The container and contents: Design history has left certain icons that never go fashion. We can talk about specific pieces, such as Eames chair or Henningsen lamps. Coblonal But we have always been characterized by decorating from architecture, our interior design project begins to develop from the time we thought the box and choose the materials that make up. The piece, no matter how iconic it has to fit into the puzzle that makes up the entire space of the house.
In the interior design project that we present, we can breathe a certain retro air, conferred by certain parts, but also a strong basis formed by the solid balance between distribution, materials and volumes. In this case, the timber and determines updating them contextualized furniture elements. Despite the generous dimensions of this housing, distribution and its interior is carefully designed to maximize sociability in the day and rest in the night. Open space but parceled by arranging the different volumes that delimit areas. Volumes fruit carpentry design that allows us to use it as a distributor and storage while maximizing its functions. The result is a contemporary, retro and modern housing.
Joan Llongueras and Coblonal Architecture are responsible for the interior design of this new work.
Photos: Sara Riera
Far Sight House is a two story property designed by Wallflower Architecture + Design, showcasing a rear rooftop terrace overlooking the valley below in Singapore. This house sits on high ground, and the rear of the site has wonderful views overlooking the greener and more affluent residential addresses in Singapore.
Our client’s brief was to design a home of two stories, with an attic, and importantly a roof terrace facing the rear and overlooking the valley.
The house is expressed by coupling two forms; a tall and narrow single-room width block housing the master bedroom, study and attic-living and the wider block at the rear accommodating two children bedrooms side by side. The formal expression the house is also a response to the strict local interpretation of attic guidelines.
The house deploys a multi-layered facade of operable glass doors and windows, a veil of operable vertical timber louvers punctuated by clear glass bay windows, horizontal aluminum sunscreen and vertically drawn blinds. Different expressions of material and composition but primarily enabling the owners to control the amount of sun screening, breeze, and view. Sometimes it is not just what the owners want to see, but what the neighbors can see of them.
Semi-detached houses tend to suffer from gloom in the deep central parts of the house. Unlike detached houses, semi-detached homes have only openings on three sides. Careful planning and understand the nature of daylight shifting throughout the day has resulted in daylight and breezes refreshing each corner of the house. Light and air wells are further slotted in-between the party wall and the house. All three levels are connected via a staircase finished in limestone.
The layout on the first storey is simple, comprising the living room, dining, kitchen, guest room and a small children’s pool. On the second storey, a family room and three bedrooms for our client and their two children. The master bedroom has a little study loft above and that is further linked to the attic living and roof terrace.
Irrespective of level or location, the casual light that bathes the internal spaces of the house leaves no area undesirable but it is the casual attic terrace with its ‘million-dollar’ views that is the literal ‘light-house’; It’s such a hit that the owners host most of their parties and family gatherings on the third level, to see and be seen from all around.
Photos: Marc Tey
Karakoy Loft is a modern industrial penthouse loft designed for a 45 year old bachelor by design studio Ofist, located in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey. Comprised of 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) the penthouse faces an old Armenian church Getronagan, and Galata Tower on the background.
The location of the house as well as the personality, way of living and needs of the client were the main parameters in the design of this project. Karakoy had always been the heart of the commerce in Istanbul. Nowadays the old neighborhood is getting more hip and active with many new art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and hotels all around. The house is situated right in the middle of this hustle and bustle. Meanwhile the client’s outdoor personality was of course our main drive when choosing materials and creating space. Natural, neutral, comfortable, practical are the keywords to describe.
The structural approach of the house was to open up to get more light and view. The previous small window openings on the front façade were enlarged and the new folding window frames slide the width of the building to transform the living room into a balcony, since the apartment is missing one. And a large rectangular skylight was inserted just below the peak of the pitch to provide light and view to the mezzanine.
The design approach of the house however was ‘not to have too many ideas’. We evaluated the entire house as a whole and single space since its layout was to be designed for a single person’s use, and all the spaces was planned to be entwined together. There was no need for dividing the space into many small rooms. Therefore, we didn’t need different design ideas for different rooms.
We came up with a few design approaches and used it all around the house: One of the longitudinal walls was resolved as storage. A very simple system was designed with iron rods climbing two floors and running the length of the house, without categorizing as living room, kitchen, library or bedroom. 12mm iron rods coming out of the wall and 16mm rods connected to them creating a 60x60cm grid over the wall surface. Various shelving units and accessories were designed to fit this system, such as a single shelf, double or triple story shelves, vertical separators or hanging units. The user may arrange and utilize this storing system however he likes; as a library, a woodshed, kitchen storage, or a wardrobe.
The other longitudinal wall facing this busy storage system was designed with least movement as possible to create a serene side and was covered with natural stone in varied sizes. This wall starts in the living room and continues all the way up and through the bedroom.
The cast-concrete block surface which was created to form the kitchen counter framed in an iron structure, steps down and forms itself into a cantilevering dining table and ends up as a short plinth as the hearth, which also allows extra seating around the table.
Downstairs floor was covered with 60x60cm natural stone in an irregular angle obtaining the casualness. It only replaced itself to wood in the guest bedroom, which is facing north.
All through out the mezzanine, the surfaces were covered with a cement-based material, uninterrupted, for a pleasant feeling for the naked feet. This surface created the floor all around, including the shower and also the block, which nestles the bed and the bathtub.
Apart from practicality, the warmness that the house needed was achieved with a continuous ceiling of iroko wood, that rise from the wall to the ceiling, creating also a wide seating unit in front of the window for crowded gatherings.
Photos: Koray Erkaya
House 6 is a modern custom home comprised of wood and concrete which has been designed by architecture studio Cheng Design, located in Menlo Park, California. The residence is Cheng’s sixth custom home project, which was redesigned and constructed from top-to-bottom. In addition, the numerical address of the home is simply “6” — and, the numerological meaning behind the symbol ‘6’ has been long-associated with domestic stability, smoothness and tranquility.
However, the importance of this project goes even deeper — it represents a major career milestone thanks to the unique and innovative use of concrete, as this residence is one of Cheng Design’s first-ever ‘hybrid’ structures, constructed as a combination of wood and concrete. Both architecturally and aesthetically, the project is one of both innovative function and beauty in the application of concrete within a residential structure.
Photos: Matthew Millman
Creating the outdoor living space you’ve always desired can be an expensive business. By the time you buy the materials and hire someone to build it for you, that beautiful outdoor space you’ve dreamed of can potentially lead to bankruptcy, no matter how good the weather is. Here are a few tips to get that softwoods timber decking built on the cheap.
Do it yourself
This one is pretty obvious. Tradesmen can be sneaky and sometimes even lazy; and maybe you can’t really blame them when you think about the fact that they spend their working days outside in the hot sun performing demanding physical labor, if you had their life you might like to take it easy once in a while too. However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay for it! So when it comes to home improvements it’s always best to do it yourself.
Don’t pay for wood. People with plenty of spending cash are the only ones getting their renovations done with brand new wood. You just need to be a little more resourceful. There is literally forests of wood left over from other projects that never gets used, start lurking around building sites to see what you can snag, especially a large scale site because they always buy way more than they need. Don’t forget that wood can be used more than once, often when a house or building is torn down there will be loads of quality wood left over that you can often get for cheap or even free. Check the local classifieds and internet marketplaces for people giving materials away, often it is a big favor for someone to come and take it away. Don’t just stop at materials either, ask around amongst your friends to see what kind of tools they have.
Find some inexpensive help
Who’s going to be enjoying this brand new deck of yours anyway. Your friends? Husband? Wife? Kids? Well then they should help put in the effort to get it done. Kids especially are easy to get to help, not only will they learn from this experience, it could be a great family bonding time for you to get to know them a little better, like, find out what their lifting capacity is? Are they the kind of person that’s good at using power tools? It can be a bit trickier getting your friends to come along, adults are traditionally sharper at picking up on slave labor rackets but you can always offer them the first invitation when it finally gets finished.
Good things take time, and it takes more time to do things on the cheap. You will have to be prepared to wait for the right type of wood to come up, to go scavenging through building sites in the dead of night, taking a few planks at a time. Or you might have to wait around for that bloke you met down the pub who said he could do the landscaping for cheap in between his other jobs, and now all of a sudden he is too busy but maybe he could fit you in if you were prepared to pay his normal rate, forget him. It will be hard looking out the window of a potential future deck, sitting inside watching the beautiful weather pass by without utilizing your barbeque, however, when you see the difference in the bank it will be worth it, even if it takes six years.
Photo Sources: 1. Koch Architects, 2. Dennis Mayer Photography, 3. Decks by Kiefer LLC, 4. Terra Firma Design, 5. austin outdoor design, 6. Acorn Garden Houses, 7. ANNA CARIN Design, 8. E2 Homes, 9. Busybee Design, 10. Karen Garlanger Designs, LLC, 11. Fine Decks Inc
Cycle House was recently designed for two avid bicyclists and their 18 bicycles by Chadbourne + Doss Architects, located in Seattle, Washington. The newly built 2,400 square foot residence is sited at the intersection of two major bike routes in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle. The lot is narrow, but has lake and mountain views to the east. The architects sought to craft an efficient custom residence that uniquely represents the owners’ personality and lifestyle.
Martin and Shelley, a very active couple, wanted a home that would not only have storage and maintenance space for their 18 bicycles, but would also facilitate entertaining, provide cozy nooks for reading and relaxing, and maintain a strong connection to the exterior.
They were very engaged in our design process, even providing us with scent vials meant to evoke sensibilities they wished to experience in their home- cool ocean, woody comfort, industrial, and balanced quiet/calm. They also gave us a metaphor of Iceland, which provided inspiration for a refined industrial, natural, and stark pallet of materials.
The Owners wanted a rugged house that incorporated both industrial and natural materials. The exterior is a composition of dark painted fiber cement siding that provides a neutral background for the natural cedar clad Great Room block. The interior is a contrast of black and white with natural cedar, plaster, and blackened steel accents.
The Main Floor is an open great room with Living, Dining, and Kitchen. Sliding glass doors provide wide openings to the expansive views of the lake and mountains. A Guest Bedroom, Bathroom, Pantry, Deck and Office are also located on this floor.
The Ground Floor houses the Garage, Entry, Bike Shop, and an Exercise Room/Office. The Bike Shop opens on to an enclosed Yard for washing and working on bikes.
The Upper Floor contains the Master Bedroom, Bath, and Laundry Room. A large roof deck is designed for entertaining, sheltered reading, and outdoor sleeping. The stair winds around an illuminated translucent wall.
The house is a backdrop for the natural materials within it and a frame to appreciate the natural environment surrounding it.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
Bray’s Island I is a modern double height dwelling designed by Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein Architects, located in Brays Island, South Carolina. The design for this stunning single family residence began and ended with its compelling site.
On a piece of dry ground between a pond and a freshwater marsh, the house’s site was ringed by a stand of unusually tall and thin live oak trees (which are typically more dense, thicker and lower to the ground).
The functional program called for a generous living/gathering room, kitchen & dining, a screened porch, and attendant utility functions. Instead of a segregated bedroom, the owner desired a sleeping loft contiguous with the main living space. The loft opens out to a covered porch with views across the marsh.
The beautiful stone fireplace that climbs all the way up to the ceiling has a built-in niche to store firewood, nice and handy for those chilly nights from the cool ocean air.
Photos: Courtesy of Surber Barber Choate & Hertlein Architects
El Mirador House is a beautifully designed home comprised of stone, wood and steel, designed by CC Arquitectos, surrounded by nature and spectacular views in Mexico. The home was designed to respect the land, using locally sourced materials mixed with recycled elements on the exterior of the home to create a visually impressive property. The one bedroom home was designed for relaxed living and entertaining and to allow horses to freely roam the property.
El Mirador serves its purpose by being located on one of the land’s edges, where the emblematic lake of the area can be particularly appreciated. Its projection was based on respecting the forest where the pavilion was placed to the maximum, gripping to its topography and reducing its constructive impact. The materials used are from the region, also, railroad ties from old train tracks where recycled for the exterior of the pavilion.
The structure is a combination of steel and wooden beams, and the retaining walls are made out of stones from the area.
The architectural program is distributed with a family room that connects to the exterior, allowing the expansion of the social area to the main terrace. It has one bedroom with its own private bathroom. The kitchen has a large island in the middle with a countertop made of slate that allows it to also have the use of a dining table and a workspace. The relaxed architectural program and its flexibility in its spaces, reinforces the owner’s strong personality and intense social life. The main access collides with a large body of water that is parallel to a drinking space for horses, while a low wall made of wooden railroad ties discretely hides the area so cars may be parked and appear to be isolated from the construction.
El Mirador is half buried on one of its sides with the purpose of protecting the habitation spaces from the climate where nature, views, and rustic finishes are the main components, seeking as a goal that these characteristics will last through time.
Photos: Rafael Gamo
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