The Armada House is a modern post and beam home designed by Canadian firm KB Design, set among Garry Oaks on a rocky slope in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Set in the Ten Mile Point/Wedgewood Estates neighborhood, Armada is a perfect convergence of concrete, glass, steel and wood, built by Abstract Developments. In 2008 it garnered 10 Gold awards including Project of the Year and Best Custom Home in Canada. Its entry atrium’s grand but welcoming stairs and five-foot wide Douglas fir door establish a sense of volume and scale that defines the residence. Exposed glu-lam fir beams and plenty of windows compliment the open plan kitchen, living, dining space of this 5,299 square foot property. This facilitates a delicate balance between spaciousness for entertaining and intimacy for daily living.
Photos: Courtesy of Keith Baker | KB Design
Hollcroft Residence has been designed by Giulietti Schouten Architects, offering a modern design aesthetic in a location with easy access to downtown Portland, Oregon. The client is a married couple with no children who were relocating from Seattle. The couple wished to purchase an affordable home, since they were on a fixed budget based on the proceeds form the sale of their Seattle home. The 1,900 square foot house was sited on a vacant 50’x100’ corner lot 5 miles west of Portland. The neighborhood had no underlying aesthetic, as at it was comprised of a wide variety of homes dating from the 1950s through present day.
A modern composition of wood screen walls and composite wood veneer panels give the home a warm, inviting yet modern feel. The series of wood screen walls also provide privacy to the outdoor deck and patio spaces as well as the interior living and dining areas. The living room windows and clerestories take advantage of the southern sunlight.
The simple shed roofs complement the modern aesthetic while providing protection from the rainy climate.
The floor plan is simple and catered to the clients’ active lifestyles; hence, the master bedroom is accessible from the mud/utility room for easy clean up after cycling or running.
Photos: David Papazian
Leaving behind a world of urban routines, the client commissioned GarciaGerman Arquitectos to design Ex House, to achieve a feeling of retreat and isolation in the rural setting of the Somosierra mountain range of Spain. The client had abandoned their life of living in downtown Madrid and the term “Ex” refers to this process of leaving and the disadvantages of leaving this world behind. The home’s location takes full advantage of its close proximity to the city, with the property at just 1km. distance from the N-1 highway and one-hour drive from Madrid. A way of life in tune with nature but accessible from the city, appropriate for young dwellers.
The 1,453 square foot (135 square meters) house, camouflaged inside a dense forest, manages to face the views of the granite Somosierra and La Pinilla peaks to the south while looking at the same time to the reddish vast sediment plains that extend to the north, sitting in this geological transition and facing both directions. These views are formalized in two large identical 4,50m. openings situated in opposite sides of the central square-plan living area. This living area has a fireplace and is double-heighted to the north, regulating the inside temperature of the house.
Building systems incorporate high-tech devices in construction methods with a predominant concern for sustainability in the processes and materials employed, offering environmental standards that combine a contemporary level of comfort with the recovery of a secluded lifestyle with all of its charms.
The use of wood and its qualities, not only technical (insulation, easiness in handling, waste reduction) but also cultural and somatic (awareness of a sustainable living, warm textures, comfort connotations), determines the entire working process, providing the house with its characteristics natural and friendly finishes.
The working process was drastically reduced from the usual 13-14 months in buildings of this size (120-140m2) to 3 months, allowing for the house completion in about 8 months from the first drawings, lowering the costs by minimizing transport, reducing displacement of all parts involved and minimizing management phases. The quartering of high-strength cross-laminated wood panels is modulated to fit one single truck which is driven from the Austrian factory. The panel are then assembled on-site by skilled labour (3 people) in a 5 day process.
The house is built without earthworks and placed gently in the shade of a group of existing trees, rehearsing an essential lifestyle which mixes contemporary devices with the recovery of basic activities: fireplace, vegetable garden, septic tank and heat generation system through fire-heated water are combined with 18 cm. mineral-wool thermal insulation, triple gas filled anodized aluminium glazing 6 / 6 +12 +4 mm. and green roofs with a multilayer cover. All these devices add up to a drastic reduction in maintenance costs.
Facades are done with 16cm. wide toothed wooden planks manufactured from cheap local Valsaín (Segovia) pine, recovering a XVI Century local tradition from the Austria-dynasty-era and in disuse nowadays. This closes a circle which starts with the high-tech-prefab “pan-European” structure of the house and ends with the reactivation of a beloved local craft in the house’s enclosures.
Photos: Jorge López Conde
Hazukashi House is a timber clad dwelling designed by ALTS Design Office, a property located in a residential area of suburban Kyoto, Japan. Positioned on a typically small plot of land, the design is centered around a communal dining area placed at the heart of the 1,005 square foot (93.45 square meters) family home.
The gabled form of the dwelling’s facade is referenced repeatedly inside the residence, with various apertures and doorways mimicking the shape of the external elevation. internally, the two-storey structure is clad in timber, with an open wooden stairway connecting the home’s ground level living quarters with the bedroom and study situated at the upper storey. carefully placed openings in the building’s envelope ensure that the house remains brightly and naturally lit throughout the year.
Photos: Courtesy of ALTS Design Office
Stone Residence is a house and guest house composition of iconic shed volumes designed by Malcolm Davis Architecture, sited between Highway 1 to the East and the end of a cul-de-sac to the West in San Francisco, California. The Eastern facade lends a sense of privacy and protection from the highway, with a smaller entrance, high windows, and thickened wall. The exposed framing of the thickened wall creates a floor to ceiling feature for books in the living room. The Western facade, with large glass barn doors and generous windows, opens the house to the garden, The Sea Ranch, and the ocean beyond. Connecting the two facades, an enclosed central porch serves as a dual entrance and favorite gathering space. With its pizza oven and easy indoor/outdoor connections, the porch becomes an outdoor kitchen, an extension of the main living space, and the heart of the house.
Photos: Courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architecture
Engawa House is a two story lakefront property that has been designed by Seattle-based studio Sullivan Conard Architects, situated in Seattle, Washington. Here is a description of the project from the architects: “The home can best be understood in its multiple contexts: lakefront site, Pacific Rim city, timber-industry clients open to materials that speak simply but poetically of shelter and home. At its heart is the “light core,” a vessel-like structure rising to a clerestory, illuminating the house and organizing its circulation patterns.”
Timber-framed in hemlock—a reference to the owners’ long involvement with Northwest woods—the light core acknowledges its source in Japanese architecture, also expressed in the structure’s horizontal banks of windows, screening devices of glass and lattice, and the engawa itself, a south-facing veranda edge between interior and garden.
Engawa House’s spare detailing allows materials to speak of themselves, of the art of construction, and of a creative process marked by owner, architect, and craftsmen finding stillness amid the complex demands of house design and construction.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
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
TLV Get Away is a stunning one off design apartment situated just behind Rabin Square in a quiet tree lined street in central Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a fabulous location for a cultured and convenienced lifestyle offering 24 hour restaurants, bars and supermarkets nearby. The apartment is situated on the second floor and enjoys a quiet outlook over the rear courtyard. Constructed in 2013, the 968 square foot (90 square meters) home features two bedrooms and one bathroom, lounge and balcony.
This sensational urban apartment is listed for sale at $1.95 million, from here.
Photos: Itay Sikolski
With 2014 now firmly underway, there’s no better time to stick to a new year’s resolution and spruce up the interior of your home with contemporary eco friendly living. Though enjoying a newly redecorated home is often considered a treat, improving its energy efficiency can often add a further sense of satisfaction to any new style of decor. But how exactly do you go about this? The trick of course, is to find the right products and materials that can help you help the environment.
For your floor
If you’re looking to have fabulous wooden flooring added to your home, it is important to make it as environmentally friendly as possible, and you can do this by either purchasing engineered flooring or alternatively, bamboo flooring.
Engineered flooring consists of less wood by plank and can save more trees from being felled in the long run.
On the other hand, bamboo flooring grows far quicker than other types of wood, which means that it doesn’t take up to twenty years for a bamboo tree to grow back once that it has been felled.
For your Ceiling
Artificial lighting is a big part of our lives, and for many years it has been used in a vastly uneconomical way. In fact, your average incandescent light bulb only works at an efficiency of around 20%, meaning that 80% of the energy is being used up as heat.
LED light bulbs however, can achieve an efficiency of around 80% and additionally, the bulbs can last up to 25,000 hours, meaning that you will only have to replace the bulbs every five or six years.
If you are looking for a modern or contemporary redecoration, LEDs paint the perfect scene for any home looking for an environmentally conscious home setting.
For your pleasure
Of course, the whole purpose of redecorating a home is to make it more enjoyable, comfortable and welcoming to not only yourself and your family, but also any guests that you may also have from time to time.
In this area, there are a range of products that can help you combine luxury and eco living. For example, eco-friendly televisions, stereos and kettles are all very popular among modern homes.
Even oak furniture for example from Oak Furniture UK can be sourced more effectively to become more environmentally friendly, so looking out for eco-friendly materials at every turn is more than just a little worthwhile.
Photo Sources: 1. Capoferro Design Build Group, 2. Croma Design, 3. Blansfield Builders, 4. Rasmussen / Su Architects, 5. LDa Architecture & Interiors, 6. Siemasko + Verbridge, 7. Planika Fires, 8. GO LOGIC, 9. Furman + Keil Architects, 10. Garret Cord Werner Architects, 11. StudioLAB, 12. dSPACE Studio, 13. Coates Design Architects, 14. Giulietti Schouten Architects, 15. Alan Mascord Design Associates, 16. Jan Gleysteen Architects
Beautiful, private mountain retreats, with cozy living spaces, plenty of warm colors, and fireplaces are the perfect place to burrow for the winter holidays. Retreating to one of these cozy spaces, you can plan your whole day completely devoted to reading in front of the fire, curling up with a good book and watching the snow fall through floor-length windows, with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. We have put together for you an extensive collection of snowy retreats that will help put you in the mood of Christmas, wherever in the world you live. Some of the retreats we have featured have links to view the entire home if you would like further inspiration. Be prepared to be blown away by these fabulous homes. If you prefer burrowing in blankets of chenille to blankets of snow, these contemporary winter getaways boasting sweeping views will be right up your alley!
This light-filled living room owned by Estee Lauder’s global creative director, Aerin Lauder, is a fabulous getaway for the winter. Floor-to-ceiling windows, awesome 60s-inspired rattan chairs, and throws and pillows make the white and natural space warm and personal in Aspen, Colorado.
In Montana’s Yellowstone Club, a getaway home showcases the Old West vernacular with an industrial edge. To see more of this spectacular home, check here.
Four-Cornered Villa is an 840 square foot home situated on a horse shoe shaped island in Virrat, Finland.
This alpine chalet is a contemporary barnlike structure located on a cul-de-sac in a private ski club development in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. Ceilings that reach for the stars belong in a home with plenty of windows and bring the outdoors in, sans the uncomfortable cold and wet aftermath of actually being outdoors. A cantilevered fireplace is the showstopper here, keeping you warm when you do head home after a day on the slopes.
Nottawasaga Bay in Ontario, Canada looks like a fine place to cozy up with a book. A stark contrast to the black exterior, the snow-white interior boasts a minimalist, frameless fireplace, and an assortment of furniture with ultra-sleek lines.
This super stunning concrete mountain retreat captures snowy views at every turn in Snowmass, Colorado. The rest of the home can be viewed here.
Enjoying mountain views throughout this home in the old village of Sugar Bowl in Norden, California, the windows frame views of horizontal snow drifts and vertical stands of pine trees. To see more of this stunning home, have a look here.
This contemporary Lower Foxtail Residence hovers in the pines stretching laterally to take full advantage of the bold mountain views in Big Sky, Montana.
At 15,000 square feet, this contemporary mountain home in Aspen, Colorado’s exclusive Star Mesa enclave is warm and approachable from the start, as can be seen here.
This gorgeous modern mountain home is set amongst the woods in Martis Camp, North Lake Tahoe. The rest of the home can be viewed here.
Nestled into the mountainside, with spectacular views of the resort and surrounding scenery, Chalet Trois Couronnes is a private Alpine Estate in Verbier, Swiss Alps, Switzerland.
This snowy retreat was constructed of steel, concrete, timber and locally quarried stone, built within the scenic Australian mountains in one of Victoria’s premier ski resorts, the Dinner Plain Village, overlooking Mount Hotham.
“Ski On Home” is a single-family home built for a young family of four avid skiers and snowboarders (mom and dad are also both world-class skydivers). It is located on the main ski run in Squaw Valley, CA and nestled into the mountain, naturally protected by the earth from avalanches and other extreme weather. The year-round residence has ski-in / ski-out access on all levels and sleeps up to 17 guests at a time (extended family and a constellation of friends).
This incredibly stunning modern rustic mountain retreat was built as a family compound in Telluride, Colorado, which can be viewed here.
When you have a kitchen like this, bake up a storm for your friends that come to visit you during the holidays. The huge floor-to-ceiling window will make you feel like you are in the great snowy outdoors sans the cold weather.
Photo Sources: 1. Ram Arkitektur, 2. Vogue Magazine, 3. Peace Design, 4. Avanto Architects, 5. Pearson Design Group, 6. AKB Architects, 7. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 8. Atelier Kastelic Buffey, 9. Architectural Digest, 10. Bay Cabinetry & Design Studio, 11. Kaegebein Fine Homebuilding, 12. John Maniscalco Architecture, 13. Karl Neumann Photography, 14. Gabberts Design Studio, 15. Knudson Interiors, 16. Lisa Kanning Interior Design, 17. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 18. Lohss Construction, 19. Raven Inside Interior Design, 20. Reid Smith Architects, 21. Lisa Kanning Interior Design, 22. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 23. Raven Inside Interior Design, 24. Locati Architects, 25. Patty Jones Design, 26. Hendricks Architecture, 27. Alder and Tweed, 28. Krannitz Gehl Architects, 29. Billy Beson Company, 30. Cabbage Rose Blog, 31. Centre Sky Architecture, 32. Forum Phi, 33. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 34. Architectural Digest, 35. sagemodern, 36. Reid Smith Architects, 37. Centre Sky Architecture, 38. Ultimate Luxury Chalets, 39. sagemodern, 40. Teri Fotheringham Photography, 41. New Mood Design, 42. Still Water Dwellings, 43. Giovanni D’Ambrosio, 44. Reid Smith Architects, 45. Teri Fotheringham Photography, 46. Centre Sky Architecture, 47. Strawn Sierra Alta, 48. Zone 4 Architects, 49. Poss Architecture, 50. – 51. Pinterest, 52. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 53. Pinterest, 54. Poss Architecture