Posts Tagged ‘house’

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Architecture Monday

October 23, 2017

Continuing on with my experience at the Monterrey Design Conference, another of the speakers was Sou Fujimoto, and it was another great lecture that got me thinking about things in new ways.  He started his presentation comparing how the forest and the city were, in certain, ways, quite similar.  That seemed almost preposterous as a starting point, but he drew it out nicely – in particular was that in the forest, there are layers upon layers that float overhead (leaves, branches, etc) to form a canopy, and much the same happens in the urban environment (electric lines, signs, awnings, etc).  Huh… cool, I can get that.  Consider my perception expanded!  And looking at his work as it was presented back to back to back, there was this recurring concept and design generator of the repeated, of layers, and of the individual(s) clustering together to create a whole.

House N is one example of how these concepts get expressed, through the idea of a box in a box in a box.  Noting how the traditional house in the neighborhood was pushed towards the back of the lot, with a front lawn or garden that was often, in many ways, unused, House N starts by encapsulating the yard in the first of its three, heavily pierced, sensuously smooth white boxes.  The many openings in the box let both light in and the trees and garden inside out, creating a small semi-private courtyard that nonetheless can still participate in the streetscape.

Inside this outer box, two more similar boxes (both white, both with many openings) form the house proper…

The net result is a highly intricate collection of planes and openings, forming the proverbial leaf canopy through which you can catch glimpses of other rooms, the garden, and the sky beyond.  As you move through the house, these views continually shift, as does the light throughout the day as the sun traces its path across the sky.

Paths within the house align with a porch and chairs in the courtyard.  It looks a bit sparse in these photos, but as the trees grow and the foliage becomes thicker, the play of random and green will really sing against the white and rectilinear background of the outer box.  At the other end, the Tatami room offers a similar serenity indoors.

It’s a nifty idea, with lots of playfulness and getting every ounce out of its tight lot.  Nice work.

House N by Sou Fujimoto

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Architecture Monday

August 28, 2017

There’s something nicely rhythmic about this apartment conversion in Budapest.  Check out how the way the kitchen and bathroom niches are framed individually in muscular wood (in a pleasing ratio to each other), while at the same time they also continue upward to encompass a continuous loft overhead.  The same frames, at the same time, contain individual slices and something that spans the both of them, while relating in rhythm to each other and also relating to the existing doorway.  That’s some nice interplay there, not to mention a great way to create some very usable and pleasing “rooms” in an otherwise small apartment.  The netting is a nice final touch – safety while preventing the loft from becoming cut off from the rest of the space (not to mention I find it works with the rough frame aesthetic).

The rest of the place is a plethora of custom furniture all also made from the same raw wood detailing, all pairing nicely with the wood flooring (that I’m guessing came with the turn-of-the-century tenement building).  The table hides a fridge and doubles as a cutting board and kitchen work surface, the desk and cubbies are reconfigurable to house much more storage than might be expected.   Light, airy, compact yet active and uncluttered, this is nicely done work.

Bence Home by Studio Bunyik

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Architecture Monday

August 14, 2017

There’s something quite arresting about this house, in even this one photo.  The sun is certainly one reason why, gleaming off the smooth white polished and plastered walls (from locally sourced lime and salt) to bathe the interior in a sensuous glow… but for me it’s the way that smooth and polished plaster plays off the rough block construction that form the walls and columns, and even more so along the rough groin vaulting of the roof.  Against the strong uniform background the shadows and textures really pop, and the different patterns and surfaces make for a tableau of visual delights.  Even the stairs and floor are finely honed, adding their contrast between the silky and the coarse.

Even better is this is an adaptive reuse, made from a former lamp-oil mill built in the 17th century.  It does what adaptive reuse does best, letting the rugged form speak of its time and place while carrying it forward with a new use and new insertions.

Nicely done.  Ludovica + Roberto PalombaSerafini House by Palomba Serafini Associati

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Architecture Monday

July 31, 2017

Now this is a pair of small houses/cabins that I totally adore.  Designed by the same school that designed the micro-dormitories I spoke about before, the different site and different intent here led to something equally quite different, yet just as enticing.

Slung low and with both weathering metal and reclaimed wood as an exterior, they slide nicely into the red desert landscape that surrounds them.  One hovers, while one embeds itself into the ground.  “Sibling” cubes, they are carved and articulated in ways that render them unique, most prominently by their shaded and protected outdoor porches that provide perfect vantage points to watch the sunsets and the beauty of the landscape.

But to me even more magic happens within.  The placement of windows and the tight integration of (built-in) furniture with the forms is exquisite.  These are not large cabins by size, but they most certainly don’t feel cramped.  The bathroom is cool enough, but the beds are amazing.  In the one cabin, lying with both a huge picture window by your feet, but also the low-slung window perfectly at bed level to let your eyes dance along the horizon as you fall asleep… And in the other cabin, the bunk bed arrangement creating two wonderful sleeping “pods”, the lower like a whole wood cabin to yourself, the upper with a skylight placed just so to let your eyes dance along the glory of the celestial sphere as you fall asleep…

Great stuff.  Carefully thought out and rigorously done, these are buildings that fit their location and create a space and a feeling within that is delightfully uplifting.  On my list to visit and experience one day.

Red Sands Cabins by the Colorado Building Workshop

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Architecture Monday

July 17, 2017

I don’t think it’s a surprise at this point that I’m a fan of Snøhetta.  And this lovely cabin design is just another example why.

Check this out.  There’s a nice play at work here between a long rectangular bar and a playful roof whose base (but not ridge!) has been rotated in relation to that base bar.  This opens up a whole bunch of spatial magic.  Just from the outside, there’s something fun about it, with roof lines going this way and that, and every side looking different and intriguing.  I also like how the play of angles is reinforced by punctuating each end of the rectangular bar by a prominent and solid concrete box that does double duty to store wood or outdoor gear.

All of this really sings by the generous porch, where the interplay creates a deck that opens outward and upward towards the landscape beyond.  Inside, the windows reach all the way to the roof, bringing scads of light in and letting your view wander out.

All throughout the play of angles create little nifty moments and opportunities, from the small covered entry on the one side, and the expanding bedrooms on the other.

At its core, this is a very straightforward three bedroom cabin, designed for a multitude of locations.  With some equally straightforward but carefully considered design moves, Snøhetta has created a cabin far beyond the ordinary.  And, most excitingly, it’s also a prefab, so we can all get one!  Got a spot?  Call in an order and have it shipped your way…

Great, great work.  Gapahuk by Snøhetta.

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Architecture Monday

June 26, 2017

This is a fun little idea, taking the idea of shutters and writing it large across the facade of the house.  Opening a few, most, or all playfully changes the look and feel of the house, shifting throughout the day.  Even when completely closed, the cutouts (which derive from symbols used to identify boats and gear in this traditional fishing town) keeps things warm, illuminated at night like a giant tea light lantern.

The reverse, of course, also works, cutting the glare and heat-ray effect from direct sunlight and casting a delightful patterns within.  (Though I do not know why they do not have any furniture…)

House 77 by dIONISO LAB

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Architecture Monday

June 5, 2017

Short and sweet tonight, which almost describes this little house in Japan – just swap out short with tall.  Definitively sweet.  A house born of constraints.  When you don’t have much land upon which to build, and said land costs a fortune, you gotta get creative and make the most of what you’ve got and use those very constraints to push yourself to generate beauty.

A long, tall, slightly curving space dominates the house, a cathedral-like space that ends in a remarkable window with an even more remarkable curtain.  Off of this nave spirals the working centres of the house, interspersed with gardens, all equally and generously glazed.  It’s simple, lovely, poetic, and crafts a delightful place to live in a mere 645 square feet (60 square metres).  And at the very top, you sleep in a treehouse.

Nicely done.  O House by Hideyuki Nakayama Architecture.