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.
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Photos: Courtesy of Caprioglio Associati Architects and
King Residence is a modern resort-like home designed with concrete, glass and stone by MC2 Architects, located on a busy stretch of Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas. The 5,680 square foot home generously unites the clients’ wishes for a resort-like space with the amenities and comforts of a single family dwelling. The plan of the house follows the curve of the street with a bow and arrow formation.
One volume houses the private sleeping quarters; the other contains the living, dining and entertaining areas. The living area is bounded by water with a lily pond to the north and a koi pond on the west where a glass bridge takes visitors into the outdoor living space with a summer kitchen and lap pool.
The master bedroom/bathroom suite is bounded by gardens on both sides.
Photos: Courtesy of MC2 Architects
TB House is a single story private residence designed by Aguirre Arquitetura, located on a spacious site within the gated community of Condominio Fechado Vila do Sol, in Uberlandia, Brazil. The layout of this one-story 9,472 square foot (880 square meters) plan has resulted in a functional design with a harmonious distribution of the living areas, with the emphasis on privacy.
The private quarters, which consist of three suites and an office, face east, meaning that they receive the morning sun and are protected from the afternoon sun. The living/reception spaces – which include a cinema room, living room, dining room and terrace – face south so that they avoid direct exposure to the sun and are thus cooler. The service area faces north and west.
In the front facade the garage’s suspended concrete slab (49 feet) provides shelter for five cars. The entrance portico is in concrete, which also covers the entrance hallway leading to the main body of the residence. The hallway is separated from the garden on one side by a glass wall, allowing light to enter the entrance hall and the corridor leading to the sleeping quarters.
A ribbed cumaru wood panel conceals the floor-to-ceiling front door. To take advantage of the natural slope of the land, a fruit tree grove was created at the lower level. This means that the bedroom volume facing the grove is suspended above it.
As the clients like water features, a pond was designed at the lower level featuring concrete walkways supported by central pillars that look as if they are floating.
The pool is 69 feet long and clad in travertine marble. As the marble is a light color the color of the water is not affected. The pool is 60 centimeters above the ground and features an infinity edge on all sides.
Taking advantage of the living room facing south, a generous ceiling height was given of 5 meters, with sliding glass doors along the whole window span opening up the room to the exterior. A winter garden was also added and the idea of the sliding doors was repeated here. The living room is thus opened up on two sides, providing cross ventilation and a greater sense of freedom. The living room volume was covered externally in stone, contrasting with the other white blocks.
The 55-foot wide terrace is a continuation of the living room, stretching the length of the room and allowing for total integration of the ambiances. It serves as a transition area to the garden and swimming pool. The client loves to cook, so the terrace also features a gourmet kitchen block with worktop, cooker, oven, barbecue grill, and fridge-freezer that is ideal for get-togethers with family and friends.
All detailing, both in the interior and exterior, was designed to give continuity to the architectural proposal, i.e. clean, uniform lines with the emphasis on lightness and extreme elegance in the definition of the materials. This is evidence both in the choice of the materials (travertine in all living/reception areas and the exterior and wood in the private quarters) and in their application.
The interior decoration work in general follows the architectural proposal, combining furniture pieces with extremely clean lines with the works of art and other cherished objects in the possession of the clients. The aim was to integrate these elements and achieve the desired aesthetic effect without affecting the clients’ comfort.
Photos: Courtesy of Aguirre Arquitetura
Casa 2V is a sensational modern property that has been completed in 2010 by Ecuadorian architecture studio Diez + Muller Arquitectos, located in Tumbaco, Ecuador. The house is located on a rectangular area with a slight slope in an east west direction. The land does not have much to offer but the house faces mountain views on the south side and the valley on the west side of Tumbaco. The house has been organized on three main ideas:
Program Independence: The house is broken into three main volumes containing three aspects of the program (social, private and views) respectively. These three are connected by two articulations or glazed bridges that are joined by more than three components, generating slides along the house.
Central Courtyard: The three volumes of the house are composed of a central courtyard surrounded by an internal gallery that serves the various program components.
Orientation and Views: The circulation inside the courtyard allow all environments to project their views to either the mountains or the valley of Tumbaco, these being the most permeable walls of the house.
The house is located on one floor, just having a studio and an elevated deck and gazebo on the social area. This generates a double height space and white glass volume, which rests on the ground floor of the house that is armed in stone.
Photos: Sebastián Crespo
Camarines House is the modern vision of A-cero Architects, located on an exclusive residential neighborhood of Aravaca, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. The house has a total Built-up Area of 6,799 square feet (631.71 square meters), consisting of two parallel plans with vertical lines cross the construction like a double architectonic skin which becomes the leitmotiv of the property.
The rest of the building is developed around this central axis with many twin cubes creating a harmonic volume game. Next to this architectonic path appears the most public area with the kitchen and living-dining room. Meanwhile on the other side of the plan remain four complete en-suite bedrooms, one of them for guests.
All the villa is covered by white mortar monolayer that remarks the pure essence and the architectonic unity lines.
The ground floor is finished on white Macael marble, while the first floor is finished on wood. The white color covers all the house allowing reflexions of the light. A warm decoration between the tradition and modern make the perfect fusion between the container and content.
A sculptural staircase leads us to the first floor, where you can find the private spaces and the bedrooms of the owners. On one side a big bedroom and bathroom, on the other an office with library that connects with the living room through a double height.
Photos: Courtesy of A-cero – Joaquin Torres & Rafael Llamazares
Casa Reforma is a two story contemporary home that integrates stone volumes in its structure, designed by Central de Arquitectura, in Mexico City, Mexico. The proposal was created through solid stone volumes which respond to the horizontality that the spaces and the program generated and to their proportions. The project retakes the geometries of the context and urban image, unifying them in a tectonic volume. These volumes float above a water mirror which gives access to the house. A single skin of stone gives color and shape to the whole project, creating modulated openings and perforations that allow the entrance of light and shades created by the same volumes, controlling over natural light and creating private comforting areas.
In the interior, the spaces generated by the scheme, helped have plenty of diversity in the materials applied, as well as their combination. The structural solution is a combination of concrete and steel; because of the distance that are intended to be freed. The result was a plan view free of columns and visually transparent that generates an interaction between the inside and the outside across the existing translucent openings. The interior spaces connect with the exterior spaces and the environment.
The project is a residence that is generated from the broad needs of the client, with an extensive program that was developed and which allowed to make a game of spaces along the project. The program consists of outdoor areas, amenities and recreation, as well as private and service areas.
The interior architecture played a major role in the design process, one of the elements to notice is the interaction of materials and furniture chosen in each of the elements that compose the final project.
Photos: Courtesy of Central de Arquitectura
Villa CP is an old Catalan farmhouse that has been completely restored by Barcelonese studio ZEST Architecture, situated in Girona, Spain. A 21st century house has been created within the structure of the old stone property. The existing stone walls have been largely rebuilt, with enormous openings towards the landscape linking the house to its spectacular surroundings: a National Park of cork oak with distant views towards the Mediterranean.
ZEST Architecture’s work is always marked by sustainability, so it may not come as a surprise that this project sports materials and elements such as a natural pool whose water is filtered by plants and gravel, insulation with locally harvested and produced cork, clay and stray panel finishes in the interior and heating / cooling through a geothermal installation.
The old and the new (that which will age) strengthen each other in this project through their opposition and juxtaposition. The old has been left visible with all its scars, while new materials such as Corten steel, wood and clay, were chosen for the beauty of their natural imperfections and the way in which the traces left by time make them even more beautiful. Rain, wind, human touch…. will make sure that this house will be even more beautiful over time.
ZEST Architecture, founded by the Dutch architect Co Govers, will take part in the Biennale of Venice, which opens on 7 June 2014. The project Villa CP, the restoration of an old Catalan farmhouse, serves as inspiration for the installation that ZEST Architecture will present in Palazzo Mora, as participant in the exhibition “Time Space Existence”, organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation.
Photos: Jesús Granada
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