By Stefan • 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
By Stefan • 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
By Stefan • 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.
View in gallery
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
Dry Creek Pool House Designed by Ro Rockett Design Give Guests a Perfectly Sunny Californian Getaway
By Stefan • 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
By Magaly • 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.
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.
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.
By Magaly • 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.
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.
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.
By Magaly • 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).