Plywood House ii is an incredible modern two-story beach house designed by Andrew Burges Architects, located in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. The home was designed into a narrow plot of land orientated away from the neighbors to provide a private sanctuary for the owners. Differing from the surrounding buildings, which are characterized by their typical ‘shotgun’ corridor and internal organization, the playful beach house opens up connections to the sky and garden from both levels. The beach house offers a sense of privacy while still having access to the outside landscape and views beyond.
The concept was to create an exterior envelope that directly expressed the long, thin site geometry, but to use the elements of the interior to shift and break down the typical linear corridor space, using the interior geometry to orientate the house away from neighbors and to orchestrate connections with the sky and the garden from both levels of the interior.
The materials used were affordable and created a coastal feel for the house – ecoply cladding for the body of the house and a concrete capping block to create a textured base for the house. Within the simple block-like building form, the windows were used to animate the exterior. On the lower level the window openings are varied and opportunistic – finding points of sky or natural light to suit the specific uses they contain. On the upper level, a continuous strip of windows and screens capitalize on the opportunities for light, sun, and outlook that the second story allows, framed by privacy screens to account for their added exposure.
Photos: Courtesy of Andrew Burges Architects
Low/Rise House has been designed by Spiegel Aihara Workshop, located in on a half acre lot in the heart of Silicon Valley, in the affluent town of Menlo Park, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The house re-imagines the suburban housing type through interlocking bars of shared and private program. The composition re-appropriates the traditional forms of the California ranch house and farm tower as tools of environmental performance and social interaction, deployed to create variable density, natural ventilation, solar energy generation, day-lighting, and immersion into the site.
The clients, two professors with grown children, sought a house that could accommodate varying use patterns, creating an intimate environment for their own use as a couple, yet allowing for a spacious and integrated configuration for ten or more family members, and several hundred party guests. This complex programmatic request inspires the specific massing and siting of the building.
The first floor consists of two long and narrow structures that intersect in an open kitchen, providing distinct programmatic areas and settling into the tree-lined landscape, allowing yards to surround and permeate each room. Subtle rotations of the geometry assist in way-finding, as well as identification of the more public and more private functions. The private master suite opens into a fern garden in the eastern corner of the site, while large sliding glass doors suspend the living room within the landscape for family gatherings or larger events.
A compact and vertical guest tower is sited at the western corner of the lot amongst tall evergreens, allowing for a more private guest experience, more compact floor plan, and the ability to effectively shut off (socially and energy-wise) the guest spaces zone by zone during typical daily use. Atop the 30-foot tower, a roof deck emerges through the trees, providing a unique vantage point of the structure below and the surrounding townscape.
This spatial efficiency also provides increased energy efficiency. The high density of the guest spaces allows for stacked building systems that reduce resource consumption, while a hidden solar array over the horizontal spaces produces over 90% of the electrical demand of the house. Combined with the insulated glazing, radiant floor heat, passive cooling, and resilient natural materials, the house prioritizes sustainability in terms of both resources and living patterns.
Through an integral relationship between use, form, and material, the Low/Rise House responds sensitively to site, nature, and neighborhood, creating a new type of suburban living – both urban and rural.
This new house in Coogee in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is structured around a water feature and double height dining space, making the most of this tight suburban site. Generosity of space is provided through the double height volume, allowing other secondary spaces to be more modest and intimate. The stair is a major element in the house and is designed to be a prominent architectural element, whilst still providing an intimate experience on the stair within the larger space.
The house employs timber extensively in framing, cladding, flooring and ceilings, adding a richness to the spaces and warmth, particularly in the upper levels where occupants are closest to theclear finished timber ceiling. A carefully detailed glass roofed pergola forms the major outdoor space – a space that has proved to be a true living space in itself, adding significantly to the size of the house.
– See more at: http://www.tkda.com.au/projects/coogee-house/#sthash.lJ3k1e0q.dpuf
This wooden house with simple volumes has been designed by Scottish firm Dualchas Architects, situated close to a cliff with an amazing view over the bay of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Perfectly integrated into the environment, the structure is inspired by classic farm buildings in the area and has an outer coating entirely of wood. Next to the main living space is a separate shed for storage of wood and boiler room.
Inside large windows and skylights provide maximum brightness to the rooms of minimalist footprint. Harmonized volumes pure and essential, the building acknowledges floor tiles with reflective particles, which creates continuity with the outside terrace. The building is on a point of land overlooking Dunvegan along the bay until you get to the peninsula of Waternish. To the north the view is directed towards the Isle of Harris, Dunvegan towards south and west of a hill.
As requested by clients, a family of five, the internal space of the house was planned as an open floor plan with living room, dining room and living room and four separate bedrooms. The main common area is separated from the sleeping area through a sliding door in oak. The design is inspired by a classic house of the place, simple in form and definitely rooted in the landscape.
The form has been designed so the building could be hidden from the hill behind it; thus the part dedicated to the bedrooms is located on the back of the building. From the street, the house looks like a farm building, low and discreet. An intimate courtyard contains two buildings and offers shelter from the wind. This sort of “farm house” for the dark wood that covers it, is mirrored and complementary to the white house, built by the sister of the owner and is situated not far away.
Photos: Courtesy of Ceramiche Keope
Sebastopol Residence has been envisioned by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, situated in a heavily forested landscape of Sebastopol, California. Designed for two graphic designers in 2008, this house bridges between two stands of redwood trees, with the northern window wall facing out to the expansive view. Decks located at either end of the house open onto paths that lead to the pool on one side and the studio/garage on the other.
The southern elevation screens the interior from the driveway and road above, but allows southern light in through the clerestory windows. As you enter, a dormer rises up over the dining area to frame the view.
The exterior is clad in cedar siding with a metal roof and the interior features a Douglas fir ceiling and decking, sheetrock walls and Ipe flooring.
The main house is modest in size, only 1,700 square feet, but feels spacious due to an open floor plan. The clients’ wonderful art objects are housed in the long southern wall bookcase.
Photos: David Wakely, David Wakely Photography
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
Four Barns Farm is an incredible weekend retreat built for a family to getaway from their fast pace life in New York City by Gleicher Design, located in Millbrook, a bucolic town tucked into the rolling landscape of the Hudson Valley, New York. The home is just an hour and a half’s drive from the city but worlds away from its frenzied lifestyle. These picturesque barns are nestled on the rolling hills of a 40-acre estate that was formerly owned by the composer Marvin Hamlish. Once a dairy farm, this exceptional piece of land dating to 1839 had an antique farmhouse and four substantial barns. Although the barns were in disrepair, the clients had a vision and their dream was to create a wonderful family compound, using the barns for gathering spaces and guest suites.
It was no easy task, with one of the barns having to be literally lifted off its foundation and gently set back down again. The barns surround a common courtyard, complimented by stone walls, a duck pond, a country farmhouse, and a small potting shed. All four barns and environs have been sensitively renovated and equipped with modern amenities, but in keeping with their historic character.
Local artisans were employed to create needed metal works, stone walls, fireplaces, and historic wood windows, antique hand hewn timber framing members and oak and pine plank flooring were reworked for their new uses. The barns now house a guesthouse, screening room, artist studio, garage, and bunk barn for teens and young adults.
Filling the “barn” with light also was critical to create the inviting spaces, so the architect grouped several windows together at the gable ends to flood the space with light.
In order to make the new barn weather-tight, the architects created a thick sandwich wall, which allowed for a blanket of insulation as well as space to hide ductwork. The hand-chiseled ancient beams were kept exposed to allow for a strong architectural design element in the space. Although the ceiling soars to 35 feet, the interiors were brought to a more human scale by introducing reclaimed horizontal oak boards to the lower portion of the interior wall and a reclaimed vertical oak board to the top portion.
Naturalistic landscaping completes the picture with new stone fences, a circular fire pit and bucolic meadows.
To maintain a cohesive look between the structures, the architect introduced the same siding, roofing and foundation materials and architectural design elements to each barn. A gravel courtyard in the center of the barns offers an outdoor common space for guests to gather when the weather cooperates.
Photos: Courtesy of Gleicher Design
Martis Camp – Lot 189 is a two story contemporary retreat that has been designed by Swaback Partners, located in a private community near Lake Tahoe, California. This impressive luxury family retreat uses extensive wood, stone and glass finishes, exuding an intriguing modern appeal with a surprisingly welcoming feel.
A home for the high Sierra’s that does not fall in line with the traditional regional architecture that mostly is a dark and heavy composition. Instead, the concept was to celebrate the light and airy feeling of snow and the effects that it can bring to the interiors.
Photos: Vance Fox