Handsome timber-clad extension embraces Australias great outdoors

August 3, 2018 by  
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When the residents of a home in Eganstown, Australia, decided to add a modest extension to their house, they were looking for more than just extra breathing room. Enlisting the help of Melbourne-based emerging design practice Solomon Troup Architects , they envisioned the extension as a way to more fully embrace the expansive hillside landscape. The resulting structure—named the Limerick House—does just that, all while referencing the outdoors with its natural materials palette . Covering an area of nearly 2,100 square feet, the Limerick House offers a twist on the original home’s pitched forms with an asymmetrical gabled roof inspired by the lean-to timber shearing sheds found throughout the local landscape. “The gabled form of the addition responds to the existing pitched roofs of the existing house,” explains Solomon Troup Architects. “The new addition has the same dimensions and shape as the existing three railway cottages used to build the existing house, but is sloped on the eastern boundary to create a doorway, used to link the house to another existing house on the property.” In another nod to the local sheds , the new extension is built mainly from timber. Spotted gum decking boards—stained black—clad the exterior and will develop a silvery patina over time. In contrast to the dark facade, the interior is lined with light-colored silvertop ash boards, which the architects say give the addition the look of a “warm winter weekend cabin.” Related: A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience The extension houses an open-plan kitchen and dining area, freeing up room in the main house, which now includes a master ensuite, two bedrooms and a living room that opens up to a cozy den through a sliding door. A massive steel-framed pivoting door opens the new structure up to the outdoors and a spacious timber deck partly sheltered by a deep roof overhang. Large windows let in plenty of natural light and views. + Solomon Troup Architects Via ArchDaily Images by Tatjana Plitt

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Handsome timber-clad extension embraces Australias great outdoors

Man converts old ambulance into a traveling tiny home on wheels

August 3, 2018 by  
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Ebay may be filled with trash that many turn into treasure, but one man has taken it a step further by converting an old ambulance into a gorgeous tiny home on wheels . Ian Dow purchased the ambulance in 2016 and promptly got to work customizing the space into a dream home built for adventure – one that even comes complete with a rooftop sundeck. Unlike many bus and van conversions built on the owners’ dreams, Ian’s tiny home on wheels was built on pain. “I’d been searching for a van to convert and was blinded by the Sprinter fad,” Dow told ABC News . “After getting burned by a Craigslist seller — he backed out after I drove 12 hours to buy his Sprinter — I was depressed and I crashed my motorcycle. Then I had an epiphany. I was in pain and needed some emergency help. Sitting on the couch that night with a busted shoulder, I searched eBay for ambulances, found a cheap one, and even Google Earthed the charity listed as the seller, finding the ambulance parked right outside.” Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The Newport Beach native purchased the old ambulance for $2,800 and began the renovating process by gutting most of the interior and retrofitting the old life-saver into a customized tiny home on wheels . To make efficient use of the space, he installed some seriously flexible features. For starters, Dow installed beautiful teak floors that run the length of the living space. The subway-tiled kitchen is a space-saver, with built-in shelves and plenty of storage areas to avoid clutter. A collapsible hardwood table, used for eating or working, can be stowed when not in use. There’s even a cedar-lined closet for Dow’s clothing. The sofa folds out into a bed, and an additional wooden plank – stored in a closet – extends to create extra sleeping or lounging space. Unique to the design is the former equipment closet located on the exterior, which Ian converted into an outdoor shower – perfect for enjoying incredible views while cleaning up after a long day of hiking or surfing. And, as if the beautiful interior weren’t enough, he added a sundeck on the ambulance’s roof, complete with an extendable umbrella. Dow, Dino the dog and their friend, Dylan, have been traveling for the last few years in the converted home on wheels. You can follow their adventures on Instagram . + Ian Dow Via Little Things and ABC News Images via Ian Dow

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Man converts old ambulance into a traveling tiny home on wheels

A massive gabled roof protects this minimalist timber home from the snow

July 24, 2018 by  
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Linz-based architecture practice mia2/ Architektur has completed a charming minimalist home defined by a massive gabled roof in Pyhrn-Priel Holiday Region, an alpine region in Upper Austria. Located on a sloped site, the timber home — dubbed Haus L — was designed to embrace the outdoors with full-height operable glazing that frames beautiful rural views. The dwelling also has an eco-friendly focus with its limited footprint and use of natural materials, including cellulose insulation. Split into two levels covering 1,679 square feet, Haus L was commissioned by a young family that desired “a calm, clear architecture made of wood, concrete and glass.” Its simple yet modern design harmonizes with the rural landscape and vernacular. The top-heavy home features a concrete base and is mostly clad in light-colored timber inside and out, save for the gabled portion that is clad in stained timber . The architects partly embedded the ground floor into the earth; the master bedroom, living room and entrance can be found on this lowest level. A short set of steps to the left of the entrance leads up to a slightly elevated terrace-like space housing the kitchen and dining room. Here, sliding glass doors and the double-height ceiling create a spacious, indoor-outdoor experience. The dining room also connects to an outdoor terrace . Three additional bedrooms can be found upstairs. Skylights and a large round window let daylight into the upper floor. Related: Minimalist timber home gracefully blends into the Austrian landscape “The solid timber house with its precisely chosen elements is simple and complex at once,” explained mia2/ Architektur in a project statement. “Simplicity comes from the clear structure and proportion of base, ground floor and roof. Complexity comes from spatial variety. At the high part of the slope, the ground floor is located half a meter below terrain level, which creates a living space embedded by grassland. Downward, the kitchen and living room is given enough space to unfold up to the ridge.” + mia2/ Architektur Via ArchDaily Images by Kurt Hörbst

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A massive gabled roof protects this minimalist timber home from the snow

Light-filled Lake Cottage with a zigzagging roof is embedded into the hillside

June 1, 2018 by  
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Architecture firm artek created a site-specific holiday home lodged into the hillside by a lake in El Peñol, a Colombian town renowned for its massive 650-foot-tall monolith. In a nod to the hilly environment (and perhaps the town’s famous monolith), the Lake Cottage is topped with a series of steep gables joined together to create a dramatic zigzagging roofline. Large sliding doors and windows as well as an outdoor stone patio blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. Completed in 2016, the Lake Cottage covers two floors with an area of 1,076 square feet. The home is oriented northeast to face the Guatape Reservoir and the fjords, peninsulas and islands beyond. The cottage consists of five interconnected gabled structures, with the rightmost structure serving as the entrance. The entrance is marked by a fully glazed gabled end wall, however only the left halves of the four other end walls are glazed. The zigzagging roofline extends slightly outward to shade the home from unwanted solar heat gain. “The composition of the construction elements (Tekton) are arranged in an ideal order, the stereotomic constraints make up the platforms, the interior walls are emptied monolithic concrete with EPS soul that allow achieving the asymmetric trapezoidal silhouettes in a rhythm of full and empty,” the architects wrote. “This as a cloak protects the house from the ‘natural antagonist phenomenon.’” Related: Kengo Kuma’s new community center hides a hilly indoor landscape under its zigzag-roof The interior is finished in light-colored wood. The large glazed openings, in addition to the row of clerestory windows in the rear, let in natural light. The home comprises an open-plan living area, dining room and kitchen to the north and also includes three ensuite bathrooms, one of which is located on the smaller lower level. The upper level opens up to an outdoor terrace that connects to the boat dock and rear parking pad via a stepping-stone path. + artek Via ArchDaily Images by Sergio Gómez

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Light-filled Lake Cottage with a zigzagging roof is embedded into the hillside

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

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