Glass elements dramatically open up a solar-powered Sydney home

July 16, 2018 by  
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In Sydney’s affluent suburb of Kirribilli, a contemporary solar-powered home stands out from its Victorian manor neighbors. Local design practice Bijl Architecture reworked an existing semi-detached home into the Doorzien House, a two-story home that takes full advantage of its sweeping Sydney harbor views. In addition to floor-to-ceiling glazing installed in the rear of the house, glass elements are used throughout the home — in the form of skylights, flooring, highlight panels and balustrades — to fill the interior with light. The clients tapped Bijl Architecture to design a home that pursued a modern typology. To satisfy the project brief and comply with local heritage expectations, the architects restored and preserved the home’s traditional street-facing facade while inserting a contemporary zinc -clad addition to the rear side of the house that draws inspiration from the neighborhood’s naval and industrial history. The back of the property is opened up to the outdoors and overlooks views of Careening Cove, Neutral Harbor and Kurraba Point. “To embrace our clients’ desired openness and connectivity between the floor levels and surrounding context, we dismantled the existing plan,” the architects explained. “The broad Sydney Harbor view and neighboring vistas are exploited by the hybridized living spaces, while each room retains its individual focus and remains intimate and warm through the material palette and layered lighting. We oriented living spaces to the rear; multiple interior viewlines serve as a counterpoint to the expansive harbor views. This approach continues to the rear garden, with bleacher-style steps moderating the level change, extending the study and sitting room interiors to form a third living space.” Related: This self-sustaining Australian home harvests its own food, energy, and water A 3.5kW system of Nu-Lok solar roof tiles was the first approved installation for a NSW conservation area. The solar system and Redback Technologies’ Gen II inverter and battery are part of the clients’ plan to eventually move their home off-grid . + Bijl Architecture Images by Katherine Lu

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Glass elements dramatically open up a solar-powered Sydney home

Delightfully surprising green-roofed island home cascades down a rocky slope

June 25, 2018 by  
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Anchored to a pine-studded slope, the Bailer Hill house is designed to evoke a natural rock outcropping. Seattle-based Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects completed this cascading stack of timber-clad boxes in the San Juan Islands for a retired couple who wanted to feel at one with the surroundings. Faced with glazed sliding doors and topped with feathery green roof patios, the home blends in with the landscape and embraces it through panoramic views. Inspired by Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects’ previous projects, the clients sought out the firm to help replace the existing converted garage on their San Juan Islands property with a “delightfully surprising” home. The clients worked closely with the architects in a highly collaborative process that led to an unconventional and site-sensitive design carefully sited to mitigate the steep slope and to capture the incredible views. The 3,228-square-foot home, which is spread out across four levels, comprises an open living area, dining room and kitchen on the ground floor that is also linked to a reading room and rear office. The master suite is located on the basement level, while the guest room and studio are placed in the upper two volumes. “Looking out over expansive water views, this house is the expression of the clients’ desire to connect to both the immediate landscape and the view beyond,” the architects explained. “Cascading organically down the hill, the house remains firmly rooted to the earth even as it rises high above the ground. It is a complex form with a simple goal: capturing the beauty of this spectacular site.” Related: Green-roofed vacation home embraces old-growth trees in the San Juan Islands The stacked formation allowed the architects to create a series of grass-roofed patios accessible from large lift-slide doors. Each volume is carefully rotated to capture select views. Natural light pours into the interior through these large doors as well as through the clusters of small rectangular windows. + Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects Images by Eirik Johnson

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Delightfully surprising green-roofed island home cascades down a rocky slope

This trippy tea house in Shanghai is built from 999 handmade timber sticks

June 13, 2018 by  
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Chinese design studio MINAX Architects have combined contemporary architecture with traditional Chinese tea drinking rituals in the ONE Teahouse, a cocoon-like space crafted from 999 handmade wooden sticks. Spanning an area of just 17.86 square meters (about 59 square feet), the compact tea house is a result of the renovation of an existing timber structure in Shanghai’s Hongkou District. The architects completed the project over the course of three months. Tea has long been an important part of traditional Chinese culture. However, with the advent of tea bags and busy lifestyles, the historic rituals surrounding tea are often overlooked or forgotten. With ONE Teahouse, MINAX Architects wanted to create a space where drinking a cup of tea would be elevated into an act of spiritual significance. Drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese wooden architecture, MINAX Architects inserted handmade wooden sticks of varying lengths into the oriented strand board walls of a rectangular room. Each stick was cut to a different angle and length to create the illusion of an ellipsoidal space. At the center of the space is a low “YI ZHANG” tea table by Shanghai-based furniture designers MINAXDO surrounded by six seats. LED lights illuminate the interior. Related: ARCHSTUDIO inserts a modern teahouse into an ancient Chinese structure “On one side of the room, a round window faces the urban road, while a square doorway is adjacent to a garden on the other side,” MINAX Architects wrote. “That is because [we] were inspired by an old Chinese saying —’The circle has a tread of auto-rotating, and the square has a tread of stable.’ The specificity of the space brings the people strong psychological hints. The theme of the teahouse is ‘ONE.’ ‘ONE’ and ‘RESTART’ are two words of the space where we could reach a higher state of consciousness.” + MINAX Architects Images by Zhigang Lu

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This trippy tea house in Shanghai is built from 999 handmade timber sticks

Edgy black slats conceal a surprisingly light-filled interior in this Brisbane home

October 16, 2017 by  
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Brisbane-based Bureau Proberts  designed a beautiful home whose wonderfully bright interior is completely concealed by its edgy black exterior. The Bardon House is clad in vertical black slats to provide the homeowners with the utmost privacy and shade from the harsh sun, but the interior is anything but dark. Illuminated by an abundance of natural light thanks to multiple windows and a large skylight in the roof, the interior is vibrant and airy. From the outside, the shape of three-story home mimics the surrounding landscape, gradually sloping to either side of the home. The resulting angular shape is continued throughout the interior where the large sloped ceilings create an open living space, which is flooded in natural light thanks to a large skylight installed at the apex of the ceiling. Most of the interior color scheme is neutral with natural white walls and grey tile flooring, but the windows and doors are framed in a beautiful dark-stained timber for contrast. Related: Elegant timber extension uses angular volumes to maximize natural light The main living area is located on the first floor while the bedrooms are located on the second level. From the living room, sliding glass doors open into beautiful open-air space courtyard filled with greenery . The architects describe the space as “a veranda-like thoroughfare, melding the courtyard with the landscape beyond.” The bottom level of the home has been designed as a social space, which leads out to the open-air terrace and pool area, further connecting the house to its natural surroundings. + Bureau Proberts Via Dwell Photography by Alicia Taylor

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Edgy black slats conceal a surprisingly light-filled interior in this Brisbane home

Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature

September 22, 2017 by  
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Local studio A Parallel Architecture designed the award-winning Lake Austin Residence, a beautiful luxury home that derives inspiration from nature. Despite its large 6,750-square-foot size and horizontal footprint, the contemporary house achieves a sense of lightness thanks to ample full-height glazing and limestone massing. The energy-efficient dwelling offers geothermal climate control, as well as onsite waste treatment and water collection. Spread out across two stories, the Lake Austin Residence comprises a series of stacked and staggered rectangular volumes clad in limestone brickwork and white stucco. Nearly flat roofs top the volumes, which are punctuated by large sections of glazing to let in natural light and views of the landscape. “Like a butterfly specimen pinned to its mounting, this sinuous lake-front home’s light floating roofs are anchored to its site by heavy rusticated limestone masses, while its horizontal footprint is spread out and sewn through the vertical punctuation of mature sycamore, cypress and pecan trees,” wrote the architects. Related: Dreamy summer retreat built of salvaged materials sends eclectic vibes in Austin To lend a sense of warmth to the glass and stone palette, the architects added a warm interior palette of oak, mahogany, and cedar as well as splashes of turquoise to reference the lake. The heart of the light-filled interior is a nearly double-height living room separated from the dining room and kitchen by a fireplace. The master suite is located on the right side of the house, while the three bedrooms are placed in the left wing. Sliding glass doors open the back of the property up to the outdoor stone patio, infinity pool, and Lake Austin . + A Parallel Architecture Via Dezeen Images via A Parallel Architecture

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Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature

Solar-powered Cottage in the Vineyard puts a modern spin on rural architecture

September 22, 2017 by  
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Ramón Esteve Estudio completed a minimalist mono-pitched dwelling that blends into its agricultural backdrop yet still catches the eye with its modern design. Located in the rural outskirts of Valencia, Spain, the Cottage in the Vineyard was designed to perfectly integrate into the landscape and features full-height glazing to blur the lines of indoor/outdoor living. The home also sits lightly on the landscape with its use of solar panels, natural insulation, energy-efficient lighting, and rainwater harvesting systems. Located between pine forests and grapevine fields, Cottage in the Vineyard marks a threshold between the cultivated and wild landscape. The house takes on a long linear shape made with a white concrete shell intersected by boxy thermally modified pine containers. Each pine structure features large glazed end-walls to frame views of the landscape. The structure is topped with a pitched roof in the image of a standard traditional rural house. Related: Vineyard House uses rammed earth to stay cool in Portugal’s hot summers “Environmentally, it follows the guidelines for a passive house ,” said Ramón Esteve. “Appropriate means are available to take advantage of renewable energy through the use of panels of solar energy, energy supply from biomass or collecting and storing drinkable rain water.” The Cottage in the Vineyard uses rock wool for thermal insulation. Cross ventilation is optimized through the home’s concrete spine. + Ramón Esteve Estudio Via Gessato Images by Mariela Apollonio

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Contemporary Opposite House is designed to grow with its occupants

August 8, 2016 by  
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Located on the Scarborough Bluffs, the Opposite House is split into two halves with different features. The northern street-facing half is clad in dark brick and houses the foyer, bathrooms, and an office space that can be converted into bedrooms. Few windows punctuate this side of the house in order to minimize heat loss in winter. In contrast, the southern half that overlooks Lake Ontario is built with white stucco and opens up to the outdoors with a 10-foot-high curtain wall that runs the entire length of the home and brings natural light and views into the communal spaces. An east-west corridor that runs the home’s entire 146-foot-long length and is bookended by two outsized windows and bedrooms joins the two volumes. Related: Dark 19th century workshop is converted into a bright loft-inspired home “Both outside and in, the Opposite House is at once familiar yet different, spectacular yet comfortable, private as well as public – presenting a study in subtly rendered juxtapositions,” writes the architect. “Two concepts are at work here: Louis Kahn’s “servant and served” maxim, wherein private, back-of-the-house functions are placed on one side, balanced by public relaxation on the other; and the“phototropic” nature of plants, which remain rooted in the earth while their heads blossom towards the sun – interpreted here as a north side wrapped in dark-black, textured brick and a south side presented in bright glass and smooth white stucco.” + RZLBD Images via RZLBD

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Skinny green-roofed MaHouse glows like a lantern at night

February 15, 2016 by  
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Dwell on Design is coming to NYC this Archtober

September 21, 2015 by  
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This year’s much anticipated Dwell on Design New York (DODNY), entitled Design(ed) For You , will come to SoHo on October 2-4 – an event that’s not to missed by anyone interested in the role of architecture and design in our modern world. America’s largest design show will celebrate Dwell Magazine ‘s 15 year anniversary during the month of Archtober , and will include 60,000 square feet of design installations, home tours of NYC’s most stunning residences, credit-earning education sessions, networking face-to-face with industry leaders, and a keynote conversation led by Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Vanity Fair architecture critic Paul Goldberger with renowned architect Eric Owen Moss. Visit ny.dwellondesign.com to register and receive $5 off passes by entering promo code: INHABITAT . It’s sure to be a fascinating weekend of hot topics, and we hope to see you there. Read the rest of Dwell on Design is coming to NYC this Archtober

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8 of the world’s most devastating forest fires

September 21, 2015 by  
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Wildfires continue to rage across the US, and especially in California, where they have been burning all summer long. This isn’t the first time that historic fires have devastated massive swaths of land and, with worsening drought and a warming climate, it definitely won’t be the last. Jarrimber  created the following interactive map highlighting 8 of the world’s worst forest fires as a reminder to be extra careful to avoid sparking fires during the consistently-lengthening fire season. Click on to check it out. Read the rest of 8 of the world’s most devastating forest fires

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