Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
Casa 115 is an incredible modern dwelling that is surrounded by a mountainous landscape in Pollença, Spain and has been designed by Miquel Àngel Lacomba. The home showcases incredible outdoor living spaces, sensational views of the rugged terrain with the ocean in the distance and sliding glass doors that opens the interior up to the exterior, blurring the lines between indoors and out. The interiors features modern, clean lines and a neutral color palette that works harmoniously throughout.
Photos: Mauricio Fuertes
The Burlingame Residence is a modern dwelling that blends sophistication and rustic simplicity into a stunning family home in Burlingame, California, designed by Toby Long Design and Cipriani Studios Design. The residence is comprised of 3,000 square feet of living space with four bedrooms plus an office, as well as three-and-a-half bathrooms. Showcasing warm wooden flooring throughout most of the home, the center of the home features a gorgeous wood and metal/wire staircase with the upper level open to below and bamboo planted below, giving the home a relaxing Zen feeling. The home offers plenty of natural light, open spaces and plenty of room for entertaining family and guests. An outdoor terrace offers a built-in barbeque, fireplace loggia, as well as seating and dining arrangements.
Photos: Courtesy of Toby Long Design
Architect Henri Cleinge was approached to renovate and design a significant addition to Bord-du-Lac House, a 200 year old stone dwelling in Quebec, Canada. The architects were challenged to define a clear conceptual approach which would reconcile a contemporary architectural language to the ancestral home. The original structure once belonged to the Hudson Bay Company and had the main entrance facing the river, where the old road was situated. Over time, a new road was built on the back side of the house, which now became the front. The program required sheltering four generations: the great grandfather, the grandparents and the children in the old house, and the parents in the addition.
This led to the idea of drawing a parallel between the multi-generational component of the program and the fact that a contemporary project would be built alongside a historical house. In this manner, the design expresses the passage of time. The strategy defined itself as a contemporary project contrasting the existing stone house, yet having an obvious relationship to the ancestral home. This idea extended to the way the spaces are defined, as two double height living rooms are at opposite ends, one in each volume, linked by a path highlighted by a bridge linking the old house to the new volume.
Photos: Marc Cramer
This beautiful newly built country house designed by AP Design is located in Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca, Spain. The home was built in traditional style with modern features, comprised of 4,843 square feet (450 square meters) of living space. The residence features a stunning kitchen, sitting room, five bedrooms, wine cellar, pool room, cinema, pool house, gymnasium and a separate guest house. The landscaping is just as gorgeous and wit as much attention to detail as the interior of the home.
Photos: Courtesy of AP Design
House in Brito has been designed by Topos Atelier de Arquitectura in the town of Brito, in Guimarães, Portugal. The house’s shape was rearranged around the patio which structured the farm buildings. On the ground floor were set all the areas needed for daily life. On the first floor are the guest rooms. In order to appropriate the site and deprive the house from its certainties, the living room was placed between the patio and the valley’s landscape magnitude (exceptionally well preserved in its’ biological dynamics). The glazed living room rises above the ground allowing the water-spring to flow towards the river.
Photos: Xavier Antunes
SeARCH and CMA collaborated to create Villa Vals, a holiday retreat dug in to the alpine slopes of Vals in Switzerland. The surrounding nature has been left undisturbed and unobstructed by any sort of architectural development. Not only does the project defer to the natural landscape, but also to the vernacular architecture while protecting the views of the nearby spa. A-typical of alpine architecture, this three-level 2,421 square foot (225 square meters) villa still uses local building traditions and materials including its facade made from Valser quartzite recovered from the site and found in the nearby thermal baths and on the roof tops of Vals. A stone and wood bi-level graubunder barn ubiquitous to the Alpine hills has been integrated into the plan and given new life as the entrance to the house via a 22-meter concrete tunnel. The house is experienced as a welcoming light at the end of a tunnel.
The introduction of a central patio into the steep incline creates a large facade with considerable potential for window openings. The viewing angle from the building is slightly inclined, giving an even more dramatic view of the strikingly beautiful mountains on the opposite side of the narrow valley. The windows within the facade have been arranged in order to display the various levels of the interior, which in turn are like nested concrete boxes. Custom cast concrete icons in the facade serve as vents and flues. The stone courtyard features a natural spring and a hot tub (dutchtub) from which one can enjoy the breathtaking views across the valley in privacy. Being there surrounded by the snowcapped Alps makes you feel as if you’re a part of the elements.
One could also book a room in this very unique home at the official website of Villa Vals.
The concrete interior is offset by rustic qualities further anchoring the building to the surrounding landscape including oak panels and doors and natural stone steps. The contrasting interior acts as a neutral backdrop. Dutch designer Thomas Eyck was called in to oversee the interiors which feature furniture, textiles and ceramics by Dutch designers including Hella Jongerius and Studio Job.
The interior features a compact setup of bedrooms with bunk beds, elevated bathrooms and raised podiums with king-size beds. All four bedrooms are flooded with light and views. The first floor includes the kitchen, living room and bedroom that doubles as a library, designed Studio JvM.
The villa is thermally insulated and features ground source heat pump, radiant floors, heat exchanger and uses only hydroelectric power generated by the nearby reservoir.
Photos: Iwan Baan
This building was constructed in stages from 1814 onwards and was used as a rural house in Chamoson, Switzerland. It is made up of three adjacent areas on different levels. On the ground floor it is crossed by an access way which indicates the presence of a former right of way to the next-door building. The imposing proximity of the rocks and its stone construction lend this building a unity with its surroundings and a very strong mineral character. The renovation project by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes seeks to maintain and reinforce this character, emphasizing the existing stone structure while using concrete for the parts to be replaced, in order to create a completely mineral feel to the whole.
The 3,422 square foot (318 square meters) exterior volume has not been changed. The stone facades have been preserved and lined inside with an insulating layer of concrete based on foamed recycled glass (Misapor). This insulating lining forms the new load-bearing structure, reinforces the old stone walls and provides thermal insulation. The parts of the facade formerly of timber weatherboarding have been replaced by a monolithic wall of insulating concrete with formwork which reproduces the former texture of the timber.
The former window apertures have been retained and some larger windows added in order to let more natural light into the main interior spaces and to provide views over the surrounding landscape. These new windows are flush with the exterior in order to minimize their impact on the volume of the building, as well as to emphasize and make good use of the substantial thickness of the walls.
With its good thermal insulation, controlled ventilation and energy from renewable sources, this renovation complies with the Swiss “Minergie” energy conservation standard. 23 square meters of solar panels on the roof produce about 35% of the annual heating requirement (heating and hot water).
In harmony with the exterior, the interior is formed from unrefined mineral materials, with its natural stone, exposed concrete and polished screed floors. Only a few elements, such as the kitchen or the sanitary fittings, are in contrast to this character.
Photos: Thomas Jantscher
Stone House in Anavissos was designed by Whitebox Architects in Athens, Greece. The plot for the home is located in Lakka, looking over the gulf of Anavissos. The concept was the creation of a residence for a family of four – the parents with two children – and the possibility of having a guest room with relative autonomy -separate bathroom. The basic demands were: the view of the sea from all four bedrooms, an office space on the ground floor for the professional needs of the couple but mostly of the mother who wanted to work and supervise the ground floor where the children would play. Another request for the design was the economy in energy consumption of the house and the possibility of enjoying the outdoor spaces throughout the year, for dining, swimming, games.
Undergrowth, rocky terrain with a gentle slope to the bay located southeast of the plot and strong northerly and easterly winds –local thermal effects, are the main features of the inhospitable natural environment.
The building is L-shaped thus protects the space of the main courtyard from the strong local winds while connecting the indoors spaces to the external functions of the residence. The ground floor is divided into two levels following the smooth slope to the sea. On the northwest side, while the indoor facilities are disrupted, the structural elements of the building are released from the main volume and continue their way until they form a protected from the north wind -with stone walls-, and the sun- with fixed wooden blinds – space.
This area is the “secret” access of the family directly to the kitchen, the summer dining and rest area with shade and coolness. The secret garden of the children with a sculpture hidden behind the stone columns that barely leave the sunrays penetrate and reveal their secret. Pergolas on the south side of the house protect the inner space from the direct sunlight through the corner windows that are facingthe sea.Inside the building there is an atrium with a mobile roof that slopes to the North to allow the northern light to enter and contributes to the hot air relief during the summer. It also contributes to the visual and audio communication of the residents on both floors.
The semi-open space between the two children’s bedrooms that is in contact with the atriumgives children the opportunity to see inside the house from above while they are on their verandah. The northern side of the building creates a front to the north as there are only a few small openings, except one above the main entrance that even allows the view through the house to the buildings that lie behind. The wooden “sachnisi”is a historical reference to the greek refugees who migrated to the area from Asia Minor in 1922 and worked in the local salt marshes.
The exterior walls of the building are made of 70cm bearing stone masonry, visible on the ground floor and plastered with colored plaster on the 1rst floor. The concrete used for slabs and columns remained visible inside and out. Great attention was given to the connection of the rough materials like stoneand concrete with the other materials, wood, metal, glass, painted plaster.
Photos: George Fakaros
This gorgeous rustic country house in Cáceres, Spain was designed by Madrid based architect, painter and sculptor Kico Camacho, completed in 2010. Casa Cañadas Molino Guadalupe is an architectural restoration with concrete flooring, preserved stonework, steel staircases and railings, high ceilings and windows, open spaces and unique artwork. Enjoy this interesting dwelling and please leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
Photos: Courtesy of Kico Camacho