Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

December 12, 2017 by  
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Ellena Mehl Architects skillfully disguised a modern new extension inside the terraced gardens of a traditional Provencal farmhouse in southeast France. Located in an old hamlet dating back to before the 19th century, the new addition, named SPE House, is undeniably contemporary yet complements the historic landscape with its use of stone, a nod to the nearby retaining walls. Wild grass covers the terraced roof and minimizes the building’s visual impact on the landscape. The 120-square-meter SPE House comprises two levels: a ground floor for the living areas and a basement, connected to the kitchen of the main house, that contains two cellars, a boiler, and solar heating room. Built of concrete, the extension features an asymmetric roof that follows the site’s topography. “The extension is set within the existing terraced planes, between the main house and the stone walls, redefining new intersection lines in the landscape,” wrote the architects. “The main level is connected at half level to the house using reshaped existing stairs.” Related: Breezy addition keeps cool in Melbourne’s summers with smart passive design The main level consists of a bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. The bedroom, extruded into the landscape, is faced with a double glazed wall with a 10-millimeter-thick pane of toughened glass as the external wall and an inner curtain glass wall . Both glazed walls are operable. The double-glazing, along with a roller blind, help mitigate unwanted solar gain. + Ellena Mehl Architects Photo credit: Hervé ELLENA

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Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

Wild grasses grow atop an Icelandic homes folded roof

December 12, 2017 by  
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Wild grasses and heather temper the hard lines of this striking modern home in Iceland . Reykjavik-based Studio Granda designed B14, a villa partially built from the recycled remains of the clients’ former dwelling. The undulating landscaped roof appears to mimic the nearby Bláfjöll mountain ridge, while the roofline’s valleys and folds help collect rainwater that tricks down the walls in open copper channels. B14’s unusual fan-like roof takes inspiration from the site’s trapezoidal shape that widens on the south side. The 592-square-meter abode tucks the smaller rooms of the home, including the bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room, towards the north beneath sharply pitched roofs. The roof gently ripples out towards the south side where the spacious open-plan dining room, kitchen, and living area overlook the lava field through floor-to-ceiling windows. Related: Red Mountain Retreat captures the essence of the rugged Icelandic landscape In-situ concrete is the main material seen from the outside. In contrast, the interior predominately features rich kampala timber with exposed steel beams, and a host of other luxury surfaces like polished black granite and calacatta marble. A stairway built of sawn basalt and illuminated by a skylight leads down to a small basement workshop and storage space. + Studio Granda

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Wild grasses grow atop an Icelandic homes folded roof

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