LA House is a modern single family residence just recently designed by Elías Rizo Arquitectos in collaboration with interior designer Kárima Dipp, located in Mexico. Breaking with the norm established by all the houses in the vicinity, the residence recedes a considerable distance from the setback line, to yield a large open space below the tree canopies, a stark welcome gesture.
The main entry into the complex proceeds to an open passageway that runs along a rough-hewn stone wall and postpones the access into the house an additional number of meters. A glazed box containing a studio protrudes from the building. It hovers above a large pond that can be crossed via a series of stone pavers that rise above the water and lead directly into the public areas of the house. The garage, concealed on the other side of the stone wall, compels cars to park sideways so as to render them invisible from any space in the house.
The entry sequence into the building presents a series of layers, starting with the garden space beyond the setback lines, following through the open corridor past the pond, and crossing through the central courtyard all the way to the living spaces at the back of the main building.
A central courtyard scheme was implemented to introduce natural ventilation into every space of the house without compromising privacy. The corridors around the courtyard on the ground floor are defined by a series of operable windows that allow the kitchen and living spaces to bleed out into the exterior, when the weather allows it.
Expanding on the theme of permeability that dominates the ground floor, similar solutions were implemented throughout the living quarters on the second level, to allow for the private, open spaces. Such is the case with the small, glazed atrium that ventilates the master bathroom and the deeply recessed balconies that yield generous exterior areas to all bedrooms.
Dark gray steel, glass, wood, concrete and stone compose the greater part of the material palette throughout the house, wich is complemented by accents in leather and stainless steel. The master bathroom receives a special treatment as it is covered almost in its entirety with white marble.
Crossing the lawn, beyond the living spaces on the ground floor, a pool and a concrete volume containing an entertainment room overlook a small ravine outside of the property. Below this volume a staggered pathway descends gently to negotiate the changes in topography on a pronounced cliff, leading down to a lower landscape area.
Photos: Marcos García
Blue Ridge Residence is a striking steel and glass home designed by New York City-based studio Voorsanger Architects, located on a 200-acre farm in Charlottesville, Albermarle County, Virginia. read more
Chelsea townhouse is a three story contemporary renovation with a garden extension completed in 2011 by architecture studio Archi-Tectonics, located in Chelsea, New York. The existing 3,400 square foot brownstone townhouse is a New York landmark. The existing structure was gut-renovated and a 550 square foot garden extension was added to two floors and a roof terrace. The client, a fashion designer, was interested in a ‘textured’ and layered approach.
The new rear extension is conceived as a light airy space which creates a filter to the garden space beyond, adding more light and better views. The new garden facade is a 3d folded steel and glass structure with reclaimed tropical palisander infill. It extends the library on the garden level, the living room on the parlor floor and creates a terrace for the master bedroom area above.
The interior of the townhouse is gut-renovated; the top floor is raised, the garden floor is lowered and a completely new wood and glass staircase with a skylight is inserted, lighting the stair space all the way down. Large sets of sliding doors at the living/ entry and bedroom/bathroom areas are creating flexible use of space; these doors are 3d CNC milled with wood and glass patterns.
Photos: Richard Powers
Casa Sierra Leona showcases a daring modern design where steel, concrete and glass take center stage, designed by architect José Juan Rivera Río, located in the residential area of Sierra Leona, on the outskirts of Mexico City, in Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico
Apparent simplicity and exquisite details, this house is resolved with flat roofs between a courtyard and a garden in which ambiguously intersect interior and exterior facings which stand out clearly the constructive system based on concrete, glass and steel.
This residence was built with the characteristic style of architecture from the years 60´s inspired by modernism. The program includes two levels on the access platform and a basement which is accessed from the bottom of the street, this leading to the parking lot.
Quality materials, clear colors and fleeting reflections on glass are at the service of comfort and design, to gardening camouflages the borders and builds a landscape and atmosphere of privacy.
Photos: Nasser Malek Hernández
Trahan Ranch is a stunning residential modern compound designed by Patrick Tighe Architecture, situated in the heart of hill country in Austin, Texas. The 3200 square foot residence is on a fourteen acre sloped site with native oaks, natural springs and unobstructed views. The layout of the house is a direct response to the site conditions.
The plan is organized to integrate and enhance the many features of the landscape. A panoramic view that spans 260 degrees is experienced as well as other more site specific orientations. The front of the house is made of heavy materials that rise from the earth. The building is nestled into the brow of the hill and have an unassuming appearance when seen from a distance.
The heavy, solid, grounded front is in sharp contrast to the more ephemeral back. At the down slope side of the house, the structure becomes lighter and opens to the landscape. Steel pipe columns splay at unsuspecting angles dancing along the rugged landscape.
The architecture explores a series of counterpoints including heavy and light, front and back, open and closed and contemporary and vernacular. The grounded front is composed of heavy materials rising from the earth in sharp contrast to the more ephemeral back. The structure rises and becomes lighter at the down-slope side of the house as it opens to the landscape. The main house is a contemporary interpretation of Texas Hill Country post-and-beam construction that exploits regional materials and the expertise of local trades-people. The spaces of the main house flow from one to the other without doors while the guest room appendage is a more traditional layout.
The environmentally mindful design includes a hydronically-heated concrete slab on grade. The concrete foundation and walls provide high thermal mass. Large overhangs and covered walkways offer protection from the sun and cross- ventilation is used. Natural materials are used throughout including concrete, steel, stone and metals.
Texas Hill Country limestone was chosen from the site to create the over-sized Rumford fireplace that is central to the living space. An arbor connects building components and functions as an armature for solar photovoltaic panels that provide power for the property. The landscape consists of regional drought- tolerant plants that are native to the area and the local ecosystem.
The steel frame structure is a kit of parts prefabricated in a shop and erected on-site. The steel pieces attach to a series of exposed board-formed reinforced concrete pylons that are a vertical extension of the foundation.
Photos: Art Gray Photography
Prospect House is a result of celebrating a stunning Seattle panorama while accommodating a modest budget and a family with two young children, designed by Janof Architecture. The 5,663 square foot house honors the owner’s desire for a domestic refuge while maximizing the experience of its location.
We began with the domestic, and planted two gabled, bearing-wall “houses” deep into the hillside. These contain rooms requiring enclosure, and they give the house the conventional street facade that the neighborhood deserves. The steel-framed “glass box” occupies the view facade and sews the houses together. These simple parts, simply combined, create complex social and spatial relationships within the house.
The budget required basic construction using off-the-shelf parts. Rigorous but un-precious detailing followed. The greatest technical effort went into the design of the two-story window wall: residential wood windows assembled as a true curtain wall. The 19-foot-high dining room was designed for extraordinary nighttime views of the city.
The kitchen is a warm and functional space that utilizes custom walnut cabinetry, stainless steel, and extra-thick calacatta marble.
The breakfast area adjacent to the kitchen has an eclectic feel and commanding views of the city. The mural was created by the owners specifically for the space.
The delightful powder room of this house gets its charm from custom wallpaper designed by the owners.
The master bedroom has a top-of-the-world view that is made cozy by the inclusion of a fireplace and subtly concealed lighting.
The elegant master bath features callacatta carrera marble and polished nickel fittings.
The home office has a spectacular view; light is further introduced by the small dormer window above the desk.
The energy efficiency of the house was designed around the passive use of its southern orientation, with high-performance glass, cross-ventilating windows, and precisely calculated overhangs making air conditioning unnecessary this summer. The winter sun will bring warmth deep into the house, and the industrial-size fan above the dining room is designed to slowly move air throughout the house.
Sustainability was a constant topic. While the house meets Energy Star rating, much thought went into what sustainability really means. There is no bravura use of natural resources. Structural elements are sized at their calculated minimums. Precious materials were used sparingly, often where they would be touched by the user, and salvaged material was valued for its patina.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
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
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