Stone House is a spacious contemporary residence designed by Atelier Kastelic Buffey, sited on a long, narrow lot in the south hill area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This house was thoughtfully designed for its quiet integration to the surrounding neighborhood. While the house appears modest in scale from the street view, it opens upon entry to 7,000 square feet of interior living space for a family of five.
The windows are deeply recessed with large overhangs to reduce heat gain and the soffits are clad in stone as a continuity of the wall material, a technical innovation which enables a stereotomic reading of the design.
The ground floor consists of a double-height entry foyer with a floating oak stair and sky-light above, open-concept dining, living, kitchen and breakfast areas. A large mud room, walk-in pantry and powder room are concealed behind perimeter walls to maximize the openness of the main space. The second floor incorporates four bedrooms with walk in closets, three bathrooms, a study and a corridor overlooking the entry foyer below.
Photos: James Brittain
The Tree House is a contemporary single family private residence that was designed by Miró Rivera Architects, located in beautiful Austin, Texas. Early sketches of this home explore the play between the steep, sloping site on which it lies and two curving rooflines—one concave and one convex.
The local and natural materials of the exterior wrap into the interior of the home; stone walls and dark wood floors are contrasted by clean lines and glass above, creating the feeling of lightness. Large glass windows and sliding doors take full advantage of the sweeping views of downtown Austin, dissolving the boundaries between interior and exterior, while deep overhangs frame views of the sky above.
At the street front, the concave roof forms a low, unassuming facade that respects the scale of the neighborhood and provides privacy for bedrooms and studies. Simultaneously, the convex roof shared by the living, dining, and kitchen spaces opens the interior of the house to a canopy of oak trees and a small pool.
Miró Rivera Architects (MRA) is an internationally-recognized architecture practice that has created a body of work that exemplifies design excellence, blurs art and architecture, and includes poetic and inspirational projects that enrich their landscapes. Services include: residential, commercial and institutional architecture; urban design; and interior design.
Photos: Miró Rivera Architects
Stone Respect is a house rehabilitation project designed by Dom Arquitectura, located close to the river in the village of Noutigos, in Carnota, Spain. The goal was to respect the current volumes of this old 2,174 square foot (202 square meters) house, maintaining the stone facade, and replacing the original windows in chestnut wood.
The architects proposed only two new small and strategic openings in the south wall for their views and the natural light needed for specific locations. The new openings with iron frame and fixed glass contrast with the existing ones and which are treated with a chestnut wood.
Part of the south facade formed with very small stones has had to repair due to continuous moisture, so we propose a mortar render. We have maintained the large stones around the windows, and have continued to finish smoothing existing lines almost the entire first and second floor. The entrance garden has been treated with a great old reclaimed flagstones, wood benches, albizias, ivy and lavender, give us a simple but hearty welcome.
The recovered stone forms the interior finished walls. In the ground floor they combined with ocher mortar, it generates a game as a baseboard with different heights, covering damaged stone areas and adapting to the interior space distribution. The result is a balanced interior finish where dominates the mortar ocher and stones colors.
The ground floor is a open space with a continuous pavement, where we place the dining room, the kitchen and the living area. On the first floor we located three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The slabs are made with clay vault painted with a gray glaze.
The second floor under the cover is a space originally used as clothesline, now has become a completely open space, flooded with natural light through skylights and a cut in the cover that originates a small terrace with beautiful views to Finisterre and the Carnota bay. Respect the stone, recover the existing elements and combine them with an open and new distribution, actual lighting and furniture, creates a new charming spaces.
Prior to Renovation
Photos: Victor Solis
This rehabilitation project has been undertaken by Dom Arquitectura in a small village in La Cerdanya, Spain, on the north valley side, with views to the south. The heart of the village consists of 20 houses, surrounded by agricultural land. Breathtaking views of the Cadi make this setting feel like a piece of paradise.
Most of the buildings in the village form a construction around an outside space, the “era”. The village map shows they have been built and arranged to complement the surrounding area. Overall they form a grid-like pattern of barns and stables as well as houses.
One group of buildings consisted of a haystack, barn, warehouse, small dwelling and badiu and our client wished this space to be re-designed and re-arranged to become his home with several guest areas.
The size of the existing buildings has been maintained, though their facades, roofs and interior dimensions have been re-designed and adapted. The badiu has now become a large covered open space with renovated roof trusses. There is no bonding material between the timber and the tiles.
Inside, the rooms and guest areas retain the stone walls while the flooring, tiles, woodwork and ironwork combine to give a sense of spaciousness. From many rooms spectacular views can be enjoyed and these seem to blend with and flow from the interior design.
Photos: Jordi Anguera
Bray’s Island I is a modern double height dwelling designed by Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein Architects, located in Brays Island, South Carolina. The design for this stunning single family residence began and ended with its compelling site.
On a piece of dry ground between a pond and a freshwater marsh, the house’s site was ringed by a stand of unusually tall and thin live oak trees (which are typically more dense, thicker and lower to the ground).
The functional program called for a generous living/gathering room, kitchen & dining, a screened porch, and attendant utility functions. Instead of a segregated bedroom, the owner desired a sleeping loft contiguous with the main living space. The loft opens out to a covered porch with views across the marsh.
The beautiful stone fireplace that climbs all the way up to the ceiling has a built-in niche to store firewood, nice and handy for those chilly nights from the cool ocean air.
Photos: Courtesy of Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein Architects
Ansel Haus is a sensationally designed rustic mountain home by Miller Architects in collaboration with On Site Management, located in Big Sky, Montana. Built in 2010-2012 this 7,000 square foot residence has been designed with materials of log, timber and stone.
When you approach design as more than just combining a series of rooms, your range of influences stretches further as well. At Miller, our design aesthetic steers us toward the textures, color palettes and material choices grounded in this region. Ultimately, our goal is to build spaces that help you experience the surroundings, instead of merely insulating you from them. It’s a result we believe can only be achieved by including everyone in the process—from the clients themselves, to the contractors and material suppliers.
By listening, exchanging inspired ideas, and being transparently honest, what might have been a sterile process becomes an enjoyable exercise in creativity. After all, your home will be more than a house—so it follows your architect needs to be more than a designer. At Miller Architects, we welcome that role, and have found that a fulfilling collaboration results in an exceptional home.
Photos: Bird Eye Photography
El Mirador House is a beautifully designed home comprised of stone, wood and steel, designed by CC Arquitectos, surrounded by nature and spectacular views in Mexico. The home was designed to respect the land, using locally sourced materials mixed with recycled elements on the exterior of the home to create a visually impressive property. The one bedroom home was designed for relaxed living and entertaining and to allow horses to freely roam the property.
El Mirador serves its purpose by being located on one of the land’s edges, where the emblematic lake of the area can be particularly appreciated. Its projection was based on respecting the forest where the pavilion was placed to the maximum, gripping to its topography and reducing its constructive impact. The materials used are from the region, also, railroad ties from old train tracks where recycled for the exterior of the pavilion.
The structure is a combination of steel and wooden beams, and the retaining walls are made out of stones from the area.
The architectural program is distributed with a family room that connects to the exterior, allowing the expansion of the social area to the main terrace. It has one bedroom with its own private bathroom. The kitchen has a large island in the middle with a countertop made of slate that allows it to also have the use of a dining table and a workspace. The relaxed architectural program and its flexibility in its spaces, reinforces the owner’s strong personality and intense social life. The main access collides with a large body of water that is parallel to a drinking space for horses, while a low wall made of wooden railroad ties discretely hides the area so cars may be parked and appear to be isolated from the construction.
El Mirador is half buried on one of its sides with the purpose of protecting the habitation spaces from the climate where nature, views, and rustic finishes are the main components, seeking as a goal that these characteristics will last through time.
Photos: Rafael Gamo
Can Manuel d’en Corda is a contemporary remodel and extension of a traditional stone wall house designed by Marià Castelló Martínez, located on the island of Formentera, Spain. The 6,407 square foot (595.3 square meters) residence is situated on a plot of 19,060 square meters of rustic nature in the area of the Vénda des Cap de Barbaria.
The most significant pre-existing conditions, which have been maintained and enhanced through the project, are a small forest of pines and junipers located in the west area of the estate and the old house Can Manuel de’n Corda, which reflects the scheme type of the domestic vernacular architecture developed in Formentera between the late eighteenth and mid nineteenth century. The volume of the main body with simple pitched roof gable and southeast orientation, and its roots in the landscape through the traditional dry stone walls, highlight the link between this type of building with the farms next to which they were located.
The extensive briefing for the project has been arranged so that while exhaust the urban parameters allowed by the current planning, it distorts as little as possible the existing house and, simultaneously, has its volume so that it has less presence possible from the immediate fragile environment. This has been possible through the use of a fragmented volumes available on ground floor in non-orthogonal disposition, offsetting in midsection plant about the level of the existing house,and adapted to the topography as well as keeping intact the facades characteristics of this architectural style ( southeast and northwest facades, where they were all original openings). This will resort to the ends that were originally blind (northeast and southwest facades) for connections to pieces of new creation, and to realize the new openings that allow better use of natural light.
Although it has been maintained the original main entrance of the house with its southeast orientation, at a strategic level the new house turns its back on the road which limit with the plot by the East side. Thus the extension of the home overlooks enjoys the best views to the northwest, which overlooks the island of Es Vedra, an iconic element of the southern skyline of the neighboring island of Ibiza.
In the original house have been maintained the common areas (living, dining, kitchen and terraces), while on the ground floor of the expansion have been concentrated the bedrooms and service rooms (laundry, cellar, pantry , etc …) and technical premises on the basement.
Photos: Estudi Es Pujol de s’Era
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