A sleek artist studio with Passive House elements projects over a cliff

September 10, 2018 by  
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Montreal-based MU Architecture recently completed a minimalist and modern artist studio that boasts dramatic landscape views of Lake Deauville and the Laurentians’ mountainous countryside in Quebec, Canada. Conceived as a multipurpose extension , the Workshop on a Cliff covers more than 5,000 square feet of space and includes two superimposed garages, a workshop, a spacious creative room as well as a mezzanine level. The building is partially elevated on thin pillars so as not to disturb the tree line. Oriented toward the north and views of the lake, the Workshop on a Cliff takes cues from the countryside vernacular with its barn-inspired gabled form. The exterior is clad is pre-aged gray wood, and the thick exterior walls were built to meet the standards of Passive House construction. Overhangs and superior insulation were a must given the harsh climate in this region of Quebec. Joined with the main residence by a cantilevered bridge, the artist studio’s connection with the surrounding forest is echoed not only in its timber material palette but also in its series of supporting inclined columns that are arranged to evoke tree trunks. A massive glazed gable end wall is partly sheltered by a roof overhang and lets plenty of natural light and views into the interior, which is mostly open-plan with minimalist detailing to keep the focus on the outdoors. Timber cladding on the interior is paired with highly reflective polished concrete flooring. A mezzanine is set in the rear of the building. Related: Solar-powered cube home in Australia hovers over the landscape “Spacious but intimate, the interior volume accommodates large formats of paintings,” the architects said. “The minimalist play of surfaces and the rigor of the alignments put the artist’s work in scene and supports his concentration. The Workshop on a Cliff is a place of expression where architecture immerses us in creative inspiration and Nature contemplation.” + MU Architecture Images by Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard

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A sleek artist studio with Passive House elements projects over a cliff

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

A prefab chapels sculptural form amplifies the landscape in Uruguay

July 23, 2018 by  
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Perched on a hilltop in a bucolic rural landscape in Uruguay, the Sacromonte Chapel is a minimalist, prefabricated structure designed to coexist with nature in harmony. Designed by Uruguay-and Brazil-based architecture firm MAPA , this sculptural place of worship is set on one of the highest peaks in the traditional Andalusian neighborhood Sacromonte and overlooks unobstructed, panoramic views of its surroundings. The building was mainly constructed from cross-laminated timber panels and steel and was assembled onsite in just one day. Crafted as a “landscape amplifier,” the Sacromonte Chapel takes cues from its surroundings — a rolling landscape of vineyards, lagoons, hills and shelters — and features a relatively simple shape that complements the environment. The chapel comprises two cross-laminated timber panels — measuring nearly 20 by 30 feet in size — angled toward one another, like a pair of hands in prayer, without actually touching. The semi-enclosed structure simultaneously creates a defined interior while remaining open to the environment. “How should the sacred spaces of the 21st century be? The chapel ponders possible interpretations of this and other questions through its ambiguous relationship with matter, space and time,” MAPA said in a project statement. “A peaceful tension reigns when in contact with it. A tension between weight and lightness, presence and disappearance, technology and nature . Enigmatic and mystifying, it leaves its visitors with more questions than answers.” Related: Provocative timber horn explores the hypnotic pull of the unknown The Sacromonte Chapel was prefabricated in a factory in Portugal and then transported to the site for assembly. The architects strived to use as few resources as possible to make a simple and austere design statement. A black metal box faced with a sheet of translucent onyx punctuates one of the timber planes and houses a statue of the Virgin of “La Carrodilla.” A slender timber cross was installed in front of the chapel. + MAPA Images by Tali Kimelman

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A prefab chapels sculptural form amplifies the landscape in Uruguay

This yurt-inspired modern cabin is a holiday getaway in Slovakia

July 17, 2018 by  
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Bratislava-based architect Peter Jurkovi? of  JRKVC has designed a contemporary cabin by the lake that takes inspiration from traditional yurts . Created for a young married couple who own a creative studio in Bratislava, the holiday retreat — called ‘Attila’ as a nod to the nomadic tribes that used yurts in Central Asia — is located in the village of Vojka nad Dunajom, approximately 12 miles away from Slovakia’s capital city. In addition to serving as a cozy getaway, Attila also includes a meeting space where the couple can get together with clients. Set on the north bank of the Voj?ian Lake, the 775-square-foot Attila was designed to take up no more than 20 percent of the site area, which was left largely in its natural condition. A circular space forms the heart of the cabin and serves as the primary living and meeting area. Like a yurt, the round tent-like room is punctuated by a large round skylight and finished in light-colored natural materials to give it a bright and airy appearance. A large rectangular volume encloses the circular space, around which two bedrooms, a bathroom, storage and a kitchen have been inserted. The cabin can comfortably accommodate up to four people. The home is oriented toward the south to face the lake and features a 161-square-foot covered terrace . The exterior is wrapped in standard black plastic film, typically used for insulation, as well as timber lattice panels that let in light while providing some shade from the sun. Related: Yurt-inspired visitor’s center in China blends into its exceptional surroundings To create a modern and minimalist interior, the architects used light-colored timber for the walls, ceiling, flooring and furnishings. The small kitchen and bunk beds — on the right and left sides of the house upon entering — are hidden behind wooden folding doors. Flush with natural light, the yurt-like living space is anchored by a black wood-burning stove and a low round table surrounded by squat chairs. Built-in wall seating helps minimize visual clutter. The bedroom and the bathroom are set back from the main living space with a curved corridor, which obscures the rooms from view. + JRKVC Via Wallpaper Images via Peter Jurkovi?

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Award-winning Palm Springs home embraces the California climate in sustainable style

July 11, 2018 by  
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Los Angeles-based architecture firm Poon Design Inc.  has crafted a luxury residence that eschews the mid-century modern style for a more minimalist and contemporary design fitted out with sustainable technologies. Dubbed ‘Museum Modern,’ the Linea Residence G serves as a production home that the architect and developer say can be completed for a “record low construction cost,” totaling one-fourth the cost per square foot of typical high-end residences in Southern California. The all-white house was recently recognized in the American Institute of Architects’ 2018 Best in Housing. Conceived as “a new standard for the speculative tract housing industry,” Residence G takes up nearly a quarter of the site measuring approximately 20,000 square feet. The house comprises three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a three-car garage and a detached one-bedroom guest house. To embrace California’s climate and indoor-outdoor living, the architects installed 90 feet of continuous sliding low-e glass doors that measure 10.5 feet tall for floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding desert mountains. “Our design opposes the predictable Taco-Bell-style or the cliché Mid-Century Modern tract homes prevalent in the area,” explains Poon Design Inc. “To the home buying audience, Residence G offers a production home that equals the presence of custom luxury estates. In the past few years, Residence G and parallel other sustainable home designs by this architect and developer have been built and sold, totaling over 200 completed homes in the Palm Springs area.” Related: Escape the everyday in this Geodesic Dome House in Palm Springs In addition to sleek, minimalist style, Residence G is also integrated with a wide array of energy-efficient features. The rooftop solar panels provide a base 6kW solar package that can be added onto if desired. Passive cooling is implemented with long roof overhangs and complemented by a reflective energy-efficient cool roof. The locally sourced material palette includes VOC-free finishes and adhesives and includes a number of recycled or rapidly renewable materials. + Poon Design Images by The Agency, Locke Pleninger and Mark Ballogg

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Minimalist timber home gracefully blends into the Austrian landscape

April 10, 2018 by  
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Lovers of minimalist architecture will swoon over Innauer-Matt Architekten’s Höller House, a beautiful modern home built mainly of wood in Austria’s picturesque Bregenzerwald valley. Set in a steep hillside, the dwelling combines inspiration from traditional farm buildings with a more contemporary vibe evidenced in its gabled form and restrained minimalist palette. Light timber is used throughout the home, inside and out, and is complemented by the structural framework’s exposed concrete columns. Built of timber felled from the homeowner’s forest, the 1,428-square-foot Höller House celebrates its timber construction with exposed wooden beams and surfaces left unpainted. Natural light fills the home through large openings and skylights , but privacy is also preserved by the slatted wooden facade and intentionally hidden entrance. Related: Handsome Austrian house is clad in a latticed facade made from local spruce To satisfy the client’s desire for a private outdoor space, Innauer-Matt Architekten added covered terraces that wrap around the home, a feature the architects call the “outermost shell.” The light-filled living and dining area serves as the inner “shell” and is organized around a core of exposed concrete comprising the staircase, toilet, and storage room. “This way we created a wide spectrum of translucence and transparency which we gradually and individually adapted to each room, its purpose and the level of desired intimacy, preventing unwanted insights while making beautiful outlooks part of every day life and living,” wrote the architects. + Innauer-Matt Architekten Images © Adolf Bereuter

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Minimalist summer retreat in Denmark is like a house within a house

February 6, 2018 by  
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This summer retreat in Denmark may look like a minimalist dream, but there’s a bit of an interesting design twist when you take a closer look. Danish architecture firm CEBRA designed Treldehuset, a timber getaway in Vejle that merges contemporary design with the traditional silhouette of a low gabled roofline. Deep roof overhangs on all side of the home make room for spacious sheltered terraces and give rise to the building’s image as a “double house—a house inside a bigger house,” say the architects, who liken the project to Russian nesting dolls. Set within a beautiful coastal environment with views of the fjord, Treldehuset’s design draws from the surrounding nature and is built to encourage active outdoor living. A restrained materials palette comprising larch cladding outlined by aluminum profiles and dark slate strengthens the building’s clean and simple lines. A sheltered terrace wraps around the inner volume punctuated with large windows and glass doors that slide open for indoor-outdoor living. “The effect of a double house is achieved by placing the thermal envelope beneath and inside a bigger house,” wrote the architects. “In this way, a roofed outdoor area occurs between the thermal envelope, the actual house and the larger shell, which give access to a protected area – a continuation of the interior which allows you, even on rainy summer nights, to eat, grill or maybe clean a newly caught fish. This transitional zone between indoor and outdoor constitutes an interesting space between the characteristic trees with a view of the fjord .” Related: Ancient Bacteria From Norwegian Fjords Could Be Used to Make the Ultimate Sunscreen Larch is used in the interior for continuity and is broken up by whitewashed walls and concrete. The living room, dining area, and kitchen are placed on the west side of the home, where wall-to-wall glazing blur the lines between indoors and out. The private rooms, such as the bathroom and guest room, are located on the east side of the home. + CEBRA Via Dezeen Images via CEBRA by Mikkel Frost

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Flowing home in Portugal challenges the rectangular architecture of its neighbors

February 13, 2017 by  
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With its bold curved walls and inner courtyard focus, this minimalist house in Portugal creates a strong sense of intimacy while challenging the architecture of neighboring buildings. dIONISO LAB designed House L27 with the patio as the main protagonist, blurring the line between interior and exterior spaces, yet remaining relatively opaque when seen from the street. The house is located in a suburban area of Póvoa de Varzim in Northern P ortugal . Its design was derived from the area’s new masterplan , dominated by residential lots with centrally positioned structures surrounding by garden and paved areas. The architects came up with an unusual, fluid layout that competes with the predominantly rectangular architecture in its immediate surroundings. Related: Fortress-like house in Portugal hides a surprising light-filled courtyard inside The first floor houses the main social spaces and private areas, while the living room, library, storage and garage occupy the second floor. Offering expansive views of the area, the rooftop terrace can have several uses, including entertaining guests and sunbathing. + dIONISO LAB Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

January 2, 2017 by  
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OEU-ChaO Architects have worked absolute magic on this tiny 300-square-foot home in Bejing. What was once an incredibly dark and dingy space has been transformed into a welcoming family home that uses an outer courtyard and sloped wooden ceiling to bring optimal natural light and character to the small space. Located on the second ring road of Beijing City’s Xirongxian Hutong, the tiny structure is squeezed in-between five other homes, virtually hidden from the narrow street out front. Taking into account the restrictive spatial limits of the space, the renovation strategy focused on opening up the area to provide natural light and air circulation as well as a comfortable living space. To do so, the architects chose to incorporate a series of independent, easy-to-install units into the original space. Related: Playful renovation in Barcelona squeezes more out of a tiny home The first unit was installed as a hallway that leads to a well-lit courtyard at the back of the home. This outdoor space is strategically blended into the home’s interior living space through two long tables that run the length of the window on both the outside and the inside. The large window not only adds airiness to the interior, but serves as the heart of the home by allowing the family to enjoy a nice sitting area in good or bad weather. The second unit is what gives the home its cabin-like character: a sloped wooden gallery roof . The high wooden beams add personality and a distinct openness to the compact living area and small bedroom space located on the first floor. The high ceilings were also useful to install the children’s room, which sits on the second level and is accessible by ladder. + OEU-ChaO Architects Via Archdaily Images via Zhi Cheng

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Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

Affordable Villa One is a prefab building that accommodates a growing family

July 28, 2015 by  
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