This wonderful family home brings together minimalism and warmth, designed by architect Alessandro Sartore, located at the foot of the Pedra da Gávea Mountains in Itanhangá, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The homeowners wanted the house to have a serious architectural footprint with clean lines and warm undertones, yet not have the appearance of a showroom. Faced with this challenge, the architect made some choices: first selecting cozy materials such as demolition wood (mahogany) and stone walls; and then set the whole house around the enormous tree that occupied the center of the plot of 800 square meters.
The tree, named Bethany by the owner, on account of its stately appearance, has an opening in the floor and ceiling slab of 3 meters in diameter around its trunk. She works as a focal point of the entire distribution of living areas – living room, dining room, kitchen and TV room – and even as a connection between the body of the residence and the garden surrounding the building. “The feeling is that we are in a house-porch,” states the homeowner.
The intervention in the slab, which is repeated to accommodate a much smaller tree in the garage, eventually leading to a second daring in design: the lack of air conditioning. Yes, only the rooms have refrigeration. Thanks to the narrow length of more than 20 meters long of construction and also the opening functions as a vent channel, the home remains cool even under high temperatures. Simply keep open the glass walls and the entrance door, which are all pivoting.
Inside and out, all spaces are connected, especially the interior with the garden and the swimming pool, located right next to the stairs, whose door is never closed to the main entrance.
The home is decorated with plenty of art and furnishings that are inviting and based on convenience. With a catalog of over a thousand items available, the couple focused on furniture with both comfort and beauty, mixing plenty of icons. “The architect designed the entire wall of the living glass, but I begged to have a ‘normal’ section. Otherwise, where would I hang the screen Marcelo Pia I love? “He says.
Photos: Filippo Banberghi
Story Pool House is an open air pavilion with a living room centered around a swimming pool, designed by architecture studio Lake|Flato, located in Center Point, Texas. The property offers a slice of paradise enveloped by nature, with sensational views over meandering rolling hills.
The pool house is a simple, open air pavilion that serves as a “sunrise to sunset” living room. Created from Texas limestone, steel and wood, the structure provides shade from the hot sun and includes a full kitchen, screened bath, dining space and storage area. A private deck under the vine-covered arbor creates a special space for the Airstream. The cooling effect of the water completes the sense of place in this much-loved oasis.
Lake|Flato fosters a collaborative open studio environment that leverages each person’s passion and unique talents to develop common ownership of award winning design. As architects, teachers, environmental stewards and community advocates, Lake|Flato seeks to foster the education of the next generation of architects. We do this by exuding excellence in our efforts to integrate design and sustainability, through our engagement in civic focused community development.
Photos: Courtesy of Lake|Flato
NR2 House is a modern single family residence completed in 2012 by Roberto Burneo Arquitectos, located in Balcon de Valle, Quito Canton, Ecuador. Situated in a private development in the valley of Cumbaya, the NR2 House responds to the natural ground, to a stunning landscape and to the project requirements. To the east you can find the Los Andes Mountain, while to the west the private areas of entertainment are located.
At the top level of the 9,730 square foot (904 square meters) house you can find the bedrooms and common areas such as the kitchen, dining room and entertainment areas. On the lower level, at street level, you find the service areas including the parking lot.
We propose transparency, volumetric composition, and materiality as design strategies. In order to use the privileged view of the landscape, several perspectives from different areas of the house are handled. Also, the front of the house meets the street in an unobtrusive way.
Materials such as concrete and burnished metal are used in the construction of the house. The kitchen and dining area are located in the northern part. The living room, gym and bedrooms, are unified by a pergola of laminated wood, which covers great part with the terrace, creating a gathering space that brings together the private, social, and pool area.
The relationship between interior and exterior spaces is based on the controlled management of natural light. The volume of the spaces causes light contrast and this occurs because the dim light travels through the house.
Photos: Sebastián Crespo Camacho
Designed by BAR Architects, Soda Canyon Residence seamlessly blends into its setting on the side of a canyon that branches off the Napa Valley in California. The client’s vision was to construct a home in which it is hard to tell where the house stops and the landscape begins.
This 13,000 square foot main house occupies one of the last available ridge top sites in Napa Valley with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay to the south, and the length and breadth of the Napa Valley.
The guest house served as a successful testing ground for design ideas used in the main house on the ridge above. Designed to merge into the landscape, the guest house incorporates the use of wood trellises, stone elements and colored stucco that reflect the color palette of the surrounding hills. Limited by local ordinances to 995 square feet of interior space, the plan more than doubles the usable area by adding a covered loggia between the bedroom suites, decks and a courtyard.
Entering the main house, one crosses a rich white Alhambra limestone floor to the living room. Sliding doors reveal a dramatic wrap-around stone-paved terrace, which spills into the game room linking the interior to a second terrace accessing the pool area. A door in the game room reveals a spiral staircase leading down to a 1,750 square foot wine cave. The wine cave is a series of rooms leading out to daylight at a portal, landscaped with planting and a seating area, with views of Mount St. Helena to the north.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
521 Chalette Drive Estate was built by Gordon Gibson Construction, located in luxurious Trousdale Estates, a neighborhood in Beverly Hills, California. The 5,638 square foot, four bedroom, five bathroom home offers spectacular city and ocean views from nearly every room while setting the bar for high-end quality. Architecturally inspiring with a tribute to mid-century clean lines joined with modern elegance, a package that radiates warmth and maximizes the scale and proportions.
We spotted this fabulous property listed for sale at $14,500,000, from here.
This luxurious estate is private and gated, equipped with state of the art Crestron home automation that creates a lifestyle of effortless functionality and security.
Completely reimagined and meticulously designed with open spaces and Fleetwood pocket doors throughout that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior, offering the ultimate California lifestyle.
From frameless glass garage doors to Calcutta gold kitchen counters and backsplash, a spa that floats inside the zero-edge pool, this brand new edition to Trousdale is a true masterpiece of sophisticated home design.
Mop House is a two story contemporary property that has been designed by Kuwaiti studio AGI Architects, located in Al-Nuzha, a suburb of Kuwait city, Kuwait. The site can be accessed from either side of the surrounding streets to allow for both a private and a public entrance. After moving along a curved wall that guides the visitor from the exterior of the plot into the center, one reaches the main entrance into the house.
Upon entering through the main door frame, the space opens up to reveal the swimming pool and the public living areas of the house. The form of the residence is reminiscent of the movement patterns of a mop, from which flexible volumes are organized diagonally around a central axis. This axis twists upwards to generate spaces that are channeling the vision in different directions: the front side of the house, side gardens and angles of the back street.
The circulation surrounding the patio on the first floor contrives of a succession of living spaces, which not only communicate to one another, but also relate visually the interior of the patio to the exterior. The first floor overhangs to shade the rooms on the ground floor, and the patio is designed to define a break in between the volumes of the house, which subtly reveals a side garden.
The residence was originally planned to house one family with two small children, however in the future it could be divided into two units. The structure of the house and the distribution of the circulation, as well as the positioning of the entrances and lift allows for guaranteed privacy between parents and children in the prospective future.
Photos: Nelson Garrido
SF House is a contemporary residence designed for a couple and their two teenage children by Studio Guilherme Torres, located in Londrina, Brazil. Completed in 2006, the 5,887 square foot (547 square meters) project was planned on an upward sloping terrain allocated in three floors. The first floor, built at the street level, contains the laundry area which cannot be seen due to the span that forms the garage.
Above the garage one can find the living area and the guest’s bedroom. The big wood brise indicates the stairway that leads to the house. On the third floor, you will find the bedrooms which face a vast terrace. The access to the bedrooms is through a long corridor, brightly illuminated by glass sealed slabs on the ceiling and walls. Light is this project’s main property. It is free, rich, abundant and generous.
In this house, different environs are found with total synergy among the different parts of the house. The dining room, balcony and the home theater have no obstacles between them and can be closed with glass doors that are allocated in the walls. On both floors and walls one can easily notice the materials used: cement, bricks and cumaru wood.
The furniture never fails to match couple the precise and economical features of the house yet following a rejuvenating idea proposed by the family. The materials used either as floor or wall coatings allow room for a new interpretation to the basic Cartesian plans. In other words, the material which is supposedly made for walking on can actually be touched and vice and verse.
The house architecture carries several antagonistic symbolism’s – solidity, lightness, coziness, modernity, warmth, freshness – and complementary so as to shorten the distance between our dreams and achievements, an antidote to the boredom of traditional houses.
Photos: Beto Consorte
Villa Kra is a luxury dream vacation showcasing luxurious rooms in a beachfront villa, surrounded by beautiful tropical surroundings in Koh Samui, Thailand. Nestling on a hillside, the villa has taken a unique location on one of Thailands most beautiful islands. As you gaze out over the sea, the nearby islands, the tropical gardens and the incredibly beautiful pool, you realize that paradise exists.
Just seven minutes away lies Koh Samuis vibrant centre, Bophut, with its trendy bars, quaint shops and bustling markets. And as if that were not enough, the international airport is a mere fifteen minutes away. In short: Largo Villa Kra is a dream destination.
To stay at this fabulous retreat, rates run from $593 – $942 per night or $4,155 – $6,594 per week, from here.
This four-bedroom villa has everything necessary to melt stress away in an instant. In this modern design, the boundaries between inside and outside are blurred, making this a perfect getaway for groups of friends or successful family holidays. The stunning infinity pool is both refreshing and eye-catching. A small shallow childrens pool in the shade makes the outdoor area ideal for small children. A third pool with pool bar is the perfect setting for enjoying the stunning sunset on Koh Samui. In the stylish Chill Lounge you can enjoy a drink and each others company, while the eating area by the pool is a dream place to start your day with a delicious breakfast. At the end of a sublime day, you can go out onto the Moon Terrace. The wonderful Thai night sky conjures up a firework display that makes Las Vegas seem half-hearted.
The interior of Largo Villa Kra is likewise a joy to behold. Four bedrooms are tastefully decorated, and each has a private bathroom. The master bedroom comes complete with a relaxation pool on the terrace. Almost anything is possible in this little fragment of heaven on earth: you only have to ask. By request the chef will be delighted to make the finest local dishes, but even French cuisine is on the menu if you so desire. Yoga, massage, Pilates the range of relaxation options is endless.
Photos: Courtesy of Largo Villas
This stunning weekend house was designed by architecture studio SPBR, as a retreat in the city centered around a pool, garden and solarium, located in São Paulo, Brazil. Completed in 2013, this 1,969 square foot (183 square meters) modern property features a rooftop swimming pool to capture the heat of the sun, gardens to soften the hardscape and a solarium to avoid the shade from the closely-packed neighboring residences.
Dug into the air – a swimming pool in Sao Paulo. Clouds, drizzle, rain, snow or hail, in all its physical states water is related to sky. However, if we are requested to think about a [swimming] pool, our imagination automatically starts to dig into the ground. Seas, lakes, and ponds explain the reason we react in that direction: essentially, a pool feels like a piece of a lake. It makes sense, the image corresponds to the word, water that rests smoothly on the ground. Water defines the surface.
But if I mention a specific type of pool, a water tank or a water tower, we first imagine an elevated volume of water, a pool detached from the ground level. In this case, hydrostatic pressure is a requirement to fulfill pipes, to supply water. Water level holds a potential possibility.
While walking on the ground,we could ask: where is the surface? In the specific sense of the word, surface has no layers or thickness. However, if one walks in a city like São Paulo [or New York], the ground level does not correspond to the surface anymore. There are some pieces of the ground that haven’t been touched by the sunlight for decades since buildings have permanently shaded them.
In this specific site, the neighborhood’s average height is defined by the zoning code: 6 m high. No side setbacks are required. The east neighbor building shades our site the entire morning until noon, when the west neighbor building starts to shade it for the whole afternoon. Therefore, if there is a pool to be built, exposed to the sunlight the whole day, it is crucial to define its surface: six meters above the ground level.
The assumption here is like to swim in a water tower and to enjoy that potential as a design possibility. One more water ‘state’ related to the sky of São Paulo.
A WEEKEND HOUSE IN THE CITY
São Paulo is a metropolis of 20 million people. It is approximately one hour from the coast. Because of severe traffic jams, its inhabitants spend hours commuting every day. On weekends, especially in the summer, hundreds of thousands drive to the beach causing jams on the roads as well.
In order to avoid being stuck in traffic during weekends, we received an unexpected but rather logical demand as a counterflow action: a weekend house in downtown São Paulo.
As an anti-FAR [floor area ratio] approach, a swimming pool, a solarium and a garden are the main elements of this project. In a properly inverted hierarchy, everything else on this program is complementary: a bedroom, a small apartment for a caretaker, and a space to cook and receive friends.
The site is very central, between an arterial avenue, Avenida Faria Lima, and a metropolitan infrastructural axis [road and railway] built on the Pinheiros river shore. Also, the site is exactly under the airport conical zone, meaning all flights coming from Rio de Janeiro fly over the site about each 7 minutes.
Pool and solarium were displayed as parallel volumes. Two columns were located in the 1 m wide gap between them. The 12 m span is faced on one side by beams supporting the pool and on the other by beams that support the solarium and also hang the floor underneath. Structurally, the mass of the pool counterweights the volume which holds inhabited spaces. In other words, water is balanced by the beach.
The ground level was kept free from any construction in order to achieve the maximum garden area ratio. As a result there are three different layers or three levels for three different moods: ground level [garden – introspective or encompassed by the site limits], apartment level [the only indoor space floating above the ground and underneath the pool], and rooftop [swimming pool and solarium, an extroverted or panoramic space].
This building and its program differs from the focus of traditional architectural projects in two ways: the metropolis becomes a possible place to stay and enjoy during the weekends and elements generally considered secondary in a big house become fundamental components.
Photos: Nelson Kon