Architecture Monday

I guess I’ve got a bit of a house theme going here right now, so might as well keep it rolling with this one.  Rather sitting within the landscape, it rests lightly atop it… including with 100% more sheep!

I’ve seen a few houses that use this concept of huge sliding doors to turn the main living spaces into one large breezeway, and that opening to nature can be downright delightful indeed.  Especially if, as here, the back deck saddles up to a lovely tableau of mossy rock.  Equally nice is that the finish on the inside mirrors the one on the outside, further breaking down the boundaries between the house and the landscape in which it sits.

I don’t know exactly what it is about this room, but I love it.  Like living in a sauna, with great clerestory lighting.

A straightforward idea rendered lovely with solid design.

Refuge by CH+QS

Architecture Monday

It’s not quite a hobbit hole… but it is an underground house.  One that, with its sunken courtyard, perhaps has an even more dramatic entry than a simple round door in the side of a hill.

How this came to be is kind of fun:  the owners enjoy hang gliding and from that vantage point gave a lot of thought of how the house would appear from the air.  Also, they didn’t want to cut down too many of the avocado trees on the property, and who could blame them?  Avocadoes are awesome.  Hence, the buried house.

Now, it’s not 100% buried, for one façade does indeed get exposed, with a slope partially carved away to reveal the house just like that hobbit hole front door.  Between that face and the entry sub-subterranean courtyard, coupled with its narrow and linear layout and a few choice skylights, there’s plenty of light despite its buried nature.  If the slope wasn’t there, I think it would’ve worked equally well (and I might even have preferred it this way) with two sunken courtyards.  Definitively very cool how the very green roof is an extension of the field, littered with wildflower bushes and, of course, those avocado trees!

Very nice, a way of inhabiting the field rather than perching on it, living in the soil just as the nature around it.

Aguacates House by Francisco Pardo Arquitecto

Architecture Monday

Now this is one heck of a design constraint!  A super narrow and super long trapezoidal lot in Tokyo, that is further constrained by setbacks from the property lines. Nothing like that kind of limitation to get the creative juices flowing, and the resulting lantern of a house is one nifty solution.

It’s cool enough on the outside, but to really get what’s going on within I find a section through the building tells the story the best:

The big move is to place most of the living spaces underground where the setback didn’t apply, thus maximizing the available width (still only about 10’ wide!).  A long and linear (ok, natch, how could it be anything but long and linear on this property?) kitchen occupies the middle of the basement, with a living room up front and the washroom in back.  Upstairs is the bedroom with (again) a linear hallway leading to the back door. What makes this all work, however, is that the building skin is made of translucent panels, and the floors above are of metal mesh, allowing light to suffuse and penetrate all the way down to the basement living areas.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any photos looking towards the living room or the bedroom area, which is too bad as those are likely some of the most powerful places within the house.  But the experience of being in this luminous cathedral-ceiling like house has got to be pretty neat no matter where you are.

I love it, a great example of taking something that seems unusable and turning it into something of wonder.  Great work.

Lucky Drops by Atelier Tekuto

Architecture Monday

They say California is in love with their cars… which leaves lots of extra car and road bits around… so why not get playful and use them into your architecture?

Road signs for fences and railings and siding, hatchback glass for awnings, station wagon tails for a a gate, plus repurposed sheet metal and more!

Something fun by Leger Wanaselja Architecture

 

 

Architecture Monday

A play of light and shadow, a patter of falling rain, a breeze that flows throughout, and a house that organizes itself around a covered courtyard pool, with geometric perforated concrete panels that lets all the above happen.

And geometric boldness pretty much rules the day all throughout the house.  There’s lots of cool stuff going on, as the house pulls and stretches this way and that to catch the light or a breeze.  Or to catch a tree, embracing a towering royal palm tree that becomes another courtyard.

The great hall, no surprise, is really the centerpiece, opening without barrier to the pool with the three skylights (two angled to catch the morning sun, the other to catch the evening) being just the beginning as the concrete screen above the pool further lets the light dance about.  As a bonus, the cross-ventilation from this open screen above the pool, plus those on the front and back of the house, keeps it cool and pleasant and lets everyone be late into the evening before any lights need to be turned on.

Great designs embrace their context, and this house does so in spades.  Great work, and looks like a very fun place to live.

Casa Delpín by Nataniel Fúster

Architecture Monday

It’s funny, I’ve just been musing about a little backyard studio, and this one pops up on my radar out of nowhere .  I don’t have as large a property… or a hill… so it wouldn’t work as a template for my place, but there’s plenty to enjoy in this whimsical little addition.

It pretty much speaks for itself, with its arched windows and scalloped railing for the nice little roof deck to give it a ‘secret garden’ vibe.  The ceiling within curving upwards to meet a large linear skylight is unexpected and noteworthy however, bringing ample light to suffuse the interior in a powerful glow.

Pandemic WFH office, art or writing studio, or just a fanciful little retreat, nice and simple but anything but boring.  Cool stuff.

Stiff Peaks by Byben & Skeens

Architecture Monday

Oh this is neat!  A new trio of apartments to be added atop an existing building – but rather than just make the new units and call it a day, this project goes above (kinda literally) and beyond to create a new trio of public yards for everyone in the complex to use:  a play area, a couple of decks, and a grassy knoll.  And while that last one might seem like a joke, it is not!  Even further, it is crowned by an outlook to survey the city all around.

Very nifty, a cool addition to a dense Copenhagen neighborhood.

Hedonistic Rooftop Penthouses by… A ha!  Designed by the same firm who did the iceberg apartments I visited (and posted photos from here) while in Denmark, JDS.

Architecture Monday

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with masonry and brick.  The banal, everywhere, front-façade-only, use of brick veneer on a generic house, well… that can go jump in a lake.  But highly expressive, truthfully used, rich textured brick, made even better when it’s got history and patina?  From what I’ve posted before on this blog, I think it’s quite clear that I’m totally into that.

This one can’t fulfill the history and patina part, but no matter; feast your eyes on this beauty!

If there was a picture needed for “expressive brick”, this, without a doubt, would fit the bill perfectly.  There’s so much going on, it’s hard to know where to begin.  A reinterpretation of a traditional fortress, it’s got inward-canted walls, rounded (or not!) corners, a dark stone base that rises into a vibrant brick top, bits of stone or brick that jut out or are recessed inward, and it culminates with arching brick latticeworks that top it off like a crown.  All this then further punctuated by patterned concrete boxes that poke out to form rooms or balconies.  It’s exquisite.

And it gets even better within.  Formed around a central shaft and stair, the different levels spiral upwards, creating numerous courtyards and porches and allowing nearly all parts of the house to be visually connected to each other.  The latticed stone and brick are left exposed inside, often further articulated and accentuated to provide a rich backdrop and a sense of solidity.  Best of all is the quality of light, sifting through the openings and lattices in ways both dramatic and serene.

Can this get much better?  How about yes;  the openings were not arbitrary and were instead designed with the venturi effect in mind to naturally cool and ventilate the house, and the roof collects water in a traditional kund and stores the excess in a cistern.  It’s designed to be a part of the world, not apart from it.

Needless to say, great stuff.  A wonderful piece of work.

The Gadi House by  PMA madhushala

Architecture Monday

Oh wow, the funkitude is strong with this one!  The curves, the copper, the protrusions, the sinuous shingle work, the way hit juts out from its sloping site to fly into the trees…

This is a house that is very much tailored to its owner, with little bits all over designed to support their lifestyle, from the meditation apertures (with wild circular glazing) to the acoustic ceiling for chorale singing to the gardens and the flow of inside and out.  Whether you like its particular stylings or not, it’s definitively got flair.

I dig it.  Very unique and fun and I bet the owner is super happy in it.  Creatively fantastic.

The Wilkinson Residence by Robert Harvey Oshatz.