Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

November 26, 2019 by  
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At one time, we were all so eager to stay connected to everything at every moment, but now, architects are fielding demands to create quiet refuges where people can escape the noise. Case in point is the gorgeous House of Silence designed by Ecuadorian firm Natura Futura Arquitectura . Located just out of Quevedo, this unique home has a massive central courtyard that acts as a serene meditation space for a family looking to block out the noise. Located in Quevedo, a province of Los Ríos, Ecuador, the House of Silence was designed for an elderly man who wanted a home where his family could come together to escape the city and a space where his grandchildren could run and play freely throughout the interior and exterior. Related: A playful home built of recycled materials takes in sunrise views in Ecuador The 1,000-square-foot house creates a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Two rectangular volumes house the main living area on one side and the private areas on the other. The interior spaces are connected by a large interior courtyard . This central garden, which opens up to an expansive landscape, is at the heart of the design. The serene space includes a wraparound walkway with a pair of hanging hammocks looking out onto a small garden area. Leading farther out toward the landscape, a concrete platform floats over a shallow pool, a strategic feature meant to bring the inhabitants closer to nature. With an opening above, natural light floods the entire space, creating a flexible area that can be used for either quiet meditation or family gatherings. Additionally, this open area has its practical, energy-efficient uses as well. According to the architects, the green-filled space was designed to provide a “ bioclimatic effectiveness ” that naturally cools the interior living spaces during the summertime and warms them during the winter months. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Natura Futura Arquitectura

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Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shine

November 26, 2019 by  
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Prolific Russian architect Alex Nerovnya has recently revealed designs for SOL House, an energy-efficient cabin with massive, double-glazed walls with a mirror-like shine that renders the building almost invisible when viewed from certain angles. Following the architecture team’s penchant for minimalist and contemporary designs set in nature, the SOL House features clean lines and a simple, gabled shape. Cross-laminated timber and steel elements form the structure of the house, which is painted black on the exterior to make the building recede into the forest surroundings. Conceived as a comfortable weekend retreat for guests looking to reconnect with nature, the SOL House spans approximately 100 square meters and features a generous, wraparound timber deck. The most striking element of the two-story building is the south-facing, glazed facade that provides an unbroken view of the outdoors from both floors. According to Nerovnya, the reflective glass can be treated with a special ultraviolet coating to prevent bird collisions while still appearing completely transparent to the human eye. Related: Contemporary A-frame home soaks up lakeside views in Mexico The interior features a relatively open layout, with the rooms oriented toward outdoor views, whether through the double-height, glass facade or the large windows on the east and west sides. Steel construction supports the weight of the glass walls but is hidden so that only the timber construction is exposed. The minimalist interior includes an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area as well as a master bedroom and bathroom. “Three guiding principles that our team kept in mind when designing this project were clean shapes, genuine natural materials and energy efficiency ,” the architects explained in a project statement. “We were inspired by the possibility to merge commonplace, classic architectural shapes with the wild environment.” + Alex Nerovnya Images via Alex Nerovnya

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A modern home in South Korea is embedded into its environment via an expansive green roof

June 26, 2019 by  
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Tucked into a rolling green hillside of Cheongdo-gun, South Korea, the Baomaru House by Busan-based firm Rieuldorang Atelier blurs the lines between nature and the man-made. Embedded into the sloped landscape, the home is split into two separate structures, which are connected by an expansive green roof that pulls double duty as a terrace for both sides of the home. Although the house is designed to blend into its surroundings, the unique design takes on a bold, modern appearance thanks to a series of gabled roofs that jut out of the landscape, creating a fun, pop-art effect. Once the residents and the architects found a building site for the home that was far from the hustle and bustle of city life, they were discouraged to learn that the back of the lot would soon be developed. As a solution, the architects decided to use the existing landscape to their advantage. Related: The Felderhof House in Italy is built into the ground and topped with a green roof “It is a general idea that the earth is a space that houses nature, and the house is a space that houses human beings,” the firm said. “In order to overturn this idea, we planned the earth as a space for human beings and the house as a space for nature. We did not want to design on the land … by cutting the ground or building up the soil. The point was to actively use the surrounding natural environment and land while complying with the slope of the land.” To work within the parameters of the natural topography, the architects decided to embed part of the 2,026-square-foot home into the landscape so that the structure would follow its contour. They also decided to split the structure into two parts, with one side housing the private bedrooms and kitchen and the other hosting the main living space. The two halves are split by a large entrance and underground garage, which is embedded completely into the hillside. Although the design was created to blend the structure into the natural surroundings, it takes a modern turn with a series of large white gabled roofs  that jut out of the green landscape. The bold modernity of the exterior continues throughout the interior living spaces. Double-height ceilings, white walls and light wood run through the home, enhanced by an abundance of natural light . With the bedrooms on one side, the main living room takes on a personality of its own. This structure mimics the same volume as the other but has a large cutout in the gabled roof, creating a brilliant open-air terrace that frames the views. On the bottom floor, the living space opens up to a large swimming pool that looks out over the mountains in the distance. + Rieuldorang Atelier Via Dwell Photography by Joonhwan Yoon via Rieuldorang Atelier

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A modern home in South Korea is embedded into its environment via an expansive green roof

Berlins famed brutalist Bierpinsel tower hits the market for $3.8m

October 30, 2017 by  
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You can now live in one of Berlin’s most iconic examples of brutalist architecture – for the price tag of $3.8 million. The famous Bierpinsel tower was originally built in 1972 as a restaurant, but it has sat vacant for years – and now it’s officially for sale . Soaring 150 feet over the cityscape, the tower has a whopping 12,765 square feet of space – and it could be repurposed into one very funky home or a sweet boutique hotel in the sky. Designed by architects Ralph Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte, the tower holds court over Schlossstrasse – the second biggest shopping street in Berlin . It was originally a restaurant before converting into a nightclub and cafe, but it has been vacant since 2006. Related: 1970s Berlin Restaurant Transformed into Graffiti Art Tower In 2010 four street artists created vivid artwork on the Bierpinsel tower’s exterior , but it has failed to find any commercial use. Although the work has faded over the years, the art by Honest and Soyzone Gonzales is still visible. Sotheby’s Real Estate lists the tower as a “four-bedroom home”, but it could be put to many uses. Of course, potential tenants will have a large renovation on their hands. The interior of the tower has already been gutted, but it would take quite a bit of work to turn it into a home or hotel. + Sotheby’s Real Estate Via The Spaces Lead image by Jan M / Creative Commons

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Extraordinary Onion House in Hawaii lets you vacation in a work of art

March 18, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a work of art, now is your chance. The Onion House in Kona, Hawaii is a prime example of renowned architect Kendrick Kellogg’s visionary style. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, Kellogg was one of the early innovators of organic architecture , which can be seen throughout the vacation home’s striking aesthetic. Although the home is clearly a work of artful design, Kellogg’s original plans were so eccentric that local contractors refused to build it, forcing the architect to construct the “multi-layered” home himself using locally-sourced materials . Located on a remote hill overlooking Kona’s beautiful shoreline, Kellogg built the home for the McCormick Spice Family in the early 1960s. The hilly location was a practical step to keep the structure safe from tsunamis and storms . The home’s design, however, entailed complete whimsy. Related: 5 exotic, eco-friendly Homestay locations to satisfy your wanderlust Kellogg’s drawings were so extraordinary, he had a hard time finding a contractor to build the complicated structure. Instead of adjusting his designs to meet the standards of the industry, however, a determined Kellogg moved his family to the site to build the structure himself – with Frank Lloyd Wright’s metal worker and glass artist James Hubbell . Many of the materials for the home, including Italian tile, plumbing fixtures, and sheets of colored glass, had to be specially ordered from the mainland and beyond, delaying the building process. Soon, the architect began to see the advantages of using local Koa wood and lava rock, and incorporated the locally-sourced materials wherever he could. The home is set on a massive base of lava rock , which was carefully carved to create the large terrace that overlooks the ocean. The odd roof “tunnels” comprise a creative defense against harsh sunlight during the day, while walls of stained glass and the translucent roof panels provide pleasantly diffused natural light. Outside, a covered outdoor walkway runs the length of the compound, connecting the separate master bedroom to the main structure, which houses two smaller bedrooms, a bath, and the kitchen and dining space. A 70-foot turquoise pool surrounded by tropical gardens is at the heart of the design. And then there are a few private areas in the compound, including a walled meditation garden. + Kendrick Kellogg + Onion House Hawaii Photos via Onion House Hawaii

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