The clients came to Australian architecture firm Vibe Design Group‘s office with the intention of moving into property development. Common ground was that they were focused on presenting projects with high design content supporting a different visual approach.
In the early design phase the architcts were looking to create an open, more interactive street presence which led to a very different design response.
The actual front façade was inspired by the study of 60s and early 70s stereo cabinets with the slatted timber reflecting the slotted speaker elements, in this case they accommodate the covered entry and private en suite window. The house sits lightly balanced on angled steel posts again reminiscent of the stereo cabinet legs, which affords the house the appearance of floating out across the land.
The project sits well in its treed environs, Silvertop Ash was chosen as the cladding because its eventual grey colour will blend completely and afford a sense of belonging in the treed backdrop.
Silvertop Ash timber has a unique ability to assimilate into the surrounds, offering a very different visual affect. To the North the timber is still evident but only on the third storey – as from this vantage point we wanted the upper level to appear as a tree house. ExoTec Façade Panel System was the other main material used because it offers a refreshing contrast to the timber.
The cut out element of the living area window directs the line of sight down to the pool, BBQ area and backyard space – protecting privacy.
The interior begins with a flat veneer wall on approach. It’s intention is to create the feeling of being at the base of a huge tree.
Practically, it houses the cloak, powder room, cellar and on into the integrated kitchen. It’s all achieved with hidden doors that, when opened, offer an unexpected surprise. This house is open yet private and the timber feature wall of the interior invites a journey of discovery. The cantilevered box on the street facade internally houses the day bed and library which interacts with the study space. The study has a glass splash back wall chosen for it’s ability to reflect the outer landscape.
A dumbwaiter is included which travels up from the garage into the scullery that resides behind one of the four integrated doors in the kitchen area. The classic Calcutta Marble has been used in the bathrooms, while the kitchen has Caesar stone bench tops and a preparation cube at the end of the main island bench.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 February, 2014
Luxurious single family residence designed by Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects and Antoni Associates situated in a trendy area in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa.
De Waterkant is a trendy area in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. In the day, it hosts cool-hunting hipsters frequenting impossibly quaint eateries and in the evening it becomes the urbanites playground as fashion and art champion the nights.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 19 February, 2014
This beautiful residence by Brazilian architecture firm Reinach Mendonça Arquitetos Associados, located in a noble and leafy suburb in western Sao Paulo, is on a flat and deep site, with the main premise of taking the most advantage of the existing green area at the back of the site.
The spaces are distributed across four floors, including the basement, so the extended program could be concentrated in a very compact area. The ground floor contains the living and balcony overlooking the pool, with the comfort of the shade of old trees that have been preserved.
Social spaces overlook the great garden at the back, as a measure of security and privacy. A 25-meter pool responds to a request from the family that practices swimming as a sport.
Downstairs in the basement, parking for 10 cars supplies the lack of parking area in the surrounding streets. It also contains the service units and other facilities, facing a sunken courtyard.
The architectural proposal of keeping people together and in harmony, determines the interconnected spaces, including the pool area. A stripe partially invades the ceiling with a double height balcony, built to house the central atrium. The abundant presence of glass allows the visitor or resident to see who is in the children’s room, living room and dining, while overlooking the garden, talking to everyone. The atrium brings together all the environments, eliminating corridors and hallways. Abundant light coming from the sides and the roof softens the program. The third floor, entirely glazed, emanates light for the rest of the house.
The glazed walls and double height ceilings allow a connection with the exterior and a contact with the trees, both for the interior as well as to see the movement of people through the house, turning circulations into open and comfortable places. The large spans, the void inside, high ceilings, and balconies contribute to air circulation, favoring cross ventilation and the elimination of air conditioning during most of the time.
A mixed structure of concrete and steel is part of the main house, a rectangular volume of exposed concrete interspersed with metal beams. When the structure alternates with a lighter material, the structural system is relieved, with larger openings. On the third floor, which is more open and glazed, the entire structure is steel.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 18 February, 2014
This private residence for a mosaic artist, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia designed by GRADE. In designing the project, GRADE responded to two disparate conditions of the site: the expansive views of Chesapeake Bay and the mystic wooded area on which it resided. The objective was to reconcile the client’s need for a studio in which to design and create while not rendering the space hermetic and closed off to its surroundings.
GRADE brought nature’s elements indoors, establishing a foundation of earthy textures including natural mahogany wood and a curved zinc rooftop, complemented by imported materials such as Italian marble. Through thoughtful design, the house became an apparatus for filtering the views of the water, with the curved roof allowing the scale of the beachside room to expand the closer one’s proximity to the bay.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 13 February, 2014
Belgium-based architectural firm DMOA Architecten has designed La Branche.
The project is a peaceful combination of old and new. The new part is a sober black canvas looking at the garden from behind the old walls. In several places remnant parts of the old walls are kept as garden elements, an aspect that strengthens the atmosphere.
When you walk through the house you feel continuously that you are in a nexus between old and new.
The project consists of the renovation of an old resting place for hunters in the woods of Heverlee (Belgium), transforming it in an comfortable and modern dwelling for a family with four children. One of the three wings of the U-compositions was removed except of the facade wall, which remains with the name that gave title to the old refuge and now to its renovation “La Branche”.
The sides made of brick contain the private rooms of the family meanwhile the dark volume accommodate the living and the kitchen in permanent connection with the pool and the outside garden.
The dark colours of the interior design contrast with the high brightness that gets inside through the large windows.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 12 February, 2014
Designed in 2008 by Mike Jacobs Architecture, this graphic arts studio ,the Lorraine Studio, is situated in Los Angeles, California.
A 3.8kW photovoltaic array powers this 1,200 sf graphic arts studio on a property with an expanding family. The design, which evolved as a negotiation between the Los Angeles off-street parking requirements and local zoning mandates, simultaneously satisfies and subverts local code.
Automobile parking tolerances were adopted in the spatial organization and siting of the structure. These are layered within the domestic needs of the ground floor workspace through large custom-made glass doors and a structural slab.
Heat & power requirements for both the structure and the pool are met with the photovoltaic panels on the roof. When the power loads for the studio and pool are not needed, the system provides electrical offsets for the main house and when the property is unoccupied, the electrical power is distributed to the city of Los Angeles.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 12 February, 2014
Bitxo House stands on the gentle hills of the Pre-Pyrenean landscape of Graugés, in the Berguedá region, a hundred kilometres north of Barcelona, with the Queralt mountain range at the background and located between mountain style houses.The owners, Xavier and Queralt, both of them musicians, acquire, about 20 years ago, a plot to raise the stave, where to the score of their lives. Over time, without rush. The design and construction of housing extends for over ten years, until today.
In contact with the ground, the lines of the stave get broken, absorb the trace of an old path and set a diagonal on the site which then serves to structure a hierarchic process, adding elements and processes, which are used to think the house, and build it with a dramatic concrete structure loading a ceramic lattice. The spaces are defined by free-standing bodies lined with colourful glazed ceramic, below the concrete slab covered in Arabic tiles coated in traditional colour, as the local rules mandate.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 7 February, 2014