Minimalist home design located on a south sloping plot in a residential part of Prague

Minimalist home design located on a south sloping plot in a residential part of Prague

Architects: Closer Architects
Location: PragueCzech Republic
Year: 2016
Area: 2.583 ft²/ 240 m²
Photo courtesy: Ai Photography

“The Villa “Z” was designed on a south sloping plot in a residential part of Prague, Czech Republic. The property is quite small–about 650 square meters. There are walls of the neighbor’s houses on the south and east borders. On the west side there is a house just 2,5 meters from the property line.


Its windows are right on the facade facing the client’s house. On the positive side there is 10 meters of space from the road on the north, which makes the plot optically bigger. A major requirement of the client was to design the best house with a maximum of 350 m2 of living area which included four bedrooms, a garage, living rooms, spa etc.


These limitations were the most significant in designing the concept for the house. There are neighbors on the east and west sides close to the property, who can watch what is happening on the site what we wanted to get rid of. This inspired us to design the house to be open to south and within itself using a central patio in the second floor. This takes advantage of the nice south view to the hills and a scenic forest on the horizon.



On the south sides, we made all the living areas with private terraces which are always hidden or somehow covered from the view of neighbors. Other facades are using just wide narrow windows on the top of the rooms to bring light into utility rooms like bathrooms and the staircase, but keep privacy.


On the south sides, we made all the living areas with private terraces which are always hidden or somehow covered from the view of neighbors. Other facades are using just wide narrow windows on the top of the rooms to bring light into utility rooms like bathrooms and the staircase, but keep privacy.


This area is mostly covered by the middle floor. This is useful when you want to use the terrace, even in rainy weather. The facade of this level is covered by a special black plaster so this basement is a hidden foundation for the white house above which optically lets it levitate above the ground.


The middle floor is accessible at the same elevation as the road on the north side. On this level there is a garage for two cars, an entrance hall, main staircase, restroom, two kitchens (open and closed/caterer’s), a dining area and a living room. Along the south façade, especially in front of the kitchen, there is a big terrace which is cantilevered above the garden. This is also partly covered by the construction of the top floor.


This is used mostly as a dining terrace and is accessible through the sliding windows from the kitchen. The living room is covered by a sloping roof which allows the direct vertical connection through the master staircase with the gallery and master bedroom on the top floor. The sloping roof brings the feeling of continual super elevated space. This idea is also supported by placing a triangular window on the facade heading to the private master terrace in front of the master bedroom and the gallery.


This window brings light to the interior, even if the main windows on the south are covered. The triangular window also allows the visual connection between the private master terrace and the living room or gallery. The master staircase railing brings a dynamic shape into the interior as does the other furniture like the kitchen made of white tri-stone and the black painted oak book case.


To the east, behind the master staircase there is a sloped window with a nice view to the Zen garden with a proposed stone statue, which would be illuminated from below. Next to the window, there is a built in couch, where you can have a nap with a book while looking at the statue.


The top floor is accessible either by the main staircase on the west side of the house – this is primarily used by two children, who have their bedrooms and restroom in the west wing, or by the master staircase from the living room. This is mostly used by the parents going to their bedroom (which has a private en-suite bathroom as well). There is a private, almost triangular master terrace, in front of the bedroom, which is also accessible from the gallery.


It is bordered on three sides by a facade on the west, by windows on the north and east. A scenic view opens to the south through a small gap. This shape allows the owners to use the terrace with 100% privacy and still have a nice view to the forest on the opposite side of the valley and the distant horizon.


The middle and the top floor exteriors create dynamic black and white sloped spiral blocks which are twisted together. The black part – made of high glossy black painted glass panels and windows – divides the white cantilevered volumes which helps them appear like they are floating in the air. Additionally, the volume of the middle and top floor floating above the black basement—increases the sense of the Villa’s overall interlocking three dimensional volume. Together these high contrast components, allow the house to embody the dynamic energy of a statue while optically decreasing its apparent volume (more than if it were monochrome).


The interior design elements flow continuously from the exterior to the interior. The same dynamic shapes and colors are used for the furniture’s angles, staircase railings and even ceilings, all reinforced by LED light stripes.


We took extensive care to create and design the architectural details to support the client needs through the Closer Architects vision. We give many thanks to the talented sub-contractors who were really partners and helped to finish such a complex building within a reasonable budget.”


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High Street Residence in Melbourne by Alta Architecture

High Street Residence in Melbourne by Alta Architecture

Architects: Alta Architecture
Location: MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
Year: 2014
Area: 6,589 sqft
Photo courtesy: Media Design Studio

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Modern Lake Lugano House by JM Architecture

Modern Lake Lugano House by JM Architecture

Architects: JM Architecture
Location: Lake Lugano, Switzerland
Year: 2013
Price: $4.45 million
Photo courtesy: Jacopo Mascheroni

Lying on the slant of a slope, on the shores of Lake Lugano, the manor comprises of two volumes sorted out on diverse levels because of the specific geography of the site. A polygonal formed glass structure with adjusted edges remains over a direct underground piece. The living and lounge area, the kitchen and storage rooms are situated in the structure, while rooms, bathrooms and carport are in the lower level. Every level relates itself with free open air spaces, which are firmly related with the insides.


The glass structure disregards two exceptionally characterized territories: the initially, at the mountain, is an extremely private zone brought about the zone between the property line and the building misfortune line as per the neighborhood construction standard. The second is a patio nursery neglecting the lake. Similarly, the rooms confront a patio nursery encased by the building and the border divider.


The ring, got between the edge divider above and the structure, increases the inside space, with appears to be much bigger than what it really is. The ring-like space, that grasps the expanding on the north side, gifts steady ventilation and normal light to the living zones, likewise because of the white cladding of the edge divider and white rock which mirror the daylight originating from the south.



The flat treatment of the border divider stresses the scenography, making moving shadow impacts as indicated by the distinctive position of the sun in the sky. In the meantime, an evening time simulated light scene is the perfect opposite field for the lake display.


All the extra elements of the structure are contained in a focal lacquered wood square, which goes about as a kind of a thick vulnerable divider that isolates the kitchen from the lounge without separating the space with entryways, and in which are found the powder room, the kitchen, the stairs, bookshelves, every single mechanical framework and the innovative and sound video hardware.


Extraordinary consideration is given to the ecological viewpoints, as the utilization of geothermal vitality, rooftop cultivates, the downpour water gathering framework, the decision of exceedingly productive low-emittance glass protected with argon gas, to advance the warm effectiveness of the shell and the utilization of characteristic sun shading as the position of deciduous trees in the south-west range of the building.



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Casa Linder is a 3,700 square foot single-family residence located in a well-established, but transitional East Dallas neighborhood

Casa Linder is a 3,700 square foot single-family residence located in a well-established, but transitional East Dallas neighborhood

Architects: Buchanan Architecture
Location: DallasTexasUSA
Area: 3.700 ft²/ 344 m²
Photo courtesy: James F. Wilson

“Casa Linder is a 3,700 square foot single-family residence located in a well-established, but transitional East Dallas neighborhood. Informed by the owner’s fondness for reclaimed materials, and inspired by the historic architecture of the Texas Blackland Prairie homestead vernacular, Casa Linder embraces the architectural heritage of the earliest Dallas settlers by blending the simple forms and materials of the original prairie dwellings with contemporary planning and crisp detailing.


The roof and exterior walls are clad in recycled, corrugated steel panels intended to patina to a rusty, weathered finish. At each of the south and north elevations, the walls are clad in reclaimed snow fencing planks. A gabion wall provides privacy to the pool area and gives texture to the composition of the front elevation. The interior finishes are modest, consistent, and neutral throughout.”

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Omar Gandhi Architect design Fyren home, a beacon high atop the hillside in Halifax area

Omar Gandhi Architect design Fyren home, a beacon high atop the hillside in Halifax area

Architects: Omar Gandhi Architect
Location: Purcells Cove, HalifaxNova ScotiaCanada
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Doublespace Photography, Omar Gandhi – Jeff Shaw

“Set atop one of the highest sea-side plateaus in the Halifax area, the residence has clear views of both Point Pleasant Park and the open water. Formally, the home twists and turns towards the two critical views, providing unique views from within different zones of the home.


The l-shaped scheme creates an internal court and driveway approach, as well as a variety of stunning views of itself in the foreground of the long and wide view. A central core of staircases clad in walnut plywood twist and turn in response to the large volumes.


The interior palette of traditional mid-century modern materials, including, walnut, birch, white lacquer and concrete provide an internal warmth to the more rigid exterior formal language.



The program of the home is composed of three levels, the bottom for entry and storage, the middle for sleeping and the top for daily living and family activity.”


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Kyodo House by SANDWICH + team Low-energy

Kyodo House by SANDWICH + team Low-energy

Architects: SANDWICHteam Low-energy
Location: Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2015
Area: 1.389 sqft / 129 sqm
Photo courtesy: Nobutada OMOTE

A house configuration to make powerful utilization of natural energy.

Focused on a family room situated to confront the sun when it goes due south, the system of this house utilizes various covering boxes to sort out the inside space. In winter, air warmed by the daylight reaches out all through the space, while in summer, a cool wind from the windows goes through. The house has a study room that capacities as a ventilation tower, and from its windows you feel the greenery of encompassing trees. Aeration and cooling systems are not required in this house.


The unmistakable structure of the outer divider depends on the idea of an artist Kohei Nawa’s “Course” arrangement of sketches, which investigates a perception of gravity. Old timber that was initially cut from diverse trees developing in Japan and left out in the timber yard is reused, orchestrated so that width and hues interchange. The point was to create a feeling that is warm and natural while as yet being contemporary.



The design was considered as single family home or an offer house. The focal chamber living space has substantial bookshelves that is the centerpiece of proprietor’s living style, and there is an option space indented into the ground for occasions. This house empowers the general population who live there to join with the nearby group, while sharing better approaches for city way of life that fuses craftsmanship, permaculture, and comparative methodologies.


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Casa M by Jannina Cabal & Arquitectos

Casa M by Jannina Cabal & Arquitectos

Architects: Jannina Cabal & Arquitectos
Location: Samborondon, Ecuador
Year: 2012
Area: 3,660 sqft
Photo courtesy: Juan Alberto Andrade


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Israel contemporary residence

Israel contemporary residence

Location: Ramot Hashavim, Israel
Year: 2012
Price: $9 million
Photo courtesy: Itay Sikolski

The Villa is situated in a peaceful suburb called Ramot Hashavim which is close Raanana and Ramat Ha Sharon. This zone is loaded with history and was truth be told the first rural group to be established in Israel by German outsiders in 1933 who set up a moshav of little ranches near the city.


It is presently one of the trendiest ranges to contribute and has turned into a looked for after area for stupendous private and discrete homes.


The Villa was composed by driving Argentinian engineer Nesto to make a novel answer for assemble a trendy family house that offers security for the offspring of the family who each have their own “cases” inside of the house, and intemacy for the folks who make the most of their main room disregarding the pool and grounds.



There are 4 rooms each with private bathrooms and living regions, in addition to the expert suite with changing area and his and hers lavatory. There is additionally a servants room in addition to utility range for the administrations. The manor likewise brags a private silver screen, a diversions room with snooker and table tennis, Italian planned kitchen by Armani Casa and is a completely “brilliant” home.


The serene setting of the three dunams of area offers peace and calm from the hustek and clamor of TLV and has different natural product trees including orange, grapefruit, avocado and lemon becoming naturally.


This property is an irregular and makes a heavenly family home in Israel.



House that uses natural materials and finishes to evoke a raw informal place

House that uses natural materials and finishes to evoke a raw informal place

Architects: Modo Designs – Architect Arpan Shah
Location: India
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Modo Designs – Architect Arpan Shah

“The ‘House by the Trees’ is a gathering and retreat place for a Gujarati family on the outskirts of Ahmedabad set amidst the existing neem, chikoo and amla trees. The brief given was to have a spacious and open place yet addressing security concerns.
Our primary concern was to weave the house layout with the existing trees, resulting into some trees within the house courts and some trees along its edge and thus random location of existing trees defined the extents of the house.

The house is a two bay plan with the front bay having the semi open entry porch and vestibule and a guest bedroom adjoining it. A linear court yard segregates the front bay from the rear one enhancing the sense of openness from the enclosed spaces. The rear bay has the living, dining and kitchen on one side and master bedroom on the other side with a semi open lounge that separates these zones in the rear bay. A 12’ cantilevered verandah hovers on the north side as an extension to living and master bedroom and along the existing line of neem trees.

The semi open vestibule and lounge connects the house with the courtyard and garden beyond making the house a seamless place. This connected area can transform in night when the sliding ms grill disconnects the outer area from the internal spaces making it an introverted secured place.


The house uses natural materials and finishes to evoke a raw informal place. The floor has rough kadappa in interior areas and river washed black granite in semi open areas while the courtyard has rough brown kotah stone. All ceilings are exposed concrete finished and door windows made of valsadi wood. The customized furniture is made of old reclaimed valsadi wood.”


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Modern, minimal home: a pristine box that seemed to have landed in the desert, in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona

Modern, minimal home: a pristine box that seemed to have landed in the desert, in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona

Architects: Kevin B Howard Architects
Location: TucsonArizonaUSA
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Winquist PhotographyRobin Stancliff Photography

“There are only a few instances in an architectural career where a client and an architect’s vision unify into an immaculate and complete expression of art and architecture. We were very fortunate to work with a couple who, devoted to the ideals of minimalism’s stark allure, asked us to design a house in the foothills of Tucson, Arizona, located in the profoundly diverse Sonoran Desert. The owners’ refined sense of contrast required a “modern, minimal home: a pristine box that seemed to have landed in the desert.”


The house’s hillside location required that we take advantage of the boundless vistas while protecting the owners’ carefully curated collection of art and modernist furniture as well as the desert itself. These diverging conditions resulted in the elevation of the major living spaces to the upper floor. The considerable programmatic shift reduced the footprint and the construction impact, as well as reiterating the owners’ vision of gently touching down upon the earth. Kevin Howard’s assertion that “The desert is very slow to heal” can be seen in the surgical location of the residence around and within the numerous Saguaros on the site.


The inclusion of gallery space and its appropriate protective measures overlaid the architectural program. Miesian glass walls were replaced with a studied array of spotless shadow boxes protecting deeply recessed glass panes. The clients shared their inspiration and enthusiasm for Renzo Piano’s Atrium in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.



The interior stair acts as a tectonic centerpiece, contrasting the formal execution of the main atrium while matching its clarity and refinement in detailing. This Atrium houses the bulk of the owners’ art collection and connects the upper and lower floors of the residence. The height allows the living spaces to breathe and provides a new appreciation of the various pieces of art as they are viewed from different positions in the house.


A single continuous skylight centered down the middle of the gallery marks the passage of time without harming the cherished art held within. The main living and dining spaces face south, framing the view of the desert below in a perfect unobstructed volume.”


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Would you like to become a member of a nature-based permaculture community on the Isle of Skye?

Would you like to become a member of a nature-based permaculture community on the Isle of Skye?

Posted Oct 1 2017 by Ludwig Appeltans of Earth Ways

Since December 2016, I, Ludwig Appeltans am the proud owner and custodian of the most beautiful peninsula in Scotland.

Rubha Phoil is the perfect location to create what I have been dreaming of and working towards for ten years: A small permaculture community that can function as a bright example of permaculture to inspire others.

The community would embody:

  • A secure safe place to live, for people of all ages, history and skills
  • Educational aspects in all things permaculture: food growing, natural building, resilience, nature connection, mindfulness, workshops, nature connection holidays for families and small groups and more
  • A well protected and managed natural haven for the wild things
  • A community way of living inspired by the way native people live and work together
  • A clever designed way for us all to earn a living from the land by reducing living costs, working together, sharing resources and creating an income from the land.

Part of the cultural design has already been made. It will be a permaculture community, with clear permaculture ethics. We will all have our own private space. It will be a nature-based culture in the community, inspired by native cultures through the work of 8 Shields. We will design the rest of the community together.

You can see and follow and partake in the development of the culture design on the website here.

You can see more photos on Flickr here.

How you can get involved

  • Apply to join the community as a permanent or temporary resident: Apply here
  • If you want to come for a visit to check out possibilities to join, please contact us for a discount on our rented accommodation. (Discount calculated by ability to pay; you don’t need to pay if you want to volunteer)
  • Come to help as a volunteer
  • Give us a loan for one year: The previous owner has been really generous in passing the land and the full control over the land to the next generation. And also by allowing me an extra year to pay the remaining purchase fee of £80.000. The plan is to find people who are able and willing to invest their capital in buying land to build a home. Finding buyers is not a problem. Finding the right people can take some time. Designing a community so people know what they are joining takes even more time. So I’m looking for a crowd loan to buy more time.

Please feel free to ask questions and give us your feedbacktips or suggestions by posting below or by sending us a message or as a comment on this page.

The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily’s


How we designed and built our own off-grid home in the woods

How we designed and built our own off-grid home in the woods

Posted Aug 20 2017 by Anna & Pete Grugeon of Bulworthy Project
Anna & Pete Grugeon's off-grid house in the woods

Two years ago, we blogged about Anna and Pete’s experience in obtaining planning permission for a self-built, off-grid home in the woods in Devon. Here’s the story of what they built and how they power and heat it.

In 2012 we were granted planning permission to build a house. The planning permission demanded that the house was completed and our caravans moved off the land within 18 months. This would have been a challenge for experienced builders. Our previous building experience was a shed, a barn and a couple of compost toilets. As such we had no real reference point for how much work was involved. In some ways this was a good thing as it meant that we were not as daunted as we would have been. We got someone in to do the groundworks and for legal reasons there was some plumbing and electrical work that we couldn’t do ourselves, but other than that the house was built by Anna and myself with help from friends who mainly knew nothing more about building than we did.

Our first step was to go to the library. There were a number of books on self-build. We took a few out, went home and started to read. We were dismayed to find that they all started with a chapter on how to choose a good architect and project manager or whether you should get the architect to project manage for you. Then some went on to tackle the idea that you might project manage yourself. To enable you to do so, they had hints on how to find good tradespeople to do the work involved in the build. It was abundantly clear that these books were not written for us.

So we looked on the internet and found amongst the endless reams of advertising and useless junk- some really useful information. A lot of it from America, Canada and Australia where it is not unknown for people to build their own houses. We also found just enough British information to make it work with the materials and techniques used in this country.

We had been forming the design of the house in our heads ever since we moved on to the land. Because we had lived there for years and seen the sun rise and set each day and watched the view change through the seasons we had clear ideas of how the house would fit into it’s surroundings.

We wanted a veranda on the south side so that we could sit outside whilst being sheltered from the rain and patio doors leading onto the veranda so that there is a gradual transition between the interior of the house and the woodland it sits in.

The ground floor layout is almost identical to a plan that we drew in our first winter in the woods in 2009-2010 when we were trying to keep our spirits up whilst living in a caravan during the coldest winter in 35 years. At that point we were planning to build a bungalow. We wanted the roof to be at 45° for solar panels and when we came to draw up rough elevations of the house we realised that the roof was massive. We could have made the south side of the roof 45° and had the north side at a much gentler angle, but we thought that this would look a bit odd so we stuck with the big roof and put rooms in it, thereby doubling the size of the interior. Looking back we’re glad we did, but it did add a lot more work.

We started our part of the build in June 2013. The frame for the ground floor went up in no time and the house started to take shape. Fired up with enthusiasm we worked crazy long days building the house and running the charcoal business in the first “barbecue summer” since we had started selling the stuff. It was probably good that we didn’t realise what a small part of the build that frame was.

Part of the ground floor frame is a post and beam frame which holds up the roof over the veranda. This is made from some oak trees which came down in a storm in 1992. All of the sap wood had rotted off just leaving the heartwood which is immensely tough. We don’t have the woodworking skills to do proper joints without risking getting them wrong and ruining the beams so we got a friend of ours to make up metal brackets which we had designed. These were fixed into the posts by making a chainsaw cut vertically into the top of each post to slide the bracket into. The brackets are then bolted onto the beams.

We then moved onto the roof structure. We could have bought roof trusses ready made and had them lifted into place with a crane, but to save money we made them ourselves on top of the ground floor frame. They were fixed together with nail plates. In all we used about 20,000 nails. That’s a lot of hammering. When we had fixed the nail plates on one side we had to flip each truss over to nail plate the other side. The trusses each weighed about a quarter of a ton and we had to do this whilst balancing on the ground floor frame. We then had to stack the trusses on top of each other so that there was enough space to make them all and finally move them into place and secure them. So then we were ready to start slating the roof. Slating took more research than any other part of the build. There are many different sizes of slate and you have to work out what headlap (overlap) is required depending on the size of the slate, the pitch of the roof and how exposed the roof is. There are also many types of slate: real slates and composite slates, Welsh, Cornish, Spanish, Brazilian or Chinese slates, various thickness’s and grades of slate.

In an ideal world we would have bought Cornish or Welsh slate but the cost is prohibitive. The cheapest slates are Chinese followed by Brazilian. But these have 10 and 5 times the carbon footprint of Spanish slates respectively and do not have the same environmental controls over production methods. We found some Spanish slates that were described as “rustic” because they do not have an even finish and are of varied thickness. They also contain pyrite which means that they will discolour and rust over time but not in quantities that would cause structural problems. As these slates are seconds, they were cheap enough for us to afford. They are starting to discolour now and they do look rustic but that just fits in with the overall look of the house which looks homemade because we made it.

When we finished the roof we celebrated in the traditional style with a bottle of bubbly, partly because we hadn’t fallen off and didn’t have to work at that height anymore (we couldn’t afford proper scaffolding and had done the whole thing off a scaffold tower) and partly because we believed that now that we were working on the interior we were on the home run.

Whoever knew how much work is involved in the interior of a house? Eventually after months of carpentry, plasterboarding and eventually painting we were able to move in just as our caravan finally sprung a leak above our bed. We were a little over the 18 months that we had been allowed to do the build but the planners could see that we were doing our best.

The house fits in well with our sustainable ethos. It is off grid and the electricity is provided by 960w of solar panels. The electrics are all on a 24v DC system. This would not be suitable if it was a large system but it saves the inefficiencies of using an inverter when most of the appliances that we use, use a DC supply. Waste water is dealt with by a reed bed system and the reeds will be harvested to make compost with.

Heating in the house is partly provided by a woodburner and partly by solar energy. It is a revelation to us to have a living space that stays warm overnight without keeping the woodbuner alight. We also now have the luxury of underfloor heating. When someone suggested underfloor-heating to us we thought that it was a desirable but expensive luxury. When we realised that as we were building from scratch and putting a screed floor in, it was as cheap as radiators, we went for it.

Although we do have a debt against the house, because we built it ourselves rather than paying builders we built it on a very tight budget. The repayments on the debt are vastly less than the rent that we used to pay before we moved into the woods. The house has been designed to be cheap to live in thereby assisting us in our economic sustainability. Most of all after 5 years of living in a caravan and a bit over 18 months of building it is lovely to have a warm and comfortable house to live in.

The interior of the self-built off-grid home

The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily’s


Transformation of an industrial setting into a flexible live or work space

Transformation of an industrial setting into a flexible live or work space

Architects: Marta Muñoz, Josean Ruiz Esquiroz
Location: MadridSpain
Photography: ©miguel de guzmán

“In Spain, architects Marta Muñoz and Josean Ruiz Esquiroz have transformed a former industrial setting into a flexible live/work space. Located in madrid, the scheme’s primary architectural strategies are based on duplication and saving, in terms of both energy and space. The project — photographed by Miguel de Guzmán — is titled ‘ctrl+green’, a name that references the vegetation that surrounds the home’s indoor areas.

As the industrial space didn’t have any thermal insulation, Muñoz and Ruiz Esquiroz began by creating a second skin with a wraparound ‘gallery’, large enough to be used as a pedestrian corridor. This gesture also isolates the interior space thermally and acoustically. Sunlight entering through large windows is filtered by a hanging garden and wireless motorized blinds.

The interstitial space measures a total of 40 meters in length (131 feet), and faces three different directions. in order to allow for views out, the architects elevated the floor by 45 cm (18 inches). Below this perimeter band, which doubles externally as a terrace, several wheeled drawers are hidden, offering plentiful storage. to the south, a greenhouse contains hanging plants, while the western façade features an integrated cushioned bench and worktable. Finally, to the north, a fold-down bed is surrounded by wardrobes.


The construction of a luminous new floor, positioned above the previously existing one, allows the installation of a low temperature radiant floor that also contains new plumbing utilities. Hidden bellow the perimeter gallery, 21 mobile drawers — assembled with no screws or adhesives — have been designed in different sizes. The architects have also constructed three pieces of furniture: a transparent table, the computer office tables, and the auxiliary bar table, all of which are on wheels.”


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Through House by Materium has an internalized private ‘climb’ from park to hill, through a passage

Through House by Materium has an internalized private ‘climb’ from park to hill, through a passage

Architects: Materium
Location: Singapore
Year: 2016
Area: 3.767 ft²/ 350 m²
Photo courtesy: Materium

“Flanked on three sides by other houses, it finds itself in the middle between a small park in front and a hill further behind. This position allows the house to set up a distant dialogue between them. In front, a U-shaped balcony cantilevers out above street level to channel the park into the interior where raintree canopies frame an intimate study.

At the back, an open roof terrace cuts back the house massing above the rear neighbors to take in views of the distant forest hill. Between this two ends, internal rooms are pulled back to create a non-linear spatial passage from front to back, shunning the view of surrounding neighbors. This internalized private ‘climb’ from park to hill, through the passage, forms the main spine around which the rest of the domestic spaces are arranged.

On one side of the passage, the living room atrium extends up from the ground floor. Here, a white veil of grided sunscreen fragments the park foliage into moving glimpses of green. Lit by daylight from the side garden, filtered light from the front and skylight above the staircase, the nature of this space changes as the natural light it receives constantly shifts throughout the day.”


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Natural and cultural interpretation of a house using its natural materials in Mérida, Mexico

Natural and cultural interpretation of a house using its natural materials in Mérida, Mexico

Architects: tescala
Location: Mérida, Mexico
Year: 2016
Area: 9.687 ft²/ 900 m²
Photo courtesy: Leo Espinosa

“Architecture approaches nature by rearranging its elements. In Casa Chaaltun, this conformation was an attempt to evoke and interpret the natural and cultural context of the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico, challenging the mainstream perception and common use of its natural materials.

To adapt the program into the lot’s geometry, it was divided into three zones: private, social and services; the volumes were designed accordingly. Four volumes are connected by a main long axis, which is the project’s spine. Two of them are solid, facing south and west, solving the privacy and, at the same time, it protects the interior and shadows the others. The remaining volumes are lightly floating, generating a double height ceiling in the ground level, facing to the northeast.

The marble lattice facade was a challenging design and its final solution gave identity to the house: a system formed by four hundred eighty six vertical pieces, each one unites two plaques of marble secured to a steel frame. Every single piece is welded to the main structure of the social volumes. The lighting is inspired in the moonlight, so that each piece illuminates the adjacent, bouncing its light into the marble.


The volumetric solution comes with a continuous series of voids in the building: four spaces that open and expand the interiors; although this is functional, these are also the spaces where the natural and cultural references of the environment take place, giving Casa Chaaltun its unique identity.

Yucatán Peninsula is known for its peculiar landscapes, which include large trees with tabular roots and natural ponds of crystalline water called cenotes (dzonoot in maya); this ponds are of remarkable beauty and characterized for its freshness; the limestone that forms the cenote allows to see the dark green and blue colors in the clear water. Because of this natural and stunning ponds, the swimming pool resembles a cenote: an oxford grey flamed granite gives a sensation of depth and a darker green-blue color to the water; floating in the second level the marble lattice façade encloses the pool area. Also, Alamo trees suggest the presence of a cenote, this is why one of them is placed in the access patio surrounded by limestone walls.

In the regional landscape of Yucatan it’s common to see how rocks, roads and walls rust in an intense red color because of the minerals in the soil; the inspiration for the red patio was taken from these rusty elements, making tall tinted concrete walls and placing a Chaka tree (regional tree form Yucatan known for its red bark). Another endemic tree in the plot is a Jabín (habín in maya), one of the few in the area that changes its color through seasons. This tree was a breaking point to the design of the master’s bedroom lobby and the upper level terrace, where the leafy branches brace the space giving a cozy ambiance.

All these different references of the natural context are a constant in the project, following the same line of design and always prioritizing the user’s well being and playing with the aperture of the sequenced spaces. Casa Chaaltun is the concatenation of thresholds (kitchen-bar-social-pool-garden) that opens into an extended visual (course-lake-course-jungle).”

The volume’s typology is characterized by its facades. The solids are formed by a series of offsetted walls, allowing crossed ventilation and a great natural light income without a thermal gain. In contrast, the floating volumes feature a marble lattice facade, permitting the entrance of a diffuse light and also shadowing the interior.


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Carrara House by Andres Remy Arquitectos

Carrara House by Andres Remy Arquitectos

Architects: Andres Remy Arquitectos
Location: Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Year: 2010
Area: 660 sqm
Photos: Alejandro Peral

Situated on an unpredictable part, the house sits at the back of the parcel and is parallel to one of the roads to open the best introduction and catch the best perspectives. The thought of this adventure was to find the passage as we take after the outside stone divider.

1299527045-mg-1434-copyThe rural and created stone characterizes and isolates the passage zones from the living spaces and is inside and outside, proposing a counterpoint to the unadulterated white that commands within the house.

A visually impaired and suggestive passage makes an in number impact on the house. The white of the carrara marble commands the inside construction modeling. With the white dividers and roofs, the house seems to emerge from inside of the water. The touches of shading are utilized for little subtle elements and embellishing articles, commanding the white shading and the turquoise of the water.

The water that encompasses the house infiltrates it as the reflected surface of the water whose oddity results in the inside course that rises up out of the top floor and falls while painting reflections by means of a sheet of glass. This mirror of water is replicated outside obscuring the limits somewhere around one and the other. At last, rising up out of the lobby container of the top floor, the glass course depletes musically into and through the heart of the ground floor. These components give the venture the particular characteristic of Remy–bold, imaginative and maybe provocative, however constantly one of a kind.

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Project that mandate the Old Town rules of Granada and at the same time brings a new and contemporary image

Project that mandate the Old Town rules of Granada and at the same time brings a new and contemporary image

Architects: DTR_studio
Location: Granada, Spain
Year: 2016
Area: 7.965 ft²/ 740 m²
Photo courtesy: Cristián Beltran

“The house has a very relevant situation inside the city of Granada, located in the join between “Paseo del Salón” and “Paseo de la Bomba”. The position, between common walls, but at the same time like a separated object, because the adjoining plots have their free space towards our boundary, make our building into a urban referent.

Following these premises, we have developed a proposal that join the composition, height and finishing that mandate the Old Town rules and at the same time, a new and contemporary image that this particular and unique position we think it should accommodate.

Therefore, the façade of the house has a plinth that support the ground level windows, taking more height in the entrance door to emphasise it.


The rest of the elevation are ordered following the vertical axes that the Old town rules obligate, but with little movements to improve the views and the natural light inside the rooms and to make a less fixed façade .

The cornice lines are marked with metal sheet , even in the party wall. This is a 4 façade house, and this is the way to emphasy it.

The house is developed in 4 storeys , connected by a lineal stairs sited parallel to a patio that orders the background of the house. The parking and the Laundry is located in the basement, and the two first levels are for the private area of the dwelling : the bed-rooms .

In the highest storey is the living area and the kitchen, to get the best views and to have the access to the garden close to the old wall. Central patio and Backyard are classical elements in the Granada typical villa (Carmen) that connects with the Arab tradition of the Morisco House. We have used these elements but with a contemporany optic.”

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The Black House – a contemporary response to the region of Kent

The Black House – a contemporary response to the region of Kent

Architects: AR Design Studio
Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom
Year: 2017
Area: 4.305 ft²/ 400 m²
Photo courtesy: Martin Gardner

“Black House is a private new build house in Kent, completed in the summer of 2017 by Winchester- based architects AR Design Studio. A contemporary property, Black House draws its influences from both the historic and modern buildings of Kent. A retired engineer and Conran interior designer, the clients, chose to move from a 15th century Tudor house and build a contemporary dream home in their garden.

The buildings concept was formed after the design team and clients embarked on an architectural tour in Kent, in search of inspiration from the land and local context. The floating form and massing of Black House was inspired by Sissinghurst Castle Garden, home of writer Vita Sackville-West.

The castle gardens are broken into a series of individual experiences hidden from each other by manicured hedges and weathered red brick walls. Only from the writing room in the central tower can the connection of the spaces and whole design be seen.


The Black House rectangular massing was divided into blocks by key site axes, a view from the pool to a large populus tree, and a previous path to the site. Each block is linked to a distinct aspect of the garden, with a final connecting view provided from the roof of a brick tower. The volumes were separated to create a central courtyard, with a cantilevering roof to tie the modules together.

The design team also viewed Hasting’s historic net huts and the traditional black clad houses of Dungeness.

As a response a vertical black timber cladding is used throughout. Visiting the interlocking volumes of the Turner Contemporary Gallery, in Margate, by David Chipperfield Architects, informed the studio how to interconnect the low massing of the black timber boxes and the brick tower.


With each block linking to a different part of the garden, a journey around the functions of the house is experienced. The journey begins with one of the three entrances, designed along the axes of the building. The kitchen diner is a 7.3m cantilevering room facing east to capture the morning sun. With floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, the orientation provides expansive views across the orchard and vineyard. The drawing room fronts the pool area to the west, two spaces linked to accommodate rest and play. A panoramic horizontal window influenced by Margate frames the view from the formal dining room across the formal front lawn. The final aspect is the bedrooms, they are provided privacy and seclusion by the proximity of the woodland to rear of the house.

These spaces are all connected by the central courtyard, an area of extensive glazing allowing light and fresh air to continually penetrate the house, and provide year round sheltered outdoor space.

Having constructed the house, the clients have chosen contemporary living over historical, a building designed for them, to suit the way they want to live today. The result is Black House, a sequence of dramatic experiences linked to their garden, and is a contemporary response to the region.”

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Stylish Eco-Friendly Apartment in Tribeca

Stylish Eco-Friendly Apartment in Tribeca

Location: TribecaManhattanNew YorkUSA
Photo courtesy: One Fine Stay

Carbon footprint

Start with oxygen; add nitrogen, carbon, sunlight – the basics. Yes, an ecosystem can prosper on the bare minimum – but why settle on spare when you can skew stunning? Behold Hudson Park, a spacious six bedroom, six bathroom biotope rich with colour and texture. If you breathe film, the private in-home theatre’s for you. If spa-calibre comforts are most nourishing, the master washroom is your native habitat.







Your hosts are a pair of trail-blazing city transplants who caught the tradewinds into New York with stars in their eyes. Now a city-dwelling family, their organic, independent ecosystem is the crown jewel in their beloved Tribeca biome. When it comes to nurturing a sense of balance and abundance here at their loft-style estate, they’re naturals.


Tree of life

Spring up to the first floor and you’ll only have just reached the understory. The polished kitchen, formal and informal dining areas, and sitting room synthesize exposed brick and wood beams into one extraordinarily wide-open living space. With a glossy grand piano, colour-curated tomes, and so much natural light, nothing is for a moment dim or primordial.


Downstairs, study the science of frolic in the playroom or film appreciation in the cushy home theatre. Then drift again skyward to the third-floor canopy, where the master quarters are shaped by roughened wood beams, hand-set river pebbles, and cool, carbon-coloured slate. Adapting to Hudson Park’s special ecology is a breeze – before you know it, you’ve sent down roots.


Natural resource

Home of glittering film stars, culinary flagships, and cutting-edge boutiques, Tribeca is a picture-perfect perch from which to pollinate the city. Though walkable and friendly, the neighbourhood also boasts a hard-to-come-by polish and exclusive atmosphere. From here, catch the subway at Canal Street or Spring Street to forage at the city limits.


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Modern Minimalistic and Clear in Tel Aviv by Martin Kesel Architects

Modern Minimalistic and Clear in Tel Aviv by Martin Kesel Architects

Architects: Martin Kesel Architects
Location: Tel AvivIsrael
Year: 2015
Area: 2,153 ft²/ 200 m²
Photo courtesy: Gilad Radat

The house is situated in the peaceful and calm neighbourhood. The house is Characterized as a present day plan 200 m² (2,153 ft²) partitioned into 4 half levels.


This is a family that needed to work there dream home. The children past the age where they are painting the dividers and making a wreck. So they chose to spoil themselves with a present day house with striking c and unpredictable Colors and materials. We utilized extraordinary carpentry points of interest and tweak compositional lighting that makes a novel configuration field.


The engineering outline is portrayed by clean current lines that mull over the huge and great space. The keen utilization of carpentry points of interest and shrouded spaces make a great deal of storage room the blend between the materials on one hand icy, glass and press and on the other warm, materials and wood make the result we went for.



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