Tag Archives: Architecture & Design

Architecture: Biomorphic Home Design By Julius Roy

Biomorphic architecture is a style of architectural design that emphasizes natural shapes and patterns. As such, biomorphic architecture is inspired by organic forms like plants, animals, or the natural elements.

THE BLACK HOUSE [ I ]

Just like white, black is not in the strict sense of the term a color, however it is associated with it from a psychological point of view, black conveying just like a color a symbolism. Scientifically, black refers to black holes and nothingness. In optics, black absorbs all wavelengths and is therefore characterized by its apparent absence of color, unlike white which is obtained by returning all the wavelengths it absorbs in equal parts. In the West, black is associated with mourning, sadness and despair, fear and death. 

THE LABRADORITE HOUSE [ I ]

Labradorite is a mineral synonymous with security and regeneration. Discover its unique reflections that will remind you of the beauty of the polar skies and equip yourself with this strong energy shield to protect yourself from external negative energies.

Design Artist: Julius Roy

Profile: ‘Luminist’ Designs Of Architect Steven Holl

CBS Sunday Morning (January 29, 2023) – The works of architect Steven Holl have helped define the look of cities around the world, making remarkable use of light and space.

Correspondent Rita Braver talks with Holl, whose recent works include the REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., and the Kinder Building at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – buildings in which Holl hopes to express “the joy from the creative act.”

Steven Holl is a tenured Professor of Architecture who has taught at Columbia GSAPP since 1981. After completing architecture studies in Rome in 1970, the University of Washington in 1971, and graduate studies at London’s Architectural Association in 1976, Holl founded Steven Holl Architects in 1977. Based in New York City, the forty person firm also has an office in Beijing.

Steven Holl has realized cultural, civic, academic and residential projects both in the United States and internationally including the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland (1998); the Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle, Washington (1997); Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2002); the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri (2007); the Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China (2009); the Linked Hybrid mixed-use complex in Beijing, China (2009); Cité de l’Océan et du Surf in Biarritz, France (2011); the Reid Building at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland (2014); the Arts Building West and the Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa (2006, 2016); the Ex of IN House (2016); the Lewis Arts Complex at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey (2017); Maggie’s Centre Barts in London (2017); the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (2018); and the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2018). Upcoming work includes the REACH expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (2019); the Winter Visual Arts Center at Franklin & Marshall College (2019); Rubenstein Commons at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (2019); and the expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2020).

Architecture Tour: Emily House In Sydney, Australia

Working together, Aldini and Isaac Group have turned an abandoned warehouse into a modern dream home. Sitting on a small plot of land, the warehouse was in dire need of a contemporary lift – therefore the employment of organic shapes, elements and materials became the key focus for both interior designer and builder.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Modern Dream Home 00:25 – The Location of Emily House 00:38 – A Walkthrough of the Modern Dream Home 01:10 – Maximising the Previous Small Space 01:29 – The Builder 01:51 – Relationships and Working as a Team 02:14 – Utilising Natural Elements and Organic Shapes 03:10 – Elements of Softness and Curves 03:34 – Harnessing the Natural Light 04:02 – Favourite Parts of the Modern Dream Home 04:29 – Proud Moments

With a brief that only required the cathedral ceilings to be kept, the interior architecture was imbued with soft curves, natural shapes and materials, and a flood of natural light. In the end, the client’s home was turned into a modern dream home that would become a hub for connection, light and simple opulence.

Located in the inner west of Sydney, Emily House strikes an unassuming appearance with dark tones, leafy greens and a timber batten façade that hints at what is inside the modern dream home. Following the house tour inside, the front of the home contains the master bedroom and ensuite before offering a glimpse of the opulent kitchen – which is designed to be the hub for connection.

While using marble, granite and terrazzo throughout the modern dream home to add an opulence, the elements of curved bamboo, which is seen in the bathrooms and on the kitchen island bench, is used to soften the hardness of these materials. In the downstairs spaces, large steel windows, bi-fold doors and skylights have been installed to help bring more natural light inside while also adding to the sense of space inside.

Following the kitchen’s marble bench top and dark palette cabinetry, the dining and living room reference the same colours through the furnishings and marble that has been employed on the shelving and fireplace. To combat the hard lines of the steel and marble, the softening of elements has been encouraged throughout the interior design, which is seen in the soft curving of the Venetian plaster wall above the fireplace.

After the doors are opened, the courtyard helps to expand upon the liveable space and, with its terrazzo floor, curved seating arrangement and green wall the space, the downstairs living areas extend upon the client’s wish of creating a hub for connection. Upstairs, the inclusion of two more bedrooms and a bathroom further employs the use of stone, light and a natural colour palette.

Infused with natural light, the bedrooms offer guests an opulent stay that is reminiscent of five star hotels. Working together, the interior designer and builder established the modern dream home to become a space where the client could entertain. Additionally, the house is filled with a sense of softness – to which the client can find reprieve in the moments when it is needed.

Home Tours: ‘House At Otago Bay’ In Tasmania

The Local Project (December 27, 2022) – Taking a house tour inside a home made entirely from local and sustainable building materials, Topology Studio offers a rare insight into how a structure becomes one with its surrounds.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Sustainable Home 00:30 – The Architect and The Home Owner 01:00 – The Location 01:19 – A Walkthrough of the Sustainable Home 01:40 – Expanding Spaces Through Shapes 02:27 – A Seamless Connection of Inside and Outside 02:47 – A Home that Sits Quietly and Calmly 03:00 – Using Local Manufacturers 03:21 – Maximising the Benefits of the Natural Elements 04:01 – An Entirely Electric Home 04:13 – Climate Change Impacts and Planning for the Future 04:48 – Minimising Footprints

Sitting atop the land, House at Otago Bay looks out toward the bay and as far as Mount Wellington – offering the owners a home that is flush with the landscape. Modest upon arrival, House at Otago Bay is positioned at the end of the drive with its back towards neighbours and its front facing the opposite bush reserve.

Made of locally sourced bricks, bushfire-resistant timber and glass, the home’s design showcases a passion for building sustainably for the present and future. Entering the home at the main living level, Topology Studio has designed the space to open and focus on unrivalled views of the bay. Though sitting on a narrow site, the insertion of unique architectural and design choices inside a home, such as the continuous curved ceiling, help the home to branch outwards and avoid being marginalised by frames. Stairs that sit off to the side lead down to the lower ground floor, in which a bedroom and ensuite have been partially set into the foundation of the home, offering a distinctive view out across the grass and towards the water’s edge.

With a seamless connection that isn’t often seen inside a home, the external façade blurs the lines between inside and out and adds a layer of connection to the surrounding environment. Sitting quietly and calmly upon the land, the architects have chosen to use tones that reference the rocks, water and greenery of the landscape. Using locally sourced and produced materials inside and out took away the need to import from overseas, avoiding unnecessarily increasing the home’s carbon footprint during construction.

After specifying the Tasmanian brick, Topology Studio positioned the building to maximise sunlight during winter and shield the inside during the summer, while also taking advantage of the expansive views. To cater to the changing temperature inside a home, the masonry and concrete floor provide a high level of thermal mass through the seasons and take away the need for external heating technology.

House at Otago Bay is supplied electricity by the solar panels on the boat house – taking away any need for gas and minimising running costs and impact on the environment. Though inside a home can be thought of as sustainable, Topology Studio has taken the extra step to respect the environment by providing robust materials across both outside and inside – proving that homes can provide longevity for its owners in sustainable and eco-friendly ways

Home Design: Top Remodel Extensions 2022 (Dezeen)

Dezeen (December 2022) – Continuing our 2022 review, we have collected 10 residential extensions featured on Dezeen this year, from a weathering steel structure perched on top of a bungalow to a pair of concrete volumes added to a remote farmhouse.

The Perch
Photo is by Casey Dunn

The Perch, USA, by Nicole Blair

This weathering steel-clad asymmetrical house extension is perched two centimetres above a family bungalow in Austin, hence its name. Architect Nicole Blair was tasked with expanding the occupants’ living space without sacrificing any of the home’s existing back garden.

The unusually shaped extension rests on four steel columns and was assembled off-site to avoid disrupting the lot’s vegetation. Inside, living spaces are dressed in pinky hues and framed by tongue-and-groove wooden planks on the ceilings and walls.

Find out more about The Perch ›

Cascada House by Ana Nuño de Buen and Luis Young
Photo is by Luis Young

Cascada House, Mexico, by Ana Nuño de Buen and Luis Young

A rectilinear metallic frame in a dark shade of green forms Cascada House, an airy apartment nestled within a lush surrounding that tops an existing 1950s concrete building in Mexico City.

Architects Ana Nuño de Buen and Luis Young designed the structure with two roof slopes that drain towards a central gutter which manages rainfall, while inside, the steel structure is left exposed to create a distinctive interior.

Find out more about The Cascada House ›

Casa San Cristobal by Marc Perrotta
Photo is by Fabian Martinez

Casa San Cristobal, Mexico, by Marc Perrotta

Local architect Marc Perrotta replaced a “clumsy” volume with a concrete, glass and brick extension at Casa San Cristobal, a house in Mexico’s Mérida.

Containing most of the living spaces, this two-storey, U-shaped addition creates a trio of courtyards filled with lush native plants that are designed to provide relief from the tropical heat.

Find out more about Casa San Cristobal ›

Home & Kitchen Design: Queens Park, Sydney

Designing a modern house for a young family, Pohio Adams Architect has introduced space, light and robust materials to provide the clients with a home that would last for years.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to The Modern House 00:29 – The Architects and The Location 00:49 – A 1980s House Renovation 01:10 – The Brief 01:29 – A Walkthrough The House 02:22 – Reinstating The Original Details 02:33 – A Simple Material Palette 03:09 – Creating a Functional Home 03:21 – The Full Suite of Fisher & Paykel Appliances 03:48 – The Design of The Appliances 04:25 – The Park Setting and Views 05:08 – Working in Heritage Areas with Heritage Houses 05:40 – The Transformation of The House

Beginning the house tour from the Centennial Park entrance, the architect has reinvigorated the two formal living rooms with coffered ceilings and, where needed, has replicated the missing cornices throughout the interior architecture. Alongside this, the master bedroom has been imbued with privacy and given a luxuriously proportioned ensuite. Throughout Queens Park House, the architect has continued to infuse a fundamental connection to the gardens while also introducing a wealth of light. Responding to the client’s desire to connect to the surroundings, Pohio Adams Architects has opened the rear of the house with a series of French doors. Established to create a visual connection, the French doors enhance the modernisation of the interior while also connecting to the backyard and pool. By positioning the key living areas at the rear – the kitchen, dining and living spaces – the architect has introduced open plan living for the family’s dream home. Additionally, when designing a modern house, the architect has implemented an extra powder room and scullery laundry that sits just off the kitchen. Throughout designing a modern house, the architect has chosen black timber floors to showcase a continuity from the old parts of the home into the new. Simple oak joinery has also been employed through the main living spaces to provide a robustness and comfort to the living areas, while aged brass is used for detailing and hardware. Emphasising the home’s modern renovations, handmade Moroccan tiles have been placed in the bathrooms and kitchen. Offering comfort and warmth, the interior design connects to the exterior through material and architectural choices made by the architects when designing a modern house. To complement the interior when designing a modern house, Pohio Adams Architects has used a full suite of Fisher & Paykel appliances – including an integrated French door fridge and a kitchen island, which includes a cool drawer and full stack dishwasher, a gas cooktop, ovens and extractor hood. Following a long-standing working relationship with Fisher & Paykel, the architect has employed the brand’s appliances throughout the home to directly respond to the client’s desire to enhance the way they live for years to come.

Minimalist Design: ‘House K’ In Fairfield, Australia

The Local Project – Increasing the efficiency of an existing residence, Kart Projects crafts K House, a minimalist home with a considered spatial plan. A house tour of the residence reveals a dwelling strongly connected to its external garden space, speaking to the virtues of mindful design.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Minimalist Home 00:30 – The Brief 01:05 – Minimising the Impact on the Garden 01:29 – The Original House 01:45 – A Reference to the Extension 02:04 – A Walkthrough of the Home 02:58 – The Ceiling Registered Floorplan 03:32 – Extending the Spatial Strategies to the Garden 03:59 – The Extension 04:16 – The Material Palette 05:26 – The Perks of Designing Every Aspect

Located in the Melbourne suburb of Fairfield, House K possesses a similar architectural history to the neighbouring builds. A weatherboard residence, the existing home was slightly worn and featured a small extension that was almost unusable. The original brief requested the existing house be reinterpreted as a minimalist home with a new extension added to allow for an altered internal layout. However, the condition of the essential architecture of the house meant that a more substantial renovation was required.

The resulting minimalist home retains much of the original garden space and effortlessly connects the landscape to the interior. Though repainted, the minimalist home retains its original weatherboard façade. Only the addition of a red fence outside the building offers a clue to the renovation work that lies beyond. A house tour of the home begins with a corridor intentionally kept dark in order to showcase the artwork purchased by the client. Compressing down into a steel transition space, the corridor leads to a large pivot door.

A nearby study and library space represents the last portion of the original house. The extension space is defined by a large storage volume and day bed, which together establish different zones, including the living room and dining area. Reinforcing the spatial plan, a coffered ceiling gently delineates the areas below. Extending the spatial strategies of the interior into the garden, Kart Projects creates a series of social amenities. The pool sits elevated on one side – in proximity to an outdoor dining area – whilst the space behind is detailed by a small deck and lawn which maximise the functionality of the landscape. Turning to face the exterior of the minimalist home, occupants will see a red-painted façade exclusive to the rear of the building. In materiality, House K reflects a taste for minimalism.

The material palette is stripped back, consisting primarily of timber-lined features sitting below the coffered ceiling. In the kitchen, the visual impact of a black kitchen island and bench is contained by means of elevation, so that the amenities appear to float in place. In addition, the interior design of the home is uplifted by the inclusion of multiple skylights. Exerting influence over all aspects of the project – including the architecture, interior design and garden landscaping – Kart Projects establishes a cohesive and contemporary home. House K embodies the thorough execution of a singular design concept, expressing the importance of effective spatial planning during renovation projects.

Home Tours: The ‘Dolphin Sands Studio’ In Tasmania

The Local Project – At the end of an undulating path is Dolphin Sands Studio, a small cabin that floats atop the dunes and looks out to The Hazards mountain range and the Peninsula beyond. From the open deck of the cabin, the doors open up to the main living spaces of the studio cabin.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Tiny Cabin on a Hidden Beach 00:31 – The Location of Dolphin Sands 00:45 – A Walkthrough and Around the Cabin 01:04 – The Spacial Components 01:24 – Conceived as a View Finder 01:59 – Utilising as Few Materials as Possible 02:20 – Room for Two 02:48 – Providing Protection 03:05 – The Triangular Form 03:28 – The Architects Proud Moments

Consisting of a kitchen, living space and bedroom – with an adjacent bathroom – the cabin home holds everything the occupants need in one space. Located on a hidden beach in Tasmania, Australia, Dolphin Sands Studio by Matt Williams Architects has been conceived as a viewfinder – giving the occupants unmatched views across the bay. Completing the architecture and interior design, the architect worked alongside the builder to consider how the triangular form of the remote cabin could embrace its surroundings.

This was done by employing a large south-southeast facing window and using as few materials as possible to create a calm space for the occupants. Built on an exposed site, Dolphin Bay Studio embraces its surroundings by inserting itself as one with the landscape. Conceived as a solid tent, the cabin home allows for protection from the elements while maintaining an immediacy with the landscape.

Employing sustainable materials, Matt Williams Architects establishes that the materials work in tune with the weather while not taking away from the experience of living in the unique beach cabin. Capturing the golden sunrise every morning, the position of the cabin home allows the occupants to completely embrace the spectacular views and become one with the community. Though Dolphin Sands Studio is small in scale, the location and proximity to the bay brings external space for the occupants to enjoy.

With a desire to reduce the impact on the terrain, as well as flora and fauna, the architect and builder created a minimally impactful home that inserts itself into the bay. Also offering an escape from the worries of everyday life and the bustling cityscape, the cabin is a uniquely designed home that considers more than its occupants. With an offer of serenity, sustainability and waterside living, Dolphin Bay Studio pushes towards what is possible when designing and living sustainably.

Architectural Tours: Off-Grid ‘Limestone House’ In Melbourne, Australia

The Local Project – Crafted by John Wardle Architects, this sustainable off-grid house is best explored by means of a house tour. Combining seamless interior design and architecture with a minimal environmental impact, Limestone House forms a cohesive celebration of functionality.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Sustainable Off-Grid House 00:41 – The Location and The Vacant Lot 01:22 – Architects Declare 01:39 – The Living Building Challenge 02:06 – Passive House Standards 02:40 – The Shading Systems 03:04 – What’s Behind the Walls 03:19 – The Energy Supply 03:35 – Requirements of the Living Building Challenge 03:50 – The Two Main Materials Used 04:12 – An Interesting History Behind the Timber 04:42 – The Handmade Aspects 05:01 – Floating on a Sea of Native Grasses

Located in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak, Limestone House rests on the Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin Nation. Initially vacant, the project site excited the clients with the possibility of building a sustainable off-grid house. Paying homage to the environmental agenda, the landscape design of Limestone House sees the building float above a sea of native grass. Guiding the design of Limestone House is the Living Building Challenge and Passivehaus, two rigorous standards of sustainability.

In order to satisfy the standards, John Wardle Architects ensures that the home operates as a sustainable off-grid house, harvesting its own water and disposing of all of its waste water. Externally, a set of edible plantings on the terrace meets the requirement for food production on site. The Passivehaus standard sees a tightly-sealed, sustainable off-grid house emerge. While a passive ventilation system consistently delivers fresh air into the home at a slow speed, an airtight barrier seals heat into the dwelling, maximising energy efficiency.

Similarly, high-performance insulation is applied to the walls, roof and floor and the home features triple-glazed windows. Shading systems take the form of motorised venetian blinds to the northeast and west, as well as operable timber louvres at roof level over the courtyard. Internally, the material palette of Limestone House consists primarily of stone and timber. Concrete benchtops and Queensland siltstone complement the calming tonal character of the scheme alongside hydrowood oak. Many of the trees used for the oak come from a valley that was flooded during a 1940s hydroproject – now the timber comprises a bespoke dining room table.

A sustainable off-grid house, Limestone House produces its own energy and a surplus of five per cent that is exported to the grid. While meeting the design brief, John Wardle Architects ensures that the residence forms a unique embracement of natural serenity, in distinction from other sustainable dwellings of the past.

Homes & Design: Dwell Magazine – Nov/Dec 2022

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Dwell – November / December 2022 issue:

What Will the Neighbors Think: Fearless American Homes

  • Setting the Table: Our Guide to Hosting a Well-Designed Dinner Party
  • Starter Homes: A Pink House in Indiana Proves They’re Still Possible
Six American Designers Share Their Inspiring New Takes on a Dream Dinner Party

Six American Designers Share Their Inspiring New Takes on a Dream Dinner Party

We can all get stuck in a rut. This holiday season, break out of yours.

New Initiatives and Leaders Are Bringing Power and Profits to America’s Crafting Communities

New Initiatives and Leaders Are Bringing Power and Profits to America’s Crafting Communities

Geechee basketmakers, Gee’s Bend quilters, and Native American artisans are developing ways of navigating markets that have not always had their best interests at heart.

A Composer and Fashion Designer Add an Inspiring Creative Space to Their Los Angeles Backyard

A Composer and Fashion Designer Add an Inspiring Creative Space to Their Los Angeles Backyard

The two-level ADU is decked out with a light-filled recording studio for him, and for her, a luminous design space with soaring ceilings and sliding glass doors.