Thao Dien House is a beautiful renovation project carried out in 2014 by MM++ Architects, located in Thảo Điền, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The contemporary villa is comprised of 3,013 square feet (280 square meters), showcasing clean lines and wide open spaces.
From the architect: The intention was to turn the existing construction, a “pastiche” art deco, into a contemporary villa with clean lines and open spaces while keeping the entire existing concrete structure. The cost saving, which represents around 30% of total construction cost and the time saving on the construction schedule was a huge benefit for the client, an investor. Therefore, with balancing the cost, it was possible to add new elements to the construction.
The building has been reduced to his most minimal expression, a white cubic shape with two vertical vegetal walls added on the front and back of the house in order to bring privacy for the bedrooms and allowing large openings for natural ventilation without crossing views. The vertical garden “extends” the surrounding vegetation onto the walls and makes the house “disappearing” into the landscape. It creates a strong visual connection between the house and the garden and gives an identity to the place.
On the ground floor, living room, dining and kitchen are merged in one unique space fully open to the outdoor on three sides, bringing the garden inside the house. Swimming pool and decking have been reshaped as an extension of the interior space. The staircase has been relocated for a better distribution of the first floor and creates the main feature of the living room with a floating steps design. On the first floor, three bedrooms instead of the four existing in order to gain space to create a real master suite.
Starting from a poor existing space quality, enclosed, with no connection to the garden, this project is an experiment to demonstrate how it can be versatile and fun to “play” with an existing structure and to turn the construction into a radically different layout and design, revealing better spaces, adding value to the place and proposing a life style closer to nature.
Photos: Hiroyuki OKI
With a closeness to nature offered in this stunning family home, every detail has been carefully thought out, offering creative solutions and exciting architecture in Ljunghusen, Sweden. The residence offers sophistication and luxurious details, with natural lighting throughout.
The house feels somewhat anonymous as you approach from the street, however as soon as you step inside the entrance door it changes to something spectacular. The house is a solid stone house that has been covered with a horizontal wood paneling to create a soft and comfortable feel. The entrance door is custom built in glass and oak paneling, and one could say that this is the standard set for the rest of the house. You are surrounded by whitewashed stone walls and a sober white pigmented concrete floors, which leads you further into the house.
You are welcomed immediately into the open seating area. There is plenty of space for entertaining family and friends, The dining room offers a large expanse of glass windows that overlook the garden facing south. An exciting atrium separates the living area from the dining room and creates a stylish environment. The concrete floor becomes a beautiful accent against the white landscape wooden panel that lines some of the walls. The feeling is both modern and rustic at the same time. Cold evenings gives the stove a nice heat and lets you relax to beautiful crackling sounds.
The kitchen offers an open plan against the social surfaces. A practical kitchen island clad in wood, breaking cleanly against the white interior gives a pleasant impression. It can accommodate two bar stools, perfect for when you want a breakfast time for yourself before you start your day. Exclusive machines from Gaggenau and Miele gives the kitchen a lovely finish. Perhaps most striking is the original pantry with glass door. This creates beautiful storage jars, a work of art in itself and makes it a pleasure to keep order in the pantry.
In the bedrooms the windows were placed so as to reduce transparency. On the floors, carpet has been added to lend warmth and a comfortable feeling in the rooms. Instead of doors into the walk-in chambers, two of the three bedrooms have heavy drapes, creating a warm and cozy feeling. The master bedroom is located in the second part of the house and also has the same feeling. The impression of everyday luxury is enhanced even further with the spacious closet. You will sleep in a relaxing atmosphere and in the morning you just need to walk a few steps to take a morning dip in the pool.
The villa has two lovely bathrooms. One is located in the entrance hall and offers bath and sleek and stylish décor from Aspen. The floor is covered with seastone and give a cozy feel. The second bathroom is a bit larger, decorated in tasteful white and stone. There is a shower and two washstands.
The newly built sauna room is inviting with its warmth on cold evenings and here you can let your eyes rest on the large window facing the garden. Then you go directly into the outdoor lounge and breathe in some fresh forest air.
This intelligent home showcases many thoughtful features and functions. Throughout the house, even outdoors, are nicely integrated speakers. The technology in the house can easily connect to iPads and phones, which makes it easy and fun to do. The whole house has a lovely heated floor, even in the garage, storage and guest house. There is plenty of storage and in the garden there is a separate storehouse.
The most apparent with the social part of the house is the simplicity of getting out into nature. By opening up one of the terrace doors you step out to your own little paradise. The large paved terrace runs along the entire garden side, and there are several patios, both for relaxing and socializing. Stylish awnings give shade during the hottest days of the summer and attracts one to take a dip in the sumptuous pool. The whole time you feel nature’s presence when the wind takes hold of the pines that surround the garden. Overlooking the pool there is also a guest house that houses everything you want to offer your guests. Or, you may choose to create an office or an inspiring studio here?
Every little detail of the house is well thought out and carefully selected. Everything from designer switches to color selection, layout and site-built TV unit. Sit back and allow yourself to enjoy a perfect home, just a few hundred meters from Sweden’s most beautiful sandy beach.
Photos: Courtesy of Bjurfors
Amchit Residence is a beach house conceived as a layering of decks by BLANKPAGE Architects, located in the seaside town of Amchit in Lebanon. The design of the home sought to maximize its relationship with the sea through a visual and compositional celebration of horizontality in general and the Mediterranean horizon in particular.
From the architects: The slabs are held by a minimal steel structure made of equally sized square columns on a regular module of 2.55m, as well as a discreet glass enclosure. Given the inclined nature of the site, the house is approached by car on the street level just below the upper deck. At the external landing entrance, the circulation interconnects the three levels of the house. The upper platform contains the master bedroom that opens up on an elongated lap pool and expansive sun deck. The middle platform houses two bedrooms and a family living.
Finally, the lower deck serves as a reception area that extends outdoors towards the sea through an infinity pool as well as a staircase to the shore. In addition to the inner circulation core, a smooth promenade formed by a system of external ramps and staircases connects the platforms, linking the various levels of the rocky landscape that stretches between the street all the way to the sea.
The rhythms of the steel structure and wooden decking create a multiplicity of overlapping patterns of shadows that vary in direction and length all through the day rendering the simple structure at once complex and alive. At the particular moment of the sunset, the house, oriented almost due west at the elevation that faces the sea, acts as photographic diaphragm that invites the rays of the setting sun into the depths of the house, dashing the prototypical spaces in a horizontal glow of deep red.
Photos: Ieva Saudargaitė
Head Road 1816 is a spacious family home designed for luxurious open plan living by SAOTA architects, located in Fresnaye, Cape Town, South Africa. The clients required a four bedroom home for their young family, the design of which had to encapsulate all the qualities of luxury open-plan living while still providing a homely environment.
From the architects: The practicalities of the site – steepness and town planning restrictions – were key initial drivers in determining the parameters available. The narrow proportion of the property also necessitated the careful consideration of privacy and bedroom accommodation, which is set back from the street or suitably screened.
Effort was put into capitalising on views to the rear onto Lions Head as well as across Sea Point and the Atlantic Seaboard. There is a clear vertical distinction between the living and bedroom accommodation. With young children, the bedrooms needed to be in close proximity to each other and to the parents thus a securable ‘family only’ portion of the home was a result. The upper-most level accommodates the master bedroom; a generous open-plan space inclusive of a dressing area and en suite bathroom. From the entrance a timber staircase accesses the primary living and entertainment area. The living areas are arranged to allow seamless connection to the garden, covered terrace and pool. Level changes, the ceiling plane and sliding doors subtly define this versatile space.
The language of the house reflects bold contemporary lines and extended planes, but the introduction of timber has softened and blurred this distinction. The tactile qualities of timber and the way it is used activate the senses – the sound and smell of the hardwood timber underfoot on the staircase sets a tone on entering the house. Screening elements ensuring privacy have become an integral component of the aesthetic. The juxtaposition of solid mass to large expanses of transparency is transitioned with semi-transparent slatted screens and shutters. The architectural language takes its cues from a Spanish approach to simple cubic volumes with punctured openings and planar walls that open up to create generous ocean views.
Such a narrow, steep site often compromises the final outcome but here, with the seamless connection of indoor and outdoor spaces, the heart of the house was successfully extended from boundary to boundary.
Photos: Adam Letch
96 Golden Beach Drive is a residential project with a minimalist zen feel, completed in 2012 by SDH Studio, located in Golden Beach, Florida. The residence is nestled on a 13,000 square foot lot, designed around a 27 foot high space that would be the heart of this home.
From the architects: With the idea of bringing in the outdoor landscape, the house opens up towards the water and fills the triple height space with natural light and green.
With a Minimalist/Zen approach every space was carefully designed to accommodate a family with three children. The house reinforces one of the basic philosophies of sdh studio which emphasizes the value of environmentally sustainable design.
Photos: Robin Hill
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