This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

September 3, 2020 by  
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Rye-based architectural practice RX Architects has completed a charming cabin at the edge of a lake in Brabourne, an English village within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty about a two-hour drive from London. Dubbed the Lake Cabin, the gabled nature retreat is wrapped in natural wood that will develop a patina over time to help blend the building into the landscape. The remote cabin can only be accessed by a woodland trail, which is inaccessible by vehicles and enjoys uninterrupted views across the lake and to the countryside beyond. Positioned to face north, the Lake Cabin sits at the southern edge of the lake against a backdrop of dense forest. Connection with nature was paramount in the design, which features a natural materials palette, large walls of glazing and a wooden deck that cantilevers over the water. The gabled building is clad in a combination of rough sawn, wide English oak planks as well as thin, narrow-planed English oak planks. “This is combined with a concrete datum line to the base of the building, which steps up to create a concrete bench and log store,” the architects added. Related: A homey, floating cabin makes for the ultimate romantic getaway in South Australia The pared-back design approach continues to the interior of the exposed timber-framed structure, which is covered in limed Douglas fir boards. A bronze seamed roof tops the building for a visual contrast with the timber cladding. The roof extends over the southern and western elevations to provide the L-shaped, cantilevered deck some protection from the elements and unwanted solar gain. Two walls of sliding glass along the south and west sides of the home open up to the deck and create a seamless indoor/outdoor experience with the lake. Like the architectural design, the interior layout is also restrained and centers on a large, open-plan living area, dining space and kitchen that connects with the outdoor deck. A wet room is tucked away near the main entrance, and stairs and a ladder lead up to a lofted sleeping area above.  + RX Architects Photography by Ashley Gendek via RX Architects

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This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape

War ruins are reborn as a sustainable home in Lebanon

October 11, 2018 by  
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Having survived the Lebanese Civil War as a torture and detention center for militia forces, The House With Two Lives has a colorful past to say the least. So when Lebanese design practice Nabil Gholam Architects was asked to renovate the structure — originally built as a resort building in the 1930s — the firm took its time to sensitively pick apart the site’s history and breathe new and positive life into the property. Described as a “difficult exorcism,” the design process saw the reuse of the historic ruins and the insertion of a brand new home celebrating nature and sustainable design, from rainwater harvesting systems to passive cooling strategies. Located near the Lebanese mountain village of Bois de Boulogne and surrounded by beautiful pine forests, the House With Two Lives was designed to blend in with its idyllic surroundings. To “cleanse the house of its troubled history,” the architects introduced new plant growth to camouflage the building into the landscape, from vines that climb over the ruins to more than 1,000 pine trees planted in the garden, including umbrella pines, oak trees, cork trees, Lebanese cedars and more. The site has also gained a new rose garden. The theme of regrowth and revival has also been applied to the architecture of the house, which comprises a three-story main house of 2,000 square meters as well as an annex and guard house of 850 square meters. The new additions to the existing 1,500-square-meter stone ruins of the main house were articulated as a series of Corten steel -clad boxes that will develop a patina over time and are perforated with tree-shaped patterns. Sustainability guided the design of the renovated structure, which is built with high-performance insulation and follows passive solar strategies. The home also harvests solar energy for winter heating and uses rainwater collection systems. Related: Modern alpine home is built on the ruins of an old rustic structure “The case of this house is as dreadful as it is beautiful,” said the architects, who spent months stripping the existing structure of leftover torture devices, black ashes and graffiti. “The story behind it and the testimonials backing it makes it stand as a powerful message. The House With Two Lives restores faith in man’s will to fight and is with no doubt an example of an architectural work of high precision.” + Nabil Gholam Architects Photography by Geraldine Bruneel, Nabil Gholam, Joe Kesrouani and Richard Saad via Nabil Gholam Architects

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War ruins are reborn as a sustainable home in Lebanon

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