San Lorenzo Residence represents two interlocking L-shaped forms to organize the house, designed by Mike Jacobs Architecture, located at the end of a canyon road in Los Angeles, California. The house responds to and engages its surrounding landscapes: an interior private garden to the south and the manicured fairways of a golf course to the north.
Following a careful zoning study, two interlocking “L-shaped” formally organize the house: the first “L-shape”, an open and transparent enclosure and veranda (steel/glass), incorporates the communal living spaces of garden, pool, living rooms and theater; the second “L-shape,” an opaque enclosure (stucco/cedar), holds the basic form of the house and incorporates the private bedrooms and service spaces.
A large open living space is central to the organization of the house. Pocket sliding doors open the south wall to the garden and north facing windows unfold to view the fairways create direct connections to the exterior. These large openings passively cool the house and draw fresh air deep into the residual spaces to naturally ventilate the home.
Social exchange is expressed by section. An elongated formal stair links the terraced living spaces to the exterior and connects to the theater below. A pair of secondary flanking stairs provide access from the residual private rooms and service areas. These multiple points-of-entry produce a constant interchange between the family unit.
Photos: Michael Wells
Jellyfish House is a four story property showcasing a cantilevered rooftop pool that has been designed by Wiel Arets Architects, located in Marbella, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The home’s neighboring buildings block its view onto the nearby sea, so appropriately it was chosen to cantilever the house’s pool from its roof, so that the beach and sea can always be seen while sunbathing or swimming. The 6,996 square foot (650 square meters) house is organized around two paths of circulation: a ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ set of stairs, which intertwine and traverse the house’s four levels of living.
The ‘fast’ stair leads from the exterior directly to the roof; it is enclosed in glass, which physically separates it from the house’s interior, yet it is simultaneously open to the exterior elements, so that sand is not brought into the house when returning from the beach. The ‘slow’ stair whose long treads and short risers lend it its name spans the entire length of the house, from ground floor main entry to roof; it is indoors yet also open to the exterior elements, further amplifying the house’s capacity for ‘interiority’.
The house’s rooftop pool is cantilevered 9 m southwest toward the Sierra Blanca mountain range in the distance–and weighs nearly 60,000 kg. Equipped with an infinity edge, its water merges with the sea in the distance. This pool has a glass-bottom floor and a panoramic window at its interior facing edge, both of which are 6 cm thick; the latter allows those in the kitchen to voyeuristically view those swimming, while a third window affords those in the kitchen a glimpse of the living room, whose terrace extends under the cantilevered pool.
The searing Spanish sun constantly filters through the pool’s glass wall and floor, creating ripples of iridescent turquoise reflections throughout the entire house. As such, the pool can be seen and experienced from nearly all areas of the house. Integrated within the pool is an underwater bench, which traces its length and also integrates a pool cover, so that it is out of sight when the pool is in use.
Five bedrooms are located throughout the house, with two guest bedrooms situated on the basement level that face outward and onto an extensive private terrace for the exclusive use of guests. As the ‘slow’ stair leads from the main entry to the guest bedrooms below, this area of the house is able to function as a separate entity. The kitchen is strung along the southern facade of the house’s first floor, with all secondary appliances built-into an adjacent and perpendicular hallway.
The house’s structure is composed of poured in place white-concrete, supported by one column at the right-rear edge of its pool, and several smaller columns near the rear-dining terrace. All non concrete walls were constructed with glazing, which allows sunlight to permeate the house. Multiple bedroom closets, whose obverse faces the ground floor hallway, are finished in translucent glazing to compound this sunlight diffusing strategy.
Oversized and accordion like folding panels of translucent glazing adjoin each dining or entertaining space, which, when opened, essentially expands the house’s numerous areas of living by nearly doubling their size.
The first floor is also the location of the sauna and steam bath. A small service elevator also allows, for instance, food and drink to be brought from the kitchen, or any other floor, up to the rooftop pool and terrace. This roof terrace features an oversized and custom designed concrete table with an adjoining bench, which is contiguous to an angular chair for reclining while sunbathing.
All of the house’s audio video equipment such as its countless Bose speakers are recessed into its ceilings and walls, which allows them to disappear within their context little noticed. Lighting illuminates all corridors and staircases, as well as underwater within the pool, ensuring the rippling effects of its reflections that shimmer through its glass floor and wall can also be experienced throughout the house at night.
Taking full advantage of the ever present Spanish sun, the Jellyfish House is an avant-garde expression of luxurious living; as most of its façades can be opened, and as its staircases are mainly outdoor, the house’s ever shifting boundaries between inside and outside are curiously blurred.
Photos: Jan Bitter
The Mirage House is a single level cavernous residence embedded into the hillside covered by an infinity rooftop pool, designed by Kois Associated Architects, located on the Greek island of Tinos. Designed to integrate into the steep sloped rocky terrain that makes up the island’s south-west coastline, the house was conceived as “an invisible oasis hidden from the unsuspected eyes” where residents can enjoy panoramic views overlooking the Aegean Sea. The rimless pool creates a visual effect of water extending to the horizon and merging the dwelling with the seascape. Additional materials are taken directly from the local landscape, so as to match the existing context.
The site offers protection from the prevailing winds and a natural plateau which from the beginning was identified as the optimal location for the residence as it would minimize the impact to the landscape due to excavation. It is a single-level structure and has a surface of 2,131 square feet (198 square meters). The location allows benefiting from wonderful and panoramic views of the landscape and seascape. Our approach to the program was Doric. Only the essential features and programmatic elements to sustain a comfortable stay were incorporated in the design.
Our goal was to integrate the building into the landscape like it was part of it.The living space is covered by a rimless pool that produces a visual effect of the water extending to the horizon, vanishing and merging with the seascape. From a distance especially if viewed from the path of approach, on a higher ground, the only visible feature of the house is the sea like surface of the pool. The water during the day reflects the surroundings and during the night, the star filled night sky. The mirroring pool of water carefully positioned on the landscape evokes memories of the optical phenomenon of the mirage from which the project was named.
The most of the visible construction materials were extracted from the vicinity and were used to make the house disappear into the scenery. Local techniques were also borrowed like the characteristic dry wall construction found in abundance in the island. This technique was implemented with minor modifications; on the side embankment walls in each side of the pool volume. The local materials have a low impact on the environment and they are very efficient as insulating materials. The rear walls are made of retained earth and have layers of vegetation that regulates the temperature and cools the environment through evaporation. The pool acting as roof provides thermal insulation and protection from solar radiation and heat transmittance.
We wanted to make a house fused with its surroundings, an invisible oasis hidden from the unsuspected eyes. The house is acts almost like an observation post as it clings to the rocks and oversees the dramatic cascading landscape. A landscape left almost intact due to the implemented design strategy and the careful selection of materials.
The team decided to bury part of the building in the landscape and then create a large open-air living room in front. These will all be sheltered beneath the rooftop pool, which will act as a huge mirror to help the building camouflage with its surroundings. Dry stone walls will surround sections of the interior and also frame the building’s entrance. These are designed to reference the traditional walls that can be spotted all over the scenic island landscape.
Photos: Courtesy of Kois Associated Architects
POD Boutique Hotel is a luxurious hotel subtly promoting discretion and elegance, completed in 2009 by Greg Wright Architects, located in Cape Town, South Africa. POD is more than a luxury boutique hotel. It’s a declaration of love for fine living, fine design, and unforgettable experiences. Conceived of as a discreet and super-stylish location and getaway on the Camps Bay strip, this project is set to become the destination of choice for those “in the know”.
A unique palette of granite, slate, African timber and glass has been brought together in elegant simplicity in an attempt to make rooms and relaxation spaces desirable to those who appreciate stylish accommodation backed up by discreet, luxurious service.Add to that the fact that all that makes Camps Bay the international destination of choice, this project is set to redefine the boutique accommodation business in Cape Town and set the benchmark for those going forward.
15 bedrooms and suites provide ultimate comfort and privacy, evoking a feeling of sanctuary and serene relaxation.
Water Mill Houses is a family retreat comprised of a main house, pool house, guesthouse, bunkhouse, and garage, designed by 1100 Architect, located in Water Mill, New York. The compound is distributed across fifteen acres of wooded land with the main, or “glass,” house standing on the highest peak of the property, allowing for an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape and shoreline from the roof terrace. It functions as a sophisticated tree house, with a shielded bottom floor for sleeping and an open, transparent second floor for living. Set in separate corners of the property, both the glass-walled guesthouse and the pool house echo the main house’s underlying principle: open to light, hidden by trees. The bunkhouse, the latest addition to the complex, is a multi-use space that acts as a study and fitness area, as well as a second guesthouse.
The living spaces on the top floor are enclosed by glass walls that enable light and air to penetrate while a screen of trees provides privacy. In contrast, the facade of the first floor, which contains the more private spaces of the house, filters light and views through heavyweight fiberglass-screened panels.
The glass-plank floor of the internal court on the third floor doubles as a skylight for the space below.
Rugged materials – cast concrete and steel – are combined with teak planks and insect screening (for a sun shade canopy) to create a durable yet warm family environment.
The guesthouse in this residential compound was designed on the premise that well-detailed architecture can be created from the thoughtful use of off-the-shelf building products. Here, a basic aluminum storefront system was deployed to achieve a work of sublime simplicity and elegance at low cost.
As a couple became a family of four, the owners found that the original guesthouse with only a single bedroom could not accommodate their growing number of visitors. The bunkhouse, as its name indicates, is primarily a place for guests to bunk, or sleep. The house consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen – the forest and nearby pool act as its living room.
A straightforward material palette of poured concrete, glass and wood was employed, creating continuity between the bunkhouse and the rest of the complex.
The bunkhouse echoes the landscape in its horizontality and respects it in its subtle form and placement. The bottom of its two stories is partially submerged in the sloping, forested terrain while the cantilevered upper story appears to be floating amidst the surrounding flora.
Photos: Peter Aaron / OTTO
Villa Kalos is nestled on the beautiful Greek island of Ithaca, which once lay in ruin and was completely abandoned but has been returned to its former glory as a guest vacation house. The home was discovered by two South African photographers in the surrounding countryside of Lahos. The couple’s mission was to fulfill their dream of creating a home for the design conscious traveler looking to spend their holidays overlooking the peaceful Greek countryside, with the azure waters of the Agean only a few minutes away.With the help of local builders and craftsmen, the beautiful stone building was successfully resurrected and turned into a luxurious, sublimely understated, yet perfectly adorned, boutique villa.
A stylish and secluded villa escaping technology, Villa Kalos sleeps 8 guests, with rates starting at $471 per night, from here.
The property occupies 6,000 square meters, encompassing terraced gardens surrounding the home and almond trees and olive groves dotting the nearby countryside. There is a salt water pool that overlooks the stunning island vistas. The interiors showcase perfection for a Greek island villa – cement floors, stone walls, polished concrete benches, limed timber beams, fine muslin drapes on the windows and layers of linen.
Photos: Robert Koene
2251 Linda Flora Drive is a recently constructed compound that sits at the end of a very long, gated drive overlooking 350-acre untouched Hoag Canyon, in Bel Air, California. Reminiscent of Richard Meier’s Getty Museum, the 9,300 square foot, four bedroom, four bathroom home is encased in beautiful travertine stone. It features monumental scale and proportion, large disappearing glass doors and an organic and seamless indoor-outdoor flow.
This fabulous home has recently been listed for sale at $12,500,000, from here.
An impressive reflecting pool welcomes guests and enlivens the entrance. With 14-foot high ceilings and a 34-foot high central gallery with a roof-long skylight, this home is an art collector’s dream, suited to both private contemplation and large-scale entertaining.
The superb chef’s kitchen (which features a breakfast area overlooking the reflecting pool, a large center island, and integrated Miele/Wolf appliances) can be closed off for catered affairs or left open to the voluminous living and dining areas.
A dramatic home library peers down through a glass floor into the walk-in wine room, as well as looking out to the sylvan “amphitheater” (perfect for your next TED Talk). A sumptuous guest suite is also located downstairs.
Upstairs resides the master suite, with its light-filled, spa-like bathroom, a roomy dressing room/closet resembling a tony boutique, and an extensive outdoor deck with fireplace and broad views. Also upstairs is a large office (which has been plumbed in case one wanted another bedroom suite upstairs).
A guest house with permitted kitchen, sliding glass walls that leave you “floating” over the colossal view, and a three-car garage lay across the motor courtyard.
The 3.2 acre property is just as captivating as the architecture. In addition to the endless hiking trails, the property features a swimmer’s and diver’s pool with a sun-drenched pool deck; two separate lawns; and an entertaining loggia with its own fireplace.
Daylight is engaged as an architectural element throughout the house, pouring in at every angle of opportunity; the path of the California sun creating ever-changing experiences and moods like moving art. Night is just as dramatic with its symphony of stars, the flickering of flames, the shimmering of illuminated water and the thoughtfully-designed landscape lighting.
Once you have settled in to this architectural retreat, it is easy to forget that you’re only minutes away from the best of what Los Angeles and Beverly Hills has to offer.
Photos: Jim Bartsch
House in Ontinyent is a modern minimalist design by Spanish architect Borja García, located in Calle Músico Vert, Ontinyent, Valencia, Spain. The core of the project is a large open space on the ground floor and a sculptural staircase made of concrete that guide visitors to the upper floors. The materials, with an absolute use of white, are always naked and honest. The basement, a large open space between concrete walls, connect the 5,920 square foot (550 square meters) house with the pool. The pool, built in white concrete, represents a large floating water surface.
We are in the historic heart of Ontinyent (Valencia), in a old textiles factory now converted into the headquarters of the outdoor furniture manufacturer Gandia Blasco. The aim of the project is to integrate new residential activity into the existing building. For this reason the house is proposed as an extension of modulation and structural system of the old building.
The house is located between party walls with dimensions of 22×7 meters and has five levels constructed. The distribution is solved with a simple band diagram that goes through the house drawing the small spaces (bathrooms, laundry, toilets, etc.). The rest of stays overturn both facades leaving the central area of the building reserved for the concrete stairway.
The ground floor has some social spaces that ends into a vertical space chaired by a huge mural with a visual overview from the history of the company. All materials selection has been carefully choose to ensure the coherence between the project and the company Gandia Blasco. The absolute present throughout the work and the nude and matte treatment complete the imagery projected by the brand through its products.
Finally, a white concrete pool that encloses a water box suspended inside. The proportions of the pool dialogue with the rear facade. Also the access stairway is a continuation of the system used inside the project.
The overall result is a elemental house in its design and its realization but with a powerful constructive solution that gives the project a strong identity and character.
Photos: Courtesy of Borja García
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