The Library House is a vibrant home designed to be a peaceful oasis for a family of three by Khosla Associates, located in Bangalore, India. The architects were asked to create a relatively small program for a three bedroom house within a large 13,000 square foot plot of land.
Description from the architects: The brief for this house was a well articulated document that delved into the nuances of how this family of 3 wanted to live. The family, comprising an entrepreneur-industrialist, married to a bohemian writer and with a teenage daughter, wanted the house to reflect the diverse range of their lives.
Our clients wanted privacy from staff and casual visitors. Seeking a peaceful oasis from the stresses of life, the homeowners wanted space to breathe, a verandah to watch the rain fall and a garden to potter about in. They wanted an ecologically sensitive house, contemporary yet nostalgic about old Bangalore; and since they were avid readers, a space to accommodate their ever-growing collection of books.
From the road, a modest colonnaded Mangalore tiled walkway with wooden columns traverses a tropical courtyard and one enters the home via a light filled foyer.
The Library is given importance as a central space as it combines various activities for the family and provides an anchor to the house. The 750 square foot area has a 25 foot high gabled roof with wooden trusses and a bookshelf spanning over 30 feet. It is a casual space where the family congregates, where carefully demarcated areas for lounging, studying, listening to music, playing the piano, and entertaining are carved out in an open plan layout.
The generosity of space gently spills out via large sliding doors into an ample verandah, pool deck and garden. The interconnectedness of these areas allow for a grand and seamless living space. Comfortable clusters of seating in the verandah and deck interact with the library as well as the garden.
The house achieves a great degree of efficiency in generating most of it’s own electricity via photovoltaic solar panels, and stores excess rainwater in a large underground sump.
The Library house juxtaposes different moods within its plan, modulating scale and creating an element of surprise as you enter, and a process of discovery as you move along. There is a layering of space and a continuing bricolage of old and new, global and Indian, that extends through all the spaces.
Photos: Shamanth Patil J.
The Bella Vita Villa is a contemporary oceanfront retreat integrating indoor / outdoor living, designed by Prototype Design Lab, located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The villa explores lightness, filtering natural breezes, layers of transparency and integrating indoor / outdoor spaces within dynamic patterns of light and shadow, providing a simple frame within which a contemporary sustainable lifestyle can unfold.
Description from the architects: The beachfront facade is almost entirely sliding glass openings to maximize on the view, natural light andfresh breeze of the ocean. The villa is wrapped on the top and bottom by solid concrete bands which extend along the sides of the house to become the solid entrance facade.
The entrance evokes a fortress-like grandeur, into which a masterfully crafted, poured-in place concrete frame successively recedes toward an door of a more intimate human scale. This drama is counterbalanced by the old-world beauty of an original, hand-carved wood door, reclaimed and imported from India. Lighting helps nighttime visitors appreciate the full effect of the majestic doorway, with its receding concrete panels.
The layering continues in the foyer with a custom lace patterned grand staircase cantilevered off of a board-form concrete wall.The connection between the expansive deck, LED-lit negative-edge pool, and living spaces is dynamicand direct.
At the heart of the house, an expansive great room is an entertainer’s dream, featuring 30-foot ceilings, a large chef’s kitchen and a twosided indoor-outdoor fireplace above which sunlight is filtered through the custom laser-cut chimney pattern. The secluded white beach is a focal point with which almost every room in the villa enjoys a connection.
Let there be lightness: sunlight streams through the open beachside facade, filtering through the custom cut-steel fireplace to create patterned shadows within. By night, its illuminated column serves as a beacon when viewed form the beach.
The grand staircase lives up to its name. The drama is created using laser-cut steel panels designed by the architect, fabricated in Toronto, and then shipped to the island along with reclaimed heavy-timber beams for the stairs.
The villa’s bathrooms incorporate floating fixtures of glass and chrome played against black Brazilian slate walls and floors.
Lower-level beachfront bedrooms have the added benefit of direct access to the deck and pool areas.
Photos: Eugen Sakhnenko / A-Frame
This partly 2 storey home was designed to accommodate an extended family of eight on a relatively modest site within a dense urban context. A bedroom for each of the four children, one for the parents and another possibly for grandparents, generous living spaces and a swimming pool were key to the brief.
Situated in a relatively intact heritage streetscape in Balaclava the project required an approach that restored the street presence of the original Victorian weatherboard, badly disfigured over time and added the spaces required by the family.
The strategy was to divide the house into two discreet buildings, old and new, separated by a large central courtyard and reconnected by a glazed link. The courtyard with its pool, gives the new building its northern aspect and is conceived as an extension of the communal spaces of the home which surround it on three sides. It also bestows the old building a formal autonomy.
The original building fabric was stripped back to its salvageable elements and the footprint reduced to form a seemingly freestanding cottage at the front of the site. The exterior was then carefully restored to its original Victorian character.
Internally spaces of the old house were reconfigured to become an office, library/living room and guest bedroom. The volume of the original structure was exploited in the new layout to create a grand living space.
A new two storey timber clad building was constructed at the rear of the property facing the old cottage across the courtyard and pool. Its angular form, commenced as a response to planning constraints, evolved into a subtle geometry that shaped the envelope and influenced the plan of both buildings.
The family’s bedrooms are accommodated upstairs. At ground floor an irregular open plan of living space flows around large kernels of service space. A glazed link with built in daybed borders the pool exploiting the morning sun.
The original entry was eschewed for a new access sequence leading from the street, down the eastern side of the original house and into the central courtyard. At this point, one is embraced by the home. Full height glazing to three sides allows views into all parts of the ground floor. Entry to the home is via the solid “front” door into the new building.
Should weather permit, glazed panels slide away to open the house out completely, integrating indoor and outdoor spaces. Travertine unifies the floor plane, internally and externally. Timber is celebrated in the beautifully crafted cladding and interior panelling.
This is not a big house. Considered planning and the integration of indoor and outdoor achieve a generosity and variety of communal spaces for the family at odds with the actual size of the building. Private areas are restrained and humble. It is an urban home that functions successfully for a multi-generational family and its evolving needs.
Photos: Peter Clarke
Hasenacher is an incredibly beautiful single family private residence that has been designed by Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects, located in Zurich, Switzerland. It is a place filled with memory. Historical memories of a different time abound, memories of a different purpose, memories of Hasenacher’s beginnings, memories of children laughing, swimming, growing up and having children of their own. Preserving those memories as footprints in time served as the foundation on which reimagining this house and preserving its sense of place in time transpired.
Description of the project from the architects: That times changes is certain. Every generation brings its own concerns, desires, intentions and aspirations to the places it occupies. So it is with the buildings in which we live. Not all are so fortunate as to be able to shape their environment to these changes and so express their vision, their hopes, and their recollection of memory of place. Given the opportunity to do so, Hasenacher is not a re-creation; it is a conception of the delight in the memories of past and a history known only through the remembrances of others.
Iconic in its siting, it occupies its original location and footprint, and seeks an enhanced place in the lives of its current stewards. Sitting at the edge of a forest, atop a moraine, the house is at the center of the arc of the sun, farm fields unchanged for centuries sloping away to a vista of the lake, the lake nestled at the base of the distant hills, the hills yielding to the majesty of the snow capped mountains in the distance. Time seems irrelevant and one’s memory is encapsulated in a continuum of the millennia to the present.
Hasenacher, the house, is flexible, accommodating to the changing times, a testament to its early Architecture. Hasenacher, the place, is steadfast, replete with the memories collected over the centuries.
That one can live there and partner in its subtle evolution is a privilege and life affirming.
Photos: Matthew Carbone
This renovated 1840 stone farmhouse is reached by crossing over a babbling brook via a wooden bridge, nestled on a 50 acre estate of incredible serenity in Erin, Ontario, Canada. In front of you sits an original farmhouse which thanks to a thoughtful addition tripled the residence in size to 7,350 square feet with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms.
Spotted on Sotheby’s, this stunning property is listed for sale at $3,130,526 USD, from here.
Main floor master wing with walk-out to Japanese garden on one side and woodland garden on the other side.Stone ruins of the former barn create a postcard backdrop for the sublime resort pool complex.
Old and new blend perfectly to create an atmosphere of comfortable country elegance and practical living. There is a beautiful great room with a 20 foot ceiling for casual family living or formal entertaining.
Mountain Wood Residence is comprised of separate buildings arranged to create a variety of indoor outdoor spaces designed by Walker Warner Architects, located in the small rural town of Woodside, California. The home embodies the San Francisco firm’s belief that architecture should be expressive, timeless, and always united with the natural beauty of the site. The beautiful interiors were designed by interior design firm Shawback Design Associates.
Description from the architects: To create a variety of complementary indoor and outdoor living experiences, the architects arranged three zinc-roofed structures—a main house, an office, and a barn—around a loose central courtyard. The fourth structure—a pool house—comprises a row of three pavilions, constructed of the same understated material palette of wood, stone, glass and steel, as the main buildings.
The rustic stone barn, reminiscent of a beautiful ruin that has long stood on the land, stands at the front of the property, acting as a visual threshold and symbol of the updated rural vernacular.
An open passageway through the barn creates a dramatic frame of the entry facade of the main residence, which is contrastingly contemporary with its exposed steel and large expanses of glass.
At sundown, the house appears like a jewel box in the woods. Having completed other projects in Woodside and similarly picturesque locations, Walker Warner knows properly framing these views is crucial to properly contextualizing the building.
A material palette of stone and western red cedar is contrasted by contemporary elements of exposed steel, and large expanses of glass.
Walker Warner drew from the rustic surroundings and determined appropriate lines and forms for this particular landscape that spoke to their client’s vision, all the while incorporating the highest levels of quality, integrity and craftsmanship.
The result is an artful, tranquil home with a respectful nod to the regional agrarian compounds and iconic forms that came before.
Photos: Matthew Millman
Stanislav Grgic Architect has sent us images of their latest project, Popovic House, a family home located near Novi Sad, on the hillsides of Fruška Gora, Serbia. From this altitude, an unobstructed view over river Danube and Novi Sad with its surroundings is provided.
Description of the project from the architect: Due to the fact that this beautiful wide view is a great advantage that had to be used in the best possible way, the house was built on the very top of the site, this way providing an even clearer and better view.
This is why the living room was designed as a unit with a large glass wall which makes landscape visible from any point of the interior. The spacious, partially covered terrace, provides the same wide view.
On the same foor there is a bedroom section, comprised of three bedrooms, each with a bathroom, as well as a separate, large and double-height room with a fireplace, envisioned as a “trophy room”. With its dimensions, this room overtops the rest of the building and thus visually appears as a separate unit too.
The floor below this one was designed for a swimming pool with accompanying premises, and a wine cellar. The river and the city are visible from the swimming pool plateau too.
Photos: Courtesy of Stanislav Grgic Architect
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