s design. The home is comprised of 3,200 square feet of living space with five bedrooms and three bathrooms.
The L-shaped house mixes wood, glass and cement. A large wall of glass lets light flood into the living room and connects the space to the outdoors, but a wood-screened courtyard in front prevents it from feeling exposed to the street.
The homeowners created their own version of a screen door — a 3/4-inch board of fir plywood painted and dotted with circular cutouts.
This entry console made of plywood and cherry, with cutout slots was designed by the homeowner to make sorting incoming mail easy. The slate flooring is original to the home.
Most of the materials transfer between the indoors and out. A bed of river rock inside near the entryway continues outside, as does the concrete masonry unit wall.
The homeowner also built the long, low-slung console, coffee table and armchair in this living room.
The bamboo floors, installed by the home’s second owners, reflect the abundant light that pours through floor-to-ceiling windows. Small groupings of furniture anchored by no-frills carpets in dark browns and gray keep the attention on the home’s lines and the play of light and shadow.
An original teak and glass light fixture hangs over a table and bench that Scott built. The low-slung round table and console are both vintage.
One of many original pocket doors in the home connects the dining room to the kitchen, which retains its original layout and birch cabinets. The previous homeowners had installed new flooring, a tile backsplash and updated appliances.
From the homeowner: Where the dog bed is now, there used to be a swing-out desk that you could place up against the [picture] wall, to work at. I’d like to rebuild that one of these days..
The kitchen connects to a family room, creating an open concept that’s common today, “but when this home was designed, this was forward thinking,” states the homeowner. The original fireplace wasn’t drafting correctly, so the homeowners installed a woodstove in its place.
Sliding doors off the family room hide a large storage and utility room with floor-to-ceiling shelves. The homeowner built the sawhorse table, coffee table and couch; the latter converts into a guest bed.
When the Faulkners, shown here, entered the home for the first time after purchasing it, Scott presented Emily with a midcentury style clock that now hangs on the clear, vertical-grain Douglas fir paneling in the living room.
Clerestory windows are the hallmark of the upstairs rooms. In this home office, a Murphy bed that folds down to reveal a full headboard and shelves.
When the Murphy bed folds up, there is plenty of space to work in this home office.
Lined with sliding doors, the hallway has ample storage made even more functional through another creative original element: slide-out shelves.
Though another bedroom has larger windows, the homeowner’s made this their main bedroom because they love the way light pours in through the clerestory windows. The platform bed was built with underbed storage.
One of the couple’s greatest challenges was expanding storage in the carport for their motorcycles while still staying true to the home’s design. The couple increased a storage area by 6 feet, built doors to match the home’s front “screen” door and repurposed the home’s siding to create a wall.
Photos: Kimberley Bryan
Hudson Loft is a historic preservation project of a former American Express warehouse building, which has been designed by Schappacher White Architecture in TriBeCa, New York. The architects combined two spaces into a 3,000 square foot residential loft. The design evolved from the local warehouse history, materials, and forms of the existing spaces. Materials were selected that have age or been aged. Materials such as: chemically aged steel wall panels, zinc, new steel baseboards to reflect existing metal capitals, custom metal lighting at vaulted ceilings, wired glass at bath door/partition, and stained fumed oak. The kitchen incorporates custom center pivot windows that open to a pantry located behind the length of the kitchen.
The wall treatment seen here in the family room is what the architects call “liquid metal wall” since it looks fluid and changes in appearance as the light in the room shifts. SchappacherWhite custom designed the treatment and had it fabricated for this application. It is made of hot rolled steel sheets, cut to size and to follow the vaults at the ceiling. The steel was chemically “aged” and then a sealer applied. Our metal fabrictor made this wall, zinc shelves and counters, custom designed lighting, and bases for the columns to match the cast iron capitols.
The sofa is from B&B Italia, the light fixture at the left is by Arteriors, the wall mounted is Olampia.
This project has an exhaust hood behind the cabinet doors. It is a gas cooktop, so the owners open the doors for access to the hood when using the cooktop depending on the setting of the flame. The light fixture over the kitchen island was custom designed for this loft by SchappacherWhite.
The dining table is from Restoration Hardware. The light fixture over the island is custom designed by SchappacherWhite for this project. The fixture over the dining table is through Urban Electric.
The wire shelving in this kitchen pantry area is from Metro Shelving. The pantry is 4′ wide x 17′ long. The width will depend on what shelving depth is required. The windows at the left are at the kichen’s backsplash, so pantry items can be passed through directly to the kitchen counter. The lundry basket is by Restoration Hardware.
The striking portrait on the wall of a girl and her dog is a 6′-0″ wide painting by artist Bill Sullivan.
The desk, shelves and rods were custom designed by SchappacherWhite for this specific project. The shelves and desk surface are zinc, the rod is steel. The built-in shelves are + – 30″‘ wide. Desk is the same width, but extends over the radiator another 6″.
The floors are fumed oak. The pocket door into the master bedroom is black metal framed fibergalsss panels.
Radiator covers have a Corian top and laquer painted doors/covers.
The custom shower enclosure by SchappacherWhite, fabricated by Gunnar Design.
Photos: Jason Lindberg
Zero Energy House, designed by Levy Art & Architecture, is the first home in San Francisco, California that is completely self-powering and carbon neutral. The architecture has been developed in conjunction with the mechanical systems and landscape design, each influencing the other to arrive at an integrated solution. Working from the historic facade, the design preserves the traditional formal parlors transitioning to an open plan at the central stairwell, helping to define the distinction between eras. The new floor plates act as passive solar collectors and radiant tubing redistributes collected warmth to the original, North facing portions of the house. Careful consideration has been given to the envelope design of Zero Energy House in order to reduce the overall space conditioning needs, retrofitting the old and maximizing insulation in the new.
The Bar piece is produced by SieMatic cabinets, it is walnut. The cabinets are a wood textured laminate, also by SieMatic. The stair is open to above and takes up an area about 6′-6″ x 10′-0″. the floor to floor height is 10′-6″.
Central skylights above staircase.
View from master bedroom.
Exterior stair back yard to first level.
Solar powered hybrid electric heat pump.
Greenwich Village Townhouse is a landmark Greek Revival townhouse from the 1840’s that has been designed by Axis Mundi, situated on a charming street in New York’s Greenwich Village. The four floor building (plus sub-basement) was gutted to the original brick building envelope. All new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were installed, and the garden was redesigned. Axis Mundi was responsible for the complete architectural, interior design and decorating of this home.
The goal of the project was to respect the charms and scale of the original historical style without mimicking period details, and create a suitably modern context for the owner’s collection of artwork by Warhol, Haring and Basquiat. While restrained, the interior resolves certain contextual issues related to the site, yet is decidedly modernist in its attention to details.
A sculptural bronze and mirrored screen was designed by Axis Mundi to create an entrance foyer, using cast glass that was salvaged from Gio Ponti’s Alitalia showroom on Fifth Avenue. A chandelier was created with glass from the same project, all superbly fabricated by Urban Archeology.
Various surrealist touches, such as a painting by Matta, and furniture by Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi, add a touch of humor to a formally rigorous design scheme.
Most of the details were custom designed, from the marble mosaics in the bathrooms, to the millwork and Prouve-inspired shutters on the kitchen floor.
A custom bronze staircase, anodized aluminum metalwork, and overall spatial concerns relate to a contemporary sense of materiality.
Photos: Adriana Bufi, Andrew Garn, and Annie Schlecter
This striking farmhouse renovation project was designed for the 2012 Southern Living Idea House by Historical Concepts, located in the tiny town of Senoia, Georgia. The project was Southern Living Magazines first ever historical renovation project. Over a period of seven months, a tired 19th century home located in this historic town south of Atlanta was transformed into a charming and up-to-date farmhouse. Multiple renovations had masked much of the historic character, so the restoration began by peeling back generations of changes to uncover the essence of the 1830s home. The design team then set out to salvage what remained of the home’s original materials, retaining heart pine floors and hand planed wall boards. Additions sympathetic to the style and massing provided room for porches, a laundry room, mud room, office and carriage house, accommodating modern living while staying true to the home’s architectural heritage and rural roots.
Photos: Laurey W. Glenn (Courtesy of Southern Living)
Crane Building Penthouse has been designed by Giulietti Schouten Architects, located within the urban core of Portland, Oregon, nestled atop the historic 1909 Crane Building, an old brick plumbing warehouse. This seventh floor 2,500 square foot penthouse has established views of the city, bridges and west hills but its historic status restricted any changes to the exterior or window and door locations. Further limitations included maintaining all existing plumbing locations and staying within the existing ceiling framing.
With their three kids leaving for college, this husband and wife wanted to shed their life of their large suburban house and start anew in the heart of the active Pearl District. Even though their current house was close to their high-pressure work in the High-Tech field they desired to distance themselves and create a sort of “urban refuge above the city”, a personal retreat where they both could entertain and work on occasion as well as provide a home for their grown-up children.
Key Plan Concepts:
Reclaimed Australian Chestnut flooring was chosen for its warmth, while Dark Sapele at the built-ins, entry and sliding gallery door provides a sharp contrast to the white stone counters. The clients requested the mudroom/pantry to be hidden yet accessible to reduce clutter and noise within the open living areas.
The design needed to create a functional open living/dining/kitchen and media area for both entertaining and working. The dining and kitchen area especially needed to be expandable for family gatherings and contracting for daily use. Recessed automated roller-shades screen the afternoon west light, and help maintain clean lines.
The various vaulted ceilings were retained to maximize daylight and wrapped in clear cedar to give warmth and further define the many unusual ceiling angles. A custom welded steel fireplace with an oil-rubbed finish was designed to be the visual anchor of the living room. The intent was to contrast it with the concrete walls while connecting it to the notion of exposed steel in the original building.
A custom sliding sapele screen at the entry provides immediate privacy for the bedrooms when entertaining yet also invites guests to “discover” the gallery on the other side where the original steel and concrete structure were left exposed.
Photos: David Papazian
Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
This farm house preservation is comprised of a traditional style historic home designed by Crisp Architects situated on a dirt road in the countryside of Massachusetts. The property had been uninhabited for several years. The clients came along at just the right time to resurrect this beautiful bit of history. By carefully preserving the antique portions of the home while renovating and adding to the newer sections, the architects were able to create a home that has a foot in several centuries. Best of all it still feels comfortable on that tiny dirt road. Have a look inside this cozy home with warm interiors and let us know what you think!
The gorgeous countertops in the kitchen are comprised of Costa Esmeralda Granite.
This stunning coffee table in the living room can be found at Restoration Hardware.
The wood flooring used throughout is a mushroom cypress wood with a natural finish.
Like the look of this bathroom? Here are some of the specs: Kensington Pivot Mirror, Extra Large Oval, Polished Nickel finish from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware Bistro Sconce, and Porcelain Hexagon White Penny Tile from the Home Depot.
Prior to Renovation
Photos: Rob Karosis
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