Modern & Contemporary

Home Architecture Modern & Contemporary

An Unreal Renovation Has This Home In The Record Books

It’s not quite as dramatic as a Medieval drawbridge, but it just might be as massive. This ultra-modern home in Antwerp, Belgium is host to the world’s largest set of fully glazed pivot doors. Local architecture firm Sculpt IT worked with window manufacturers and engineers to realize the one-of-a-kind feature, which are impressive not only in size, but in contemporary design as well.

The doors are part of a fully glazed facade that opens the entire side of the home to an exterior courtyard. When the pivot doors are swung open, the kitchen area naturally spills out across the seamless transition of the monolithic concrete slab.

The installation of the doors was part of a holistic renovation of an existing home. The entire house was gutted and re-fitted with modern finishes, properly organized spaces, and one hell of a center piece.

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Jaw-Dropping Views Await In This Stunning Copper-Clad Beach House

A breathtaking and vertigo-inducing 250 foot drop to the Pacific Ocean provides a daunting, yet beautiful backdrop for this modern beach house. The Buck Creek House, designed by California-based firm Fougeron Architecture, marries the sea with the surf through strategic openings that frame only the most jaw-dropping views.

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The unique aesthetic of the home’s exterior make a fleeting attempt to steal your attention from the crystal blue water, but do so in vein. The back end of the home is largely opaque for purposes of privacy, and clad in shimmering copper panels that change throughout the day depending on the light. However, there is no containing the sea-side facade, which opens completely to pier over the looming shear cliff.

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The interiors are clean, sleek, and do just what only what’s necessary to supplement the ocean views. High vaulted ceilings expand the spaces vertically, allowing light and air to flow through the home with elegant determination. This spectacular beach house has three bedrooms, a cantilevered master suite and a living room that opens to an adjacent exterior courtyard.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Insanely Smart 309sf Apartment Transforms Into Gym, Theater, & Much More!

Hong Kong couple Andy and Michelle had a decision to make: should they purchase a larger apartment, or renovate the 309 square foot apartment they already had in a location they both loved? They had a long list of things they wanted that seemed unrealistic in the beginning: a full kitchen and bathroom, home theater, gym, storage, and it had to be cat-friendly (the couple owns three cats: Banoffee, Dumpling, and Tuxedo). – In a stroke of luck, Andy and Michelle stumbled upon design house LAAB, who, after 40 design attempts, came up with a way to make those seemingly-unrealistic requirements a feasible and chic reality.

A few dreary photos of Andy and Michelle's apartment pre-renovation.
A few dreary photos of Andy and Michelle’s apartment pre-renovation.

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The team at LAAB ultimately came up with the idea to design the apartment around the “Form Follows Time” philosophy. This philosophy means that various spaces of the apartment, such as the bathtub in the full bathroom, can be opened or closed depending on what space you need whenever you need it. The bathtub can be covered up and used as a couch for the home movie theater, and later on it can be used as a guest bed in the guest bedroom!

The floor plans for LAAB's design for Andy and Michelle using the "Form Follows Time" philosophy.
The floor plans for LAAB’s design for Andy and Michelle using the “Form Follows Time” philosophy.

Special design elements for Andy and Michelle’s cats include a “cat walk” around the ceiling, a hidden litter box beneath the bathroom sink, cat food trays that can slide into the kitchen cabinets, and even a special den just for them. The materials, details, and mechanical systems were all designed with keeping the apartment dry, cleanable, free of undesirable smells, and all-around cat-friendly. The video below showcases Andy and Michelle, their revitalized apartment, and, of course, their cats.

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Photos LAAB Design

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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 man-made.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-2 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-6 The home spill down the natural slope of the hillside as a stone path melts together with low brush.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-8 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.

10+ Wineries With Absolutely Stunning Architecture

Opus One

Scott Johnson of Johnson, Fain & Pereira designed this iconic winery and finished the build in 1991. It brings together traditional European architectural elements and New World aesthetics, a combination that mirrors their epic Cabernet.

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Bodegas Ysios

This spectacular winery is located in Spain’s Rioja region, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. The undulating aluminum and cedar roof mimics the mountainous terrain surrounding it, and the name honors Isis and Osiris, two Egyptian gods with close ties to the world of wine.

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Castello di Amorosa

Dario Sattui wanted to build one of the most impressive wineries in the area, and did so by importing an actual castle from Italy, piece by piece, and reassembling it in Napa Valley.

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Lapostolle Clos Apalta

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, most known for producing Grand Marinier, began making wine in Chile and completed this estate in 2004. It was designed by Amercanda Architects and features six levels reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

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Vik Winery

When Alex and Carrie Vik wanted to build a winery in Chile, they hosted a competition and this was the winning submission. It features a long, low slung building positioned in the middle of their 11,000 acre estate in Santiago. The shallow pool dotted by boulders not only looks cool, but also keeps the underground levels cool.

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Darioush Winery

Located in Napa, this iconic winery pays honor to its owner’s Persian roots.

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Dornier Winery

The only winery here that was actually designed by its founder, Christopher Dornier. It’s located in South Africa and was meant to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

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Irius Winery

A distinctly modern winery in Spain, the building was meant to resemble a butterfly.

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Ledson Winery

This massive Sonoma winery became famous before the wine did, and attracted so much attention that they figured they should make some wine and open a tasting room.

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Marques De Riscal

One of the most distinct wineries in the world, this beautiful structure is located in Elciego Spain and was completed in 2006 by Frank Gehry. The pink and titanium exterior looks like a ribbon as it wraps around the surface.

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Mission Hill Winery

This Canadian winery is most noted for its 12-story bell tower which welcomes guests with its bell.

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Near the old Tuscan village of Suvereto you’ll find this masterpiece, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It was completed in 2003 and features a unique cylindrical core with plants on the roof.

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Bodegas Portia

Set amidst a barren looking valley, this winery in Ribera del Duero is one of Spains most distinct wineries. It looks like something out of Star Wars and the modern building was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2010.

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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.

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

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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).

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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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Rare Sighting: A PreFab Home That Looks Natural In The Wild

It’s often difficult for a pre-fabricated home or building to have a cohesive relationship with its building site. Even if great care is taken to orient the factory-built structure to best highlight the important views, topography, etc., they can have a tendency to feel tacked on rather than integrated with their surroundings.

This particular project by German industrial designers Patrick Frey and Bjorn Gotte manages to come off the shelf and into the wild with a soft and subtle nuance not often seen in pre-fab.

The Summerhaus Piu PreFab Vacation Home boasts a clean, warm material palette that quickly associates it with its surrounding environment. There is some flexibility in the design and manufacturing process that allows materials to be applied smartly based on native and available materials. This gives the home a closer connection to its final resting place regardless of where that might be. Large openings bring in light, and the home is pointed out towards the best, most scenic views.

Old Meets New In This Stunning Ancient Stone Home Remodel

Some of the most emotionally visceral architectural achievements are a result of a properly handled adaptive re-use. Blending the old with the new is a delicate exercise in restraint and creativity. So when one comes around that achieves such a sought-after level of success, we feel the obligation to share it with you.

Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects renovated this ancient stone building, which has long-since resided in a historic and picturesque Swiss village. The rustic, monolithic shell provided an apt base of inspiration for the architect to draw upon when designing the interiors and carving openings into its facades. Although there is much that is new, contemporary and modern to be found inside, you are never far removed from the history that exists in what remains of the stone ruins.

This project shows us the importance of our history, and to take the time to appreciate where we’ve come from as we move to where we are going.

photo credit: Hannes Henz

Offgrid In Normandy: How He Built This Modern A-Frame On A Budget

When you think of living off the grid, various images come to mind, and no doubt some of you envision grizzled people huddled together for warmth, living in some remote forest.

A Little Caesars commercial recently illustrated this in a funny way:

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However, that’s not the most accurate portrayal of life off the grid. As Jean-Baptiste Barache demonstrated, building an offgrid house for cheap doesn’t mean you need to compromise living conditions. His A-frame barn, stationed in the middle of a field in Normandy, France, is a perfect example.

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He paid a local barn builder to construct the rough frame, and then collected various salvaged materials from all over the place – lumber from theater sets, veneer and particleboard, and red cedar shingles for the exterior cladding. All said and done after 18 months of working on the build, he estimates it cost around $105k.

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Going without electricity doesn’t mean forgoing power, but it does cast daily life in a much simpler mold. A gas canister fuels the simple stovetop in the kitchen; a homemade wood-burning stove diffuses heat through the house in a slow, steady burn.

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The front of the barn looks decidedly antique…

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While inside, the rough, unfinished walls and ceiling keep costs down. Upstairs you’ll find three “pods” for sleeping.

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At night he and his wife light candles and oil lamps, and Jean-Baptiste refers to Junichiro Tanizaki’s “In Praise of Shadows” as a source of inspiration for living comfortably without electricity, noting the appreciation he has for the shadows cast by the flickering flames.

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Images: Céline Clanet