Modern & Contemporary

Home Architecture Modern & Contemporary

63.02° House Takes A Turn On Japanese Modernism

This stark, utilitarian home in Nakana, Tokyo gets its geometric namesake from the angle it takes to the adjacent street: 63.02°. All windows and doors, including the main entry, are concentrated outward from the angled facade that is prominently exposed as if sliced clean like a hot samurai sword through miso.

The abundance of exposed concrete – both interior and exterior – is common in contemporary Japanese architecture and gives the structure a juxtaposing visual heaviness that is offset by the delicately revealed curtain wall. Interiors are minimal and subdued, drawing further attention to the primary focal point that is the angled facade. The home was designed by Schemata Architecture Office.

Solar Powered Rustic/Modern Colorado Cabin Built Using Containers

This contemporary rustic cabin uses shipping containers as pre-fabricated structural shells, and pairs them with more traditional site-built construction techniques for the remainder of the build-out. This allows for a more flexible use of the containers by not being confined to the fixed dimensions that container buildings must typically adhere to. If not for the exposed metal shell you wouldn’t know containers we even used. In many ways it’s the perfect implementation of shipping container construction. Materials and other building components can be flat packed in the unfinished shells and then assembled on-site.

This 1500sf solar powered container home project was completed by Boulder Studio HT.

This Cabin Is Missing Something All Buildings Have, And It Rocks Because Of It

Who needs doors, right? That’s exactly what Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects said when he designed this pair of isolated structures off the coast of New Zealand. The cabins are completely open air and can be entered via a large square opening that steps you down into the main living area. The interiors are simple and clean, utilizing the warmth of native wood to tie the spaces to the adjacent landscape.

There is modesty and serenity in the way the buildings are anchored to the hillside. A quick glance would make them seem as if they were dark boulders jutting up and out of the grassy plains that carpet the surrounding countryside. They become a part of the iconic terrain rather than fight to visually overpower it. This harmony is echoed by the openness that results from having no doors. Protection might be limited, but the visceral experience is not.

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Sleek Forest Home Where The Forest Is Actually In The Home

Building a home often means flattening the plot of land set to be developed, effectively destroying what made the site interesting in the first place. However, when trying to design something truly beautiful we find that architecture can only be as good as the land it embraces.

Meet the Casa Corallo by Guatemalan based architecture firm Paz Arquitectura. Rather than uprooting the trees that natively inhabited the building site, they literally designed the home around the natural vegetation. Towering trees flank, loom, and even pierce through the home in a way that blends existing and new in elegant symbiosis.
casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-1 Two trees frame the entry of the mostly concrete home. The harsh material was used to provide ironic contrast between natural and casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-6 The home spill down the natural slope of the hillside as a stone path melts together with low The interiors are highlighted by tree trunks that climb up through the floors. In many cases, the location of the trees dictated the spatial organization.
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While the home is large and imposing, the choice to involve the trees so prominently in the design speaks to the sensitivity the architect had towards the land.

An Old Ruin Is Reimagined Into A Modern Music Studio

New meets old in this adaptive re-use studio that retains an existing brick ruin, effectively celebrating the structure it now replaces. London based firm Haworth Tomplin’s Studio designed the lofted space that fits neatly into what’s left of the eroded masonry shell. The use of stark exterior matches the brick in color, but otherwise creates a harsh contrast to the ruin in a move that celebrates the site’s history.


Take a step through the front door and that contrast is further highlighted by the fact that everything on the interior is fresh and new. Nothing existing remains; a reminder that the once proud two story structure was no match for the grasp of father time.


The building resides on the grounds of Dovecote Studio campus, an internationally recognized music campus at Snape Maltings. The updated space is used as a practice space for multiple instruments, and even acts as sleeping quarters for a live-in student.



The gabled form pays homage to the original structure’s shape, but with a modern twist, or course. Section drawings show how little of the existing building was able to be salvaged. It’s enough, however, to make an impact that will last another century.


An Old Barn Receives A Modern Facelift

An old barn in upstate New York proved an abundant source of modern inspiration for architect Kimberly Peck. On the exterior, little was done as far as architectural expression in order to preserve the traditional gabled roof form of the existing barn. The simple addition of three large sliding doors on one side open up the interior, which was the main focus of the renovation.




The old columns and beams have been left alone and remain the primary conceptual, providing a rustic framework for the secondary additions to adhere to. The result is a harmonious mixture of old and new, paying homage to the history of the barn while providing the comfort and functionality of a modern facelift.

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Just Another Wooden Box In Portland? See What They Did Inside!

Portland, Oregon is home to many oddities and outliers. It’s a city made famous by the quirkiness of its people and places. Recently new homeowners and designers Katherine Bovee and Matt Kirkpatrick have embraced that culture and then some when they built their tiny, modern and altogether wonderful dream home. A tiny 50×50 foot corner lot in Portland’s Inner Southeast neightborhood was all they needed to think up this starkly clad wooden box, giving them a modest yet functional 704 square feet of living space.

The exterior is intentionally subdued and clean, allowing what happens on the inside to punch you hard right in the face (figuratively, of course).
small-box-home-1 Take, for example, the bedroom. Yes, this is the bedroom! The daring couple has made creative use of a tall ceiling and an empty canvas to paint this little niche with style and flair. An exposed beam frames (visually and structurally) the bed loft that looks out to the neighborhood below. Naturally, this opens up the space below for storage, a closet, and even an exposed vanity. Did I mention it was functional?small-box-home-2 You would never guess that this is the kitchen of a tiny home. The space is luxurious and ample to say the least. Aside from all the light and space, the coolest feature is the exposed hood vent ducting that punctuates the industrial feel of the interior.small-box-home-3 Opposite the kitchen is this storage wall that holds everything from books and records to audio/video equipment. Katherine and Matt have modulated the openings with seemingly random opaque sections. It’s a visually interesting move that does well to hide otherwise unattractive elements like the heater vent. small-box-home-4


Image Credit: John Clark

This Artist’s Home Exudes Modern Rustic Style

Demolition of an old house made room for this elegant new home/studio complex in the Barton Heights neighborhood of Austin. Not a lot of room, because there was already a swimming pool on the property, as well as oak and cypress trees that owner Laurie Frick didn’t want to knock down. But designer KRBD still found a way to give Laurie 1,600 square feet of residential space in addition to the 700-square-foot art studio she asked for by building around a gallery of steel bays.


Around the home, that steel is covered with tigerwood; the studio has a stucco exterior.


Once you get inside you’re met with a long hallway displaying rugs, books, and some of Laurie’s own art pieces. Such an outstanding collection really cries out for a place to show it off, making the hallway a very nice touch for this particular owner.

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After you pass through, you’re in a large, open living room/dining room/kitchen area which gives way to the pool in the back. An enclosed glass walkway connects the house to the studio, which is naturally lit by a skylight and clerestory windows (Laurie needed the wall space for her paintings, so ground-level windows were out of the question).


A clerestory window also features in the master bedroom, which is located at the other end of the entry hall. The ensuite bathroom has one too, and there’s a skylight in the hallway guest bathroom. The home office to the front of the house has a more conventional picture window which looks out on a very pleasant street view.

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A Green Courtyard Grows Inside This Renovated Home

Architect Andrew Maynard saw endless potential when he looked at a ragged old apartment in Seddon, Australia. He saw light and air, ground and sky, inside and out. He saw an opportunity to create something truly unique: a home that literally blurs the lines between shelter and landscape.


The inside out home makes one emphatic, yet simple architectural expression in the form of an extruded space topped with a symmetrical gabled roof. The result is a modern play on traditional vernacular and presents a blank canvas that is then painted with open walls, neck pinching skylights and greenery that seeps in from the surrounding gardens.














It must feel nice to take a hot bath with the sun shining down and nature surrounding you.

Standalone-tub-offers-the-outdoor-bath-experienceThe architects have dubbed the project as “deliberately incomplete,” which is made clear by the ruin-like aesthetic of unfinished walls and roofs. Of course, certain areas of the home can still be closed off from the elements, but a large section of the living space is only semi-conditioned, leaving it up to mother nature to control the interior comfort.


This Modern Pyramid House Pays Homage To Classic Architecture

Maybe the Egyptians had it right all along.

This contemporary manifestation of the iconic pyramid form makes an emphatic statement about the simplicity of an inherently structural architectural expression. Before architects and builders developed building technology to more efficiently battle gravity’s limitations, we relied on literal formal response to those rules. Simply put, the higher you built, the smaller the footprint. The result was the pyramid: a pure geometric form that allowed ancient builders to reach heights never seen before.


This conceptual design from Mexican architect Juan Carlos Ramos pays homage to this classic vernacular while mixing in features that can only be constructed using modern techniques and materials. It’s an interesting dichotomy of old vs. new, telling a story of how far we’ve come as builders. For example, one of the facades is completely transparent, housing a massive triangular glazed opening.

04 Horizontal and vertical slices are cut into the pyramid, opening up areas for decks, views, and even a car port.

03 The main living space welcomes an open view to the outside, speaking to the structural and architectural feats we are able to achieve.

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