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Simply rectangular Draindot guest house created by STARSIS + ilsang workroom as a uniquely shared island living space

By • Aug 7, 2019

On the stunning, calming island of Jeju-si in South Korea, contemporary design teams at STARSIS + ilsang workroom have created a unique and interesting shared living guesthouse called Draindot, intended to provide a peaceful living space for those seeking a sense of community and a lifestyle of collaboration.

The concept for the house was simple; the client visited the island and positively fell in love with the area, deciding that they would like to live there one day. Originally, a much larger building space that might house more people was desired, but analysis of the local area, lifestyle, and what might suit the location best resulted in that idea being scrapped in favour of a smaller guesthouse.

Even with this change in plans, the original concept of creating a shared living space was upheld and prioritized throughout the new plans, even as the plans were defined better and whittled down into a tangible idea that designers could actually work with and that the new owner of the plot felt good about.

Despite the way the house is built and the beautiful views and sense of the island it gives off, harnessing the stunning landscape and local culture of Jeju Island was never actually named as an explicit priority for the team. The simple fact is that the island’s terrain and local customs are so inherently present and important in the area that they are always present as influences and within experiences any time someone visits the island. The clear association with and respect for its local setting within the building was sort of subconscious, like a happy accident.

The effect is one that designers described as a “silent blending”. The living spaces provided by Draindot, despite being unique in their shared space set up, are organized in a way that is beautifully and almost imperceptibly typical of the area. Each unit within the little compound feels wholesome and is organized around ideas of relaxation and peacefulness.

The units might sit within close range of each other and share common spaces between them, but the intention of each rest area was to create a place that feels entirely private and personal; a space where one doesn’t feel pressured to interact with others when it’s time for rest and self care, no matter how close by they are. That’s what the rest of the day is for!

In its infancy, the owner of the plot actually intended to make this building a private home. The thought was to live in parts of it and rent the other units out to family and friends for a close knit collaborative living system. As time went on, however, the owner opened up to the idea of renting it out to others, which essentially creates an entirely new close social system that might not have existed otherwise.

Just because there is an inherent sense of the local area and culture woven into the very fabrics of the Draindot building doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few elements of outside influence. There is, for example, a sense of vintage appreciation in the details that came with the influence of the owner’s personal tastes outside of their appreciation for the island. This gives the interior spaces a sense of classic style within its concentration on clean peacefulness.

The style of each room, in both the individualized resting units and the shared spaces, is coziness personified. Contemporarily shaped furniture made from very natural materials creates a spa-like atmosphere that’s heavy in lovely stained wood and neutral colour schemes. The living spaces are small, but with a layout and configuration that has fantastic flow and makes good sense. The overall feeling in the building’s interior is clean, nearly minimalist, and quite relaxing, with interesting details.

On its exterior, the building is actually quite reserved, not standing out much from the surrounding landscape in any way besides its very clean, linear shape. This is intentional, allowing the structure to blend in quite well with the terrain of the island and amplifying that feeling of quiet coziness.

Photos by Hong, Seok-Gyu

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Option Coffee Bar created by TOUCH Architect to make the most of a small urban space

By • Jul 9, 2019

In the Mueang Udon Thani District of Thailand, innovators at TOUCH Architect have created a unique coffee experience that was conceptualized as a way to make the most of small urban spaces where no other business might successfully run. That’s how the Option Coffee Bar came about!

This little coffee shop is located in the inner city area of Udon Thani. Despite its small square footage, it can be accessed directly from the main street, which still makes it a prime business spot that other companies might not have taken advantage of so successfully. All together, the little space has three main functions: a cafe, a restaurant, and a bar.

Rather than being split up into different sections for these three functions, the whole spaces works within itself as a timeshare might. In the mornings, the spot is a cafe, bakery, and health food restaurant and store. The afternoons become less about coffee and baked goods and more about serving full nutritious lunches, while the evenings add a full craft beer menu to the repertoire.

The timesharing functions of the space presented designers with unique challenges in terms of organization and layout, but they handled them magnificently and with max efficiency. Besides being built to suit all of the different functions it features, the coffee shop was also built in a fluid, open concept way that is diverse and allows constant evolution of function.

There are two floors in the building. The first boasts the cafe and a counter bar, which see the most traffic in the mornings. On the second floor, referred to as the mezzanine, one finds only customer seats, but these are spaces intentionally created to suit studying and socializing, depending on the time of day, and customer needs.

What really makes the mezzanine floor unique is the fact that most of the seating provided is free floating and without defined form,  rather than being arranged in booths and rows of tables. This lets customers organize it however their social groups require, depending on why they’re visiting and during which part of the day.

Filling the mezzanine with loose furniture serves another purpose too! This lets staff clear the space out entirely every once in a while to host events, like temporary art showcases. Once the chairs are removed, the upper floor becomes the idea party space, giving serving staff and those ordering a slightly removed area for clearer communication away from the party.

From the outside, the coffee shop looks like a simple, quite unassuming white box. This was intentional because designers wanted to create a contrast between the new business and the otherwise tall, grey urban context of the street. Besides that, keeping the shop’s exterior minimalist and light shifts focus to the artists elements on the inside without distraction.

The colour scheme inside the building is another way in which designs kept things interesting and contrasting without drawing so much attention that customer attention is drawn away from the artistic displays or even each other. The entire colour scheme of the furnishings have been kept to black and white so that they contrast well within themselves but draw little attention from the people visiting and things taking place in the space at any given moment.

At night, when owners want to draw attention inside the building and towards certain places, they have the built-in ability to play with light. Already, a translucent visual “void” exists in the front facade of the building. This is built of clear-colour polycarbonate, which manipulates the natural light coming into the building from either the sun or the streetlights.

At night, staff can turn on a series of multi-coloured interior lights when they open the bar. At this point, light flows out of the translucent void in the facade, drawing more attention from the street and intriguing the public so that they come in, visit, and see whatever art might be on display.

Photographs by Metipat Prommomate

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Architects at Nico van der Meulen renovate the 12th century, Italian Stone Guardhouse

By • Jun 6, 2019

In the luscious valley surrounding Umbira in Italy, architectural and design teams at Nico van der Meulen recently transformed a 12th century guardhouse into a charming family farmhouse with a sense of historical charm. The Stone Guardhouse is a beautifully sprawling blend of traditional local culture and modern living.

Once a defence fortress in the area, the Stone Guardhouse is now a breathtaking luxury family residence in the Umbrian valley. In order to pay proper homage to the history of the building and its local area, designers kept the basic structure of the building largely untouched, maintaining its original facade as best they could as well except in places of great wear.

Part of the reason designers sought so strongly to leave the Guardhouse’s structure as authentic as possible is its proximity to ancient Roman ruins. Heavy construction on one historical structure might affect the safety of others close by as it change the traditional visual fabric of the area. In fact, approval processes for the plans for this project, which was as un-intrusive as possible, took almost three years to complete!

In the end, a few minimal additions were approved but they were kept conservative and topical. Even so, these offered designers an opportunity to provide certain inner areas of the new farmhouse a little more light. Architects were also able to open out a connecting courtyard between the two main buildings of the Stone Guardhouse, near which parts of a brand new kitchen sit.

This courtyard became the home of a stunning lanai where a comfortable swimming pool stretches. Where these new areas were created, interventions were done in a way that kept design and construction teams mindful of the local history and sensitive of the building’s context.

Another addition was added not far off in the form of a pleasing looking steel staircase. This sits in a spatial void and provides a simple physical link between the ground floor living areas, where the flat-roofed kitchen sits, and the upper area featuring a master suite, guest bedroom, study, and even a painter’s studio.

All across the Stone Guardhouse’s facade, the building received some maintenance care to keep it in good condition so it will last. The original stonework where wear and tear had taken its toll over time was carefully rebuilt (and the same was done for the bits of stonework in the interior as well). In any places where new stone was added, teams took care to source it un-intrusively from the immediate area, keeping the facade and general structure in proper context regarding history and locale.

Where possible, the timber trusses and beams stretching across the interior wooden ceilings were recycled and repurposed. The contrast between the fresh wood and the old stone creates a comfortable and warm atmosphere at the same time as the visual style is quite eclectic and full of historical character. Black steel and raw concrete enhance the sense of a soft, natural palette.

The furniture and art pieces that were carefully selected for the interior spaces follow the same colour scheme. This was intentional in order to create a sort of cohesive sense of calm brightness throughout the entire stone building. Overall, the project was completed with respect for history and patience with the need for care and authenticity.

Photos provided by the architects.

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Franz Designs creates Fraktio Offices to feel like a second home but with a motivational atmosphere

By • Jun 3, 2019

In the bustling city streets of downtown Helsinki in Finland, a company called Fraktio has chosen to work with design and architectural teams at Franz Designs to create a new office space that will make their employees feel right at home while they work.

Fraktio, a company that designs innovative web services and mobile applications, made the decision to renovate with the goal of offering their employees a quiet space that comes across just cozy enough for them to feel like they’re right at home but still engaged and motivated enough for productive work.

From the beginning, designers oriented their focus around the concept of creating a space where people might actually want to spend time. The office is supposed to feel less like a place where people have to be and more like a place where they might actually enjoy hanging out with the people around them.

In their industry, the concept of overtime work is no stranger to any employee. Hours are fluid and schedules change frequently, so people often find themselves working at varying times of day. This was the primary motivation behind making the brand new offices feel like a place of comfort and easy socialization as well as work. Ideally, no one will feel “chained” to their desk and people might perform better because they enjoy their job and the space they’re working in.

In order to achieve their homey end goal, designers gave the office all kinds of thoughtful but quite low maintenance extra features, choosing to create spaces that might provide either relaxation or mental stimulation between tasks. In short, the Fraktio Offices have just about everything you could possibly need, right there near your work station!

Among these unique and frankly awesome special features is a panorama sauna where employees can seek quiet and calm, a DIY space where they can explore their creative side, and even an old fashioned style movie theatre where they can get a bit of inspiration or simply give their brains a break through sheer entertainment right there at work.

In order to keep a sense of balance in the space and build an environment that fosters productivity at the heart of things, designers also made sure to provide Fraktio with all kinds of diverse and thoughtfully put together spaces geared towards work itself. These include several different meeting places large enough to comfortably gather the entire staff at once for meetings and collaborative efforts.

The main group meeting space is the kitchen and dining area (which, like most other spots, are fully equipped with just about everything your own home might offer). The kitchen area is spacious and communal, fully equipped for any type of cooking or meal prep. The dining area, on the other side of the kitchen island, blends seamlessly into a lounge space. This means that a speaker can be heard all around while employees sit in comfort no matter where they’re situated.

Perhaps the most widely used unique feature of the whole office, in terms of those spaces designed to clear ones mind and give them a fresh start part way through their day, is the sauna. This is a fully functioning steam room, sitting in the centre of the office building on the 8th floor. Its position here means that, besides warmth and relaxation, the sauna also offers a breathtaking view!

Photos by Vuokko Salo.

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MOIA Offices by Laik.Design

By • May 30, 2019

In the city centre of Hamburg, Germany, a subsidiary company of the iconic Volkswagen brand recently commissioned architects at Laik.Design to redo their primary work spaces. That’s how the MOIA Offices got their bright and innovative new look!

MOIA is the branch of the larger Volkswagen company that provides on-demand mobility services to the surrounding area and internationally. From the beginning, the goal was to provide an open, bright, and engaging space with all kinds of diverse, comfortable, and motivating places for employees to choose from to work.

The office at large occupies a 1,400 square metre space in the centre of the historic Stadthöfe building in Hamburg’s downtown core. Referred to as a “work home” rather than just an office, the space is known for its cozy, comfortable layout and amicable atmosphere, as well as its incorporation of cheerful, motivating bright colours, decor, and themes that change from spot to spot.

In total, the office is “home” to 120 employees. Designers took great care and put thoughtful effort into making sure the space offers flexible meeting boxes for smaller (one on one or in teams of four) collaboration situations, individual study spaces, kitchen and break areas, and common spaces for visitors to wait or meet with employees in.

The kitchen, which is fully equipped just like a kitchen in the average home, lies in the very heart of the office like a central hub. In the corner, a fully functioning cafe station sits for smaller break when an employee simply needs a walk around and a coffee to fresh themselves before getting back to work.

Larger meetings and full office presentations are accounted for in the layout as well. To the side of the kitchen is a spacious communal seating area for workshops and meetups. Acoustics around the office at large were improved from what the building originally had to offer in the way LAIK.Design conceptualized and installed a tailor-made wooden ceiling.

Besides improving sound quality and travel power, the custom ceiling is actually also quite decorative. It is made from wooden triangles, circles, and battens that have a sort of intriguing visual quality that easily catches the yes of visitors. This plays off the presence of bright wall murals and art pieces by local artists that depict and play off of themes of social movements and networking and other things interlinked with the company’s business and industry.

Photos by Sarah Rubensdörffer

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Virginia House created by Lucas Amione from local social housing to repurpose local historical homes

By • May 29, 2019

In what used to be a social housing neighbourhood in Santiago, Chile, Lucas Amione has created the Virginia House, a refurbishment project designed to create a modern, stylish, and comfortable home from a piece of local history.

The neighbourhood where the house sits newly transformed was established and built in the early 1960s. The dwellings there were all created using prefabricated designs involving concrete panels and wooden trussed roofs with a saddle shape. Over time, the economic growth in the city influenced its social and architectural fabric, generating continuous change and improvement in the area, particularly in recent decades.

This particular dwelling was actually one of the last on the street left in its original state by the time designers selected it for renovation. Teams arrived on site to find a building in its precise old construction, one of only a few that hadn’t yet had any type of intervention to its interior or exterior.

In order to give the modest original dwelling a little more expanse, designers began reconstruction by expanding its limits to the edges of the plot horizontally, stretching to the east and west. The house received a vertical expansion as well, this time from light steel rather than the same heavy materials originally used to build its foundation.

These expansions make much better use of the plot than the original design but still leave space in the front and back, as well as to the sides of the house. On one side, owners are afforded access to parking, leaving the other side for a stunning garden that wasn’t there before. Bringing additional greenery into the scene brightens the whole plot and helps bring it to the level of those houses on the street around it that have already been updated.

Inside the refurbished home, the same goal of expanding and using space more effectively continues but designers also heavily prioritized the amount of natural sunlight that might reach the interior spaces. Now, a double story vertical void of freeing space right in the centre of the house lets light permeate just about every corner. A light staircase connects the home’s two levels through this space.

While the vertical space gives a sense of openness and freedom to the bottom floor, it also provides a sense of privacy and intimacy to the bedrooms upstairs; building them to be closed off along the side of the void’s top creates a border and makes them feel cozy instead of dark.

The way the windows are placed in the house does more than just let sunlight in, even though that was top interior priority. Where the windows are situated in the house also plays a huge role in heat regulation, which is important in Chile’s hot summer afternoons. Windows are purposely placed towards the north while solid walls are built along the west side, letting passive heat control work in partnership with various ventilation systems.

Speaking of ventilation, the wooden cladding on the facade of the home’s upper floor is, besides being decorative, actually a ventilated wall system! This portion of the house helps reduce thermal transmittance through the walls. On the ground floor, the exteriors are painted a dark, neutral colour that contrasts well with the much brighter interiors. The transformation that takes place when guests enter into the colourfully accented interior after witnessing these darker neutrals establishes a sense of modern sophistication.

The final huge priority in transforming this house was to create a better relationship between the dwelling (even in its interior spaces) and the outside world, blending indoor and outdoor experiences. The first step towards this was taken when a glass wall made from floor to ceiling sliding doors was installed in the warm but shaded back of the house, allowing the living room to be opened onto a patio full of fresh breezes.

The final (and perhaps most pleasant) effort in creating a better relationship between the house and its surrounding outdoor area is the small courtyard to one side, near the garden. It sits in an indentation of the home’s wall, which affords it some privacy, and enjoys the shade of a small green tree. Rather than green lawns like the rest of the yard, this place is more of a serene rock garden.

Photos by Pablo Casals Aguirre

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Port Apartment Suzhou Shilu Community Project created by GPT Architectural Design

By • Mar 28, 2019

Instead of just building a standard apartment building in the downtown core of Jiangsu, Japan, innovative designers at GPT Architectural Design opted to create the ultra modern, super stylish, and downright experiential Port Apartment Suzhou Shilu Community Project!

This fantastic new building was created using an older apartment complex as its base. The first step in the new project’s facelift was to remove the metal grilling on the facade of the original structure, as this made it look grey, old, and unwelcoming. Designers opted to cut into the newly revealed bare facade to create alcoves where plants might hang, creating 3D hanging gardens.

Another area of the original plot that was preserved as a base but changed and embellished was the courtyard in the centre of the community. This sits off a cutting edge social kitchen that is run by the Internet and features high public workspaces, blending perfectly into the outdoor leisure garden in a rather open concept way. The black and white stripes on the outer walls surrounding the courtyard create a visual effect like that of wind rippling water.

In the spaces surrounding the leisure garden, a calming, spa-like effect was created by finishing most of the atrium space with natural wood colours and light concrete accents where more solid material was required. This creates beautiful contemporary contrast while also affording the space a sense of calm typical of traditional gardens found in ancient cities.

The courtyard and atrium aren’t the only garden spaces! The building actually features a rooftop garden as well. This space has its own viewing platform for drinking in the city and even a barbecue area suitable for open-space hosting when renters have friends visit. The viewing platform is covered with a soft, white stand designed to mimic the beach, adding a sense of seaside calm to the space which is reinforced by decor accents in blues, teals, and other beach hues. This space has become quite famous around the city, since there’s no actual beach quickly accessible in the area.

One of the central priorities in building the individual apartments in the community was stellar Internet connectivity. The idea was so make the apartment’s functions efficient, new age, and cutting edge, so fantastic online connections are absolutely necessary. Most of things in the building, such as signing into the one site fitness club, shopping at the boutique retail locations nearby, and using the virtual canteen, are powered by wifi and the renter’s cell phone.

Although the apartments and the rooftop escape are accessible only to renters, the ground floor features a shopping space, more electronic vending services, and a social garden area that are fully accessible to the public. This makes it possible to socialize and have a whole day out with others without having to go far from one’s apartment at all if they don’t feel like it. It builds a sense of wider community right there in the community building!

One of the most popular things to do in the social space is to order food from the virtual food court, a 24 hour fast food delivery service run out of the buildings connection hub, and find a cozy, modern looking social pod to sit in around the public garden. The decor is undoubtedly modern but also quite wood heavy and spa-like, with stunning greenery surrounding all levels.

Besides the general public social spaces we’ve described, renters are afforded plenty of themed common escapes for time enjoyed outside their apartments. There’s the “House of Cards” area that is furnished and decorated in pure white with black outlines and artistic lighting, providing a thoroughly futuristic experience. There’s also the “rainforest inspired area that features cascading waterfall lights, wooden furnishings, greenery on every surface, and wooden details that feel somehow warm and also luxurious. Perhaps you’d prefer the simple seating designed to let renters take an unwinding break underneath a stunning sprawling tree when they first arrive back to the community after a busy day elsewhere before actually returning home.

In decorating and laying out the apartments, designers chose to gear their choices towards the young white-collar workers so typical of the surrounding urban area. They opted for fashionable Nordic aesthetics and MUJI style details to create a living space specifically for young people that feels, modern, high quality, and unique.

Inside the apartments, the Nordic influence brings a sense of fluidity to the design. Furnishings are integrated all into the main functions and each other to save on space and increase efficiency, almost to the point of qualifying as micro-living. The textures are simple, the shapes are flexible, and the details bear clear signs of local craftsmanship. The spaces are simple and practical but still charming to the point of feeling nearly luxurious despite their smaller size. This is more than made up for with the diverse common spaces the community offers right outside the apartment doors!

Photos provided by the designer.

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Brazil’s historical Rosa House restored and transformed with reverence by Kiefer Arquitetos

By • Mar 18, 2019

In the area that was, once upon a time, the small village around Brazil’s Canoas train station, a 19th century home was recently and very carefully restored and transformed into a stunning gallery by local design teams at Kiefer Arquitetos.

Casa dos Rosa, or Rosa House, as the building has always been named, is one of the last standing remnants of the area’s original municipality and architecture. Before the cities in the bustling region or Porto Alegre grew up around it, this little house was quite isolated because the surrounding village it was originally a part of was entirely demolished.

Rosa House was saved this levelling thanks to the mayor of the village, who had it deemed a cultural property by transferring it to municipal powers before the go-ahead for demolition was given. Now that is has been restored, this lovely house, originally built in 1874, serves as inspiration for similar restoration projects in the area, such as museums and theatres. Each one is an attempt to preserve history and cultural heritage in the region. Around the house, a little collection of these sites has cropped up, making for a stunning cultural afternoon walk through the park they’re all centred around.

During the transformation process, particular care was taken to make sure as many traditional aspects of the house were preserved as possible. While some additions and upkeep changes were made to create a stronger frame and ensure that the new place will last and wear well, drastic changes were avoided in order to keep the building authentic.

Things that designers did freely adjust included some landscape design in the old yard, the entry way (which needed restoration), the addition of a stunning glazed porch, and the expansion of a public social area on the ground floor. These things were completed with delicacy and using materials that are traditional, reclaimed, and locally sourced.

Inside the house, it was safe to make more contemporary choices, which established a stunning contrast in aesthetic between the rooms and the historical exterior facade. An elevator was installed between the first and second floors to keep the cultural property accessible.

To avoid changing the original structure too much, features like a cafe and a reception area for the whole little historical site were built in an extension right next to Rosa House. From here, a canopy was built that connects there to the museum, the future theatre, and a stairway to the park.

Overall, the goal of preserving the old while building the new was more than just achieved; it was done with beauty. Now, a sense of harmony and coexistence exudes from Rosa House and its new and historical counterparts alike.

Photos by Mário Fontanive

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Hanging Villa by TWS & Partners is a dream of angles and open space features

By • Mar 1, 2019

Close your eyes and imagine the ultimate relaxing villa escape, with water features gurgling peacefully amidst the trees. Now, picture that same concept but with a modern, angular aesthetic that fits a more contemporary sense of style. Chances are good that you just might be picturing something along the lines of the stunning Hanging Villa created by TWS & Partners!

Clinging to a stunning mountainside in Bandung, Indonesia, the Hanging Villa is easily accessbile from the city but sits far enough away from its bustle and traffic to feel isolated in a way that’s peaceful and freeing. The goal of the building’s layout is to give those who gather there space to bring the entire family with them in shared comfort, but also small escapes in which to enjoy time to themselves as well.

Just like you’ll find diverse private and social spaces inside, you’ll notice immediately upon arriving that one of the best things about the villa is its outdoor space, which is also multi-function. This area is fantastic for relaxing in the sun or hosting events. Its geometric shaping responds to the nature surrounding the house and mirrors the structure of the main volume in the shape of the balcony and even the pool.

The shape of the building was originally inspired by two drastically different things; its stunning natural setting… and stacked boxes! This combination lets visitors experience different parts of the home’s astounding view from different areas of the house thanks to the way each floor (or “stacked box”) is rotated every so slightly differently to those above and below it.

From the ground where the garage is located up into the second floor of villa, a “circulation” tower leads you upwards un the stack until you reach the main social area. From here, different parts of the villa can be accessed through smooth timber pathways. A stunning water garden follows alongside these pathways, enhancing the view even more thanks to its sunny reflection. Primary rooms like the living room, kitchen, and dining room are all accessible off the pathway.

In terms of colour scheme, designers kept things neutral both inside and out. This lets the villa blend in even more seamlessly with its surroundings, giving even the inside rooms a tranquil atmosphere. Large windows surrounding the outer walls let the view stay visible no matter where you stand, which is particularly magical at sunrise and sunset when the light changes. These windows also eliminate the need for constant use of artificial light, which makes the villa a bit more energy efficient.

On the first floor above the garage, the master bedroom actually has its entire own space. This was specifically intended to gift owners and hosts their very own escape while they host family and friends, which can be a busy process. From there, social spaces sit on the next floor up (the same level as the jaw-dropping outdoor space), with guests bedrooms above that.

The wooded terrace where the pool sits is perhaps the home’s best feature. Besides this area, which has a perfect balance of sun and shade, the villa also features a rooftop deck with lovely outdoor lounge furniture and even a private garden. Retracting insulated walls let dwellers play an active roll in temperature control, depending on the weather and time of year.

Photos by Fernando Gomulya

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House in the Air by APS – Pablo Senmartin named for its beautifully elevated volume

By • Feb 28, 2019

In the centre of a beautiful neighborhood in Cordoba, Argentina, APS – Pablo Senmartin has built the immensely impressive House in the Air, designed specifically to feel like a floating residence that’s not weighted down by heavy foundations or anchored to the earth.

This sort of weightless effect, which one can certainly feel in the main volume of the house, was achieved by building a sort of stilt system that’s actually also visually appealing from the outside of the house. Created for a family of five, the house is split into distinct areas of work and play; there are spaces intended for homework and study for both parents and children, as well as common areas designed to support lots of socializing with family and friends.

Despite sitting in a city, in a bustling and trending neighbourhood, the house feels anything but rushed and busy. Besides how it’s been organized according to work and play functions, the yard actually plays a role in this sort of calming atmosphere. This is primarily thanks to a large and very old carob tree that provides the green space and windows with increased privacy and a bit of relaxing shade.

From the very bottom, the house is clearly organized according to what the rooms are used for. More social rooms, for example, sit downstairs where guests will first enter the house. Private rooms and studies are located upstairs- in the “floating” volume that gives the residence its name- where visitors are less likely to roam. Rather than feeling divided, this organizational tactic just makes the house feel like it has a sense about it.

Despite the work areas of the home being separate, they feel anything but isolated. Stunning windows that feature adjustable shades give a constant view of the lovely tree and the world outside, making the house feel rather fluid. The whole space is, at its core, transitional; you start your day downstairs in the morning, work your way up where it’s quiet to work, emerge again for social time at meals, and retreat again for a quiet sleep.

In keeping with the organized and relaxed aesthetic, most materials used in the house’s construction are natural; you’ll witness a lot of wood, natural metal, and stone or concrete if you visit. The house also bears a sense of strength, however, which can be seen in the way the private volume does, in fact, sit in the air thanks to being cantilevered on strong beams.
Photos by Gonzalo Viramonte

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Dry Creek Pool House Designed by Ro Rockett Design Give Guests a Perfectly Sunny Californian Getaway

By • Dec 13, 2018

Dry Creek Pool House is a lovely guest home project designed and built by Ro Rockett Design. Located in the most peaceful part of Sonoma County, California, it offers dwellers and guests a moment of respite and warmth, as well as the perfect opportunity for a cool, relaxing dip.

Sitting atop a hillside amidst a vineyard retreat, this weather timber pool house provides a perfect getaway space for those seeking to unwind and enjoy the coastal views. The pool house was built to accompany a particular holiday home near Geyserville after the owners decided that a specific space meant for total relaxation and enjoyment would greatly improve their experiences there, as well as those of their guests and neighbours.

The focus of the lovely plot outside the pool house is undoubtedly the gorgeous pool. Slender in width but gracious in length, this pool sits slightly above the main slope, hidden from a nearby road for calm privacy. This road, in turn, is hidden from view by the way the deck near the pool is raised, offering only a lovely green scenery in the eye line of anyone resting there.

In order to complement and blend with the surrounding greenery, the exterior of the pool house is made in a rustic style. Designers used wood and natural materials in an attempt to make the little house both stylish and primitive; something unlike what guests would experience in their regular homes in the city.

The roughly weathered timber mentioned above is a perfect match for its vineyard surroundings because it was actually sourced from grape stakes. This aesthetic is consistent in the first volume of two that comprise the pool house, while the second is a black pavilion style building feating large, sunny panes of glass. These panes let guests open the house entirely to the view while seeking comfort in the shade by sliding fully open.

Inside the pool house, basic amenities make it an extremely comfortable place to spend the whole day. Besides cushy sofas that make for good talks and great naps, the house boasts a bathroom with a full shower and even a mini-bar for entertaining. If additional privacy is needed, guests can draw a set of stark white curtains closed around the entire structure. These also provide more shade from sunlight in the most intense hours of the afternoon.

If you’d like the bit of shade but you don’t want to go in from the soft breeze on your skin, the patio that runs alongside the pool is the place for you! Here, a slatted canopy covers the pool deck, shading an outdoor dining table as well as two lounge areas. This is the perfect spot for people who want to enjoy the breeze and water but without sitting in direct sun!

In order to give guests a break from lounging but keep them from getting bored with the space, designers added an amusing little bocce ball court further down the slope from the poolside. Although this strip of grass is closer to the road, it’s still safe and private thanks to a row of luscious trees all along the edge of the space.

Photographs by: Adam Rouse

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Magnificent Extension Designed as a Space for Multiple Activities

By • Feb 15, 2018

This modern and very white house is located in the Nuñez neighborhood, in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. An extension was added to the existing structure in an adjacent lot that has 75 square meters and has been designed by architectural firm MoGS in 2013.

External view of the structure connected to the garden
Connection point between the two structures

The project consists of the extension and reuse of an existing structure on the front of the lot with the aim of creating an adequate space for multiple activities. It improves the relationship with the house in a formal and functional way. To achieve this space, the roof was expanded with an additional slope, and its main wooden beams were replaced by other steel beams, which allowed the elimination of vertical supports, maximizing the open floor area and improving the connection between the interior and exterior space.

View from the outside of the spacious interior space of the annex

The set is completed with a translucent cover that externally connects the house with the addition.

In the beautiful garden, full of green grass, blossoming flowers, and perfectly cared-for trees, we find a pool, perfect to cool off in the hot days during summer in this beautiful city. From the terrace, we can also enjoy magnificent family reunions and friendly dinners.

Large and minimalist kitchen in wood and white
View of the pool area from inside the annex
Night view of the terrace adjacent to the annex
Night view of the interior of the annex
Night view from the garden
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Modern Renovation Gives Life to an Old Construction

By • Jan 24, 2018

This modern structure serves as a beach house in Torre de la Horadada, a town located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in Spain. The home was completed by the Spanish architectural firm Laura Ortín Arquitectura in 2017, and covers a total ground area of 90 square meters.

Modern annex at the top of the construction
Front view of the modern construction

The project consisted of the renovation and expansion of the family’s holiday residence. Torre de la Horadada, the coastal town where the home is located, was once a fishermen’s village that slowly became a tourist destination, and so it was the perfect location in which to have a holiday villa.

Modern annex with simple lines

The home has a modern structure that sets it apart from the surrounding homes, making it stand out from the rest due to its shape and height. This architectural feature is reflected on the inside, where the ceiling has an irregular shape that is very unique and attractive. The interior is luminous and done with an open plan, with a strong contrast between stark white walls and rich wood paneling.

The uppermost level is cozy, with rich wood paneled walls and sparse furnishings. Blue wire railings allow this space to look down upon the living room and kitchen. The bedrooms are done in a predominantly white décor, enhancing their luminosity.

 

Annex with window that allows the entrance of light
Terrace connected to the new annex
Small terrace
Modern interior with granite floors
Modern kitchen done in wood with large sliding doors connecting to the terrace
Modern room with walls and floors covered in wood
Wood clad ceiling
Modest double room
Master bedroom with bathroom
Room decorated in white
Room with galvanized zinc roofs
Nocturnal of the annex
Nocturnal view of the construction
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House Designed by Oliver Hill in 1935 is Currently for Sale

By • Jul 21, 2017

This house built and designed by Oliver Hill in 1935, not only holds stories of its years within its walls, but also maintains its look from yesteryear intact. It is located in the seaside development of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, England and is currently for sale for £ 575,000 ($ 732,000).

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