designboom (January 20, 2023) – In a swiftly rotating display, this micro-scale cabin shifts its program on its axis to integrate three different ‘scenes’ of living on one small platform. Studio Supra-Simplicities conceptualizes ‘3 Scenes of Home’ to compactly integrate spaces for sleeping, dining, and washing into one mechanism that marks a sophisticated integration between the typical house program and the theatrical function of a stage.
topped with a rainwater harvesting system
Removing the need for unnecessary circulation spaces and infusing a distinctive dynamic character, the structure maximizes its internal mobility and flexibility of living, while sitting with a micro footprint. It minimizes external impact by covering only a tiny parcel on the natural landscape, and recycling rainwater for daily use through its rooftop harvesting system.
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.
The Local Project (January 13, 2023) – Renovating an old house in Hobart, Bence Mulcahy added a two-storey extension made of glass and steel. Named Greenhouse, the structure replaces a 1980s iteration in a manner that best engages the nearby veranda, courtyard and garden.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Cloudy Bay 00:12 – Introduction to the Greenhouse 00:53 – The Brief for the Renovation 01:19 – House Tour of the Home 02:16 – The Sandstone Base of the Building 02:30 – The Lower and Upper Floor of the Extension 03:15 – The Exterior of the Greenhouse 03:25 – The Interior Materials Chosen 03:48 – The Furniture and Furnishing of the House 04:50 – Cloudy Bay
Located in the Hobart suburb of Mount Stuart, Greenhouse forms a contemporary addition to a red brick, Federation-style Italianate home. The new volume looks out onto the Derwent River and is supported by a veranda and a well-established garden complete with plants, trees and sandstone retaining walls. Bence Mulcahy identifies the key to renovating an old house is relating the extension to the main building – Greenhouse mirrors the scale of the existing dwelling, proposing a strong sense of verticality.
A house tour of the dream home begins at the formal entry space and transitions into the main hall. Beyond lies the beginning of the extension. The process of renovating an old house sees the final extension enclose the dining room, kitchen and an extra eating area. Upstairs, the addition houses an ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Ample glazing then allows the home to borrow visual space from the external landscape.
Bence Mulcahy takes a seasoned approach to renovating an old house, inserting voids in order to manage the sense of privacy. A two-storey void is left over the dining room, whilst a separate alcove of the same size is located above the upstairs ensuite. Creating a glasshouse structure using a combination of glass and steel, Bence Mulcahy pays homage to a greenhouse inspiration. The durable nature of the material palette is particularly relevant to renovating an old house, promising an enduring outcome.
Internally, copper sinks and a copper island bench complement a wax-sealed timber floor and array of curated soft furnishings. Utilising the skills of local craftsmen, Bence Mulcahy does justice to the personal nature of the home. Greenhouse stands as a lesson in house renovation and embraces the tranquil quality of its natural surrounds.
The Local Project – Through natural material selections, Cheshire Architects has unveiled Waiheke House, a home that embraces its surrounds to become the best modern house in the world. Operating under the rule that grandeur does not need to be shown through scale but rather quality, Waiheke House is a place of respite for its owners with only one and a half bedrooms and a focus on entertaining areas.
Video timeline:00:00 – Introduction to the Best Modern House in the World 00:45 – An Island Location 01:05 – The Aspect of the House 01:35 – Tasked with Entertaining 02:01 – The House Plan and its Materials 03:39 – Hidden Openings and Passages 04:22 – Bathing Rituals 05:27 – The Goal Behind the Home 05:43 – Creating a Centred Feeling 06:09 – Becoming One with the Environment 06:33 – A Vessel for Experience 06:53 – A Home Made with Real Materials 07:20 – A Love for the Layered Experience
While the views of Waiheke House are only part of what establishes it as the best modern house in the world, it is how the structure inserts itself into the landscape that is awe-inspiring. Focused on evoking the numerous meanings of ‘shelter,’ Waiheke House acts as a platform that can open or close for the watching of the weather as it changes. Comprised of two pavilions, which are slightly offset from one another,
Cheshire Architects have separated the living spaces to designate a place of reprieve and a place to entertain. The larger of the two pavilions, known as the seaward pavilion, is framed by landscaping. Shaped by the stone wall that curves around and holds the home, the idea of anchoring the seaward pavilion is seen through the home’s distinct architectural theme. To make the best modern house in the world feel warm and comfortable, the use of stone, wood and brass help the house insert itself into the surrounding nature. Created for entertaining, the seaward pavilion is intentionally designed to be small, with only a kitchen, large dining section and lounge.
Framed by glass on three sides, doors butterfly open so that the living areas can connect seamlessly with the lawn. Conceptually thought of as a canopy atop a mouth of a cave, Cheshire Architects has formed the best modern house in the world to navigate a spatial dialect that speaks to both broad ocean views and small, contained spaces. Throughout the house tour, it is evident that the selected surfaces and materials are chosen to act as a vessel for experience – an idea that Cheshire Architects hopes will still be embodied in 100 years as the home ages in place.
Seen in the stacked stone of the wall to the layered floor, Cheshire Architects avoids using crisp whites or laminates and instead imbues the home with richness from natural materials. Throughout the second pavilion, the adaption of narrower halls, lower ceilings and darker tones have been employed to create a dynamic internal contrast. Intended as a retreat for the owners, Waiheke House is a place to align and connect with the natural surroundings. By focusing on simple, high-quality design choices over scale, Cheshire Architects has created the best modern house in the world so that it may amplify what already exists.
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
Suspended between two beautiful California hills, this remodel spans a creek and boasts a waterfall in the back yard.
To build such a house anew is no longer allowed in California, but following strict guidelines, we reconceived an existing structure, transforming the relationships between home, water and land. A steel frame inserted beneath the original floors anchors the home to the rocky hillsides, thus allowing us to remove supporting columns from within the creek bed.
A human-made object in nature may exist in harmony or disparity. Our goal was to deepen this home’s connection to the environment, creating a place where our clients can live immersed within an exceptional landscape. Taking care to protect and restore the land, we suspended the renovated house between two wooded hills, where it overlooks a rushing waterfall and spans the creek below.
A third floor addition strikes a more slender profile facing east, to engage the breadth of the site. The experience is one of being in nature and also humbled by it.
The goal with this unique site was to enhance the relationship of the structure to the nearby bodies of water and the rock face. Rather than bearing down and disturbing the creek below, the new structural system has been anchored to the bedrock within the flanks of the hill, suspending the home
Mino Caggiula architects – The inspiration for the project came after experiencing the works of Richard Serra, an American artist known for using metal blades to create his works of art that can be defined as Landmark.
The architectural intervention is daring and aims at a harmonious connection with the surrounding space and landscape, without spoiling it; throughout plays of tension with shapes and insertion into the vegetation. In order to reach this goal, curved weathering steel blades are positioned so that, in perspective, they go beyond the woods in the south and direct the units and the view towards the lake. The radius of curvature is measured so that the sagitta of the chord of the circle doesn’t exceed 1 mm per linear metre, making thus the interiors furnishable and going back to a human scale, just like the dualism produced by Richard Serra’s sculptures.
Because of the steepness, we created two different blocks in order to further guarantee the view of the lake to the properties, divided by a system of main and secondary blades to create an internal and subordinate subdivision of the units. The insertion of the vegetation was inspired by New York’s High Line which scratches the pavement just like the blades do. This logic was transposed into our project both horizontally and vertically, thus the blades represent at the same time both a boundary and a bridge.
The Local Project (December 20, 2022) – By creating a sub-tropical modern architecture garden home, Justin Humphrey Architects employs concrete, timber, dark tones and green life to respond to the client’s brief.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Extraordinary Garden Home 00:11 – The Architect’s Favourite Aspects 00:40 – A Queensland Location 01:08 – The Well-Travelled Clients and their Desire for Sub-Tropical Modern Architecture 01:26 – A Strong Form and Sense of Materiality 01:48 – A Walkthrough of the Home and its Materials 02:29 – The Spine of the Home 03:00 – The Owners 03:20 – A Response to Natural Light 03:39 – Accommodating for Entertaining 03:56 – Implementing Passive Design Principles 04:50 – Seeing the Clients Grow into the Home
Desiring a family home that was equal parts building and garden, the clients needed a home that could provide privacy and areas for entertaining. Handling the combination of public and private spaces with ease, the architect has also challenged the traditional entrance sequence of the home. From its exterior, Cove House strikes a formidable presence, yet with its singular floating plane roof and plant life,
Cove House establishes itself as a modern architecture garden home. To create a modern architecture garden home, the architect has offset the concrete and dark tones of the exterior with warm timber battens to soften the entrance. Starting the house tour, the green landscape spine runs down the centre of the home, separating the public entry and the private living spaces. Additionally, the green spine guides guests towards the rear of the home, where the living and entertainment spaces are situated.
Contributing to the interior design of the Cove House, concrete and timber are combined to establish a flowing effect from outside in, honouring the client’s appreciation of climate-responsive materials and architecture. Answering the client’s love of boating and water, Cove House embraces open plan living and joins with the natural reserve, Coomera Island, which sits opposite the home. By opening the rear glass doors, the owners can increase the entertaining size onto the back deck and the passion pit – a curved lounging area that embraces outside living.
Providing the clients with a space to grow into, the modern architecture garden home also offers privacy from its neighbours on either side. Following critical passive design principles for the modern architecture garden home, the large roof-span provides wide-set eaves that protect from rain, provide deep shade during summer and curate cool breezes through the home. Additionally, the natural stone floor and concrete were employed as a thermal mass element to help regulate the home’s temperature all year round. As the house ages, Justin Humphrey Architects has specifically chosen the material palette to influence an alternative approach to address the natural climate setting.
Video timeline:00:00 – Inspiration: “It’s imperfect perfection” 02:00 – Living Room: “It’s where the real Christmas moment happens!” 05:20 – Kitchen: “I love the way that food brings people together” 07:50 – Breakfast Room: “It feels like a chocolate box…” 08:53 – Dining Room: “It feels very ramshackle”
Skye McAlpine’s Venetian sanctuary maintains plenty of the palazzo’s original details, such as the 18th-century fresco in the living room and the decorative flowering of rocaille in the breakfast room. As we’re guided into the light and airy kitchen that is set apart by its high-beamed ceilings, Skye McAlpine reveals a staple festive treat… a snowy panettone cake from her cookbook ‘A Table For Friends’. In the grand dining room, Skye’s dinner table is layered with a mixture of small plates over larger plates from her ‘Tavola’ tableware collection, which is inspired by ‘la dolce vita’ or ‘the sweet life’. The snowy panettone takes centre stage as it is served on a cake stand which towers above the rest of the festive treats, to complete her “over-the-top” Christmas table.
“Life is slower here. It’s unchanged, it’s like a time capsule,” McAlpine explains as she contrasts between her life in London and the Venetian way of living. “I think that’s part of the charm, it really is like stepping back into a different era”. Watch the full episode of Design Notes with Skye McAlpine, as we tour her slice of an Italian palace that is expertly decorated for the Christmas holidays.
Monocle Films (December 14, 2022) – The world is urbanising fast. But how do you accommodate people in cities in a way that offers dignity, affordability and a sense of community? Vienna may have a solution. Explore the enduring legacy of the city’s ‘Gemeindebau’ apartment blocks in the latest episode of our Design Tours series.