David Brownlow Theatre by Jonathan Tuckey Design

ARCHITECT:

Jonathan Tuckey Design

PHOTO:
 

Nick Dearden, Jim Stephenson

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Newtown, Newbury, Berkshire, U.K.

LINKS:
 
 

Jonathan Tuckey Design has completed a new theatre in the grounds of
a school in south east England. True to the practice’s commitment to ‘building on the built’, for which it has earned an international reputation, the new theatre plays a vital role in repairing and enhancing the existing campus.

The new, sustainable building has been carefully crafted to sit in concert with the neighbouring buildings, and succeeds in turning what was once
a featureless car park into an animated civic square. Horris Hill is a day and boarding preparatory school for boys aged between 4 and 13, set within a rural campus in Berkshire. It is located in 85 acres containing woods, sports pitches and a kitchen garden. Outdoor education and extra- curricular activity are fundamental parts of the school, both of which help Horris Hill maintain a whole-school community ethos.

The theatre, which is named after its main benefactor, Lord David Brownlow, founder of the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, will significantly enhance the personal development of the 130 pupils attending Horris Hill. It will afford access to all aspects of theatre practice: performance, production and design – and embed these into the culture of the school.

Outside of teaching hours, the new theatre will open up to the wider community through local theatre clubs and groups, providing facilities to sustain these activities at a time when countless arts venues are closing across the UK. Designed to host school assemblies, music recitals and drama productions, the development comprises three unique spaces, creating a building which is animated on all sides, activating the whole campus. The three spaces include:

– a 160-seat auditorium and performance space;
– a congregating space around the entrance portico;
– an outdoor amphitheatre on the south elevation, facing the woods and school playing fields, which extends the theatre stage into the surrounding Arcadian landscape.

The design was the outcome of an invited competition, won by the practice in March 2016. The brief called for a theatre that would expand the arts and drama curriculum at the school – in recognition that performing arts improve pupils’ confidence, grasp of languages, debating skills, oratory and aptitude.

Text provided by the architect

ph: Nick Dearden
ph: Nick Dearden

Casa Ter by MESURA

   

ARCHITECT:

Mesura

PHOTO:
 
Salva López
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Baix Empordà, Spain

LINKS:
 
 
 

Casa Ter surges from a process of truly listing to the cultural and natural environment it inhabits. The decisions behind its shape and materiality are rooted in touching as little of the natural surroundings as possible and interpreting the local building culture of the area (the rural fields and towns of l’Empordà), using contemporary construction techniques. Following this premise, Casa Ter aims to create a personal sense of place, in close contact with all elements it’s surrounded by.

USING LOCAL BUILDING MATERIALS: THE CERAMICS OF LA BISBAL AND STONES OF THE RIVER TER

Casa Ter is located in Baix Empordà, an area that functions as an intersection between three natural landscapes: sea, mountain, and field. In order to make this context tangible to its users, the home is made out of two volumes which create three different spaces, each branching out towards one of the surrounding landscapes, touching as little of the natural surroundings as possible.

Following the local construction traditions of the region, the walls of Casa Ter are composed of KM0 materials, using a mix of concrete and stones from the local river Ter with ceramics, a material with a long cultural tradition in the neighbouring La Bisbal, where the material makes for one of the main economic activities.

A WALK THROUGH CASA TER

The house lends its shape from looking for the different views of the site, with each volume running out towards one; The sea, the hills and the fields. The entrance path of Casa Ter takes you to an enclosed patio generated by two volumes in “L” (positioned on the flat side of the plot). One volume functions as a public area, while the other, is private, in the form of a series of bed- and bathrooms.

The second volume connects the kitchen to the public area, creating a meeting point in-between the two volumes. This meeting point is designed as

a traditional porch, part indoor, part outdoor, as the space comes with big, glass sliding doors that can be closed or opened depending on the weather (much needed shade in summer, closed off in winter).

On the second floor, we find the master bedroom, which comes with an enormous Catalan vault whose geometry corresponds to the extrusion of the curve that is limited by the maximum height allowed, the centreline of the walls, and the facade of the house. With the bedroom being the most intimate space, only does this room, gives glimpses of the complete surrounding landscapes.

A MEDITERRANEAN WAY OF LIVING

A Mediterranean way of living means living outdoors a lot, due to the pleasant climate throughout the year. In Spain, it’s not uncommon to have an outdoor kitchen or living area, where people spend most of their days together. Ideally, these areas are very connected to the inside of the home, extending the living space, and creating ambiguous spaces, in between indoor and outdoor.

Casa Ter is a polyvalent home in the sense that it can be used in various ways depending on the needs of the user or the time of the year. The house can be closed off or set open completely. One can choose to keep nature at a distance through the windows, or to let it into the home. The centre area, the porch, can be whatever the user wants it to be.

Text provided by the architect

BOSC HOUSE by Joan Poca Arquitecte

ARCHITECT:

Joan Poca Arquitecte

PHOTO:
 

Adrià Goula

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Sant Pere de Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain
 
LINKS:
 
 

(Implantation) We find a plot that is a delight, a cut of the forest that this area should have been a long time ago. Crowded with holm oaks, we are greeted by a subtle freshness, the padded floor of dry leaves and a homogeneous clarity that blurs the shadows.

We find it unbeatable and the effort will be to preserve what already exists. We leave the topography intact, we respect the trail of an old forest path that crosses the plot from North to South that will now pass under the house and cut the minimum trees.

(Structure) The house distributes its weight in 43 14x14cm laminated wood pillars that rest on metal piles punctured to the ground surgically without earthworks. These pillars will continue to climb inside, branching out into beams and braces and reproducing spaces and widths similar to those of the forest outside.

Structure arranged in diaphanous strips from East to West, thus allowing us to get through views from end to end of the plot. Located laterally, the house is not perceived as an obstacle and will not split the plot into halves.

(Exterior) We choose to establish a certain symbiosis with the environment, we fragment, we introduce interruptions, we darken and clarify, we try to avoid a forceful, uniform form. The house must be variable, different in itself, so we introduce dashed lines, dotted planes …

(Wooded interior) Transforming the interior into an exterior, such as encapsulating a piece of this forest where we are, air-conditioning it, furnishing it, and making it the home’s habitat.

In this holm oak we have a diffused, filtered, soft and very pleasant light and we want this same light for the interior too, much clarity but not direct light, so there are high openings that face North, and openings to South that are under eaves.

3 types of views from the inside, horizontally and through the trunks you have distant views, looking a little up you see the tops of the trees, leaves and branches very close to the house, almost touching it. And vertical views, between the trees, to see the sky.

You can see the edge of the panels and the CLT, the heads of the beams, screws and fittings, roof rails and rakes of the ventilated façade, the edge of the flat tile, ceramic and concrete tiles, the fabric waterproof, electrical wiring, hanging sewer pipes …, the house as a coupling of construction elements, and these as defining their presence.

(Finishes) The coatings, pavements and furniture avoid being a continuous layer indifferent to the morphology of the spaces where they are placed. They grow, adapt and fit and will make this twist visible. The parquet swirls at the foot of a pillar, a shelf folds in front of the stove, a shelf clings to the structure, a bench is locked between pillars …, the tiles are no longer an indifferent weave and are applied adapted to each arrangement.

Text provided by the architect

Villa Lobo by APPELL arkitektkontor

ARCHITECT:

APPELL arkitektkontor

PHOTO:
 

Åke E:son Lindman

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Väddö, Roslagen, Sweden

LINKS:
 

 

 
 
Fritidshus Väddö Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor

The house is a wall and a window to the beautiful but cold and windy sea to the northeast. On the inside the garden is protected and open to the sun in the southwest. The roof construction is the tectonic difficulty of this building and we chose therefore to work with it and accentuate it in the architectural design.

Text provided by the architect

Fritidshus Väddö Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor
Fritidshus Väddö Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor

House on an Island by Atelier Oslo Architects

   

ARCHITECT:

Atelier Oslo

PHOTO:
 
Ivar Kvaal
 

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Skåtøy Island , Norway
 
LINKS:
 

 

Atelier Oslo - Skåtøy Foto: Ivar Kvaal

The small house is situated on an island on the south coast of Norway. The site is characterized by smooth and curved rocks that goes down towards the ocean. The house is built for two artists that wanted a house for contemplation and working.

You enter the project from the backside walking along a small hill. The entrance is a stair that goes through the building taking you to the entrance on the front side. The entrance sequence marks a transition and prepare you for the life on the Island.

The topography of the site was carefully measured to integrate the rocks into the project. Concrete floors in different levels connect to the main levels of the topography and create a variety of different outdoor spaces. The concrete floors and stairs dissolve the division of inside and outside. The interior becomes part of the landscape and walking in and around the cabin gives a unique experience, where the different qualities from the site becomes part of the architecture. From the concrete floor kitchen, bathroom and fireplace grows up to serve the inhabitants like furniture’s that sits on the rock.

A prefabricated timber structure is placed on the concrete floors and at last a light wood structure covers the cabin to filter the light and direct the views. The wood structure has a depth that creates a play of shadows through the day and a calm atmosphere resembling the feeling of sitting under a tree.

Text provided by the architect

Atelier Oslo - Skåtøy Foto: Ivar Kvaal
Atelier Oslo - Skåtøy Foto: Ivar Kvaal

Transformación de antiguo almacén de aperos en vivienda rural by MAAV

ARCHITECT:

MAAV

PHOTO:
 
Guillermo Avanzini Alcibar
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Ojacastro, La Rioja, España
 
LINKS:
 
 

A tiny farm cottage is meant to become an occasional apartment through a complete rehabilitation. In this small intervention crystallizes an attitude that seeks to identify rural morphologies and join them at the rate of development of this environment. Urban planning instruments can often endanger these morphologies, leading to the destruction of sometimes secular constructions by increasing building rights. Such is the case of this plot, intended to locate a three-story building that has nothing to do with the scale of the urban fabric of the town of Ojacastro. The owners’ sensitive criteria, together with the willingness of the City Council to allow the intervention, have managed to stop the degradation of this corner of the town avoiding the loss of heritage that would have meant the execution of the urban planning.

The inside is conceived as an habitable piece of furniture: a light balloon-frame house is built, filling the space between the massive stone walls. Reduced surface requires the entire house program to be developed in a single space. Foldable furniture, a wall bed, a kitchen hiding wardrobe, storage, home appliances… All of them hidden in the thick walls, but ready to be used whenever needed. Living room is easily transformed into the dining room and then again into the bedroom.

Regarding the construction, the stone walls are kept and strengthened, so are roof tiles. Seriously harmed wooden framework of the roof is replaced by a similar fishbone-shaped ceiling made out of laminated timber beams.

Text provided by the architect

Log house by APPELL arkitektkontor

ARCHITECT:

APPELL arkitektkontor

PHOTO:
 

Åke E:son Lindman

YEAR:

2015

LOCATION:

Singö, Roslagen, Sweden

LINKS:
 
 

 

Fritidshus Grisslehamn, Gustav Appell

This holiday home is built in traditional Swedish massive log construction. The smooth surface of the planed logs works just as well as exterior façade as finished interior surfaces.

Text provided by the architect

Fritidshus Grisslehamn, Gustav Appell
Fritidshus Grisslehamn, Gustav Appell

Villa Holtet by Atelier Oslo

   

ARCHITECT:

Atelier Oslo

PHOTO:
 
Gunnar Sørås, Lars Petter Pettersen
 

YEAR:

2015

LOCATION:

Oslo, Norway
 
LINKS:
 
 

 

The starting point for this task was a typical challenge in Oslo: densification in an area of existing single family houses. The plot was a lovely old garden, but a flat terrain and a relatively tight situation gave a limited view. It was important for us to preserve much of the garden for outdoor use, but also as a natural quality to the enjoyment of residents, both outside and inside. Therefore, the ground floor has a relatively limited footprint, while the larger upper floor cantilevers out creating covered outdoor areas.
The house is broken up into smaller volumes to adapt to the relatively tight situation and the scale of the surrounding buildings.
As an addition to the garden, and as compensation for the reduced view, the project creates an inner landscape, a sequence of rooms with varying scale and use, different degrees of transparency and privacy, changing views and light conditions. The central double height living room is the heart of the house and connects all the rooms and areas. The room is surrounded in first floor by lobby, kitchen and dining room, and the garden with its various outdoor areas.
A staircase leads up to a gallery with access to the private rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. The gallery is a casual place, and acts as an extension of the rooms. A large skylight provides varied light and shadow effects through the day.
The house structure is prefabricated wooden columns and beams. All structure parts are exposed in the interior of the project. The cantilevered rooms on the 2nd floor hanging from high beams under the roof. The beams have different dimensions, depending on the cantilever length. The columns have unique dimensions, adapted to their individual loads. It has not been the goal to standardize or clean up the construction, but rather let it be an organic result of the housing geometry.
A system that cannot immediately be read as a clear structure, but rather gives the qualities of a forest, where you can let your eyes wander along continuing branches. The project is carried out within a limited budget. An open and trusting cooperation between the builder, architect and contractor has nevertheless enabled a distinctive and elaborate house.

Text provided by the architect

Casa Witiza by Beatriz Alés Atelier

ARCHITECT:

Beatriz Alés Atelier

PHOTO:
 
José Hevia
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Madrid, Spain
 
LINKS:
 
 

 

The historic Tercio y Terol quarter was designed by Rita Fernández Queimadelos and constructed during the 1940s in the Carabanchel area of Madrid. Originally a Francoist social housing project for families of limited means, it is now protected as part of Madrid’s urban heritage.

Casa Witiza is one of the 640 terraced houses which comprise the project. It boasts 70m2 of usable space. Having been designed with a family of eight in mind, in its original state, it was highly compartmentalised, and included a back garden intended for growing fruit and vegetables or keeping poultry. However, as the unit currently houses only one young couple, who also frequently work from home, the space has been reconfigured to meet their needs: they like to entertain, and wanted to create an open, welcoming atmosphere. As such, they wanted the rooms to be interconnected, and for the outside area to feel like part of the house.   

While respecting the external dimensions of the unit as originally designed, and maintaining the original façades, the remodelling project set out to create a more continuous space within those dimensions, introducing a natural flow from the patio to the ground floor to the floor above.

The renovation of the space can be detected in a new geometry, which incorporates curved elements, and a new distinctive colour scheme for each floor. On the ground floor, the partitions have been removed to create a unified living area, and the steel column which forms the centrepiece of this area has been left exposed. On the first floor, a centrepiece is provided by the support structure for the three-sloped roof. Independent of this feature, there is a curved partition which separates the bedroom and studio.

The ‘visual noise’ of the space has been significantly reduced by getting rid of the skirting boards, using hidden door frames, and limiting the number of different materials on view. The house now provides an unobtrusive canvas for all the artworks, collectors’ items, and other little artefacts which make the place a home.

Text provided by the architect

Calçada House by Ren Ito Arq

ARCHITECT:

Ren Ito Arq

PHOTO:
 

Ivo Tavares Studio

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Porto Portugal

LINKS:
 

 

 
 
Casa da Calçada no Porto do arquitecto Ren Ito com fotografias de Arquitectura do fotógrafo Ivo Tavares Studio

Calçada House is located in Vila de Paraíso in the north of Portugal. There were existing house from 18th century and several annex buildings with several trees in old manor with 5000m2. The site was divided by the buildings scattered throughout the project site, and each part was designed as unique place. We refurbished them to serve as a residence and a guest house.

The entrance approach path under grapevine trellis appears after passing the rebuilt entrance gate. This approach path leads visitors to the extended part with an entrance hall and a bedroom. We can see the path to the guest house and stair hall from the entrance hall. The ground floor of the main house is assigned to public space in the ground floor like living room or office and private space such as bedroom or bathroom occupy the second floor. The main house has cross shape plan with the stair hall in centre. The entertainment space is located at north side, entrance hall is at east side, office is at south side, and living room and kitchen are at west side of the stair hall at ground floor level. In the second floor, there are master bedroom, bathroom and closet at north side, bedrooms are at east side and south side.

We can see the grass garden at north side and a courtyard under grapevine at south divided by the living room with wide windows. The living room has wooden trusses and it has a fire place and a kitchen in both ends. There are laundries, wine cellar, wine store room, guest rooms and gym in the annex building.

The Guest house has 2 floors connected by stairwell. There are living room, dining room and kitchen in the ground floor. The second floor has a bedroom and a bathroom. The annex building of the Guest house contains a changing room for the swimming pool, a bathroom and tool storage to maintain the garden. An exterior kitchen and a swimming pool are adjustment to the Guest house.

Text provided by the architect

Casa da Calçada no Porto do arquitecto Ren Ito com fotografias de Arquitectura do fotógrafo Ivo Tavares Studio
Casa da Calçada no Porto do arquitecto Ren Ito com fotografias de Arquitectura do fotógrafo Ivo Tavares Studio

Octavia House by PPAA Pérez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados

ARCHITECT:

PPAA Pérez Palacios Arquitectos

PHOTO:

Maureen M. Evans, Luis Garvan, Luis Young

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Condesa, CDMX, México

 

 
 
CASA OCTAVIA arises from the intention of transferring the values of the OCTAVIA brand to a lviing space. Values as natural, simple, clear and honest are taken into an architectural space where the user can live a unique accomodation experience in Mexico City.
Located in the Condesa neighborhood, one of the most consolidated and pedestrian – friendly urban areas of the city, the project seeks to respond to this neighborhood condition and join as another project with this urban and social character.
At urban level is conceived as an element that opens up to the city and especially to the pedestrian, leaving the ground floor space free and with public character promoting enconunters between city and the guests.
This public space has multiple configurations and controlled openings, from a extension of the street to a more defined space where they cand host different shcemes, from having a coffe and breakfast to becoming a store or simply a meeting place.
An important part of the project is the empty space that takes the form of a side patio and that visually communicates with the outside. The built element in the other hand provides with textures in walls and floors emphasizes architecture with emptiness.
The rooms are located in two blocks, one of them in them back part open to the patio and the other in the front part facing to the street with a wooden lattice filter that in besides providing privicy to the sreet, creates a play of light and shade and protects from the sun light.
Each room has it’s own character. Leaving the largest one at ground floor, which in addition to the beedroom has a space that can be use for social activities or a second bed in the same room. Rooms facing the street have their own balcony facing the interior patio.
The roof was thought as a public place away for direct contact with the city. A place with a more controlled relationship with the surrounding, controlled views of the neighborhoof and surrounded by nature.
Like and OCTAVIA , the project has a special care for the details and for specifics need of each users.
Using only materials in their purest state, with an exquisite manufacturing they make it not only feel harmonious but at the same time timeless.

Text provided by the architect

Barn in the hills by Architettura Tommasi

ARCHITECT:

Architettura Tommasi

PHOTO:
 

Marcello Mariana

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Valli Toffan. Parco Colli euganei, Italia
 
LINKS:
 
 
Near the Valli Toffan lakes located within the Euganean Hills Park, the Tommasi Architecture studio has redeveloped an old barn. While on the one hand there was the need to respect the morphology of the building, on the other there was the need to find design solutions that reflect contemporary needs.
The protagonist of the project is certainly the large gabled roof that overlooks the rectangular plan of the building. Three sides of the rectangle have various openings that in some cases have been shielded by sunshades. The long side overlooking the large loggia has been completely emptied. This solution made it possible to obtain a large glass surface that overlooks the garden and at the same time prevents direct sunlight from entering the interior.

Text provided by the architect

Apartamento na Almirante Reis by BALA atelier

ARCHITECT:

BALA atelier

PHOTO:
 

Ivo Tavares Studio

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Avenida Almirante Reis, Lisboa, Portugal

LINKS:
 

 

 
 
Remodelação Apartamento Almirante dos Reis em Lisboa do Atelier de Arquitectura Bala Atelier e fotografias de Ivo Tavares Studio

By intervening on a roof space, more specifically in the attic of a building dating from 1906, in the 21st century, a dialogue is established between the different times and ways of living, but also between the respective construction methods that should coexist harmoniously.

Thus, in the genesis of the rehabilitation intervention of this 90 sqm apartment, in addition to reverse the weak pre- existing living conditions, the preservation of the historical legacy of this constructive typology was also pursued, conserving the elements considered to be relevant to the characteristics of that time period.

Examples of this are the stonework, the irregular stone masonry wall, the wooden beams and pillars of the roof, which are revealed and become a memory of the original construction system. A rigorous approach is established with a special focus on detail, choosing the pine wood as the primary material, valuing the harmony and compatibility between this material and the others selected.

The apartment was initially very partitioned and with low ceilings. Its spatial transformation arised immediately and intuitively, and involved transforming into a more open plan with higher ceilings taking advantage of the preexisting attic.

Opening the central area, a new functional organization is established, with greater visual relations between the different spaces. Its volumetric was increased, the depth of the apartment was enhanced in its visual relation of the east/west axes, and the natural lighting and ventilation increased. The new configuration of the space allows a dynamic and flexible experience of the house.

The closed kitchen space is abandoned and a large kitchen countertop and dining room are defined in the central space with a greater ceiling height.

The relocation of the bathroom to the interior of the apartment makes it possible to free all the windows to the central space. This bathroom becomes the only interior space of the house, in which a light tunnel with skylight is introduced. This new interior and central volume stand out from the attic as it is covered in polished brass, reflecting the spaces around it.

The informal bedroom space relates to the others in the house and can be opened or closed through a scenic element – a golden velvet and silk curtain – that runs along the extension of the brass wall.

The wallpaper introduces a rich chromatic palette, which spreads to the ceramic tiles of the old chimney and bathroom walls and to the kitchen countertop stone.

Furniture, lamps, rugs and the plants were carefully selected as an extension of the architectural project narrative.

Text provided by the architect

Remodelação Apartamento Almirante dos Reis em Lisboa do Atelier de Arquitectura Bala Atelier e fotografias de Ivo Tavares Studio
Remodelação Apartamento Almirante dos Reis em Lisboa do Atelier de Arquitectura Bala Atelier e fotografias de Ivo Tavares Studio

87 Kinnerton St by Well St Studio & Turner Works

ARCHITECT:

Well St Studio

PHOTO:
 
Lorenzo Zandri
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

London, UK
 
LINKS:
 

Tucked away on a quiet hidden street behind Knightsbridge road and comprising part of historic Georgian mews building within the Belgravia Conservation Area, the project at 87 Kinnerton St sees the refurbishment and extension of the property over three storeys.

Initiated originally with Turner Works, the project was developed, designed and guided through planning, securing consents from both the local authority and Grosvenor estates, commencing on site before being taken to completion by Well Street Studio, a newly established practice founded by the project architect, thus maintaining continuity, good client/architect relationship and practice collaboration.

Formerly, the principal stairs within the property cut deep into the plan of the house creating compromised upper floor spaces and uncomfortable routes between rooms. Additionally, ceiling height in the lower ground floor, limited to 2.1m adjoined split-level with an unsympathetic and dated uPVC conservatory extension, negotiated between spaces by a haphazard stair configuration serving both as route between the upper and lower ground floor, impacting negatively on the coherence of the home.

In order to restore a sense of continuity and legibility to the house two fundamental changes were proposed: moving the main stairs into the existing rear extension, and removing and replacing the conservatory, lowering the ground level beneath to create a new double-height volume thereby connecting to and expanding the existing lower ground floor.

In addition, by opening the entire rear and south facing façade of the property it was possible to bring light deep into the building plan, enabling the creation of a generous and bright living room space overlooking the double height volume.

Investigative demolition revealed substantial parts of the building to be in poor condition requiring extensive replacement, while lower ground floor excavations unearthed multiple obstructions and a disused coal tunnel extending under adjacent properties. Careful attention was required to sensitively piece back together the parts of the house and to negotiate works in and around adjacent foundation structures.

Site-cast architectural finish concrete joists were inserted over the new double height space, forming both loadbearing support to a new glazed flat roof and a sculptural element serving to modulate daylight within the space; rebounding ambient light and casting articulated shading across the walls and floor.

The upper rear façade was reinstated in reclaimed and reused site brick following the removal of a bulky blocked off chimney structure.

Here a new folding steelframe double doorset and bespoke cast iron Juliette balcony create a view out across the new glazed roof and concrete fins, providing glimpses through and into the double height space and dining room below.

Permitted by the removal of the old back access and stairs, the deepened entrance space also allowed for a full reconfiguration of the circulation between each of the floors. A single direction flight runs up to the bedrooms and master bathroom here and a landing mid-way gives a view out from a retained window opening to the mews below. A second flight runs directly underneath the first, winding around at lower ground floor level and accommodating an intermediary space; giving access to a shower room and understairs storage space before opening into the double height dining room.

The elevation of the new rear extension is set back from the adjoining property accommodating an external space. The elevation is fully glazed in slender profiled and thermally-broken steel in a pale grey-white textured finish. The lower section of the glazing is formed by a folding door arrangement, allowing the space to be opened up to the outside.

Together with the client, a light and sparse material palette was selected which compliments the more defined volumes of the interior. Over the lower ground floor and dining room a bespoke pale grey and white marble honed terrazzo finish has been poured, continuing out to the small external courtyard space. Large stone pieces, consisting of three different types of marble were each carefully selected, shaped and arranged, giving a highly customised and defined character to the finish.

Broad grained solid ash floorboards are used throughout the upper floors and stairs, finished in a soft white oil and soap lye wash. Pale grey and subtly toned stained ash joinery compliments the floors in each of the bedrooms, dressing room and living room upstairs.

Italian Ceppo di Gré was utilised as finish for the bathroom as a monolithic material incorporating the bath, washbasins and shower, below dado level. The stone was sourced directly from the quarry in Bergamo to ensure matching panels and consistency in quality.

The clients selected a number of feature lights for the project; integrated moonline slot-lights wash the hallway walls in subtle indirect lighting, Bocci hand drawn glass pendants are suspended within the double height space between the concrete fins creating a juxtaposition of light and heavy materiality. A linear diffuser light links between the butterfly profiled bedroom and flat ceiling of the dressing room.

Text provided by the architect

Casa em Santarém by dp Arquitectos

ARCHITECT:

dp Arquitectos

PHOTO:
 

Ivo Tavares Studio

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Santarém, Portugal

LINKS:
 

 

 
 

The house is located on the perimeter of an allotment, overlooking the countryside.
It is organized with service area on the North side, social area in the center, and a bedroom area on the other end, all facing the generous patio with swimming pool.
Privacy is one of the worked topics, in the demanding task of harmonizing the built in the territory.
The volumes and elevations are organized as a visual reference on the main road axis of the allotment. Contrary to the thankless strategy of the other lots, the pre-existing trees are defended, with their valuable shade under the intense heat of the Ribatejo.
Comfort and simplicity of living are desired, without hurting the will of the design.
The search for simplicity is a complex process.

Text provided by the architect

Alexander Kielland House by Trodahl Arkitekter

ARCHITECT:

Trodahl Arkitekter

PHOTO:
 
Rasmus Norlander
 

YEAR:

2021

LOCATION:

Sandnes, Norway
 
LINKS:
 
 
This detached residence near Sandnes town centre, on the southwest coast of Norway, features a maritime climate with abundant rainfall. The plot slopes steeply to the east, dropping about 7 metres and overlooking the town. The poured concrete structure encloses roughly 2368 square feet of floor space. To maximise the view and the evening sunshine the house has three levels, the top floor being flush with the plot’s highest point, to the west. The primary living areas are here, with direct access through the kitchen to the upper garden.
The kitchen exit is recessed to provide shelter as you step into the garden. Rainwater is conducted on one side to a standing water feature. A mezzanine wooden floor above the kitchen offers a no-nonsense study nook. All non-opening windows are sealed directly into the concrete. The rectangular windows have broad concrete sills to provide seating. Garden steps lead to the main entrance on level 2, where there are three bedrooms and an entertainment lounge. One of the two bathrooms is suitable for guests. All floors on this level are finely polished concrete screed.
Light fittings are moulded into the ceilings. Internal walls are constructed of pinewood panels and matching doors. Level 1 contains the life-support functions for the main residence, including storage facilities and laundry room. A rental apartment offers the option to let. This bottom level is recessed six metres beneath levels 2 and 3 to create a double carport. Apart from the main building, there is also a complementary shed to house the recycling bins and cycles.

Text provided by the architect

Park Pavilion The Hoge Veluwe National Park by De Zwarte Hond + MONADNOCK

ARCHITECT:

Monadnock + DeZwarteHond

PHOTO:
 

Stijn Bollaert

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Hoenderloo, The Netherlands

LINKS:
 
 
 

The construction of the new multifunctional public building in De Hoge Veluwe National Park started in july 2018 and it reached its highest point on Friday November 16th. The building, inspired by the idea of a contemporary country house has become the park’s new core location, the place where visitors meet and, together, experience the beauty of nature, art and architecture. The welcoming building accommodates the park restaurant, an information desk, reception areas and the park shop. It replaces the old park restaurant that no longer meet the current requirements of the 600.000 people who visit the park annually. The new multifunctional building forms an inspiring unity with the landscape. The design is the work of the Monadnock/De Zwarte Hond architect combination. H+N+S Landschapsarchitects is responsible for the landscape design, and the Antea Group for the project management.

Text provided by the architect

Ramon and Mar’s pavilion by vora

ARCHITECT:

Vora

PHOTO:
 
adrià goula
 

YEAR:

2016

LOCATION:

Barcelona, Spain
 
LINKS:
 
 

The issue here is the construction of a pavilion on a roof terrace to complement the uses of a small apartment. A second living room and a studio bedroom.

The pavilion is placed transversely on the terrace, of elongated proportions, and segments it, thus generating a sequence of interior and exterior spaces that redefine the way the dwelling is lived. The alignment of the openings generates a direct visual relation between spaces.
The enclosed terrace between the apartment and the pavilion functions as an inner courtyard: A controlled, private, intimate space.
Form and materiality are determined by the ephemeral movable condition of the new construction and by the practical considerations of transportation and assembly. The timber construction is configured as a system of portal frames and panels forming an autonomous superimposed volume.
The compositional relationship maintains the coherence between structure and enclosure. In the interior, the lower part of the wall has a continuous, functional and domestic finish, while above this the focus is on the wood, the apparent structure as the essence of the pavilion.

Text provided by the architect

Cupe House by MNMA Studio

ARCHITECT:

MNMA Studio

PHOTO:
 
Andre Klotz
 

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Pernambuco, Brazil

LINKS:
 
 

“When you come right down to it, all you have is yourself. The sun is a thousand rays in your belly. The rest is nothing.” – Picasso

A great yellow floor slab surrounded by sunlit balconies guided the Cupe houses project, located in a former coconut farm in Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. This design fosters sensations and harmony in its techniques and materials decisions.
The summer houses location is limited regarding technologies and material options, so as a feasibility strategy, the design used every available local materials and techniques. To complement local culture, a team of native workers (some of them fishermen) was introduced to materials like concrete and even cement, showing us that innovation, sustainability and accurate execution can be achieved with overall simplicity. These processes turned a “conventional” building in some sort of handicraft work.
The technical areas were carefully hidden from virtually any standing point of view, due a meticulous angle definition of the roofing. From above, a terrace presents the ocean frontally with no obstructions.
As a premise, the choice of materials is as sustainable as possible: the use of locally farmed wood and eucaliptus is dominant, so the CO2 emissions and energy consumption were minimized.
The walls were whitewashed, a readily available local technique that allows any moistures inside the wall to evaporate out and also has fungicide effect without toxic elements.
Most ceilings were made of branches and sticks collected along the execution time and allow a ephemeral effect of light into spaces.
Sérgio Rodrigues’ furniture (a classic and very renowned brazilian furniture designer and architect), along with Cariri Artisan’s Market various items, complement the house with symbolic and essential elements.

Text provided by the architect

Mocoli House by Orense Arquitectos

   

ARCHITECT:

Orense Arquitectos

PHOTO:
 
JAG Studio
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Isla Mocolí, Samborondón, Guayas-Ecuador
 
LINKS:
 
 

 

Mocoli house tries to be a sculpture that captivates by its purist line, reflection and silence; an encounter with yourself and create captivating tours which are the main axles in the search of generating a new connection between the natural and a space to live in achieving in its interior various nuances of centinal light, where nature is the main character and remains marked by pure architecture that in the most intimate spaces achieves a spiritual connection, escaping from the day to day tension.
The introduction is based in the study of the project orientation and it feels like a fundamental duty of the architects, achieve intimate space and comfort, protected from the direct income of the sun throughout the use of double blinded fade.
Also, the concept starts by the understanding of two fundamental conditions of the project; the first one being of the owners that understood that their home had to be a space with privacy, lucidity and harmony; and the second the urbanistic context being this one of the many urbanizations in the city, limited by tall enclosure and predominant architectonic line.
When you are in front of this project, various natural elements invite the user to ask themself how is its interior, this construction conduces you to what seems a dark principal admission in form of a cave, discovering a double height which is generated by blind concrete wall, that captures you creating a natural artistic frame.
Once inside the house, the space transforms and the light receives you while you advance throughout a reduced area in the beginning but it begins to amplify while you travel throughout the hall until you reach the social area, that immediately directs your sight to the stairs like a well-placed sculpture in a space of doubled height that poses in a floating position and invites to continue the journey to the first floor where the client has his very own gallery.
The gallery is a hall bathed by natural light that connects with the bedrooms of the smaller ones, which are located in consecutive form with the purpose that each one counts with an equal space and privileges and that is taken as a white canvas that allows to appropriate of the environments according to the personal taste of each individual.
In the interior of the bedrooms the natural light presents itself filtering by the lattice teak generating changing shadows, which if wanted can open to the exterior or close and counting with the adequate protection while maintaining the comfort thanks to its ventilation.
The main bedroom completes the journey of the top floor, which highlights for creating an interior patio that generates links towards the natural, once again marked by pure architecture, this way conceiving a place of silence and personal meditation that conduces you to a state of relaxation and serenity that leaves aside the stress of a heavy day while the double facade absorbs you and achieves its protective function of blocking direct solar light and exterior distractions.
This architectural work is not exposed to neighboring houses, it analyzes internally and integrates materials such as: wood, concrete and the color white to exhibit its purity and overall that it can transcend throughout time without losing its essence.

Text provided by the architect

Foster Lomas Architects: design starting from the site

March 2021

NAME:

Foster Lomas

INTERVIEW by:

Andrea Carloni e Laura Morganti

LINKS:

Foster Lomas

Interview with Greg Lomas, founder with Will Foster of Foster Lomas Architects.  During this interview we touched on various topics some of which of current relevance, such as the impact of Covid-19 on architecture.
Listening to Greg Lomas  words, one clearly understands the attention this firm has for environmental issues and how the context can become not only a compositional reference, but a real resource for the procurement of materials.
The architects’ passion for crafts is proved by the great number of exceptionally elegant and unique details.

How important is sustainability in your work?

It’s vital. I grew up in the 70s on a small holding in mid Wales, living a self-sufficient lifestyle that would now be known as ‘permaculture.’ For me, therefore, inhabitation and landscape are intrinsically linked to living sustainably. Creating an appropriate architecture that utilizes the resources on-site and has longevity is key. It isn’t just about energy. It’s about working with the surrounding landscape. A good example of this is creating a nature reserve or an educational facility that engages the local community as we did on the Isle of Man in the UK.

A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell, Isle of Man, Photos Copyright Edmund Sumner

Is it possible to have a sustainable building without a big budget?

The most cost-effective way of achieving a sustainable building is to go for a fabric-first approach. Buildings can be well insulated by managing the solar gain, for instance. The solar gain can be harnessed in the winter and controlled in the summer. If you plan this properly, therefore, you can end up with a building that requires no heating and less maintenance.

A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell, Isle of Man, Photos Copyright Edmund Sumner

During the design process, what kind of relationship do you have with the artisans? How important is it for an architect to have a deep knowledge of craft techniques?

It’s about a collaborative relationship where the artisan becomes a pivotal part of the creative process, offering ideas and solutions. Will (Foster) and I both have roots in various crafts which give us an insight into the skills required and the possibilities that are available, but as an architect, you don’t necessarily need a deep knowledge, what is required of you is an appreciation of the craft.

Piazza Penthouse, London, credit: Michael Franke

Now a question emerged from the latest world events. After the spread of Covid, do some customers have new needs related to home design? 

Since the pandemic, one of our clients changed their brief to include a gym and increased the emphasis on the outside spaces. The prospect of another pandemic may well bring people together with more multi-generational family units. People want to be closer to family and loved ones in case the worst happens again. I also expect increased interest in ‘off-grid living.’ This has been an aspiration for many clients in recent years and the pandemic may accelerate that trend.

Piazza Penthouse, London, credit: Michael Franke

Architects shape cities, buildings and decide how to experience space. Could the profession of architect play an important role in the battle against Covid?


The pandemic is a disruptive force and has focused us on what’s important in a city. It is more to do with city planning than architecture and the civic spaces are critical now in allowing people to socialise safely, exercise and nourish their mental health.

We are already seeing some people abandoning the city for a life in the country but that isn’t realistic for everybody. Cities are going to have to adapt and address the issues that have come out of Covid-19. How do we socialise? How will the economy operate? How do we look after each other? How do we work together? A focus on local living is a sustainable way of managing future pandemics but this also has the potential to diffuse economic growth more widely across cities and the UK as a whole.

A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell, Isle of Man, Photos Copyright Edmund Sumner

Are there any materials you prefer?

Local materials. We recently gained permission for a new house in West Penwith in Cornwall, a protected Heritage Coastline and AONB (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) site, where we have sourced all the materials locally. Our ambition was to source everything within a 10-mile radius. We have a predilection for materials that can be worked by hand to create a tactile and poetic surface or elements within the project. The architectural experience is not just about the space that you create.  It’s also about the tiny details that you touch and you use every day, through which new memories and interactions are created.

A Restorative Rural Retreat for Sartfell, Isle of Man, Photos Copyright Edmund Sumner

Dois Trópicos Shop by MNMA studio

ARCHITECT:

MNMA STUDIO

PHOTO:
 
Andre Klotz
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

São Paulo, Brazil
 
LINKS:
 
 

“… the front door continues to appeal to our sense arrival. Call it the ceremony of coming home.”
Akiko Busch

The general purpose is to create a contemporary element that, when opened, would bring back some lost time of ancient forms of construction, a slow passing of time, contact with earth it feels like “home”.
The concept of the project is a hybrid space, there is no determination or boundaries. A place that integrates gastronomy, the practice of yoga and botany, where people can feel in every way the importance of spending time to take care of themselves, slowly and with pleasure.
You can have lunch slowly, if you want to take a shower to freshen up, have a massage or practice a yoga class and enjoy or buy rare species of plants and flowers at the botanical store. A commercial space that creates a homelike hosting experience, using nostalgia and natural matter, crafted by artisan hands that desire to achieve not perfection but real environments.

Every material has its own characteristics and limits for its definition. To work on the threshold of its possibilities – but not defying it – is indeed a fertile ground for advanced thinking and technique development.

Materiality builds the crossing planes that then become carriers for a tonal rhythm; the resulting immersion brings up new intimacy to the architectural space. All materials were thought to reverberate the connection between nature and external spaces.

The soil reacts allegorically to the sunlight movement along the day, turning walls, ceilings and the floor not into limits or boundaries, but into canvases for the light to express itself gradually in various forms. (As it is possible to enjoy comfortably great and authentic food, full of flavours).

The material used was created by a process of cooking the subtle varied colours of earth into bricks, allying the technical drawings to the empirical exercise of craftsmanship. The same material was projected onto walls and ceilings, honouring and expanding its plasticity; it expands our senses, bringing texture, tone gradation and detail to the delicate gesture of drawing spaces, even inviting us for a pause to feel the smell of wet earth when it rains.

The staircase was built using raw materials, some leftovers, but although there was a precise drawing, the result is both gestual and intimate, due to small imperfections.

By contrast, the facade is technological, drafted and executed with precision, thought to allow sun and wind in, to avoid artificial air conditioning systems.
The façade is made of polycarbonate panels designed specifically because of its translucid properties and durability. These panels were assembled in aluminum frames that rotate and slide to create different opening patterns.

Externally, the back patio was not pavimented to allow for drainage and was covered with granite gravel for mechanical resistance.

The furniture and all main floor is all made of handcrafted bricks, using different earth tones and textures, made by local craftsmen.

Text provided by the architect

Working at Auer Weber

   

ARCHITECT:

Auer Weber

PHOTO:
 
Aldo Amoretti
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

München, Germany
 
LINKS:
 
 

When speaking of  architecture, the approach is almost always the same: show photos of the finished work along with project drawings. In fact, that is just the result of a long process that many people have worked on. With this post we take the opportunity to talk about the people behind the project: architects.

Aldo Amoretti went to München a while ago and had the opportunity to take pictures inside Auer Weber’s studio. The beauty of these shots does not lie in observing the studio’s models or drawings in a documentary way, but in being able to clearly perceive the atmosphere that one experiences working in that space.

Wohnhaus Schärrer by bernath+widmer

ARCHITECT:

bernath+widmer

PHOTO:
 
Roland Bernath
 

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Thayngen (SH), Switzerland
 
LINKS:
 
 
 

The new single-family house is located in the “garden belt” around the village center on one of the historical groups of houses along the Rosengartenweg. The slope falls westwards towards the village stream.
In analogy to the nearby agricultural buildings, the house does not align directly with the course of the road.

It picks up the materiality of the surrounding buildings – sheds and barns – in its façade:
The eastern and western sides are clad in white fir, while the northern and southern facades are conceived as a scaly skin of roof tiles. As was often the case with old farmhouses, there is a pergola/loggia on the west side, and the primary structure is divided into regular distances.

The exterior walls of the house, are made of load-bearing beech wood planks, lined up in a standing position and visible from inside. Although a typical wood in the Swiss midland provinces, beech is rarely used as construction wood. In this project however, it was able to be cut and processed in the region.

In the center of the simply structured floor plan, the staircase with adjoining rooms forms a furniture-like building core. The room climates are characterized by the natural beech planks and the massive spruce beams on the ceilings, and the interior fittings were made mainly out of natural materials: clay plaster on the walls, “Hartsteinholz” floors, Linoleum on the cabinet fronts, leather handles, cork joints etc.

Text provided by the architect

Àngels and Inhar’s apartment by Vora

ARCHITECT:

Vora

PHOTO:
 
adrià goula
 

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Manresa, Spain
 
LINKS:
 
 
 
We were asked to transform a big flat, built 10 years ago, that was in extremely good condition because it was never inhabited. However, the new inhabitants, a young couple, wanted to reform part of it to change the scale of it, turn it cozier, because it was overscaled for their needs.
The refurbishment consisted on the transformation of the circulation spaces, the core of the house. The rest was kept as it was. We placed a succession of 4 wooden vestibules, enclosed by thick walls that contain storage and showcases for objects, linked by low and narrow corridors. Systole and diastole. Each vestibule is related to a use: the first is linked to service spaces (cellar, storage cabinet); the second, to the kitchen; the third, to the social zone (living room and bathroom); the last one, to the sleeping area.
The house faces a huge, excessive terrace, which has been resized by a platform next to the apartment, framed by a wooden structure as awnings support, to generate a welcoming outdoor space of its own.

Text provided by the architect

A Villa in Segrate by Paolo Balzanelli Arkispazio

ARCHITECT:

Paolo Balzanelli Arkispazio

PHOTO:
 
Marcello Mariana
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Milano, Italy
 
LINKS:
 
 

 

The object of this renovation is a villa from the 1980s, set in a quiet rural context on the outskirts of Milan. The building is divided into three floors, one underground and two above ground. The upper  floor consists of the attic, characterized in fact by the sloping pitches of the roof. In addition to replacing the finishes, in particular the roof, where a new anthracite-colored metal sheet cladding was laid in place of the existing brick, the existing openings were rethought.

Text provided by the architect, full text english version

Apartamento Dan e Imma by Vora

ARCHITECT:

Vora

PHOTO:
 
adrià goula
 

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Barcelona, Spain
 
LINKS:
 

 

 
 

This is the refurbishment of an old store in the Poblenou neighbourhood, within the 22@ district. Originally, it had the store on the ground floor and a mezzanine with a little apartment. The building dates from 1906. At a later stage, the backyard was covered to extend the store.

The refurbishment is to turn it into a home-studio for a couple, which includes a studio space for video and photo recordings, as they work at home.

The first important decision of the project was the opening of a double space in a part of the slab next to the rear façade, which, due to the orientation of it, allows direct natural light to reach the entire home. The studio space is placed under the terrace, the darkest and therefore most suitable space, and on the other hand related to the living room.
The ground floor concentrates the spaces for day uses, and the first floor the bedroom spaces. The staircase is located in a corner, open to the living room, and making a direct link between it and the terrace. The bedrooms are separated from this main route.

Regarding the façade, the apartment recedes slightly, generating an interior façade and a cushion space between the apartment and the street, space for counters and services, and able to store stroller and bicycles, etc …

The configuration of the space is done by wooden boxes that contain the service spaces (bathrooms, closets, even the bed), thus configuring a fluid but articulated space for the circulations and the living spaces. On the first floor, these boxes do not reach the ceiling, allowing a total perception of the space.

Around the living room is the main circulation of the house: the ascent to the terrace, the rear gallery and an open walkway to access the rooms. The master bedroom on the first floor is also open to the living room. Stairs, walkways and railings are built on steel works. The railings are purposely thin, almost inapparent, with some sections of sheet steel to pick up curved sections that fit the truncated geometry of the plan.

About finishes, plastered sections of wall are combined with painted masonry. The pavement is continuous, microcement, and the boxes are built with plywood with birch finish. All in light colors. In the entrance space, outside, and on the terrace, the natural colors of the masonry have been reserved, unpainted.

Text provided by the architect

L10 by Pereira Miguel Arquitectos

ARCHITECT:

Pereira Miguel Arquitectos

PHOTO:
 
FG+SG- Fernando Guerra
 
YEAR:
 
2017
 

LOCATION:

Comporta, Portugal
 
LINKS:
 

 

 
 

 

L10 is a single family house, composed of two separate rectangular volumes, parallel to each other and to the road on the West. They are arranged along the north-south axis, adapting to the topography and facing the rice fields to the east. The first volume is a wooden construction suspended above the soil and resting over the second concrete volume of the pool, thus creating a large platform over the fantastic view. Protecting the house to the street there is a small dune with autochthonous vegetation, letting the sun go through but avoiding the direct stares of passers-by.
The concept embraces the horizontality of the landscape and location with the local materials and craftsmanship, resulting in a beautiful architectural element that reminds us of the bliss which is being inside.
From the outside in rests as a perfectly integrated house, calm and serene transporting us to the quality of the local environment .

Text provided by the architect

Schlossgut Münchenwiler by bernath+widmer

ARCHITECT:

bernath+widmer

PHOTO:
 
Roland Bernath
 

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Münchenwiler (BE), Switzerland

 
LINKS:
 
 

 

The well-preserved historic center of Münchenwiler village near the little medieval town of Murten is listed in the Federal Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites of national importance.
The listed building used to be part of the well-known Münchenwiler Castle Estate. It houses the largest barn the Canton of Bern of its time.
Seven apartments of different size were built into the mighty, emptied barn structure in compliance with historic preservation standards. The new volume inserted into the existing shell is virtually detached from the protected structure, with only few connection points between them.
The functional versatility of the former farm building is reflected in the typology of the new apartments: They are arranged in vertical order and separated from each other by brick firewalls.
The cross-walls of the attached three-story apartments are arranged according to the spacing of the horizontal roof trusses and the heights of the purlins of the existing wooden frame.

Text provided by the architect

Wooden Chapel by John Pawson photographed by Aldo Amoretti

ARCHITECT:

John Pawson

PHOTO:

Aldo Amoretti (2020)

YEAR:

2018

LOCATION:

Unterliezheim, Germany

 

 
 

We usually prefer not to publish religious subjects, too often I have seen this instrument of inner peace used as a pretext to start wars. But when Aldo Amoretti sent me these shots taken in the woods of Unterliezheim, Germany we decided to make an exception to the rule.
I’m quoting a short text by Aldo Amoretti.

“I traveled in the night, in the black spot, protected.

I went into the woods, and I waited, alone.

The light has come, like a breath.

And it was there, as if it were waiting for me.”

Casas Caiadas by Pereira Miguel Arquitectos

   

ARCHITECT:

Pereira Miguel Arquitectos

PHOTO:
 
FG+SG- Fernando Guerra (2014), Rute Raposo (2015)
 

YEAR:

2015

LOCATION:

Arraiolos, Portugal
 
LINKS:
 
 
FG+SG- Fernando Guerra (2014)
A group of old water mills has been transformed into a rural tourism specifically for families: a house just for meals and for get-together and another two for resting and sleeping.
A Lisbon couple sets off into a real estate adventure and purchases, with an impulse, a small plot with four ruins in the middle of Alentejo called Moinho do Barroco (Barroco’s Water Mill). The location is remote, without paved road access and only accessible in summer, as the river fills and overflows in winter. The early days are passed clearing the land, investigating the site and thinking what to do next. They decide to get help and recover the original buildings, keeping as much as possible of what remains original and unique, and found in arquitect Luís Pereira Miguel the right partner for the project.
The “Casas Caiadas” (Whitewashed Houses) project is presently a rural tourism estate in the Arraiolos region, north of Évora, designed for hosting families, or groups, up to eight people. “Casas Caiadas” consists of three independent houses (plus a support house), fully restored from a core of old water mills, in the heart of an Alentejo with waterways, luscious green landscape most of the year and megalithic rocks. A place to relax by a stream that runs between stones, surrounded by centennial olive trees, menhirs and a beach-like swimming pool. Nearby, there are towns of unique beauty and historical interest, with castles and other monuments. When night falls, back at “Casas Caiadas”, the sky offers a chance to contemplate the stars with visibility conditions like no other place in the south of Europe.

Text provided by the architect

Rute Raposo (2015)
Rute Raposo (2015)

FG+SG- Fernando Guerra (2014)

 

Rute Raposo (2015)

 

CasAmanda House by Presicci + Pantanella D’Ettorre Architetti

ARCHITECT:

Presicci + Pantanella D’Ettorre Architetti

PHOTO:
 
Simone Bossi
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Orbetello, Italy
 
LINKS:
 
 
Surrounded by the Tuscan Maremma, the project stems from the need to connect the built space to its natural context.
The house, which stands on the site of a pre-existing building, has been reinvented as a small modern farmhouse where the elements of nature materially “form” the architecture, while the tones of the earth and the surrounding greenery blend with the surfaces and enter the building.
The interiors are developed on two floors, connected by a staircase, naturally illuminated by a full-height vertical cut on the north elevation of the building.
In the external staircase, which leads directly to one of the rooms, the style of the first cantilevered ramp, in exposed concrete and iron, contrasts with the more traditional second one, in masonry, covered with terracotta strips.
On the ground floor, characterised by a concrete flooring, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room share the same space and look out through large windows.
Upstairs, the rooms take advantage of the height of the wooden roof and, open up unique views towards the lagoon on the horizon, to the south. 
Along the small country road, the volume interrupts the continuity of the sandstone wall, but it dialogues with it, as if it were its own derivation.

Text provided by the architect

Mgf House by Gianluigi Moreschi

ARCHITECT:

Gianluigi Moreschi

PHOTO:
 
Marcello Mariana
 

YEAR:

2020

LOCATION:

Sondrio, Italy
 
LINKS:
 
 

 

The apartment is locaded in the old town of Sondrio, inside a building dating back to the 17th century. A volume altered over the years and then abandoned. The intervention aimed to bring everything to its ancient splendor, affecting as little as possible the feeling of welcome and beauty transmitted during the first visit. The works required the intervention of local skilled workers for a careful, scrupulous, almost maniacal recovery of the original parts both for the ceilings, floors and walls. The unit consists of a main space where the living area is located and a room that houses the sleeping area, a “stua” in stone pine wood which with its scent and workmanship creates a sublime environment. The open part has been enriched by a small mezzanine where you can relax, accessible from the custom-made staircase that turns into a real container. In the bathroom, brushed local stone is proposed, four custom-made slabs, numbered and laid in a filing cabinet with grain flowing towards the drain of the shower tray. This is achieved by excavating one of the slabs making up the floor. The protective glass is set in the stone without any connecting element perceiving the material continuity.

The kitchen block was made to order, completely in wood and then white lacquered as if to blend in with the purity

of the walls, letting the ceiling take over. Particular attention was paid to the choice of furnishings in symbiosis

between the designer and the client, giving priority to the made in Italy.

Text provided by the architect

NUB by Amunt Architekten Martenson und Nagel Theissen

   

ARCHITECT:

Amunt Architekten Martenson und Nagel Theissen

PHOTO:
 
Brigida Gonzalez, Stuttgart
 

YEAR:

2017

 

 
 
150 NUB Modernisierung und Umbau Reihenendhaus aus den 1930er Jahren Renovation of an End-Unit Townhouse from the 1930s/ 50s

After a long search, a couple with two children purchased a townhouse in a workers’ housing estate in Stuttgart. The house – which originally dates from the 1930s and was reconstructed in the 1950s – is built on a sloping site typical for Stuttgart. With its small, roughly square plan of 6.85 x 7.30 meters, it rises like a tower four stories above the property. The house is entered from a small front yard on the north side. The ground floor was too small to accommodate a kitchen, living room, and dining area for the family and also had no direct access to the garden on the south side.

The intimate garden could only be reached by taking a narrow, steep stair into the basement and then walking through the very low-ceilinged laundry room. So we proposed to convert the garden- level basement into living space. To do so, we removed much of the entry-level floor: the cinder concrete slab from the 1950s was partly demolished and replaced by a reinforced concrete ring beam supporting a floor slab with voids to either side. The resulting platform for the new, gallery- like living room is one step higher than the original floor, differentiating it from the entry area and the adjacent work alcove. This also gives the living room more intimacy and yields more headroom for the new kitchen beneath. A newly inserted wooden stair leads down to the garden level, where the kitchen adjoins a double-height dining area with a room-wide bench that offers ample seating for many guests. Larger windows and a new sliding glass door now join the space to a new terrace and the garden itself.

The modifications have created a captivating, loft-like dwelling whose compact scale offers intimate places while also providing a sense of spaciousness and a wide variety of visual connections. The structural intervention remains clearly legible in the exposed concrete, whose surfaces have generally been left raw. Only the top of the platform has been ground down to obtain a refined, terrazzo-like appearance.

The house has been carefully renovated throughout. The existing wood floors and the curved wooden stair have been preserved while the layout has been modernized. Upstairs, the existing spaces have been transformed into an open landscape for children and guests. Sliding doors connect the three rooms and facilitate communal as well as intimate use of the space. In the attic above, the clients have private space of their own, with a bedroom, a dressing room, and a new bathroom.

Text provided by the architect

150 NUB Modernisierung und Umbau Reihenendhaus aus den 1930er Jahren Renovation of an End-Unit Townhouse from the 1930s/ 50s
150 NUB Modernisierung und Umbau Reihenendhaus aus den 1930er Jahren Renovation of an End-Unit Townhouse from the 1930s/ 50s

White Shed by Atelier 111 architects

ARCHITECT:

Atelier 111 architects

PHOTO:
 
Alex Shoots Buildings
 

YEAR:

2019

LOCATION:

Opatov, Czech Republic

LINKS:
 
 

The new workshop building, located in an agricultural compound on the periphery of Opatov, is designated mainly for the service and maintenance of large agricultural wagons and machines. Facilities for employees of the whole compound, consisting of changing rooms, day rooms and sanitary facilities, are also part of the building.

The architectural expression bears elements of the typical agricultural buildings of the surroundings, but at the same time the volume is tailored for its primary usage. The white trapezoidal metal sheet cladding is similar to the cladding of the neighbouring biogas plant. The structural element in the form of a truss beam creates a distinct linear skylight in the position of a roof ridge. The skylight and side walls are designed from translucent profiles, therefore the truss structure shows through. The iridescent finish of the facade elements gives the building a delicate appearance, as it reacts to the light and opens or conceals the interior based on it.

Text provided by the architect

Ciasa Le Fiun House by Architect Daniel Ellecosta

ARCHITECT:

Architect Daniel Ellecosta

PHOTO:
 
Gustav Willeit
 

YEAR:

2021

LOCATION:

Marebbe, Italy
 
LINKS:
 
 
In Marebbe, next to a narrow bend of road Passo Furcia, along which various hamlets line up again and again, Ciasa Le Fiun stands alone on a relatively steep south-facing slope with a view towards the Sass de Putia.
The special responsibility of the construction task was to link a commercial construction with integrated official housing to the surrounding building tradition of the “Viles” (hamlets). Following this tradition, an elongated front gable building with a roof ridge parallel to the slope was created, whose outer appearance creates a reference to the traditional farm building of the hamlets, also called “Stadel” (barn). The plastered plinth in solid construction with a wooden construction on top of it ties in with the archetype of a traditional, gabled, agricultural building. The vertical, constructive wooden supports give the building an immense presence and make it appear grounded at the same time.
The house is considered a mirror of the character of its inhabitants inside and the environment outside: simple, in a clear design language and with local materials. The steep roof, the dark wood panelling and the bright, rough plaster serve as a reference point for the typical rural atmosphere of the area.

Text provided by the architect