Designed by Studio 27 Architecture, the House on Fire Island is a summer beach house in the resort community of the Pines on Fire Island, New York. The typology of the homes in the Pines is recognizable to anyone who has visited an East Coast Shoreline resort town. It is a builder-driven typology reflecting the pragmatism of the inhabitants of these coastal communities. Almost always the “good sense” pragmatism that allows these homes to be built affordably overtakes the inherent liveliness and natural spirit of the place and creates structures that are a bit dull.
This project inserts some of the “spirit of the shore” into this “Yankee thriftiness” residential typology. Common detail and material remain, but the volume of the 1,550 square foot house is expressed as a skin, rather than as a box-like container. The skin keeps the heat in. Over time, the skin of woven cedar boards will assume the same patina as neighboring houses. Large windows are introduced to reveal a luxurious light interior.
The organization of the plan creates a direct link between the occupation of the different spaces during the day and the sun’s path. Program adjacencies were carefully studied before identifying the swimming pool as the center of social interaction. Interior rooms and exterior spaces were arranged to track the path of the summer sun, connecting it to the rhythm of daily life: breakfast by the pool; cocktails and socializing on the front terrace; and evening dinners in the west light. Sleeping rooms form the backstage of the house.
Products in this project:
Bathroom Equipment: Kohler, Hansgrohe , Duravit, Vero
- Bathroom plumbing fittings by Kohler
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Axor by Hansgrohe
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Watertile by Kohler
- Starck 2 by Duravit
- Lavatory by Vero
Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: Caesarstone
- Countertops: Concrete by Caesarstone
Floor: Globe, Ann Sacks
- Stones 1 by Globe
- Luxor Gray by Ann Sacks
Heating and Ventilation: Gavin Scott
- Fireplace: Vision by Gavin Scott
- Entry doors by Andersen
- Windows by Andersen
Kitchen Equipment: General Electrics, Fisher & Paykel, Cascade Faucets
- Refrigerator: Monogram by General Electrics
- Oven: Monogram by General Electrics
- Dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel
- Range: Monogram by General Electrics
- Tower Tech by Cascade Faucets
Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Contrast, Meltemi, Wever Ducre, Delta, Artemide, Wandleuchte, Cirius
- Lighting fixtures by Contrast
- Lighting fixtures by Meltemi
- Lighting fixtures by Wever Ducre
- Lighting fixtures by Delta
- Lighting fixtures by Artemide
- Lighting fixtures by Wandleuchte
- Lighting fixtures by Cirius
Walls: Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Escape Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Photos: Judy Davis
This private house in the foothills of northern Italy was designed by Caprioglio Associati Architects for a couple who wished to trade a tiny apartment for a renovated farmhouse in the country. The couple wanted to move out of the city of Asolo to move to the country where they could start a family. They moved a short drive from Asolo to an area called Monfumo, or “silent hills.” After two years of searching and three real estate agents later, they found a crumbling and abandoned farmhouse with an overgrown vineyard, tucked away amidst the rolling hills. They were not able to raise the existing structure due to strict government protections of existing buildings. It would have been faster and cheaper to tear down the existing structure, yet the homeowners liked its character so much, they wanted to keep thinking their home would be the old structure.
After preserving the exterior facade, the interior was given a modern update. Because this was once a farmer’s house to store crops, the rooms were tiny and there were a lot of them. The homeowners wanted a luminous space to capture the beauty of the surrounding environment. They wanted their living areas to be at the very top to make the most of the light. The most defining element of the first floor is a massive central staircase and catwalk system composed of glass and steel. Due to the high volume of the structure, the team decided that the home would be comprised of four floors connected via an elevator accessed from an underground garage and wine cellar.
The homeowners wanted. The homeowner stated that
Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
Albizia House is a contemporary family home envisioned by Metropole Architects, nestled on a one acre site in Simbithi Eco Estate, South Africa. The client’s brief called for a home with an overriding sense of simplicity but with a high degree of sophistication.
The architectural style of the home is heavily influenced by the ‘Googie’ architecture of the American architect John Lautner. The origin of the name ‘Googie’ dates to 1949, when architect John Lautner designed the West Hollywood coffee shop, ‘Googies’, which had distinct architectural characteristics.
‘Googie’ architecture is a form of modern architecture and a subdivision of futurist architecture with stylistic conventions influenced by, and representing 50’s American society’s fascination and marketing emphasis on futuristic design, car culture, jets, the Space Age, and the Atomic Age.
‘Googie’ was also characterized by design forms symbolic of motion, including upswept roofs, curvaceous geometric shapes, and the bold use of glass, steel and neon, the spirit of which is embodied in Albizia House.
The extensive use of water in the design of the home includes a 25 meters lap pool with a glass panel between the water and the basement cinema room, and a shallow but expansive reflective pond on the approach side, which mirrors the building day and night, and evokes a sense of tranquility.
The palette of natural materials including timber screens, decking and cladding, off-shutter concrete and stone cladding juxtapose with the aggressive architectural form making, creating a home that is not only visually and spatially exciting, but also comfortable and intimate.
All the living areas and bedroom suites face onto a panoramic vista, which includes a dense forest down-slope from the house.
Photos: Grant Pitcher
AA House was designed by Parque Humano as a man-made pavilion for observing and living in close proximity to nature, situated in Mexico City, Mexico. The home is an exploration on the trace of a variety of formal and architectural lineages in the ongoing transformation of the modern dwelling that ranges from Neutra´s Kaufmann House to the Case Study Housing Program.
Organized around an open landscape, the result is an L-shaped plan one room wide, an intersection of the two axes radiating from the central living / dining space in which all rooms flank the swimming pool and face the view of the park.
Pushing the limits of interior space through the use of floor to ceiling glass openings, we sought to bring house and landscape into a higher unity. More than a composition on lines and planes, this residential design provides a framework for appreciating nature.
Through the use of a steel structure we created a greater feeling of lightness and openness. Through the use of overhangs we provided shade and reduced glare. Brick was a fundamental material in the house, brick provided insulation for extreme temperatures primarily from the intense summer heat. We created a special composition whereby walls organize space but do not bear weight.
The rectilinear composition is supported by the straightforward landscape designed by Pamela Burton. The pool, not only recreational asset, also intensifies the view from the interior through its constantly changing reflections of the sky and clouds.
Photos: Paul Rivera, ArchPhoto
This private family villa is an incredible completely transformed country house, the vision of Zanon Architetti Associati, situated in Treviso, Italy. The home experiences new life through the renovation of its interior and expansion of the living room designed in glass and Corten steel. The new volume reflects the natural landscape through wide windows and gives the impression of being outdoors as the living room becomes one with the countryside.
Surrounded by greenery and protected by a romantic curtain of ivy, the building has found new life in the interior renovation and expansion of the area, thanks to the juxtaposition of a structure in a contemporary style with large floor to ceiling windows. The home seems to blend with the surrounding environment, creating a sort of indoor garden that communicates with the interior.
The overall result is a family home of timeless elegance , the interior – spacious and airy – are furnished to a very sober with iconic objects like the Lounge Chair and Ottoman Eames produced by Vitra, the Marshmallow chair for Vitra for George Nelson and the Arco floor lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos. In addition to these are works of art that lends a strong personality to the rooms.
Photos: Paolo Belvedere
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
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
The Armada House is a modern post and beam home designed by Canadian firm KB Design, set among Garry Oaks on a rocky slope in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Set in the Ten Mile Point/Wedgewood Estates neighborhood, Armada is a perfect convergence of concrete, glass, steel and wood, built by Abstract Developments. In 2008 it garnered 10 Gold awards including Project of the Year and Best Custom Home in Canada. Its entry atrium’s grand but welcoming stairs and five-foot wide Douglas fir door establish a sense of volume and scale that defines the residence. Exposed glu-lam fir beams and plenty of windows compliment the open plan kitchen, living, dining space of this 5,299 square foot property. This facilitates a delicate balance between spaciousness for entertaining and intimacy for daily living.
Photos: Courtesy of Keith Baker | KB Design
The Deep Eddy Residence is a modern single family home designed by Baldridge Architects in an older neighborhood in west Austin, Texas. The owners, a couple, wished to create a modern refuge and to regain some of the privacy they had previously enjoyed prior to the construction of a looming residence immediately to the west and uphill from their home. In their words, they felt as if they lived in a fishbowl.
Built in the worst part of the “great recession”, the particulars of the design shifted and moved with the exigencies of the budget. The house features fully customized detailing and constitutes a truly green project featuring natural ventilation throughout, a sod roof, foam insulation, insulated 8″ walls throughout, low VOC paint, pine floors, etc. Moreover, we featured an adaptive and organic design process where subsequent design gestures were routinely questioned and tweaked, often using the spoils from earlier construction to achieve elegant and unexpected results.
The 2,500 square foot home provides an open and light environment for its owners, featuring dramatic views of downtown Austin, while addressing the concerns about privacy and drainage. Despite its stark modern lines, the home “fits” in the neighborhood in both context and scale. Most of the exterior is covered in Corten steel.
Kitchen counters made of hot rolled steel, a concrete floor and a stairway built from off-the-shelf lumber provided low-cost modernism.
What was going to be a stone wall in the screened porch is now economical white pine. The fireplace surround was made of steel left over when architects built the window frames.
A tree-house home office and studio.
Warm materials like a steel countertop balance the modern form of the building.
The architects installed clerestory windows and glass railings to maintain the airiness of the central double-height space. On the level below the TV area, screen doors open onto an “outdoor living room.”
Narrow windows maintain privacy on the side of the home facing a neighbor’s three-story house. On the other side, the facade is mostly glass.
Street-front of the Deep Eddy Residence, featuring its sod roof front yard.
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