Monthly Archives: April 201528

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Inspiring Visual Break Between Old and New: The Hawthorn Extension in Melbourne

Chan Architecture completed the Hawthorn Extension, a project consisting of a rear addition to a double fronted Victorian terrace house in Melbourne, Australia. According to the project developers, the main challenge was to design “a new family area without sacrificing too much of the backyard, whilst being respectful of the existing house. The approach was to create a visual break between the old and the new, to clearly delineate the different zones.” A jacuzzi and swimming pool area add a contemporary vibe to the new extension, while offering soothing spaces for family interaction.
Featuring clear lines, extensive use of windows and high ceilings, the new addition meets the contemporary living needs of the owners, without interfering with the traditional personality of the main Victorian construction: “The existing house has four good sized bedrooms at the front, but the living, dining and kitchen rooms were small with low ceilings. So the proposal was to demolish the existing rear of the house and construct a new, modern, open planned kitchen/living/dining room with new laundry, two bathrooms and a new master bedroom.” Enjoy the virtual tour of the property and let us know what you think! [Photos by Folded Bird Photography – Brendan Finn]

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Australian Beachfront Home Encouraging Outdoor Living

Living under the Australian sun provides ample palm tree sun protection and the occasional breeze. Living in a modern Australian home connected to the outdoors is a dream. Designed by Davis Architects, this beachfront home in Byron Bay, Australia, is prepared to offer its inhabitants the best mix between indoor and outdoor living. The existing sub-tropical climate by the coast implies a lifestyle lived partly outdoors. Invited to spend quality time under the sun, the owners of this beachfront home can rest assured that their time will be well spent in an attractive home.

Any beachlover would feel at home here, where sleek design lines meet complementary trendy colors. Large floor-to-ceiling windows compose a bright and cheery atmosphere and invite surrounding views inside. This makes the luxury beachfront Australian home a place where dreams come true. And according to the architects, “this luxury beachfront property in Byron Bay has been designed to take advantage of the wonderful coastal sub-tropical climate. Indoor-outdoor living, large breezeway windows and overly generous covered outdoor areas are key in the design “conception” of this project. The four bedroom house also features a separate self-contained 2 storey terrace house to accommodate guests. As Byron Bay Architects we love using locally sourced materials. Hardwood doors, privacy screens, timber floors and sandstone walls all feature prominently in this design.

Head over to this small bungalow converted into a contemporary family home in Perth, Australia, to see another one of Davis Architects’ portfolio pieces. Maybe you’ll find the inspiration you were looking for there. Enjoy and share!

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G House in Bucharest Celebrating Relaxation and Social Interaction

Envisioned by Nuca Studio (you may remember their playful family cafe design we presented on Freshome a while back), G House is a contemporary residence located in Bucharest, Romania. According to the architects, the owners are constantly surrounded by friends and relatives, which dictated the layout of the project: “The building was thus designed as a shifted, irregular volume, ensuring the existence of several centres of interest on each of the two levels, and, at the same time, the opening of several areas towards the outside.” Fluidity is the main attribute of the design scheme, meant to encourage a high degree of interaction.

Ensuring a healthy family ambiance mean tintegrating outdoor spaces for relaxation in the overall design: “In order to include the courtyard into this structure, the passage to the outside, namely to the terrace, itself partially covered by the upper floor volume, is done through a large glazed surface, for which the architects used the narrowest available frame. The ground floor contains several technical areas, the entry access, a few bathrooms as well as a working space, while the upper level houses the four differently sized bedrooms, their originally decorated adjacent bathroom and a play area.” Enjoy the virtual tour!
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Provocative Modern Earth Home in the Heart of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast

Architect Luca Marastoni in collaboration with interior designer firm BONVECCHIO have completed House in Sardinia, a daring modern residential project. Situated on the first line of the Gulf of Portisco, in the heart of Sardinia Emerald coast, the residence stands out due to its concrete structures pierced by windows and green rooftops. An outdoor shell pool surrounded by a lovely teak deck, a jacuzzi and a private beach are reasons enough for the inhabitants of this “earth home” to come out of their luxurious crib.

Step inside and you will be immersed in a soothing atmosphere: “The interiors are characterized by a strong contrast between concrete surfaces and the warm tones of wood. The furniture and the floor are completely customized, all realized in oak, treated in different shades, and solid too. The kitchen is defined by a long marble top with a dedicated breakfast area and walls covered by oak.” A custom-designed sofa in the living room invites guests to relax and enjoy the lovely bay views, while the dining area beckons for romantic meals. According to the designers, all the five en-suite bedrooms have tailored desks, beds and cabinets. [Photography by Alessandro Gadotti]
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Provokative Modern Earth Home in the Heart of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast

Architect Luca Marastoni in collaboration with interior designer firm BONVECCHIO have completed House in Sardinia, a daring modern residential project. Situated on the first line of the Gulf of Portisco, in the heart of Sardinia Emerald coast, the residence stands out due to its concrete structures pierced by windows and green rooftops. An outdoor shell pool surrounded by a lovely teak deck, a jacuzzi and a private beach are reasons enough for the inhabitants of this “earth home” to come out of their luxurious crib.

Step inside and you will be immersed in a soothing atmosphere: “The interiors are characterized by a strong contrast between concrete surfaces and the warm tones of wood. The furniture and the floor are completely customized, all realized in oak, treated in different shades, and solid too. The kitchen is defined by a long marble top with a dedicated breakfast area and walls covered by oak.” A custom-designed sofa in the living room invites guests to relax and enjoy the lovely bay views, while the dining area beckons for romantic meals. According to the designers, all the five en-suite bedrooms have tailored desks, beds and cabinets. [Photography by Alessandro Gadotti]
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Difficult Run Residence in Virginia Parading An Abundance of Outdoor Living Spaces

Bordering a stream in Mclean, Virginia, this green, steep seven-acre lot accommodated an old building known as the Difficult Run Residence. Robert M. Gurney Architect took on the challenge of renovating the construction and extending it with a detached garage and guest house. Additionally, “stone paths and stairways, corten steel walls, gabion stone walls, a swimming pool with an infinity edge, a reflecting pool, terraces, decks, and structured plantings continue to organize the site and provide an abundance of outdoor living spaces.” The simple narrow, meandering driveway on the property was thus replaced by a rich and visually appealing landscaped environment.

Initially built in 1965, the building was gloomy and cluttered: “The space was wrapped in a muted palette of materials including dark flagstone flooring, gray stone walls and fireplaces, and dark wood walls and ceilings. In renovating the main house, all interior finishes were stripped, walls were removed, spaces were opened up and windows were enlarged and replaced, in an effort to reflect the light rather than absorb it. A series of small additions were implemented as required and located within the footprint of the existing roof.” Complex and rejuvenating, the villa is now a holiday-inspiring refuge offering pleasant surprises at every step. [Photography by Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer]
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Dental Clinic in Sydney Built Around a Sculptural Wooden Installation

On one of Sydney’s high-end retail streets Pedra Silva Architects were invited to design a high-level state of the art dental clinic. The client requested two receptions with two entrances that could function separately but without compromising the sense of spaciousness and its relationship with people passing by. In the same space there was a stubborn structural column that seemed to impose itself in all the attempts of trying to integrate it into the design. The solution? Answering the brief and magically making the column disappear!


To achieve this, the architects created a sculptural wooden element that serves as a filter between the two reception areas. This element serves a dual function: allowing for partial vision between spaces by separating them and at the same time making the concrete column vanish! Built from suspended wooden planks that start with narrow elements that then widen to engulf the existing column, this element was a response to a premise and became the predominant feature working as a space generator, influencing the ceiling and other elements.

The remaining space of the clinic is arranged around a central corridor that starts in the reception area that connects all the intricate parts of the dental clinic, from examination areas, surgeries, client areas and technical spaces. In the middle of this corridor you find a transparent central core made of glass allowing natural light inside. The architects conclude:”In summary this is a space where complex procedures are performed and we tried to create a corresponding space that communicates this level of sophistication leaving a positive and memorable impression on the patients who used it.” [Photos and information provided by Pedra Silva Architects; Photo credits: Fernando Guerra]
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Timeless Copper Corner Residence Blending Traditional Detailing with Modern Simplicity

On a heavily wooded corner lot in an established neighborhood of Mississauga, Ontario, sits Copper Corner Residence, a timeless home envisioned by David Small Designs. Dark painted wood emphasizes the bold roof-lines, while light-colored stone adds warmth to the façade. And the most outstanding feature, the leaded copper roof, creates character and architectural interest. The leaded copper not only adds aesthetic intrigue to the home, bringing out the charcoal colour of the stone, but plays a functional role as well. It is a highly durable material with an incredible lifespan. As the home ages, the leaded copper will change colour, developing a beautiful silver-gray patina that will deepen over time. This home is a prime example of traditional detailing mixed with modern simplicity.

The traditional gabled roofline is executed in a minimalistic way (clean lines, no shutters or brackets). The result is transitional architecture; a design style that merges the warmth and comfort of traditional architecture with the modern ideals of minimalism and open concept living. The elements of the design – the mix of exterior materials (stone, wood, stucco, leaded copper), the rows of windows enveloping the copper corner, the warm colour palette, and the preservation of a significant mature tree stand – work together to perfectly integrate the home with its natural surroundings. [Information provided via e-mail by David Small Designs; Photography by Jason Hartog] ontario residence (1) ontario residence (2) ontario residence (4) ontario residence (5) ontario residence (7) ontario residence (8) ontario residence (9) ontario residence (10) ontario residence (11) ontario residence (12) ontario residence (13) ontario residence (14) ontario residence (15) ontario residence (16) ontario residence (17)

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Playful Gift for an Architect: “Fantastic Cities” Coloring Book by Steve McDonald

Once in a while, we love to find something “worthy” enough to catch an architect’s attention if offered to him or her as a gift. Canadian artist Steve McDonald created Fantastic Cities, an eye-catching coloring book filled with intricate illustrations. The project has a distinctive large square-format and features 60 cities from around the world, including Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, Guadalajara, New York and many more. We think of this book as one of those rare things that you come across and pause for a moment: it is captivating, provocative and possibly addictive for anyone who happens to take a sneak peek inside.

The unconventional relaxation tool for architects is currently available for purchase on Amazon, at a cost of £9.93. “This coloring book features immersive aerial views of real cities from around the world alongside gorgeously illustrated, Inception-like architectural mandalas. The project offers absorbingly complex vistas to color—nearly 60—including a selection of mind-bending labyrinthine architectural illustrations for still deeper meditative coloring adventures and imaginative flights of fancy”, explained Steve McDonald. Have fun trying to identify the places depicted in the illustrations below! Do you think this coloring book would make for an interesting architects’ gift?
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Designed to Boost Creativity: Contemporary Madison Residence in Kansas City, USA

When designing Madison Residence in Kansas City, Missouri, the architects at KEM Studio decided to put aside functionality (as a starting point for the design) and create something inspired by the owners’ lifestyle. Three main directions were identified during the research process: “The first was for the new house to be modern, minimal and sustainable: focus on the experience with volume, light and interactions more than square footage. Second was to emphasize the interaction of the house with the site and hillside: draw from the owner’s rural background and her unconventional, creative interpretations. The third was direction was super-efficiency”. Despite a small budget, this contemporary home is low maintenance and sustainable.

These three challenges were approached with originality: “The design met those goals and responded to her lifestyle as a writer, musician, runner, cinephile and creative spirit. Functionally it translates into a 1,200 sf, two-bedroom, two-bath home on a modest budget”, explained the architects. The gallery below unveils a spacious home encouraging social activities and entertainment. A minimalist design approach was needed in order to spark creativity at all levels. How would you comment on the overall look and feel of this residence? [Photography: Mike Sinclair]
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