A storage shed is transformed into a bespoke light-filled home in London

May 17, 2018 by  
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London-based architecture firm De Rosee Sa has given an old storage shed a new lease on life by converting it into a bright, bespoke family home. Sandwiched between terraced gardens and a row of 16 West London garages, the shed — renamed the Courtyard House — was brilliantly renovated, despite challenging regulations that included height limitations and the requirement that any new form must match the existing gable outline. Divided into two floors, the Courtyard House organizes the communal areas and the first bedroom on the ground floor, while the basement level houses a second bedroom that opens up to a private external courtyard . The architects solved the challenge of bringing light into the narrow 121-foot-long site by adding three external courtyards accessed through Crittal-style steel and glass doors. The home achieves its bright and airy atmosphere with crisp white walls, balanced by timber floors and black steel framing. Related: Fairytale-inspired lakeside cabin is made from locally felled and milled timber Western red cedar battens line the internal walls of the courtyards in a nod to the site’s history as a timber yard. The wood is also used inside to frame small spaces including the bathroom, study and utility room. “We worked very hard in the initial stages to convince the clients that developing this house was a risk worth taking,” said Max de Rosee, Director of De Rosee Sa Architects. “The most satisfying aspects of the project is the top light that pours into the interiors and the long views through the courtyards. Once inside, you forget that this house is in London.” + De Rosee Sa Via Dwell Images by Alex James Photography

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A storage shed is transformed into a bespoke light-filled home in London

Dreamy cabin is the perfect lakeside escape for large families

February 16, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based YH2 Architecture has given the traditional lakeside cottage a modern refresh in Window on the Lake, a minimalist timber cabin that derives its name from its stunning glazed end wall. Located just steps away from the shores of Lac Plaisant in Quebec’s Mauricie region, the gabled dwelling features a clean and minimalist design so as not to detract from its surroundings. The spacious family cottage sleeps up to 12 across two floors. Built of timber inside and out, Window on the Lake was designed to “capture the essence of cottage life” by creating a sense of warmth and connection with nature. The gabled building is clad entirely in white cedar that will develop a patina as it weathers over time. “The balloon frame, with its exposed wooden studs and joists painted white, gives the building a unique rhythm of shadow and light,” wrote the architects. “This is the cottage as an expression of the art of living: a gentle, simple, pure way of life.” Related: Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact The south facade closest to the lake is fully transparent to provide the open-plan living area with stunning lake views. The glazed gabled wall lets in sunlight and warmth during the cold months, while an extended roof overhang and mature trees mitigate solar heat gain in summer. Three large vertically oriented glazed panels punctuate the east and west facades to strengthen the connection with nature throughout the home. The cottage also includes two ground-floor bedrooms and a large, open sleeping area on the second floor. + YH2 Architecture Photo credit: Francis Pelletier

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Dreamy cabin is the perfect lakeside escape for large families

Wooden home designed to withstand extreme weather assembled in just two days

February 15, 2018 by  
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Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna created this stunning prefab wooden home on the remote Dutch island of Vlieland. Tucked into the rolling landscape, the elegant structure rises out of the dunes with a majestic asymmetrical pitched black roof. Het Kulkje Vlieland was built on location in a mere two days, and it’s designed to blend into its environment and to withstand the extreme weather often found on the island. Considering the delicate nature of the landscape, the building process was a challenge for the architects. Additionally, the project had to overcome a few legal limits as well because new constructions are no longer permitted in the area. Between 1930 and 1970 about 200 holiday homes were built on this part of the island, but further construction had been limited to protect the natural state of the pristine area . Accordingly, the architects had to tear down an existing structure to create a new one, but had to respect the limited construction parameters of the prior structure. Related: Elegant Flying Point home rises gracefully out of restored sand dunes To reduce its footprint, the wooden structure was completely manufactured off-site. Once all of the pieces were on location, the entire construction process took just 2 days to mount, which is shocking considering the rugged landscape. The three-story home has a spacious living area on the first floor, which is surrounded by glazed walls to provide beautiful views of the natural surroundings from any angle. The bedrooms are located on the top floor, which leads up to a large attic space that can be used as an office or guest room. However, it is the lower level of the home, which is sunken beneath the level of the dunes, that is the heart of the design. This “hidden” level of the home is tucked deep into the landscape, virtually obscured from view from the outside. Once on the inside, however, the space is flooded with natural light and provides sweeping views of the dunes. + Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna Via Archdaily Images by Borren Staalenhoef Architecten BV bna  

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Wooden home designed to withstand extreme weather assembled in just two days

Abandoned house transformed into a gorgeous sanctuary on a remote Chinese mountain

November 29, 2017 by  
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This rustic sanctuary nestled in a remote village in China combines modernity and vernacular design to extraordinary effect. Architecture studio RSAA approached the home renovation with a strong sense of respect for the history of the building and its stunning natural surroundings. The original house, nested on the top of a mountain in the north of Anhui Province, China , was uninhabited for years until the owner decided to renovate it into a modern residence. The design team introduced dramatic changed to the space, cutting, lowering and rebuilding parts of the house to facilitate optimal views of the surroundings and accommodate new functions. Related: Decrepit cave transformed into a beautiful modern home in China New and old coexist in the renovated house, with semi-private and semi-open areas creating a more complex spatial flow. At the core of the structure is an outdoor atrium that was once an indoor space. Here, the original gable has been transformed into a decorative wall that blocks vertical views of the living room and bedrooms. Old bricks were used to rebuild one of the original walls at the site. In the process of rebuilding the wall, many old bricks were cut into slices and used as traditional decoration to hide the steel structure inside. The architects emphasized the junction between different kinds of materials and employed local craftsmen who used traditional building techniques . + RSAA Via Archdaily Lead photo by SU Shengliang

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Abandoned house transformed into a gorgeous sanctuary on a remote Chinese mountain

Man buries 42 school buses to build North America’s largest nuclear fallout shelter

November 29, 2017 by  
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When doomsday arrives, Bruce and Jean Beach have no intention of elbowing their neighbors for space. The retired couple, who reside on 12.5 acres in the rural town of Horning’s Mills just outside of Toronto, Canada, have built themselves a massive, 10,000-square-foot underground bunker. Beyond being the largest private nuclear fallout shelter in North America (as far as we know, at least), the post-apocalyptic den has also been craftily built using 42 decommissioned school buses entombed in concrete. Dubbed “The Ark Two,” the creation, spearheaded by 83-year-old Bruce Beach, sits 15 feet beneath the earth and can accommodate 500 people for several months. The bunker has in fact been designed to support a community, equipped with everything from months worth of food supplies to plumbing, a well, kitchen, laundry, library, dentist, nursery, daycare, ER/surgery room, and even a morgue. And why buses? He says they were cheap (just $300 a pop) and have reinforced steel roofs, which make for ideal bomb shelter molds. Related: Reclaimed Bunker Offers Doomsday Luxury Accommodations Beach built the shelter 35 years ago he says “not for survival, but rather for the reconstruction of society” after an atomic catastrophe. He told the  National Post,  “People think, ‘What a nut,’ and I know that, but I don’t mind, I understand the world looks upon me that way.” Indeed, Beach’s endeavor has not been free of conflict. Because he built the shelter without a permit, he’s been in and out of court over 30 times with the Canadian government. Officials want the bunker welded shut, citing public safety issues. However, Beach argues that “it’s the very opposite of something that is hazardous,” rather “something that is protective in hazardous situations.” To try to win public support, Beach has built relationships with the media to drum up positive publicity—and it’s worked. For the time being, officials have backed off. Beach now even holds volunteer opportunities and “work weekends” at the site. Visitors who are willing to put in a little elbow grease are guaranteed admission into the Ark—that is, “so long as they do so before the catastrophe occurs,” Beach writes on his site . “I used to always say the end of the world was going to be two years from now,” said Beach to the National Post. “But now I say it is going to be two weeks from now—and if I am wrong, I will revise my date.” Via Oddity Central All images via Bruce Beach’s website

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Man buries 42 school buses to build North America’s largest nuclear fallout shelter

Five small buildings and a shared courtyard create a stunning summerhouse in Denmark

January 4, 2017 by  
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This summer house is Denmark, built for a family of five and a dog, is split up into five separate buildings organized around a spacious courtyard . Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter drew inspiration from traditional farm buildings in order to provide privacy to each of the residents and create a variety of valuable open spaces where the family can come together and enjoy the outdoors. The house is located in a windy village on the northern tip of Sjælland, the largest and most populated island in Denmark . Laid out in a star shape, the five separate houses house different functions-there is a kitchen building, parents building, children’s building, guest building and utility building. Each of the volumes have roofs with different angles, while the ridges and cornices are kept on the same height. Related: Tiny Wedge-Shaped Writer’s Cottage Hangs Off a Hillside in Norway In addition to providing privacy to the occupants, this pavilion-like layout also has a practical purpose–it shields the courtyard from strong winds, thus enabling the family and their guests to spend more time outdoors. The roofs and walls of the buildings are clad with corrugated sheets of aluminium , the gable walls are clad with Siberian Larch, while the inner courtyard features dark stone paving to store heat from the day throughout the evening. + Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter Via Contemporist Photos by Torben Petersen

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Five small buildings and a shared courtyard create a stunning summerhouse in Denmark

Five small buildings and a shared courtyard create a stunning summerhouse in Denmark

January 4, 2017 by  
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This summer house is Denmark, built for a family of five and a dog, is split up into five separate buildings organized around a spacious courtyard . Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter drew inspiration from traditional farm buildings in order to provide privacy to each of the residents and create a variety of valuable open spaces where the family can come together and enjoy the outdoors. The house is located in a windy village on the northern tip of Sjælland, the largest and most populated island in Denmark . Laid out in a star shape, the five separate houses house different functions-there is a kitchen building, parents building, children’s building, guest building and utility building. Each of the volumes have roofs with different angles, while the ridges and cornices are kept on the same height. Related: Tiny Wedge-Shaped Writer’s Cottage Hangs Off a Hillside in Norway In addition to providing privacy to the occupants, this pavilion-like layout also has a practical purpose–it shields the courtyard from strong winds, thus enabling the family and their guests to spend more time outdoors. The roofs and walls of the buildings are clad with corrugated sheets of aluminium , the gable walls are clad with Siberian Larch, while the inner courtyard features dark stone paving to store heat from the day throughout the evening. + Jarmund/Vigsnæs Arkitekter Via Contemporist Photos by Torben Petersen

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Five small buildings and a shared courtyard create a stunning summerhouse in Denmark

Each room of this Swedish villa extends outward for a private lakeside view

July 6, 2016 by  
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Villa Sunnanö is a few hours northwest of Stockholm on land surrounded by an expansive lake, picturesque boulders, and greenery on all sides. Hans Murman, founder of Merman Arkitekter, told Dezeen , “We wanted to take advantage of the site’s unique conditions and make a dwelling with maximum contact with the surrounding nature and water but with respect to privacy.” Related: Plus energy Villa Bondö overlooks beautiful lakeside in Sweden Each major room of the home features its own gable and patio, extended outward from the center of the structure. The view from inside is almost as spectacular as from the patio itself, as the vaulted ceilings frame the landscape in a breathtaking manner. Each point in the home receives unique sunlight throughout the day, as well, giving every room its own glow and character. The roof and all timber cladding are treated with iron sulphate, which will help the wood match the surrounding grey hues as it ages. Additional features of the home include an existing log cabin that was renovated to be storage space and a footbridge extending from the central patio toward the lake. +Murman Arkitekter Via Dezeen Images via Åke E:som Lindman

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Each room of this Swedish villa extends outward for a private lakeside view

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