Two Barns House is a stunning modern dwelling designed by architecture studio RS+, located in a quiet northern district of Tychy, Poland, near the forest complex. Access to this 2,701 square foot (251 square meters) home is achieved by a cul-de-sac from the main road connecting the plot in its north-west corner. Zoning plans based on the analysis of the urban area imposed roof geometry and the maximum height of the building. The rectangular shape of the plot and its orientation towards the south-west suggested preferred location of the building.
Requirements of investors was that the house have to be open to the south garden, spacious and comfortable. To accomplish this and to split the volume, we divide the body of the building in two materially and functionally different parts. We turned first shape towards south and include in it the whole day zone.
To let residents maneuver their cars easier, we headed second shape toward the entry to the plot. Here we placed the rest of functional areas. In addition, we shifted both solids relative to each other to further enlarge the driveway, which due to the relatively narrow access road must be used to turn back. This procedure also allowed us to create shaded and private part of the terrace which is directly accessible from the bedroom.
What’s more parts of the house shade each other so that the master bedroom does not collect direct sunlight in the afternoon, letting the room to cool down before the night. We connected both shapes with bright, open and glazed mezzanine. The choice of very durable materials, and resignation of the gutters gives the possibility for the house to retain its original appearance without maintenance throughout its entire existence.
To keep the building comfortable, we placed on the ground floor all zones necessary for everyday living, and the rest on the first floor. Interiors designed in two-color and warm minimalist style stands in contrast to the facade with a cool colors.
The quality of the building and its details is the result of high quality materials, good workmanship and constant supervision by designers over the investment.
Photos: Tomasz Zakrzewski
Santa Monica Residence is an extension project to a mid century home, the vision of architecture studio Jendretzki, located in Santa Monica, California. Completed in 2012, this beautiful pavilion was inspired by the clients’ appreciation for Scandinavian design.
This new pavilion added to an existing mid century house in the Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica bordering the Pacific Palisades involved negotiating the high functioning requirements of a Los Angeles based family and their love for Scandinavian design and detailing.
By utilizing a muted material palette of light toned wood and glass we were able to harmoniously engage the southern California sun and create a tranquil work studio and inviting home.
The building has a total surface of 12,000 square feet and is well connected with its surroundings. The interiors are characterized by a minimalist approach, with wood playing a major role in creating a friendly atmosphere. Simple lines and ingenious functionality are two of the main features of this Santa Monica Residence.
Photos: Alejandro Wirth
This Martis Camp Estate Home is a contemporary mountain property that has been designed by BAR Architects, located in Truckee, Nevada County, California. One of the original objectives of BAR’s design was to orient this custom mountain home to take maximum advantage of the spectacular views to the Carson Range and Northstar’s Lookout Mountain afforded by this amazing lot in Martis Camp. To achieve this, the primary rooms of the 7,580 square foot house – living, dining, kitchen, family room, master bedroom and kids’ bedrooms – are aligned along the hillside to front towards the view.
A large great room has large sliding doors that pocket into the walls to allow the interior to completely open up to the exterior and the views. In addition to providing maximum views, the careful planning of this upslope lot preserves a large existing pine tree at the center of the lot as a feature that brings the forest right up to the front door, and provides for indoor/outdoor living for all seasons.
The home was laid out as three separate gable structures. One gable for the garage and guest rooms; another housing the great room pavilion; and the third housing the master bedroom, TV room and study. The three camp buildings are linked by a glazed flat roof breezeway housing the entry, boot/coat room, powder room and stair to the lower level.
The design of the floor plan results in a home that is both comfortable for the owners when they are there by themselves, yet expandable to comfortably accommodate up to 18 friends and family. The architecture brings together simple traditional mountain building forms with large openings and contemporary detailing to the great satisfaction and delight of the owners.
Photos: Courtesy of BAR Architects
Sound House is a contemporary waterfront property that has been designed by Roger Ferris + Partners, located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Completed in 2009, this 1,500 square foot house is located on an unusually narrow waterfront site along the Long Island Sound with spectacular views, while preserving privacy from adjacent properties. An angled entry wall captures the sunlight and orients views while the interplay of solid siding and open and screened glass balances privacy and transparency.
The design responds to strict site land coverage and setback requirements, as well as FEMA guidelines regulating first floor elevation and setbacks from the shoreline. Side yard zoning rules limit the building width to less than twenty-eight feet. The angled entry wall creates, within these constraints, an opportunity to capture sunlight, orient views, and provide formal interest.
The house is clad in stained cypress. Its glazed volumes contain feature the living room and master bedroom on one end and the kitchen and guest bedroom on the other. The low rectangular mid-section, clad in contrasting dark cypress, contains the entry hall, staircase, bathrooms, and support spaces. The glazed end rooms offer framed views to the water to the south and inland down the street to the north. The windows integrate retractable shades for sun control or privacy. The bedrooms have cypress louvers for these purposes.
The loft-like interior spaces open to glass curtain walls at each end. Screened side walls provide visual separation from neighbors.
The angled north elevation leads to the front door at the midpoint of the house. This angled wall also orients the kitchen and breakfast room to the morning sun and captures a view down the street and across an adjacent property. The water view one sees entering the house is framed with a perspective defined by the angled stair. The open first floor plan provides interior spaces with loft-like proportions, increasing the scale of the major interior spaces.
The interior finishes continue the loft aesthetic, with kitchen cabinets of natural white oak and ribbed glass doors. Counters and back splashes are granite. Floors are white oak throughout. Interior illumination includes indirect uplights and recessed down lights.
The DOGBOX is an affordable hillside dwelling designed and built by Patch Work Architecture, located in Whanganui, a sleepy provincial city located two and a half hours north of Wellington, New Zealand. Construction of the DOGBOX was completed in December 2012. The home was a collaborative effort between three designers who wanted to jump start their practice by building this affordable home. The 970 square foot residence came in at about $130 per square foot and taught them the value of onsite decision-making, which will inform the budding firm’s future projects.
The design of the DOGBOX was directly influenced by 4 rusty trusses we bought off Trademe, and a small (but very sunny) area of flat ground at the top of a steep section.
The number and dimensions of the trusses defined the overall width and shape of the roof. The house is two stories, with half of the area under the roof being interior space (88 square meters) and half exterior. The exterior half serves as circulation, and includes outdoor rooms which are semi-enclosed by moveable screens.
The lower floor has a poured insitu concrete wall along the back, working both as thermal mass and as a retaining wall to the steep bank behind. This level contains the laundry, kitchen and living areas, and large sliding doors open out onto the garden and the wharf deck.
The upper floor is much lighter in comparison, with plywood lined timber framed walls supporting the steel trusses, which though incredibly heavy are visually light. Twinwall polycarbonate panels separate the rooms and allow for soft high level light.
The house is well insulated, double glazed, and has a Tiny-Rad woodburner for heating the space and hot water.
Designed by Studio 27 Architecture, the House on Fire Island is a summer beach house in the resort community of the Pines on Fire Island, New York. The typology of the homes in the Pines is recognizable to anyone who has visited an East Coast Shoreline resort town. It is a builder-driven typology reflecting the pragmatism of the inhabitants of these coastal communities. Almost always the “good sense” pragmatism that allows these homes to be built affordably overtakes the inherent liveliness and natural spirit of the place and creates structures that are a bit dull.
This project inserts some of the “spirit of the shore” into this “Yankee thriftiness” residential typology. Common detail and material remain, but the volume of the 1,550 square foot house is expressed as a skin, rather than as a box-like container. The skin keeps the heat in. Over time, the skin of woven cedar boards will assume the same patina as neighboring houses. Large windows are introduced to reveal a luxurious light interior.
The organization of the plan creates a direct link between the occupation of the different spaces during the day and the sun’s path. Program adjacencies were carefully studied before identifying the swimming pool as the center of social interaction. Interior rooms and exterior spaces were arranged to track the path of the summer sun, connecting it to the rhythm of daily life: breakfast by the pool; cocktails and socializing on the front terrace; and evening dinners in the west light. Sleeping rooms form the backstage of the house.
Products in this project:
Bathroom Equipment: Kohler, Hansgrohe , Duravit, Vero
- Bathroom plumbing fittings by Kohler
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Axor by Hansgrohe
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Watertile by Kohler
- Starck 2 by Duravit
- Lavatory by Vero
Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: Caesarstone
- Countertops: Concrete by Caesarstone
Floor: Globe, Ann Sacks
- Stones 1 by Globe
- Luxor Gray by Ann Sacks
Heating and Ventilation: Gavin Scott
- Fireplace: Vision by Gavin Scott
- Entry doors by Andersen
- Windows by Andersen
Kitchen Equipment: General Electrics, Fisher & Paykel, Cascade Faucets
- Refrigerator: Monogram by General Electrics
- Oven: Monogram by General Electrics
- Dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel
- Range: Monogram by General Electrics
- Tower Tech by Cascade Faucets
Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Contrast, Meltemi, Wever Ducre, Delta, Artemide, Wandleuchte, Cirius
- Lighting fixtures by Contrast
- Lighting fixtures by Meltemi
- Lighting fixtures by Wever Ducre
- Lighting fixtures by Delta
- Lighting fixtures by Artemide
- Lighting fixtures by Wandleuchte
- Lighting fixtures by Cirius
Walls: Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Escape Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Photos: Judy Davis
Aloe Ridge House is a contemporary dream home designed by Metropole Architects, nestled under the leafy canopy of an immense Albizia Tree, located in the Eden Rock Estate on Kwa Zulu Natal’s South Coast of South Africa. Comprised of 3,229 square feet (300 square meters) of living space, the home promotes the notion that a dream house does not need to be sprawling and palatial but that in fact, small can be beautiful.
At first floor level, the design focus was to promote a sense of openness with privacy and create a diverse, joyful place in a limited space. Whilst the need for privacy has dictated the use of doors, these doorways are full height at 2.6 meters and when open allow continuity of space to be experienced through an uninterrupted ceiling plane.
The house is a veritable ‘Mesian box’ of bold contemporary architectural design set into the African indigenous coastal forest context, making a big architectural statement despite its relatively diminutive dimensions.
The house stands proud on its corner site and is a progressive cantilever form that proclaims its presence and is representative of a paradigm shift in the estate’s architectural design language.
The planar estate road (public) facade is intentionally bold, minimalist and austere and hard up against the south western site building line. The result is a visually engaging architecture that makes efficient use of the small site, provides effective privacy to the inhabitants whilst at the same time acting as an efficient barrier to bad weather and prevailing strong winds coming from the south west. In addition a narrow linear plan form, maximizes openness and sheltered private space for living, entertainment and relaxation behind this to the North East, in close proximity to the wild natural bush and looking out towards the view beyond.
The entrance to the house is a carefully considered grand, double volume arrangement of components in glass, timber and concrete and with ‘wrap around’ form making, a signature characteristic of recent Metropole homes.
There is a sense of ‘big-ness’ and ‘wow factor’ right from the start.
The strong horizontal line created by the roof of the garage structure provides visual axial thrust to the point of entry, into a transparent double volume entrance area and through to the kitchen and living spaces beyond.
Internally, at ground floor level, open plan design with a minimum of dividing walls, no internal doors and level thresholds between inside and outside facilitate a user experience of a single large multi-use space that unconstricted, uncluttered and weather permitting, is able to open up and connect and extend to the outdoors.
In Aloe Ridge House there is a unity of opposites.
The clean, hard and straight lines of the man-made intervention meet the soft flowing irregular line and textures of the natural bush context in a respectful harmony.
The 3 bedrooms are located on the first level opening out to an elevated balcony which allows distant views over the tree tops to the sea in the east and distant hills and the setting sun to the west. A series of movable Balau timber screens bring in filtered daylight to the clean, modernist interiors, without sacrificing privacy whilst adding a degree of detail and natural colors and texture to the modern facade.
High level perimeter strip windows visually lighten the experience of the first floor building mass overhead and enhance the experience of the vertical dimension of the living, dining and entertainment areas at ground floor level.
A generous external decked area with plunge pool and open lawn area beyond encourages the inhabitants to indulge in and celebrate an outdoor lifestyle of entertainment, play and relaxation.
The architecture brings the great big South African outdoors in and in turn encourages the inhabitants to venture out into it.
Extensive cantilevers resonant of the canopy of the Albizia tree provide a sense of lightness and floating of the upper building mass on the open plan lower level.
The extensive use of glass breaks down the traditional visual barriers between inside and out as well as providing reflections of the natural vegetation that is its context.
The palette of natural materials including earthy color tones, timber screens, decking stone cladding juxtapose with the bold and progressive architectural form making, creating a small home that ‘packs a big punch’ and that is not only visually and spatially exciting, but also comfortable and intimate.
Photos: Grant Pitcher