Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

July 20, 2017 by  
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For those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, feast your eyes on this beautiful light-filled cabin just outside Seattle in Greenwater, Washington. Robert Hutchison Architecture designed Crystal River Ranch House, a cedar -clad home hidden in the shadow of Mount Rainier that exudes a zen-like air of tranquility. Crafted to blend into the lush evergreen landscape, the 1,900-square-foot retreat was kept as compact as possible to minimize site impact and to epitomize the small home living movement. Set within a forest on the banks of the White River, the two-bedroom Crystal River Ranch House emphasizes connection with nature through its large glazed walls and natural materials palette . Custom-run and blackened Western Red Cedar planks clad the building and help it blend into the landscape. The entry courtyard serves as a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. Despite the home’s compact size, the interior looks surprisingly spacious thanks to use of a centrally located double-height space , large glazed windows, white-painted surfaces, and abundance of natural light. The modern design is characterized by simple, clean leans and a cozy yet minimalist aesthetic. The communal areas, including the open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room, as well as a covered patio and outdoor patio, are located on the east and south sides of the home. The two bedrooms are placed on opposite ends of the house, with the master suite on the northeast side and the guest bedroom on the southwest side. Related: Natural material palette brings warmth to minimalist Swiss home The architects write: “Designed as a zen-like retreat from the bustle of the city, the open living area uses large glass walls to create a sense of space and light even on the Northwest’s darkest, rainy days. A steel-clad fireplace mass serves as a central architectural feature and utility, complementing the natural wood interiors while separating the living room from the covered outdoor patio.” + Robert Hutchison Architecture Images by Mark Woods

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Zen-like Seattle retreat keeps a minimal footprint in a lush landscape

Luxury tree house lets owners hide away in a Cape Town forest

June 20, 2017 by  
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Not all tree houses are rustic backyard projects—some, like the stunning House Paarman in Cape Town, take the typology to luxurious new heights. Designed by South African studio Malan Vorster , this one-bedroom getaway is a modern interpretation of the forest and blends in with its surroundings. The compact cabin is elevated off the ground and immerses guests into the tree canopy with views overlooking the forest and a quartet of square reflection pools. The freestanding House Paarman is an abstraction of the forest and comprises four cylindrical units that symbolize trees, each with a tree trunk-like steel pillar with branch-like beams and circular rings that provide support to the floors above. The four cylindrical units are arranged in a pinwheel layout around a square base. The columns, arms and rings are constructed from laser-cut and folded Corten steel plate. Western red cedar wraps the building and is left untreated so as to develop a patina over time. The architects write: “Inspiration was drawn from the timber cabins of Horace Gifford and Kengo Kuma’s notions of working with the void or in-between space, while Louis Kahn’s mastery of pure form and the detailing ethic of Carlo Scarpa informed a process of geometric restraint and handcrafted manufacturing.” Related: Dreamy treehouse hidden in Woodstock offers magnificent Catskills views This masterful attention to detail can be seen everywhere in the compact cabin , which was designed with ample glazing to give it a sense of lightness. Connections between the mostly vertical steel elements and the horizontal timber elements are joined with hand-turned brass components. Furnishings, such as the bed and cabinetry, were custom-made from solid oak. In addition to floor-height glazing, natural materials and a subdued color palette reinforce connection with nature. The House Paarman features a living space on the first floor, a bedroom on the second, and roof deck on the third. A sculptural staircase connects the floors. A plant room is tucked below the building on the ground floor. The half-round bays created by the cylindrical shapes include a patio, dining alcove, bathroom, and built-in seat. + Malan Vorster Images by Adam Letch and Mickey Hoyle

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Kinfolks hipster haven in Brooklyn oozes an off-grid, hippie aesthetic

June 7, 2017 by  
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Pacific Northwest hipster vibes meets Buckminster Fuller in clothing company Kinfolk’s beautiful multi-use events space in Williamsburg. Carved out from a former mechanic’s garage, 94 Kinfolk welcomes guests with two geodesic-inspired shells built of plywood, Douglas fir, and Western red cedar. New York-based Berg Design Architecture designed the events venue to meet the client’s desire for a space that feels “like it was designed for an off the grid Pacific Northwest hippy mathematician.” Located on Wythe Avenue near Kinfolk 90, the creative collective’s first location, the newer Kinfolk 94 events space includes a bar, art gallery, and retail. To bring the former car garage’s 20-foot-tall ceilings down to a more intimate human scale, Berg Design Architecture inserted two timber “geo-shells” and a bar canopy. The curved additions are of slightly different sizes and create semi-enclosed areas that evoke a cozy, bird’s nest -like feel. The shells can be altered with removable panels. Related: Patalab Architects transform dank mechanics garage into light-filled London home “As a design directive the client asked that the space look like it was designed by a ‘Pacific North West hippie Mathematician’,” wrote the architects. “The bar area had to feel intimate on a slow night with only 30-40 people but feel connected to the rear event space when the venue is filled to capacity with 150 people. The bar and event space needed to be adaptable to a variety of uses including art gallery shows, movie screenings, DJ dance parties, musical performances and large dinner parties.” + Berg Design Architecture Via ArchDaily Images © Edward Caruso

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Kinfolks hipster haven in Brooklyn oozes an off-grid, hippie aesthetic

Single cypress tree grows through a Los Angeles hillside home

October 31, 2016 by  
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Elevated off the ground and into foliage like a treehouse, The House in the Trees is cantilevered over a steep hillside and overlooks views of the valley. The 2,400-square-foot single-story building is wrapped in fire-treated Western red cedar siding and topped with an angled steel roof. The use of timber on the facade—and in the interior in the form of walnut cabinetry and reclaimed chestnut floors—helps the building blend into its wooded environment. Related: Contemporary ski chalet boasts gorgeous panoramic views and a low-energy footprint Large windows pour natural light into the interior, which is split into two portions: a two-bedroom main unit and a secondary unit with a kitchen, living room, office, extra bedroom, and bathroom. A wooden deck wraps around the living area to extend the building footprint to the outdoors. The mature cypress tree that grows through the home is exposed in the bedroom. “Waterproofing a tree in this situation proved to be very challenging but the system works to keep water out of the house,” write the architects. + Anonymous Architects Via Dezeen Images via Anonymous Architects

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Single cypress tree grows through a Los Angeles hillside home

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