A modern home built for outdoor living, Villa Escarpa was the vision of architecture studio Mario Martins, located near the village of Praia da Luz, in the district of Lagos, Algarve, in the South of Portugal. A condition of the planning permission was that the new house be constructed in the space occupied by a previous building. This had little architectural or technical merit, but was located in an exceptional position on an escarpment overlooking the Algarve coastline and village of Praia da Luz.
The footprint was therefore predetermined; on a very steep slope, and exposed to the prevailing winds. Paradoxically, it is these constraints and difficulties that underpin the conceptional basis of the project.
In an architectural language, pure and contemporary, we created sheltered terraces and courtyards for outside living. These are cut from the horizontal volume which is white and highly transparent. This volume gently sits upon an exposed concrete support giving the appearance of the house floating above the landscape. The touch on the environment, which we want to preserve, is minimized and resolves the difficult balance of the building with its physical support . This ensures a desirable visual lightness.
The house merges with a long water surface which dissects the wide living and kitchen spaces. These spaces are complimented by terraces protected from the wind, but open to the sun and impressive views. This is the social area of the house; open and fluid.
Four bedrooms are located in a private area with access from a corridor that runs alongside a central courtyard. In this private courtyard the natural light is filtered, creating an intimate and desirable space.
The lower area provides garaging and technical support. The roof terrace accentuates the visual lightness of the floating building in its environment.
9133 Oriole Way is a stunning modern home offering sweeping, panoramic views of the entire LA basin, perched on the highly desirable “Bird Streets” above the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California. The brand new 12,530 square foot, five bedroom, ten bath estate was meticulously designed to deliver clean lines with wide open spaces, walls of glass and Fleetwood pocket doors throughout that seamlessly fuse the interior and exterior, offering the ultimate California lifestyle. The materials, details and natural light are exquisite.
Owner Sean Sassounian, in close collaboration with top design firm In-Ex, focused intently on the well-curated interior, sparing no expense. The impressive list of European manufacturers includes furniture by Acerbis, Arco, Classicon, Glas Italia, Matteo Grassi and Walter Knoll; custom lighting by Foscarni; closets by Molteni; outdoor furniture by Paola Lenti, Kettal and Roda; and laundry room, kitchen and pantry by DADA. In addition, the art in the house is specially curated by the Michael Kohn Gallery – with notable and emerging artists, many from California.
Main level offers a spacious Grey and White Lacquer DADA kitchen that flows to attached sitting/media room, facing out to the pool and lush hills. A massive marble island in the kitchen complements the integrated Miele appliances, and a hidden door leads to an entire catering kitchen behind the main kitchen. Formal living room with high-ceilings and spectacular views boasts a full bar and flows to a gorgeous master office with floor-to-ceiling windows. A sophisticated library/media room provides views over West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. Tasteful built-in cabinetry throughout. Extremely private, even with the glass and indoor/outdoor flow.
The grand entrance of the home features lush grounds, a fountain, custom blended grey terrazzo floors, and a massive American oak door behind double gates. This is a truly chic, one-of-a-kind home on one of the best streets in Los Angeles.
Upper level, enjoy 4 bedrooms with wrap-around windows and automated blackout blinds – you feel like you’re on an island in the hills floating above the city. Hidden TVs drop from the ceiling. Views everywhere. Even the master walk-in closet has a large window and amazing view. All bedrooms are en-suite and feature walk-in closets.
Master suite boasts a huge custom master bath with views overlooking the back pool and canyon – dual rain-heads; deep soaking tub & spa; a mesmerizing hall of mirrors effect. Master bedroom faces west for incredible sunsets and afternoon light. Enjoy a private balcony overlooking pool and an attached office and wet bar.
Lower level, find a full gym with shower, separate massage room, powder room and full bath; wine cellar with its own bar; screening room with custom-installed marble bar-counter; en-suite guest room; and a spacious garage with room for eight vehicles, plus a carport for two.
Resort-style backyard offers an infinity edge pool & spa, outside patios with 270-degree birds-eye views, complete outdoor kitchen, full bath and a spectacular dining and entertaining area. Outdoor kitchen has all Viking appliances and stainless steel Viking cabinets.
Espiritu Del Mar Estate 17 villa is perched along an ocean-view ridge with sweeping vistas of Palmilla Bay, San Jose’s city lights and the mountains of the East Cape in Los Cabos, Mexico. Situated in the heart of Espiritu Del Mar, a world-class destination resort, the 5,320 square foot, five bedroom, seven bath property is just a stroll away from the Club Espiritu health and fitness retreat and a quick golf cart ride from the Club Ninety Six beach club.
Estate 17 is designed to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living so that you and your family can fully enjoy the highlight of life in Los Cabos – year-round sunny weather and ocean breezes. Enjoy spectacular ocean views from the infinity edged pool with cascading spa. Relax by the poolside fire pit, and rinse off in the outdoor shower beside the outdoor powder room. In true Cabo fashion, the home is surrounded by the sound of cascading water, with multiple fountains and water elements throughout.
The elegant interiors include a spacious great room with 18-foot vaulted, beamed ceiling and an inviting, open floor plan. The large formal living and dining room features a stone fireplace and dining area for at least ten. Natural light floods the great room through clerestory windows and a cupola over the chef’s kitchen. A dedicated bar in great room, complete with island seating, is perfect for entertaining, as is the kitchen, with an island (w/seating) overlooking the great room and opening onto an intimate, shaded terrace. A separate butler’s prep kitchen flows to shaded BBQ and outdoor cooking area, and there is a separate service staff entry adjacent to the laundry and prep kitchen. Also enjoy an additional family/media room and powder room.
Sleep in comfort, with both upper and lower master bedroom suites, boasting private ocean-view terraces, walk-in closets, dual vanities and seated make-up areas. There are also two guest bedroom suites in the main house – one with ocean-view terrace – and a detached ocean-view guest casita featuring a private shaded terrace and mini kitchenette. Estate 17 can comfortably accommodate large families and groups of friends; it is the perfect vacation home for both a relaxing getaway and large-scale entertaining.
Espiritu is a world-class destination resort where owners enjoy an unparalleled package of amenities, including:
- Club Ninety Six, Mexico’s finest private beach club
- Club Espiritu, Mexico’s finest private fitness club with spa
- Espiritu Park, with tennis and basketball courts
- 24-hour security and emergency medical services
- Carefree ownership with superlative residential and resort concierge services
- Private chef and butler service (upon request)
- In-residence spa program
- Access to 27-holes at Pamilla’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course
- Access to the Palmilla Tennis Club
This terrace house renovation has been designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects, located in Paddington, a suburb of east of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Faced with the age old problems presented by much loved terrace housing – damp, dark and introverted – the architects sought to create a luminous space to give a full family a much needed dose of vitamin D. Introducing some fluid lines with a light filled stairwell at the center and a sun drenched kitchen and living at the rear, the new configuration of old and new proves an enriching experience.
An awning at the rear allows the living area to be shaded or bathed in light.
Family room features bold colors and rich textures.
Accustomed to muted tones, and a subtle palette, a much needed spring was put in our step by the bold use of colors, delphinium blues, cadmium yellows, beautiful artworks, exotic patterns and rich textures carefully selected by the interior designer in residence, Heidi Correa. The lush landscaping at the rear provides a verdant backdrop to family life. The final result knocked even us off our feet.
Grooved lining boards bring a touch of Palm Beach to Paddington.
Bright colors pop against white walls and cabinetry.
The stair draws light to the heat of the home.
Bent wood chairs relax around an Eero Saarinen tulip table.
Cool colors and a variety of textures emphasized by the white backdrop.
Wallpaper adds texture to the powder room.
A large pendant light over the bedside table.
Marble mosaic and terracotta tiles in the ensuite.
Sunny Breakfast nook.
Living room opens onto the rear deck.
Lush foliage by Secret Gardens.
Heidi Correa, resident interior designer.
Photos: Justin Alexander
Doheny Estate residence is nestled above the famed Sunset Strip in the coveted “bird street”, designed by renowned European designer Luca Colombo, in Los Angeles, California. This trophy estate offers an awe-inspiring indoor and outdoor modern lifestyle, showcasing the best, most explosive views. The residence offers 5,600 square feet of the utmost luxury living, with five bedrooms, six baths, and sits on 17,066 square feet of complete privacy.
This spectacular luxury property is offered at $10,900,000, from here.
Designed and crafted with the highest quality materials and accoutrements, including finishes of baltic stone, caesarstone, echo-composite stone, oak flooring, custom aluminum doors, philippe starck fixtures, terrazzo flooring. An uncompromising design, and the finest quality construction.
Huge outdoor space, comparable to 5-Star hotel with Infinity pool, spa, stainless steel bar with full kitchen, dining trellis, and fire-pit and state of the art ipad system to control the entire home.
Dramatic two story Living room with Ipe and Cedar wood ceilings, indoor and outdoor family room with fireplace, dinning room and beautiful open and sophisticated kitchen.
Opulent master suite with sitting room, fire place, terrace, outdoor decks and luxurious baths. Second master suite and additional guest bedroom suite. There is also a media room and second living room with adjoining bar and lounge.
Contemporary Bauhaus on the Carmel project is a private residence designed by Pitsou Kedem Architects, built in the center of a historic avenue and at the very heart of Haifa’s French Carmel neighborhood, Israel. The avenue is studded with a number of residences designed in the Bauhaus style. The Bauhaus style gained its hold in Israel in the wake of international styling trends and is a ornament free design style, both simple and down to earth. The style celebrated the aesthetics of the machine and was characterized by uniformity of color and by unassuming and simple finishes and facades. The style faithfully represented the spirit of the age and the location. This project, designed decades later, creates a line that connects contemporary styling with the spirit of that bygone era.
The 5,200 square foot project emphasizes and sharpens the differences between apparently similar design styles of contemporary minimalism influenced by Japan and the austere moderation of the modernism that characterized the end of the 1950′s. Both of these paradigms translate into a way of life, to the Israeli environment and climate. The sophistication and the minimalism that existed at the heyday of the Bauhaus period have been translated, in this latest reincarnation, into a spacial purity and prestigious restraint.
In his design, the architect has expressed his own, localized interpretation for free planning in which there is a spacial continuity achieved through light, appearance and movement and the placement of secondary spaces around one, large and open central space. The architect has succeeded in creating the experience of continuous, intimate and defined spaces with different levels of symbiotic, mutual interaction with the central space and yet without detracting from the overall understanding of the structure.
Despite the intensification of the residences central space which finds expression in a double sized open space reaching the entire height of the building with one completely transparent facade facing the direction of the courtyard, through the use of controlled and restrained formality and the use of materials with no external facings, the designer has succeeded in showing his belief that it is possible to create a residential space of quality and timelessness.
In an attempt to connect with the historic avenue and the houses that have inhabited it since the 1950′s, the architect has paid great attention to homes front facing facade. The front of the building is almost anonymous, for the most part, a closed element, free of unnecessary ornamentation and one that combines a monochromatic color scheme based on the grays and whites that characterized that same era. Only the floating upper roof hints at a harmony with contemporary design.
There is a sense of acceptance of the avenues importance and an attempt to assimilate into its, fragile and gentle structure and in no way try to force contemporary architecture on the surrounding environment. Only the floating mass of the roof hints that, despite the desire to be part of the avenues context and the spirit of that historical period, it is clear to the observer that here we have a bold attempt to create an architectural language that leaves a clear signature and the fingerprint of the designer.
The home was, as said, designed around a wide, high public space that constitutes the connecting point and provides a view of all of the homes different wings as well as to the central courtyard and the pool. In order to further strengthen the impact of the central space it has been coated with exposed concrete panels and a large library on the wall as a central motif. A large, ribbon window allows light to enter deep into the space, creating movement and dynamism on the central wall.
The architect has covered all of the structures spaces with an expansive roof which appears to be suspended, weightless in the air and floating effortlessly with no apparent means of support. The roof frames and consolidates the various parts of the structure with the apparent dissociation between the roof and the building creating an impressive, formal dialogue.
Movement within the house is accompanied by different views of the outside environment; exposed and open areas and other areas that are framed and focused on a specific view that was designed specifically for that area. The underlying concept of the homes design is one of quiet and formal restraint; the home is a place of tranquility and calm where the minimalistic details, the clean language and the meaning, separate the residents from the world outside. The architecture and the interior design combine a climatic relationship with light and air, an expression of the homes functionality and the uniform design lines both internal and external.
The materials and the colors used for both the interior and the exterior range from white to gray combined with wooden strips. The simple, clean shapes and the light play a central role in the interior design. Shade and light create ever changing performances of shapes and movement, “playing” on the walls, the ceilings and the floors of the building throughout the day. The combination of the geometric light shows against the horizontal and vertical surfaces, made from many different materials, creates a unique atmosphere in the internal spaces and the house’s exterior that make a powerful statement of uniformity and calmness.
During the day, natural light entering the residence and its movement creates absorbing light shows. At night, when darkness falls, artificial light, and especially the light seeping out from the pool, create within the structures spaces a totally different atmosphere, one that is almost mystical and magical. The design of the courtyard is characterized by the same restraint of form with the choice of trees and their placement also communicates with the avenue and the surrounding environment. And so, despite the fact that different worlds and different eras exist in the space between the historical Bauhaus of the avenue and that of this modern and minimalistic home, there still exists a relationship between them, a feeling that one is not strange to the other.
Photos: Courtesy of Pitsou Kedem Architects
Set high in the hills of the São Conrado neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro is this spectacular home designed by Studio Arthur Casas, with views of the ocean and Pedra da Gávea, a 2,769-foot granite dome that is a popular spot for paragliding. This private residence is that of Brazilian television show host Alex Lerner, who interviews celebrities for his show, “Behind the Fame”. The homeowner had several requests for the architect, he wanted a big pool since he swims several times a week. He wished to live the same way he did while vacationing in St. Barts when he as at home. Cleanliness was equally important, he wanted a low maintenance home. Mr. Lerner was so particular on the details, he actually left his television job in 2011 so that he could keep on eye on the construction.
The immaculate home is comprised of 5,200 square feet of living space, which cost approximately $213 a square foot to build. It feels light and airy despite all that stone that was used in the the design, due in part to the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels used in front and back. The floors and much of the millwork are cumaru, a hardwood that Mr. Casas said “is extremely tough and great for outdoor use.”
On the ground floor are apartments for the gardener and the maid, as well as two guest rooms; the master suite is on the third floor. Visitors enter on the second level, which opens onto the pool, with a view of the ocean beyond. (Mr. Casas cleverly raised the foundation of the house, so the neighbor’s roof below is obscured.) The poolside chaises, like most of the furniture in the home, are white, with covers that can be removed and washed, or scrubbed clean, to Mr. Lerner’s delight.
The Ibiza chaises from Restoration Hardware ($1,095 each) have washable covers, which pleases Mr. Lerner. “I like things very, very clean,” he said.
Mr. Lerner insisted that the material used to build his house be the same peach-beige-gray stone he had seen years before at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem.
A nearly 12-foot-tall door beside the hot tub leads directly into the master suite.
The central stair adds a vertical element to the horizontal house. On one side it is open; on the other, a recessed slot in the wall holds a handrail.
Steps up from the third-floor landing, where Mr. Lerner has his home office, is the master bedroom. On the wall is a movable artwork by Sérgio Machado: a procession of metal insects, secured with adhesive.
In the master bedroom, a 19th-century French chest sits beside the bed. The linens are from Restoration Hardware, as is the bench at the foot of the bed. The chair is by Aristeu Pires, a São Paulo designer.
A massive stone wall on the street shields the home’s occupant from the public; the front door opens onto the second-floor living area.
On the lower level are the guest rooms and the maid and gardener’s apartments. Upstairs is the living area, and above that, the master suite.
Sliding doors throughout the house offer the option of privacy as well as a sense of openness.
Arthur Casas, the architect, raised the foundation so the house below is hidden from view. At night, Mr. Lerner can go skinny dipping in relative seclusion. “I wanted to find a place for privacy,” he said. “I live alone, and here I can be naked.”
Casa de La Flora is a modern beachfront resort designed by VaSLab Architecture, located along a palm tree lined beach in Khao Lak, Phangnga, Thailand. The latest member of Design Hotel in Thailand, the resort was commissioned in 2008 by one of Thailand’s leading businessmen Sompong Dowpiset. There are 36 cube-shaped villas aimed to serve as a new high profile yet humble destination hotel in this beautiful town of southern Thailand.
The brief given to the architect is a unique resort that consists of a series of pool villas with maximum ocean views. Facilities such as a reception lounge, swimming pool, pool bar, beachfront restaurant, spa, fitness, and library are the must-have programs in this hotel. The owner challenged the architect to create a a bold look of architecture but one that yields to warmth and nature after its implied name, “flora.”
VaSLab’s metaphorical design takes on the act of “arising flora,” where each concrete versus wood villa reflects as a flora form, emerges from the ground, and blooms to reach the daylight. Deviated walls and tilted roofs are characterized throughout the series of 36 cubic-form villas, where these tapered elements do not only recall the act of arising flora but widen the rooms’ perspective frames when looking outward to the sea.
The continuity of these lines can also be seen in the interior space and interior elements such as built-in beds, coffee tables, and built-in cabinets. Custom-made furniture designed by Anon Pairot Design Studio carries this thematic design, as some of them represent the organic form of a flora. The same concept is carried throughout the landscape and hardscape work from talented designer T.R.O.P., who extends the lines of architecture into a set of charming pathways, pavement blocks, and green walls as they act like the architecture’s root, stem, and branches. APLD, the lighting designer, abstractly sets the resort’s lighting to provoke the main architectural elements; deviated walls and tilted roofs, as if the villa cubes are arising above the ground.
Its glass-fronted villas have clean interiors featuring concrete surfaces, natural stone walls, and wooden floors/ ceilings. Ten units stand directly to the beach, with maximum sea views, and all come with private pools, 24-hour butler service, and the latest in-room entertainment. Eco-friendly credentials come in the form of an ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools and wastewater and rainwater recycling.
Photos: Courtesy of VaSLab Architecture