Kuruma House project is a modern remodel by Olson Kundig Architects of an existing house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Bringing light into the 2,230 square foot, three bedroom, three bathroom home and creating a stronger connection to the outdoors were important aspects of the renovation. In addition to extensive skylights, the rear of the house was transformed with the addition of a 10’x10’ custom designed jalousie window, and large sliding and pivoting windows and doors.
The interior of the home was updated to provide a comfortable space to live and work. A simple, dark material palette provides a unified backdrop for elements that carry significant personal connection for the client. Many of the home’s furnishings were custom designed, including a rolling office “kuruma”—a modern interpretation of a traditional wheeled storage chest.
This tiny Hollywood home is the residence of Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser who purchased his slice of Tinseltown in 2003, but it wasn’t till 2010 that he contracted designer Funn Roberts to renovate the space. The 580 square foot space was carved into several small rooms, something that the actor had endured for a long time before commencing a partnership with the designer and builder. The design process literally started at the front door, an old wooden door that the designer said must go. They replaced it with a steel and glass one, which ended up setting the aesthetic tone for the rest of the renovation. The two planned smart, space-saving ideas and clever ways to devise them, in what the actor calls a “Japanese-industrial” style. The space was completely opened up into one large room. One intriguing design move was to design a shower for the middle of the living room, which was inspired by the 2008 film Synecdoche, New York.
The bathroom and closets were arranged along one wall and then hidden behind custom Japanese-inspired fiberglass-and-steel sliding screens that glow when illuminated from behind. Custom light boxes along the top of the wall burn gently as well. The home’s most clever design contraption was the bed that descends from the ceiling for sleeping and then rises again to give the actor extra living space when he is moving around. The pulley system that controls the hanging bed needed some serious hardware, including a 300-pound steel counterweight that’s hidden in a corner of the closet. For the headboard, the designer fastened a huge slab of redwood to the wall but put it on hinges so that, when the bed is raised, the piece of wood can flip down to double as a desk.
The designer worked with Kartheiser’s existing appliances in the kitchen, trading the old cabinetry for new teak.
When not in use as the headboard, the large redwood slab folds down to become a desk.
The bed was designed to hang from the ceiling and can be hoisted up and pulled down as needed.
The bed is counterbalanced by a 300-pound weight.
For extra privacy, a thick red theater curtain on a ceiling track; the curtain emerges out of an adjacent closet to completely cordon off his bedroom space.
Custom shoji-inspired screens of Roberts’s design conceal the closet and extend to provide privacy for the adjacent shower and soaking tub. The sink in the bathroom is made from a boulder taken from the property of one of Roberts’s pals.
Roberts found the Montauk black slate, which he continued in a second bath.
Kartheiser’s private courtyard includes a covered seating area and fire pit, designed by Roberts. Pulling the top off a seeming coffee table reveals that it’s actually a fireplace
Kartheiser’s courtyard also includes a dry sauna with a ceiling made from 2,500 pieces of wood.
The area includes a Wally planter from Woolly Pocket near the custom steel-and-glass doors.
Westlake Homestead is a contemporary remodel and addition to an existing treetop home that has been designed by Michael Hsu Office Of Architecture in west Austin, Texas. The existing Fred-Day treetop home was modified to create a gourmet kitchen, an enlarged master closet, a laundry room, powder room, and a bridge to the addition. Other updates to the original house included an upgraded geothermal air-conditioning system, updates to make the envelope more energy efficient and expanding the front deck to accommodate dining. The addition, an elegant ‘shotgun’ style form, contains bedrooms, an exercise room, family room, garage and an herb garden. Using materials of glass, metal and concrete, the addition was placed at the back of the sloping lot so that it would not impede upon the unobstructed views to downtown and hill country beyond.
Photos: Ryan Farnau
Soldati House was designed by architect Victor Vasilev as a specific request by the customer to create a functional and contemporary environment in a house built in the 90s in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy. The house three story dwelling had to accommodate the life of a family of four, without sacrificing the convenience offered by the world today. The idea comes from a clear choice: to create a space in which to unite under the leadership of geometry, material, light and functions, taking care of every detail, so that the final result is characterized by a visual unity.
Here is a description of the project from the architects: The house was built in the 1990ies, without design ambitions. The owners wanted the interior to look ‘Milanese’, i.e. ‘ultramodern’. I decided on a complete overhaul, appreciating the space potential – 4,704 square feet (530 square meters) on three floors. This is not a weekend retreat but a family house and the aim was to create a contemporary domestic environment functional in every aspect.
Travertine marble and Indonesian teak were chosen for the material palette. The design is based on the composition of simple square volumes. The custom-made furniture is integrated in the architecture of the house. A few ‘classical’ design pieces enrich the interior.
The final result is achieved by the interplay of space, materials, custom-made furniture and indirect lighting. It gives out the warm, white glow, which softens the interior.
The living area is focused on the ground floor. The rooms of the living, dining and kitchen flow into one another seamlessly.
The master bedroom, the children’s bedrooms and a guest bedroom are on the first floor. The low bench in the master bedroom serves as a visual link with the bathroom, thus avoiding distinctly divided spaces. The black washbasin is designed to hide the mixer taps.
The family wanted a spa area, so the basement is devoted to relaxation. Here you will find the area audio & video and wellness space. A sauna, a big bathtub for four and a massage area were constructed in the basement. A home cinema room with a folding screen was added.
Clients often live in fear of being ‘ forced ‘ to give up their way of life to be able to get into the ‘ temple of domestic architecture ‘. I believe that the success of the project lies in the fact that we have found functional and aesthetic solutions to all the needs that may last over time.
Photos: Adriano Pecchio Photography
Housing Reform in Eixample is the rehabilitation of a flat by architecture firms LOOX and DS Architects, in a heritage listed building in 1908 by Domènech and Estapà at the heart of Barcelona’s “Golden Square” in the Eixample quarter. The approach to the project has been to intervene as little as possible in its original layout, preserving the materials and finishes and repairing the ornaments and woodwork.
This way, the focus is on the existing elements that coexist with a contemporary style. The program developed consists of three bedrooms, a study, living room (lounge), kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms.
Domenech and Estapà´s original project corresponds to a household income between dividing walls of the ground floor and five floors height. The configuration of the lot, deeper below the household´s depth building area, almost disables the interior façade which doesn´t reach the courtyard. Resources providing lighting and ventilation to interior rooms are the remnants of the building´s volume practiced plan fund and dividing walls to the right with an open courtyard format; the central courtyard linked to the neighbor´s scale and another patio adjoining the dividing wall to the left, shared with the neighboring building.
Despite the main facade and common areas retain the original language, as it is common in this era´s buildings in the Eixample, each housing has been remodeled and / or split one or more times, and nowadays their condition and configuration are very heterogeneous.
The rehabilitated property which had been long time unoccupied still included the distribution and original finishes. The intervention suggests an update in terms of functionality, performance and comfort, but the main criteria precisely was intervening the least over distribution, keeping as far as possible all materials and finishes that have been preserved, and repair decorative elements and original woodwork.
The project has also addressed the repair operations and consolidation of the structure, crack´s stitching, protection of metallic elements, establishing criteria and procedures that should serve as a guideline for the structural consolidation of the building as a whole.
The false ceilings have been preserved and restored with their moldings and ornaments, interior and exterior woodwork, engraved glass and in much of the property, the original Nolla flooring mosaic. The kitchen, however, that had been already manipulated and didn’t preserve the original settings, has been resolved with current criteria and materials.
All three bedrooms and study as well as the living room (lounge), dining room and main bathroom are resolved in the current premises without altering them in any way. As in the original housing, departments facing Valencia´s Street facade which have better ventilation and lighting conditions are preferred, thus locating the master bedroom, living room (lounge) and study in it, whilst the whole kitchen-dining room occupy the interior premises.
Therefore, the adjustments´ distribution proposed by the project are just the extension of the kitchen, which will remain occupying its present position but incorporating the adjoining room facing the back facade, and the transformation of three very small pieces which accommodate two adjacent toilets and a pantry in a sole dependency which will become the house´s second bathroom.
Neither, the current hall distribution around the stairwell is altered in any way, which with the proposed reform program will become a continuous ring.
Photos: Adrià Goula
This incredible modern home renovation that has been designed by Mark Brand Architecture is surrounded by the beauty of lush vegetation in Portola Valley, California. The scope of the project was to rejuvenate an old 1980′s modernist house clad in deteriorating vertical wood siding. The house included a greenhouse style sunroom which got so unbearably hot as to be unusable. The floor plan was opened up and the sunroom was completely demolished, replacing it with a new dining room open to the remodeled living room and kitchen.
They added a new office and deck above the new dining room and replaced all of the exterior windows, mostly with over-sized sliding aluminum doors by Fleetwood to open the house up to the wooded hillside setting. Stainless steel railings protect the inhabitants where the sliding doors open more than 50 feet above the ground below. The wood siding was replaced with stucco in varying tones of gray, white and black, creating new exterior lines, massing and proportions. They also created a new master suite upstairs and remodeled the existing powder room.
Photos: Christopher Stark Photography
Mod Redux is a stunning 2,400 square foot contemporary home renovation that has been designed by Capoferro Design Build Group and is situated in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. The reinvention of this 1970s home demonstrates what can be accomplished through a well-designed renovation. Inspiration for this project was drawn from a range of mid-century modern to current design trends. In every detail, materials were used in their natural beauty to complete the design. This design incorporates a careful use of wood, concrete, natural stone and glass walls, which blend to express warmth in a modern space. The trims, ceilings, stairs, fireplace, kitchen, bath, and bath wall were intuitively sculpted on site; they are not just components of the house, but are expressions of a methodology of making.
The main fireplace hearth is made from polished formed concrete, and the mantel is a wall panel of polished concrete strips. The ceiling panels are made from African acacia hardwood. The staircase is a sculptural piece which fills the foyer and is the focal point as your enter the home. It is made from curved walnut and is capped with over 500 individually cut elements to create a seamless look. The full glass window wall in the family room/dining area open this space up to nature, creating a sense of calm and beauty.
In the end, the success of a project can be measured by how close you meet your client’s expectations…and in their words, “We have realized our dream, thank-you.” To that we say, “You are welcome, enjoy your new home.”
Photos: Courtesy of Capoferro Design Build Group
This unique basement transformation into a home pub with a wine cellar was designed by Crisp Architects in New York City, New York. Here is a description of the renovation project from the architects, “Seldom have we been asked to collaborate with a client who has had such a fully realized vision of the final outcome as this basement pub. I believe he could see himself drinking a pint of stout with friends, throwing darts and playing pool in this space before we measured the existing conditions. We had a great time helping make our client’s vision a reality, working on the details, and throwing in our two cents worth.”
Bench and Fireplace
Bar With Stained Glass Window
Detail of Wood and Sconce
Entry to the Pub With Pool Table. The dark color you are seeing here is from Benjamin Moore called Bittersweet Chocolate in high gloss. The floor was the same color, but in matte. The color for the upper half of the wall is Benjamin Moore White Dove. The light over top of the pool table has been custom designed by the pool table company called Blatt Billiards out of Manhattan.
Entry to Wine Cellar With Table. The stone on the wall is an artificial stone veneer called Owens Corning Cultured Stone. The floor boards are comprised oak, the process a thick vapor barrier, rigid insulation, oak furring strips glue and screws.
Benches and Tables With View to Bar. The ceiling light fixtures are from Restoration Hardware.
Photos: Rob Karosis Photographer
Gardens Cape Town house is a contemporary renovation and addition by Grobler Architects of a semi-detached Victorian cottage in the Gardens area in Cape Town, South Africa. Renovations to the cottage included conversion into a home office with guest suite. Period features and finishes were reinstated with new external timber doors, sash windows and shutters as well as new services, joinery and external landscaping.
An existing 1970’s extension to the rear of the property was then demolished with a new 3-storey 2,045 square foot (190 square meters) contemporary addition to the existing cottage. Accommodation included a basement double garage and an open-plan ground floor with kitchen, dining and living areas leading onto a terrace with koi pond and indigenous planting. The master bedroom was located on the first floor with planted terrace, dressing room and master bathroom with private courtyard.
Finishes included white marble and black granite surfaces to the kitchen and bathroom, white duco sprayed joinery, porcelain floor tiles and white epoxy floor finish to the first floor.
Photos: Clinton Grobler
Axis Mundi was in charge of a complete gut renovation of a small one-bedroom light filled duplex in the Meat-Packing district, New York. One of the outstanding features of the 675 square foot space is the dramatic arched window which fills the space with light. The space was reconfigured, a new kitchen and powder room was designed, new zebrano plank flooring was installed on both levels. The architects designed a custom folded and cantilevered steel staircase which leads to the upper level. A sandblasted glass railing preserves privacy yet allows light to filter into the upper bedroom level. On the upper level the entire facade of the master bathroom is sandblasted glass.
Photos: Mikiko Kikuyama