San Marino Island House is a 1930s art deco home with a recent modern addition by Robert Kaner Interior Design, located just outside of South Beach in Miami, Floria. The residence is re-conceived as a weekend and vacation home and is designed to provide for either a calm and restful stay or for a high energy collection of people and activity.
Photos: Courtesy of Robert Kaner Interior Design
Split View Mountain Lodge is a private holiday retreat designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter, located near the mountain village of Geilo, a popular skiing destination in Havsdalen, Buskerud, Norway. Ski resorts are abundant around the lodge, with a freestyle terrain park right next to the site. Out of winter season, the mountains provide excellent hiking opportunities as well as other sporting activities. The family of four with anticipation of a fifth addition provided a straight-forward program for their 1,400 square foot (130 square meters) mountain lodge: four bedrooms, separate living and dining areas, a youth lounge and a mezzanine for the younger children. In addition a small annex would accommodate guests and visiting grandparents.
Our response was a cabin of clear and clean-cut expression with a continuous skin of timber cladding on the exterior walls and roof, which will acquire a grey patina with time. The volume consists of a main body, housing mostly bedrooms, which follow the natural contours of the landscape and splits into two living zones. This shift in program and use of multiple levels allows the building to adapt to the slope of the site. The separate volume of the annex is placed in extension of the main body, contributing to the three characteristic split views through fully glazed end walls.
The cabin is entered beneath the cantilevered glazed volume into a hall with polished in-situ concrete floor, functioning as an intermediate zone to remove ski boots and outdoor clothing. A wooden stair ascends from the low basement and opens onto the generous space of the living quarters, capped by a complex ceiling of pitched planes high above. At the core of the holiday home, where the separate wings branch off from the main body in plan, is the kitchen. Its countertop of glass fiber reinforced concrete is cantilevered into the center of the space and anchored by a two-sided fireplace at the other end. Steps go onto separate spaces for dining and relaxing by the suspended second fireplace.
The extruded form of the structure frames the spectacular views from within the cabin, while strategically positioned smaller openings along its volume provides glimpses of the immediate surroundings. The elevated levels of the living and dining areas provide its occupants with a high degree of privacy, further enjoyed by ample seating niches within the outer walls. The interior floor, walls and ceiling are homogenously lined with virtually knot-free joinery timber, while all opening frames are concealed or discrete. The attention to detail and high quality is comprehensive and coherent throughout the project.
Through sliding doors along the hallway of the narrow main body is each of the bedrooms as well as a bathroom with sauna. The master bedroom opens onto a gable-shaped window extruded through the side wall for an outlook onto the night sky, while each of the children’s bedrooms has a loft bunk bed for visiting friends. At the far end of the hall is the youth lounge and overhead mezzanine with views through the glazed gable end straight onto the ski slope.
The mountain lodge is a continuation of Norwegian building traditions in form and materiality, perched beautifully within its landscape and responding to its context.
Photos: Søren Harder Nielsen, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
This cozy cottage is nestled in an idyllic spot among olive trees, with stunning views to the Sierra de Gredos mountains, Cáceres, Spain. The successful transformation of the home has been carried out by architect Alfonso Monteagudo, where the original structure was maintained and recovered materials resulted in a warm country home with discreet traditional details. The owners have opened their doors to turning this home into a vacation refuge called ‘Vaquería CantaElGallo.’
The home feature a discrete range of neutral paints, stucco walls, concrete ceilings with exposed wood and concrete floors that extends environments. This skillful handling of infallible tools such as color, light and coatings, transmits tranquility and order. The furniture, masonry and wood mostly define the country style but with a dose of tradition, and even notes through stately pieces brought from different parts of the world and rescued from antique shops.
The main entrance to the house is surrounded by nature, which seeps into the interior through the glass door and fixed window. That feeling of openness and blending with the environment is found in the continuity in the decoration through the materials.
Another special feature of this home is its distribution: a large central room where shared-use is the living room, dining room and kitchen — are attached two rooms designed as small apartments with living area and integrated en-suite bathroom. Each room worships comfort with simple and functional furniture, with complements of antique mirrors, earthenware containers or glass jars) that blend compositions full of charm. The luxury: space and simplicity.
Photos: Mi Casa
The Bronte House is a contemporary beach house perched high over the Pacific Ocean in Sydney, Australia, designed by Rolf Ockert Design. The client requested that the architect design a dream home that made them feel like being on a holiday every day, and while the view was fantastic, the site was very small and suffocated by overbearing neighboring dwellings. The finished house, though, feels generous and as if it is alone with the ocean and the sky.
Being tightly restricted by site conditions there were only two avenues we could take to create generosity of space and location: Firstly the surprising height of the living room space that takes advantage of the only extravagant spatial dimension available to us. And secondly the pursuit of sightlines to water and sky wherever possible. High side walls, for privacy but also to provide mass for a comfortable indoor climate, have continuous highlight windows for the enjoyment of 360° views of the sky. The large face concrete wall dominating the space has slim slot windows, allowing teasing glimpses of the ocean when entering the house while effectively cutting out the visual presence of the neighbor.
The house opens itself up completely to the East, the presentation of the stunning water views. This also allows the capture of the constant ocean breezes to cool down the house throughout the year, easily regulated by a plethora of ventilation options from sliding doors to operable louvers.
Sophisticated simplicity would be the most appropriate motto for the design of this house. Being on a very small block the client’s expectations of the generosity and design standard to be achieved required a very stringent approach. While the focus is naturally on the maximization of the enjoyment of the majestic ocean views it was the suburban context that drove most of the major design decisions: The slotted northern concrete wall, the solid southern facade, the high roof with its continuous strip of highlight windows and louvers.
The house has transformed the lives of the clients. Having stepped back from a high powered, high income lifestyle they now enjoy the beach life and pursuit of their new occupations, writer and therapist respectively. This lifestyle is partly funded by the renting out of the house to high caliber visitors. The architectural quality and enhancement of the ocean location through the design is essential for this to be possible.
A rich but reduced palette of strong, earthy materials, from the above mentioned concrete to Timber flooring and ceilings, rust metal finishes and thick, textured renders, contrasts with the fine detailing of the interior and anchors the residence against the airy, light aspect created by the opening to the views.
Photos: Sharrin Rees
La Luge is a holiday cabin designed by YH2 Architects, lying in the midst of the forest the home is dedicated to the enjoyment of Quebec, Canada’s snowy winters. Nestled on its site, surrounded by dense vegetation preserving the house’s privacy, La Luge integrates a private spa which occupies almost a third of the useable area, adding on to the traditional countryside living spaces. While La Luge is as a compact scheme of only 1,300 square feet of living space that is meant to accommodate a large number of guests, the house’s spaces can be reconfigured into diverse geometries: using large sliding doors, the users may transform the children bedroom into a playground or a guest bedroom, more or less opened onto the main living spaces.
The project is made out of two embracing volumes set on different levels –one dark, one light, thus creating distinct spaces, freely merging one into the other. In this wood shell made of essences of cedar, oak and walnut, the atmosphere is soft but bright, soothing.
Photos: Francis Pelletier
Hydeaway House is a modern vineyard retreat in the Carneros region of Sonoma, California, designed by Schwartz and Architecture. The simple, one-story 2,000 square foot floor plan is not unlike any number of recent pre-fabricated prototypes for low cost, sustainable single-family homes. But then, the shape of the house begins to morph with the push and pull of the surrounding environment. The simple rectangular box folds in two to embrace the open 1-acre site. Walls skew under the rectangular roof to focus on near and distant views. This then creates the tapering roof overhangs that strategically protect the private spaces from the harshest of the summer sun. In the end, the design retains the benefits of a simple plan with streamlined construction, and the economical and sustainable use of materials. Yet with just a few subtle shifts in the plan, we create a home engaged with its surroundings and far more able to take advantage of the best its site has to offer — qualities often lacking in the simple box.
To stay at the heavenly retreat, prices range from $775 – $975 per night, from here.
Photos: Matthew Millman
This beautiful traditional style lake house, situated in Salisbury, Connecticut was built by Crisp Architects to become a vacation getaway for the client’s. The resulting design serves as a perfect getaway for any family complete with lots of outdoor space, expansive decks and beautifully detailed interior spaces. The architects took advantage of the beautiful surrounding views so even when indoors, one can appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors. A large kitchen and charming living spaces make this home great for entertaining as well.
The light fixtures hanging over this gorgeous dining table are from Period Lighting Fixtures in Clarksburg, Massachusetts.
The beautiful kitchen features honed absolute black granite countertops, with cabinetry finished in Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White.
The bedroom offers incredible views over the lake with a balcony where the owner’s can spend evening gazing at the lake. The bed can be found at Eldred Wheeler handcrafted furnishings.
The mudroom features Benjamin Moore Carrington Beige for the walls and Benjamin Moore Navajo White for the trim.
Photos: Rob Karosis
This home, a rustic barn inspired vacation retreat for a family of four on Spring Island, South Carolina, was designed by Historical Concepts to appear as if it was once an old horse stable. The long and linear form is typical of the equestrian building typology and reminiscent of a simple barn that would have housed horses on a large functioning estate. To make the imaginary transition from stable to home, the design team came up with a playful layout that is unusual and quirky, as if new uses were carved into every niche and cranny of the “old barn”.
On the exterior, sliding barn doors open to reveal an open-air entry, flooded with light from the barn-inspired cupola above. Inside, a mixed palette of materials and barn-inspired details add further embellishment to the fictional storyline. Old Savannah Gray brick, reclaimed floors, exposed timbers and other rustic details appear to be vestiges of the home’s supposed past.
Large barn doors open to the open dogtrot entry area. (A dogtrot is an open breezeway, and dogtrot houses are common in Lowcountry.) Large screens are stashed in pockets so the entire opening can be screened, letting the breeze through without letting in the bugs. The dogtrot provides an open-air entry that receives light from the cupola overhead.
The home is comprised of 2,900 square feet of living space, with 3 bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms plus a 1-bedroom, 1-bath guesthouse.
“A catwalk connects a bunk room to a sitting room/office upstairs. “We kept the catwalk as open as possible so that it did not block too much light from the cupola. The industrial feel is an interesting counterpoint to the barn style.” A large fireplace draws everyone into the dogtrot during cold months. “The owners tell me that the dogtrot is a magnet for people whenever they have parties,”.
The upstairs windows share the light from the sitting room/office with the downstairs living space. The architect used 12-inch ponderosa pine planks, which stand up well to kids and dogs.
The owners wanted the kitchen sink to look out to the dogtrot fireplace; windows share the light and create the idea of a horse stall. Placing the sink on the dogtrot side dictated that the range be placed in the island, and the clients’ range required a commercial vent hood.
In the main living room, wide planks on the walls add more barn feeling. Indigenous Old Savannah Gray bricks give the chimney an aged look. Also carrying the barn theme through are rough-hewn beams meant to evoke a hayloft.
Other parts of the house have concrete floors, including the dining room, screened-in porch and dogtrot area. All the spaces flow in a logical way; a few paces allow the family to choose between the indoor dining room and the screened-in porch at mealtimes.
Tall pine trees and the screened-in porch along the back of the home mitigate the direct sunlight.
At the back of the house is the master suite is at the left; its structure is meant to resemble a stable manager’s office added onto the barn. A glass corridor leads to the main bedroom and a small office. Barn doors create the idea of rooms as former horse stalls. Thanks to telecommuting, the family is able to spend long stints in South Carolina, but it was important for the workspace to also incorporate the beautiful surroundings.
The parental zone also has its own private patio.
More pine planks on the walls, pine countertops and a claw-foot tub give this bathroom relaxed country style.
A cupola and dormers on the roof let in light and create ventilation, important elements in the home’s design; the windows are operational and open via a motor.
The neighborhood required muted colors; the archtect picked a woodsy palette that blends well with the coastal trees and shrubs around the home. He added a touch of barn red on the window trim.
Details like electrified gas lanterns, board and batten siding, a metal roof and exposed vent pipes add to the barn feeling.
Large sliding barn doors and Bahama shutters punctuate the front of the home and also let the owners batten it down when they head home to Princeton, New Jersey. The shutters function like Bermuda shutters but are planked to fit in with barn style.
The thoughtful layout was very important to the way the family lives here, especially when the kids bring friends home. The kids have a two-story zone on one side of the house, the communal areas are in the middle, and the parents have a first-floor master suite off the back of the house. The upper floor is the son’s domain; it includes a bedroom, a bunk room and a small sitting area (at the end of the catwalk) and a bathroom.
This is the upstairs sitting room, which overlooks the living room. All of the great light coming in through the dormers is shared with the first floor. The son’s and daughter’s zones will also work when they grow up, as guest suites where they can stay with families of their own.
Photos: Richard Leo Johnson | Atlantic Archives
Aspen Manor is a luxury mountain retreat designed by Charles Cunniffe Architects, situated on four acres at the base of Red Mountain in Aspen, Colorado’s posh Starwood neighborhood. At approximately 20,000 square feet, this stone-and-stucco Bavarian-style house utilizes as much glass as possible to encompass the views, all the while creating a warm, mountain escape for the owners. The Owner’s philanthropic engagements lead to programming to include spaces for sizable party tents, valet, catering, staff accommodations and lavish guests suites. The design includes 12 bedrooms, gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, an office, wine cellar and tasting room, gym, pilot’s quarters, pool and outdoor entertaining areas and a guest house.
The retreat is perched on a hill with a 70-mile panorama of snow-capped mountains. Outside a slate patio includes a pizza oven and entertainment area next to an Infinity swimming pool. A hot tub edged by large rocks is fed by a stream that runs under a wooden bridge.
The couple, pictured here, bought the property in 2006 for $20 million before embarking on a multi-million-dollar renovation. Mr. Powers, 53, was formerly a managing director and senior portfolio manager of Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO). Mrs. Power’s grandparents owned the Mississippi Delta plantation Dockery Farms. She is a trustee of the farm, now a historical site, and also funds a program that provides music education to children in the South.
Aspen interior designer Linda Bedell says it went from “overdone, Los Angeles nouveau riche” to the look of “a grand European country house.”
In the “Grand Room,” a wide open living room with 50-foot-high wood beam ceilings, a Joan Miro tapestry hangs above a vast stone fireplace.
Ms. Powers’ office includes an Andy Warhol painting.
Inside, the views compete with a top-shelf contemporary art collection. It starts in the entry, shown here, where a large Roy Lichtenstein oil hangs on gray cashmere-covered walls.
Village House was designed as a weekend retreat for a young family in northern Sjælland, Denmark, designed by Powerhouse Company. The house is an exploration on the possibilities of the Summer cabin, the traditional Danish vacation home. While keeping the cabin’s footprint small, spatial as well as sustainable, there is a wide range of spatial possibilities, by using a five-fingered floor plan.
The 1,184 square foot (110 square meters) house is a cluster of five wings, like miniature cabins. These fan out like a hand spreading five fingers over the site, generating a variety of views, light effects and outdoor areas. This variation means the house provides an enjoyable environment all year round and at all times of day. For example, a large window above the living room allows sunlight to bathe the dining table at around midday.
Summerhouses are traditionally family spaces, but when children grow older they need more independence from their parents. Hence the ‘village of cabins’ organization, with radiating individual spaces that are united in the centre. Each member of the family effectively has the option of privacy when they need it. Meanwhile a star-shaped central space, uniting the living room and kitchen, forms the shared area which nevertheless offers pockets of seclusion to spend time alone while still in the family circle. This solution faithfully reflects the rather different desires of the family members. One wanted a picturesque, cozy and archetypal summerhouse, while another wanted a spacious and contemporary feeling. Both desires are united in the design.
In basing Village House on the classic Danish summerhouse, while adding modern ideas of space, Powerhouse Company has created a contemporary harmony. The elementary wooden structure has a pitched roof, and it is black, the most discreet color in nature, like the dark shadows in the surrounding woods. Inside, the uniform white surface maximizes the northern light.
The rustic but modern solution is low maintenance, which is more important for a holiday home than offering lots of space. From an architectural point of view, its close relationship to the context is especially significant in a holiday home. The house contrasts with the routine home of the clients, and provides the basis for a separate lifestyle. Isn’t that what we are looking for when we go on holiday?