By Magaly • May 26, 2020
Soori Bali by SCDA Architects:
“Soori Bali lies within the Tabanan Regency, one of Bali’s most fertile and picturesque regions. Here, the landscape ranges from volcanic mountains and verdant rice terraces to beautiful black-sand beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean. The location provides for a complete hideaway and offers numerous quality views of the surrounding beach, ocean, mountains and rice fields.
Soori Bali was designed with the overt principle of green sustainable initiatives in mind. The project is conceived to be both climatically and socially reactive to its locale. The design responds to the notions of climate and place, and endeavors to engage the local landscape and community. The design of the resort was approached with a sensitivity to the nuances of the site setting, and thus executed with the strategy of minimal environmental impact, minimal built footprint and with local cultural practices (religious and ceremonial processions) taken into consideration.
With an understanding that the beach is an important socio-economical aspect of the site, deliberate efforts were taken to consult and incorporate the customs and contributions of the local community within the conceptual design process. The construction methods adopted also creates training and jobs for the neighbouring villages. About 50% of the workers currently on site are recruited from the surrounding community.
The resort reflects on its privileged location by adopting the predominant use of locally sourced materials, together with a careful integration of indigenous motifs, forms and elements. The result, a harmonious balance between the clean, contemporary lines of the architecture and the soothing tones and textures of the internal and external finishes and finishing.
The design of the restaurant terrace and spa facilities incorporates terracotta screens; adapted and stylized from traditional Balinese motifs. These screens generate a marked visual contrast when combined with the dark terrazzo floors and feature walls clad in dark grey volcanic lava stones, such as Batu Candi and Batu Karangasem.
The villas are characterized by the interplay of materials which flow from the interior to exterior spaces. Smooth terrazzo walls and floors are combined with hand brushed natural timber screens, soft silk upholstery and custom designed dark stained timber furniture to form a serene internal space. The use of timber flows into the external spaces, where timber screens wrap a private bale overlooking a private plunge pool lined with Sukabumi stone. Paras Kelating, a light grey volcanic stone is applied to feature walls along the pool edge which combine with soft hues of beige and warm grey textured paint to complete the palette.
A mixture of Villa types were sensitively designed to respond to the local climatic conditions whilst maximizing views out to the surrounding beach, sea and paddy fields. Careful consideration is given to each villa plan and its built form and details to create a comfortable, energy efficient resort style living.
PASSIVE DESIGN ELEMENT
The climatic parameters particular to site, sun movement and prevailing wind direction, were established to assist in the formulation of the orientation of villas and common areas, and their planning concept.
The major building orientation is toward the North-South direction. Some are tilted a few degrees to the East to incorporate the morning sun. Openings were maximized on North-South face to encourage filtered natural light into the building whilst minimizing large openings on west side to reduce heat gain during daytime. Provision of overhanging roof eaves, roof screen systems and deep ledges were employed to reduce heat from direct sunlight.
Operable windows are provided on at least two sides of each room plan, and on each end of the villa to encourage effective cross ventilation and to bring in natural air to the interior spaces. Cross ventilation to all room interiors would provide natural cooling and sufficient fresh air intake in room to minimize CO2 level, thus reducing the reliance on Air Conditioning Systems.
In addition to the siting aspect and layout design of the villas, several design elements and materials were intentionally selected to control the buildings on a micro-climate level.
Provision of a 2nd layer of timer trellis on villa roof would minimize direct heat absorption to the roof itself; the actual roof incorporates additional insulation to further reduce heat gain internally. Material finishes are using “cool colors” in both the paint and stone selections to minimize the absorption of thermal energy, local materials selected naturally respond to the local climate, for e.g. Paras Kelating, Paras Kerobokan, Batu Chandi & Batu Kali for Feature Walls throughout the resort. Location of planters and position of low shrubs and taller trees would be placed to maximize wind flow through villa and common spaces, thus avoiding creation of wind barriers.
The exterior hardscape and softscape designs are intended to create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces, with the specific goal in preserving the natural topography. Built elements are planned to sit ‘lightly’ on the land. The selection of trees responds to both the local climate and the resort planning with tree types playing a key role in the creation of ‘shaded spaces’, private pavilions and communal areas.
Due to the relatively severe coastal conditions which exist during certain periods of the year, the landscape design also incorporates a variety of indigenous local plants and coastal ‘hardy’ species, for e.g. Ipomoea Pes-caprae, Scaevola Taccada, Cocos Nucifera & Cerbera Odollam. This selection identifies and responds to the need for less long term maintenance and reduced water requirements for irrigation.”
Photos by: Mario Wibowo
By Magaly • Nov 8, 2018
This fabulous and modern apartment located in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, has been designed by the architects Ivan Yunakov, Olga Korniienko, Natali Raga, and Yaroslav Katrich, all working for the firm 33bY Architecture. The client was a young entrepreneur, and the home has a distinct industrial style.
It has an area of 97 square meters and was carried out in 2018. In the interior, a palette of dark colors and a variety of materials were used, with different structures. Among those materials were brick, natural African black stone, onyx, leather, copper, and wood. Upon entering the apartment, the first thing we notice is the wall made of black stone on one side, and the black surface with golden decoration elements on the other side. The living room is combined with a kitchen, a dining room, and a work space.
The space was separated by using glass partitions, looking to align the boundaries between the facilities, but at the same time to achieve open and floating spaces. The glass structure is made by using the “smart glass” system technology; it can be converted to matt to achieve greater privacy within the room.
The panel that was used to balance the dark tones is white onyx with backlighting framed by copper edges. It works at night and creates a cozy atmosphere, and is the focal point of our interior, seen from all the main facilities of the apartment.
By Magaly • Nov 7, 2018
With the aim of optimizing the reuse of small plots, part of a new policy of the mayor of London, the architectural firm FORMstudio set to work on this new project, located in London Borough of Southwark, United Kingdom. The 240 square meter area is part of this new plan that encourages municipalities to proactively support new, well-designed homes in small plots through planning in order to significantly increase the way small challenging plots can meet the needs of housing in London. Benbow Yard is a perfect response to this policy.
The houses with patio, in the London district of Southwark are located in a closed and irregular plot, previously occupied by a metal factory. The challenging site had narrow access, perspectives and problems with daylight, and these limitations have directly determined the shape and the fenestration of the pair of new single-family, two-story and three-bedroom homes.
The ground floors are lined with a contemporary pale brick with vaulted floors with zinc coating for retaining walls: materials that refer to the industrial heritage of the site but that are articulated with a refined level of detail to create a sense of quality.
By Magaly • Nov 5, 2018
This modern residence of open spaces and full of natural light was re-designed by the architecture firm David Coleman Architecture in 2015 in the city of Seattle, United States. It has an area of 6058 ft2, and we can see the result of the attempts to merge both the interior and the exterior. The original house, designed in 1956 by a prominent Seattle architect, is located in the private enclave of Broadmoor. It was conceived as a serpentine structure of a single floor.
The objective of the firm was to clarify the layout; add where necessary to improve habitability, merge the interior and exterior space where possible, and improve the general ambience. To achieve this, a series of initiatives were launched that had the effect of better defining the access to the house, the movement through the house, and the relationship between the interior and exterior space. This resulted in a transformation of the whole, raising the overall quality of the building and the landscape, allowing the promise of the original structures and the site to be fully realized.
The plan preserves the openness that one expects in a modern home, but it also contains an appearance of intimacy that is not expected in such a large and open building. This is achieved through the insertion of subtle but effective architectural devices, all lending a more human and accessible scale.
This new home of some 300 square meters was designed in the Puntarenas Canton area of Costa Rica by the architectural firm Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture in 2013. The Gooden-Nahome family wanted to create their home on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and found an incredible site overlooking the sea. The biggest obstacle they found was that the site was predominantly on a very steep slope, and the view of the ocean is captured only in the upper-middle part of the ground. However, they did not see this as a negative aspect but rather saw the opportunity to explore together an architecture that was appropriate for these conditions.
Together they explored the possibilities of creating large retaining walls in order to relocate the house on the land, which is a technique commonly used by most houses in the area.
In the end, they decided to do exactly the opposite, and in fact allow the slope, land, vegetation, water and animals to flow underneath the house. The house was elevated, and by doing so, made it possible to save on the immense cost of creating retaining walls. This almost common sense decision created a very light intervention that allows the terrain to breathe while providing a spectacular ocean view from the key location on the site.
By Magaly • Oct 30, 2018
Located in the village of Baaddat in Mount Lebanon, twenty miles above Beirut, this detached villa has excellent views over the mountainous landscape. It has an area of 562 square meters and was designed in 2016 by the architectural firm Joe Serrins Studio, under the guidance of its architects Joe Serrins and Jared Brownell. The property is covered with pine nut trees that cling to the rocky slope that falls twenty meters on a 45 degree slope. The architecture allows us to cross the steep slope and put us in contact with the landscape.
The program is organized by floors: the lowest level is the garage, and level two includes a media room and three bedrooms. The third level is the living room that has high ceilings and the largest of the four terraces. The fourth level contains the master suite and a private terrace with a pool hidden against the hillside. The building is mostly made of concrete, typical of structures of this size in the region.
The exterior is covered with a coarse gray stone interrupted by a volume of white plaster and several folding glass planes with operable doors. The landscape terraces and property debris walls are made with a local rock with a rough face.
By Magaly • Oct 25, 2018
The architectural firm TEd’A Arquitectes was commissioned to carry out this project that consisted of the interior remodeling of an old apartment located in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain.
The project focuses its efforts on a single strategy, which consists of opening the floor longitudinally. The entire project is condensed into a single gesture that manages to visually connect the street and the interior courtyard, joining the opposite and, until now, distant façades. A single element is the heart of this strategy. A new wardrobe crosses the entire house from one end to the other. Those in charge of this project, architects Irene Pérez and Jaume Mayol, who in 2017 managed to create functional and welcoming spaces in this 65 square meter floor.
There was, previously, a pavement of clay tiles of 13×13 cm placed diagonally. Its condition was not very good: it had been partially modified, there were many patches and different types of tiles, the result of alterations and overlapping modifications. It was decided, thus, to replace the pavement with a new one. They chose a hydraulic pavement manufactured by Huguet.
Surrounded by green hills and the San Lorenzo River in Sorel, this house has a refreshing view that gives color. This home has a total area of some 418 square meters and was uyndertaken by the architectural firm DESK architects who delegated the project to its architect Etienne Duclos.
The residence is programmed in 3 large volumes for 3 precise functions; the service block, the day block and the night block. The service block and day block are covered with wooden cladding, well anchored to the floor to join the interior and exterior. The more nocturnal block is closed with black steel and placed in the other two blocks, like the containers loaded on the cargo ships that parade daily in the river.
It is positioned to benefit from the natural topography of the site. From the road, the long and narrow land, it is possible to reach the river. This characteristic determines the location of the residence; an opportunity to have a garden level completely open on the river.
This residence of G + C, with volumes and simple lines, is organized efficiently and offers open spaces for a young family.
By Magaly • Oct 16, 2018
This remodeling of an old floor of 807 ft2, located in Gràcia, Barcelona, was carried out by the architect Raúl Sanchez and his team of professionals Pau Just and Cayetano de la Torre. The previous state of the apartment belonged to a way of life incompatible with the requirements of the new owner. Therefore, the new proposal starts from the total demolition of the pre-existing situation, maintaining only the structural system (for technical and economic reasons, structural interventions were ruled out).
The space is intended to flow freely inside, to maximize the feeling of space and abolish the boundaries between the rooms: for example, both the bedroom and the guest bathroom are closed with large, large pivoting doors, from floor to ceiling, without perimeter frames. This means that partitions are not only interrupted when they reach the gaps in the doors.
The bathroom is completely black, a mixture of ceramic, granite, microcemento and black varnish, and with taps, sinks and other accessories, all in black. On the other hand, the guest bathroom has the opposite treatment: here the granite, the microcement and the varnish are all white, although the sink and faucets are kept in black. The sliding and rotating iron and glass doors draw figures that blur the axes, but also mark areas of privacy and more visible areas.
View in gallery
View in gallery
View in gallery
View in gallery
View in gallery
View in gallery
By Magaly • Oct 16, 2018
This castle, which is located at the top of a bamboo-clad mountain in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, near Hangzhou, was built in 1910 by a Scottish doctor. The property, which is an eco luxe complex with Afro Asian decoration and medieval roots, has been recently completely reconstructed by the architectural firm Shanghai Tianhua Architectural Design, conscientiously and taking care to include a great amount detail.
Among the benefits that such a rural location offers are included a regional farm to table cuisine and the ability to include an impressive cantilevered infinity pool, which the structure takes complete advantage of, including panoramic accommodations that range from the rustic to the regal.
Completely surrounded by thick forests, the enchanting bungalows feature private outdoor hot tubs looking out to the charming landscape, while the spacious and bright Cliffside Suites are decorated with traditional South African motifs and extra large tubs which sit in front of the window and overlooking the mountains. For the ultimate king and queen retreat, opt for one of the themed Castle suites, which are absolutely flooded with sumptuous fabrics and luxurious amenities.
By Magaly • Oct 15, 2018
This residential project has been carried out by the architectural firm Amalgam Studio, which has its headquarters in the famous city of New York, under the direction of its professionals Ben Albury, Lucas Leja, Vi Huynh and Nikki Drewett. It is located on a hillside on a 120 acre rural property located near the city of Rhinebeck, epicenter of the culinary of the Hudson Valley and artistic revival in the area of Columbia County, United States. It has an area of 5000 ft2 and was conceived as a modern barn, a family residence of stone and wood of 465 m², which has four bedrooms.
The family residence celebrates the constantly changing seasonal landscape, designed to exploit natural light throughout. The fully glazed entrance is lined with pines from the distant half. Its skylight and the central ladder of floating threads divide the home between its public living room and the private sleeping areas. Private areas have varied and controlled views of distant hills, winding rivers, nearby forests and wildflower meadows. The living areas use large sliding glass doors on the decks to offer wider views of 180 degrees. On the upper floor there is a bright, white and polyvalent loft, with skylights deliberately placed for optimal observation of the stars. In short, it is a house that plays with light.
This small urban residence is located in Seattle, United States and is a clear example of what is possible to achieve by looking at these forgotten landscapes as new opportunities.
The architectural firm The Miller Hull Partnership understood it this way and took advantage of the space and its landscape converting this space of 800 ft2 (20 feet wide by 40 feet long) into what it is today.
This unique space provides the opportunity to re-imagine how people can reconnect with water in areas where the scale of ubiquitous industrial structures tends to break that relationship. With similar industrial warehouses lined up on many urban water fronts, there is the possibility of reconnecting people with navigable waterways, even in industrialized environments.
Located at the top of a warehouse larger than a football field, the unit is near the edge of the building to supervise the marina and the waterway below, while enjoying panoramic views of the Olympic Range.
Carried out in 2008 one of its main attractions remains its views.
By Magaly • Oct 11, 2018
This comprehensive reform – of an apartment of 90 square meters in the city of Barcelona, Spain – to obtain a renewed and more luminous space was carried out by the architectural firm Alventosa Morell Arquitectes and was under the leadership of its professionals Marc Alventosa and Xavier Morell, in the year 2017.
The clients wanted this apartment – located in an old building in the Born district of Barcelona, built in the year 1900, with little natural light and with numerous health problems – to receive a comprehensive reform. With this, they intended to obtian a renovated and more luminous space that could better fit their desires.
The objective of the intervention was based on two criteria. On the one hand, to discover, recover, and highlight the original structural elements of high historical and constructive value. On the other hand, to generate a diaphanous space that would allow to improve the existing lighting and natural ventilation conditions.
In spite of its antiquity, the apartment to reform did not keep any element of its original construction since it had undergone several reforms.
Thus, with some simple measures of recovery of original building elements and the design of a wooden furniture longitudinally that helped to separate the night area from the day, it was possible to meet the two objectives that had been specified and obtain a spacious and comfortable space to enjoy its livability.
This modest house was built in 1911 with blocks of stones resulting from the excavation of the ground for the railway. It was originally thought to be inhabited by the workers of the construction of the railway in the town of Montreux, Switzerland.
In 2014, this 260 square meter project was remodeled by the firm Ralph Germann architectes. The space, located on a sloping slope, offers a breathtaking view of the Alps, Lake Geneva and the Riviera.
The renovation of the building by the architect Ralph Germann shows visible signs of the transformation in the exterior facades. Completely empty, the building maintained its original design, the central staircase with its walnut and wrought iron fence. This construction that originally housed three apartments was opened to unite all the floors of the house, now concentrated into a single home.
To strengthen the link between the levels, the architect came up with a creative solution. The load-bearing walls on the staircase were opened to insert open concrete elements, built at the site from molds. Responding to the demands of thermal and acoustic insulation, the creation of these concrete openings proved to be a very effective solution. Heat, light, and sound pass through, allowing family members to communicate from one floor to another. In addition, these cavities also serve as storage spaces.
This charming house with cozy and wood-covered spaces was designed, in 2012, by the architect Knut Hjeltnes, from the architectural firm Knut Hjeltnes.
It is located in Sandefjord, Norway and has an area of 250 square meters. It is located on the upper part of the Vesterøya peninsula, with views of the fjord to the east and west. The site is steep and was considered unbuildable; it had been vacant for 20 years. It is very wet and windy due to the location, so special care must be taken with the outer later of the house.
The lower part of the house is concrete, while the upper part is a prefabricated solid wood construction, with the interior skin visible in aspen.
Between these two parts, a vacuum is produced that contains the entrance and the garage (which functions as a covered outdoor summer living room). The exterior of the wooden construction is completely covered with fiber cement cladding.