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
Travertine Dream House is a modern single family home that has been designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, situated in Serangoon, Singapore. The client, inspired by Italian urban-scape from his travels, requested maximizing functionality throughout the home including using up all available space in the design plan and the incorporation of greenery. Aesthetically, travertine was to be used copiously as an architectural finish.
Here is further information from the design team about the development of the project: The house is organized as two parallel blocks connected by a glass enclosed bridge. The separation between the two blocks allows daylight to stream down to basement spaces. Thick travertine walls and large overhangs are placed on the western side to limit heat gain from the harsh afternoon sun. The entry, living spaces and bedrooms are arranged longitudinally to take advantage of natural cross ventilation and daylight. In order to intensify land use without ending up with an imposing structure, the four storied house has one level sunk into the ground and the other three set away from the access road.
To accommodate as much green and ‘blue’ space as possible, the gardens and water bodies are spread throughout the house. The living and dining areas on the ground floor face a swimming pool and a fish pond. The basement’s entertainment and guest rooms are open to the sky, with natural light and ventilation coming through a sunken moss garden courtyard. The third storey flat roof is both a recreational deck and a roof garden.
The arrival experience is orchestrated by several layers of travertine wall that suggest a tenuous threshold between the outside and the inside. The detailing is deliberately minimal and precise to enhance the simplicity of the massing and the juxtaposition of solidity and transparency.
The narrow blocks that house the living area, the thick stone cladding, multiple levels of gardens and water bodies ensure that the house remains cool in the tropical environment, well ventilated and washed in soft daylight. The three dimensional composition of voids, layers and solids creates spaces for both quiet reflection and family interaction, something for each mood and moment.
Photos: Jeremy San
Solis Residence is a breathtaking house set within its stunning natural surroundings on Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia. Designed by Renato D’Ettorre Architects, the home has been carved into a steep edge of Hamilton Island, brilliantly sculpting three interlocking levels to frame extraordinary views of islands in the Whitsundays waters. The home is sculpted from concrete, stone, block work and glass resulting in a sequence of dramatic volumes incorporating airy living spaces and private sheltered outdoor zones. the building elements are intertwined with reflection ponds and a swimming pool, lending a sense of tranquility and sensuous tactility whilst providing casual, elegant outdoor living amid the beauty and serenity of the island.
From the architect: As a design practice, our aim is to create evocative architecture which satisfies the human need for textural and tactile experience. Solis on Hamilton Island draws inspiration from its magnificent location and Mediterranean coastal architecture: simple, permeable volumes opening and unfolding, capturing distant views of water and land.
This site, within its luscious natural setting, brings the weather seasons into focus with the vegetation’s glorious display of color, texture and flower – nature’s constant reminders of life’s cycles. Remaining connected to these surroundings was one of the key elements driving the design of the house.
Terraces are fluid extensions of internal spaces capturing cooling breezes and allowing cross ventilation. Bedroom terraces frame magnificent views of water and garden, distant lands and the horizon, so that falling asleep or waking is never a mundane ritual. Special attention was taken designing the bathrooms:eliminating superfluous detail and relating to the natural surroundings imbues the spaces with a sense of well-being and purity that is invigorating for the body and stimulating for the mind.
Always connected to water, the interiors are sheltered and cool: swimming pools, reflection ponds and strategically positioned trickling waterfalls soothe both indoors and outdoors, as each rain droplet resonates through the spaces.
In contrast to this sense of tranquility, equally critical to the design was to provide a high degree of safety to the occupants by integrating building regulations so that the house is able to withstand the destructive forces of tropical cyclones that are common in this region of Queensland.
Construction method and material selection was influenced not only by the climate but also the client who had expressed preference for low maintenance materials on a sub-tropical site with extreme weather: long periods of hot, humid conditions and prolonged heavy rain during the wet season limit material lifespan.
Another factor was regional Council’s limit on colors: white and primary colors were not permissible. For these reasons concrete became the primary material; utilizing its eternal qualities of extreme resiliency, excellent thermal properties, the textural quality and hue of rough sawn timber boards echoing the trunks of gum trees and large grey weathered boulders on the site. Further, concrete allows for a ready-made finish eliminating the use of render and paint as well as lending instant patina.
Wall and floor finishes, such as polished concrete, unfilled honed travertine tiles and textured internal renders were selected for their durability and tactile qualities; the irresistible urge to experience the house bare-feet whilst enjoying the touch of the smooth, cool stone.
The design seeks to balance the human spirit by the enriching experience gained in re-connecting with nature through the simple act of observing the wonders of its ever-changing scenery and by harnessing its benefits: off-shore cool breezes, warm evenings, spectacular sunsets, lush vegetation and the beauty of tropical rainfalls.
Many of the materials and building features of the home were selected and acquired in France, in order to create a character and aestheticism not often seen outside of the southern French countryside. The approach to the interiors globally, as well as in the selection and delineation of the interior finishes, millwork designs, etc. was to create a practical family home, and to let the interior finishes recede into a believable and simple backdrop.
The interiors are not wholly historical, but do utilize antiques to harmonize with the building itself. The color palette was created to be muted, and to resist trend. The finishes for all interior features are understated, and perfectly practical for a comfortable family retreat.
Photos: Werner Segarra
This renovated farm compound in the Val d’Aran, a valley in the Pyrenees Mountains of Catalonia, northern Spain, consists of three traditional Pyrenean farm buildings that were reconfigured in 2000 to create a compound, with a total of six bedrooms. Where possible, the original stone and wood were retained or refinished in the renovation. Exteriors are native stone, the roofs slate. The interior walls are lime plaster, and the wooden beams and trimwork are cherry, oak and fir. An oil furnace powers a radiant-heat system throughout the compound.
The barn and the house on the 1.8-acre property have been joined by a passageway, creating a total of about 5,100 square feet of interior space. The first floor of the main house is configured as a great room, housing a double-height living area with a fireplace and mountain views, a dining area, and an eat-in kitchen. The kitchen counters are stainless steel, and top-of-the-line appliances include a Lacanche gas range.
The main living area, with a mezzanine to the left that leads to bedrooms on the second floor.
A Lacanche gas range, center, is a highlight of the eat-in kitchen, which has stainless steel countertops.
The second floor of the main house has two bedrooms and one bath; the third floor has the master bedroom, with a bay window affording valley views, and a children’s playroom that could be converted to a bedroom. The now-attached barn has a full-floor recreation room and a sleeping area with exposed beams on the second floor, and guest quarters with two bedrooms and two bath on the first.
A recreation room on the top floor of the former barn, which has been connected to the main house.
A sleeping area in the barn.
Across a cobblestone courtyard, a former stable now accommodates a professional-grade recording studio and garage space for three cars. The upper level has an exercise room, a sauna and a bath.
A view of the recording studio in the annex; it currently has professional-quality equipment, and walls and part of the ceiling are lined with acoustic panels.
The house and barn are joined by a parlor, seen at right.
Photos: NY Times