This hilltop residence called ‘Leicester House’ is located at the edge of a wooded knoll in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with expansive southern and western views. Approaching through dense woods, one arrives at a striking single story facade of corten steel in a wood frame, designed by studio SPG Architects. A hint of the views is provided through the glass door, but it is not until entry that the full impact of the hilltop views can be experienced. The rear glass walls, facing West and South, open to rolling farmland below and the mountains beyond.
The entry level serves as the primary living area, with a guest wing carved into the hilltop on a level below. Functionality and energy efficiency are achieved both by this programmatic zoning as well as the careful choice of materials, fixtures, fittings, and energy. The ‘greening’ of the house complements its visual warmth, grounding the modern structure’s rural landscape.
Photos: Daniel Levin
Villa Wienberg is an addition to an existing tree house in Højbjerg, a coastal suburb of Aarhus in Denmark, designed by Wienberg Architects. There are only a few traces remaining of the old house, which is in harmony with the new addition. The coverage of the house was planned according to the potentials that were on the ground floor, which is now partly in two floors, with an open plan design. The location of the facades and windows has been planned in relation to the old trees on the property. The 936 square foot (87 square meters) minimalist home is bathed in natural light. The exterior is clad with vertical panels of wood in a black color with square window with lots of varying sizes. There is a good material consistency of the house, the old part is kept entirely in a white interior, and broken by the internal atrium covered with black wood. In the new part is the kitchen also kept in a radiant white along with steel and concrete, which creates a good contrast to design on the walls, staircase and loft.
The salon and the study are warm shelters where the uniformity of materials provides a visual peace that invites you to enjoy the views to the garden.
Photos: Courtesy of Weinberg Architects
House Ber, the latest masterpiece by Nico van der Meulen Architects and M Square Lifestyle Design is an indication of what happens when granite, steel, light and water come together. Situated in Midrand, South Africa, the residence presents itself as a sequence of irregular steel bars randomly placed creating patterned facades which initially were conceived to represent security but now have become the very feature which distinguishes this house from its surrounding.
The house simply rectangular in form is structured around the living room as the center of this home. Unimposing and nearly invisible, the frameless glass doors seamlessly separate the interior from the exterior. Thresholds’ being kept to a minimum leaves one wondering whether you have just stepped inside or outside.
Stairs disguised as Granite slabs punched with steel inserts, one cannot help but glide down the entrance hall into the living spaces. M Square Lifestyle Design’s final product presents black steel inlays that are seen throughout the house in various forms. Ensuring that each room captured a feeling of transparency, M Square Lifestyle Design demonstrated their ability to work with materials in their purest forms, making use of natural products like marble floors and Caesarstone kitchen counter tops. The illuminated ceilings highlight the contrasts between different textures and forms, leaving you in a state of anticipation as you move through this house. In keeping with the theme of randomly placed steel bars, the interior designers conceptualized a line drawn across the house linking all elements and spaces together. In doing so, they managed to create a feeling of connection that can be felt throughout the house.
M Square Lifestyle Necessities provided the final touch in furnishing this house with European furniture pieces and lighting to compliment the design, while Regardt van der Meulen’s sculpture livens up the space in its tri-dimensionality.
Photos: Barend Roberts, David Ross, Victoria Pilcher
Algarrobos House has been designed by architects José María Sáez, Daniel Moreno Flores in Puembo, Ecuador. The home is comprised of eight identical steel members, 18 meters long, placed along the x y z axis, confining the space for the house and at the same time opening it in different directions. They are abstract beams that are oriented looking for their relationship with the surroundings.
This structure grants a necessary inter-mediation between landscape and individual: in its long dimension it generates the large cantilevers towards the ravine or the masts that mark the presence of the house, in its short dimension two beams are equivalent to one usable height.
Supported by the steel structure, a subsystem of wooden members completes the spatial definition, diluting by repetition and consistency its condition of enclosure. Sequences of equal beams allow the floors and roofs to be sustained or suspended.
Glass planes protect the wood and complete the enclosure system. These planes, in many cases movable, reinforce the relationship with the exterior, be it by transparency or by reflection. The use of reflecting pools on the metal roofs insists on the strategy of mirroring the surroundings, diluting in part the presence of the architecture.
The connection of the user with the place is what generates the project, seeking to intensify the user’s connection with reality (place, material, activity) through a basic formal and construction system that at the same time reveals the origin of the architect’s thought process.
Environment, function and user are the starting points that drive the design. Form and construction work out a concrete solution. When formal and material decisions in the design process become interrelated operations, a specific solution is obtained which is at the same time coherent and viable, abstract and real. More than an object, a system is generated that is determined by a limited number of elements and rules of conjunction. By decanting elements through simplification and systematization and simultaneously enhancing their ability to generate relationships, a universal architecture is sought, one that intensifies the architect’s relationship with a starting point in reality.
Photos: Sebastian Crespo, Raed Gindeya Muñoz, Courtesy of Jose Maria Saez & Daniel Moreno
This fascinating dwelling features a unique design that places the property directly into and around several hills on an exposed and desolate site, situated in Luque, Paraguay and designed by architecture studio Bauen. The arched roof, which mimics the shape of the top of a hill, blends beautifully into the landscape. The expansive windows emit plenty of natural light into the interiors with high ceilings and an open concept design creates an impressive interior. The two buildings are comprised of a total of 6,458 square feet (600 square meters) of living space. There is also an outdoor pool and large driveway beside one of the buildings. Via
This stunning apartment situated in Mexico City, Mexico reflects the unique personality of its owners: modernity, consciousness on environment, love for design and contemporary art. The 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) two-floor apartment was designed by RIMA Arquitectura Studio, with the primary focus of natural and artificial lighting having an important role throughout the interior. Due to a double height at the staircase and a panoramic glass facade, daylight illuminates the whole interior, saving energy during the day, while at night the lightning design creates a pleasant atmosphere.
The master bedroom retreat, the child’s bedroom and a studio are on the second level. Steel, epoxy floor and visible structures balance with warm colors and wood in this space, where distribution offers a sense of wideness and a creative design, fundamentally considering the furniture chosen, some of it made from recycled wood, and the integration to the space of selected art works. The bookcase in the living room was designed to be very functional and its pure lines match with the environment. Since the home is situated at the west area of Mexico City, where the lack of green areas is noticeable, the architects compensated for this with a green balcony, an interior green wall and with the use of plants, both as ornaments as well as oxygen providers.
This steel-framed pavilion has been designed by GASS Architects, situated on the Westcliff Ridge within a wooded estate with stunning views of the Johannesburg, South Africa skyline. Westcliff Pavilion was constructed with a steel frame to take in the magnificent views from the cottage. It also created a minimal impact on the site, allowing the building to float above the ground plane, leaving most of the ridge intact. The steel frame also created an elegant, timeless aesthetic and allowed for the incorporation of sprung solid timber floors which blended seamlessly with the exterior solid decking.
The architect also wished to integrate a floating stone into the overall design of the residence. “Many of the houses on the Westcliff Ridge and surrounds are famous for their use of native stonework in their detailing, including works by architectural greats like Sir Herbert Baker. Georg was keen to continue in this tradition of using indigenous stone in the design, and so the as such, wanted to include a wall made from stone harvested on the site itself. However, he wanted to give this wall a twist, something that would differentiate it from all other walls in Westcliff,” state the architects. This stunning open plan living with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and floor to ceiling glass windows embraces the natural landscape and creates an amazing place to call home, what do you think?
Photos: Bernard Viljoen
This charismatic property spotted on Sotheby’s Realty is a true architectural masterpiece of glass, concrete and steel, confidently poised on a mountain top in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Soaring walls of glass create luminous interiors and artfully frame ocean and mountain vistas. Equipped for comfort and sanctuary this 7,100 square foot home with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms is perfect for entertaining. The home features open plan living and stunning suspended fireplaces, premium custom fitted indoor kitchen with Canadian walnut cabinets and black granite counters, gym, art gallery, den, wine cellar, elevator, outdoor kitchen, grand decks and patios with landscaped gardens, two private deluxe guest suites, nanny suite, serine master bedroom and an elegant spa bathroom.
This remarkable property is listed for sale at $2,950,000, from here.
The Vaucluse House is a luxurious four level property designed by architecture studio MPR Design Group in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The home is nestled on a small scale suburban street, with its primary living areas situated on the top floor to take full advantage of the fabulous 180 degree views of the city and harbour. According to the architects, “the concept for this 6,458 square foot (600 square meters) house was to reflect the topography and landform of the Sydney Harbour basin. The house is expressed as a series of horizontal layers – the sandstone clad base echoes the stone cliffs that hug the inlets of Sydney Harbour.”
“The upper stories of planar white rendered forms respond to the strong northern light found in the southern hemisphere. Between the cantilevered white planes, full height low-E glazing captures the dramatic harbour views whilst maintaining a thermally efficient internal environment. There was a conscious decision to contrast precise man made materials such as steel and glass with natural materials such as the locally hewn sandstone. With exposure to the north and west and the ability to open up completely to the outside, the house has effective cross ventilation negating the use of air conditioning.”
Photos: Brett Boardman
This gorgeous modern mountain home is set amongst the woods in Martis Camp, North Lake Tahoe, completed by design firm sagemodern. The home was designed with significant consideration of the natural setting to blend in with the gradual slope, forest and adjacent putting park. The 3,250 square foot home is used as a family retreat, with a large kitchen and great room for friends and family to gather after a day of skiing or hiking through the forest. The great room features a local quarried stone fireplace, radiant heated Brazilian slate floors, walnut cabinetry and a gourmet professional kitchen. The custom windows and doors framed by exposed timber and steel bring in the natural light to blend the indoor and outdoor living areas. The outdoor area features a spacious deck, a spa area protected by a large boulder outcropping, a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and an outdoor BBQ area. The home was designed for family and guests and has five bedrooms including two master suites, a junior master, a guest room and a bunk room.
All sagemodern homes are created using prefabricated modules in a quality controlled factory environment and then delivered virtually complete to your home site. Their architectural style is rooted in the modern vernacular.
There is no air conditioning in the home, instead there is a heat-recovery ventilation system (above) designed to draw in nighttime air to help keep the home cool.
Japanese kokeshi dolls.
Scandinavian Vedel bird toys.