As part of a Swedish design competition, Niall McLaughlin Architects designed this fabulous modern houseboat for two. Small in size but big on innovation, this unique floating home was born from three key considerations – light, space and construction. According to the architects, “Our aim was to design a house which has a spatial quality which we describe as a ‘thicket.’ Implicit in this is the idea that the enclosure is experienced as a congruence of lines rather than as a clearing defined by surfaces. The thicket suggested an intertwining of lines which led us to an interest in the process of weaving.” To realize their design concept, a visit to the West of Ireland schooled the architects on the building of light-weight, basket-like fishing boats called “currachs.” And thus the Houseboat was born. This cool, contemporary house design is made from woven carbon-fibre, and boasts inflatable flotation elements. The upper portion of the structure is a translucent, argon gas-filled volume that serves to insulate the space. “By combining inflatable and woven elements, within the depth of the construction of the houseboat, we extend the concept of interdependence between contained and container. The container and the contents rely on each other for stability,” reveal the architects. On entry, interwoven electronic elements immediately catch your eye. This curious contraption collects energy from the environment and reuses it. A really cool feature is one you can’t see outright - solar panels power a pump that circulates water through underwater coils to the exterior wall of the home, passively cooling the space.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Kyu Sung Woo Architects – the brains behind iconic designs like the 1988 Olympics Athletes’ Village, the Asian Culture Complex in Gwangju, Korea, and a collection of cultural, museum and university structures – bring this cedar sided Putney Mountain House to Vermont. Set on the slope of the mountain, the site’s densely wooded terrain and striking, sweeping views are the inspiration behind this back-to-nature house design. Three separate volumes complement the landscape, arranged in a clearing with mountain views to the west and meadows to the south. The architects have brought a new, modern look to traditional Vermont architecture and building materials. Red cedar siding and corrugated steel panels form the facade, which is punctuated with wide windows and outdoor living areas. Interiors are minimal, with the focus on the view. In the kitchen and dining space, a sliding glass wall extends these well-used interiors into the great outdoors.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Set in sunny Brazil in Vila Castela, Nova Lima, BF House by Brazilian architect Humberto Hermeto was an innovative design back in 2005 when it was completed, and this cool design continues as one of the region's hottest properties in this high end home stretch. Set on a hill overlooking a vast valley, BF House boasts walls of floor-to-ceiling glass and integrates outdoor living spaces into its light, airy design. A set of stairs leads up to the main part of the home, where a glassed-in open-concept living room is supported by columns and cantilevers out into the breathtaking view. An infinity pool seems to flow right off the edge of the property. Interiors are superbly finished with luxurious details at every turn: gorgeous polished marble floors, contemporary columns holding up the cool, concrete ceiling, a wonderful modern fireplace at the center of it all, and enclosing this amazing space are invisible glass walls that invite the outdoors in.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
23 Oakmount Drive, located in Brentwood Park, Beverly Hills, is sure to catch your gaze. This spectacular contemporary house sports a structured, clean facade of white with glass held in place by a striking black frame. Floors and ceilings feature rich hardwood, which abuts the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Located at the Netherlands Germany border in Overijssel, this brick house design by architect Cino Zucchi is two-faced – but in a good way. This modern home’s front facade boasts dark gray-brown bricks, while the rear facade is clad in aluminum siding. The architect’s affection for asymmetry is apparent in this unusual modern design, which balances various cube-shaped volumes unevenly, and quite beautifully. The ground floor houses functional and social spaces – the kitchen, dining room, living spaces, a television room and a study. A set of clean-lined stairs leads up the tower, which boasts an interior height of 3.7 meters.
This modern Melbourne, Australia beach home is a twisted, wooden mass sprawling across the beach of its Mornington Peninsula property. The home’s entrance isn’t immediately apparent without a walk-about – a feature that the architects at McBride Charles Ryan purposely incorporated into the design for this vacation home, providing a quiet, peaceful retreat for residents and their guests. A glazed door peeks out from beneath the wooden folds which occupy the better part of the facade. Inside, a more-traditional design is surprising, given the home’s unique, modern exterior. Sunlight streams through the windows, casting illuminated shapes onto the wooden floor while illuminating every corner. A wooden deck encircles the home’s exterior, creating wonderful outdoor living spaces to take in the sunny surroundings.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This modern contemporary home designed by Australia’s Wright Architects is as exotic as its location, steps from the beach of Port Douglas. The only thing that rivals this picturesque property is the contemporary design of the house itself, which subtly infuses water influences into its bold concrete, steel and core-filled clay brick masonry. Wooden “waves” make their way down from the home’s roof, leading to a refreshing salt-water lap pool wrapped in a wooden deck. Beneath the waves and overlooking the pool, and wall of glass blurs the boundary between the outdoors and the sleek, modern interiors. Overlooking the garden and decks, an open-concept kitchen and various living areas make the most of this lush setting. And just when you thought this gorgeous home couldn’t get any better, architect Charles Wright also designed it with sustainability in mind, featuring passive cooling and a double-insulated roof cavity to reduce heat absorption.
A cool design for tricky terrain (no pun intended) the Robert Trickey House on Big Island is a modern Hawaiian house nestled on lavaflow with the ocean splayed at its feet. A more-perfect spot could not possibly exist for this gorgeous 6,200-sq.-ft. house, designed by Architect Craig Steely. The house consists of two volumes – a single-storey studio and a separate two-level home – wrapped in glass for maximum views. Residents and guests cross a bridge stretching across the pool and to a large 40-by-40-ft. deck, leading to a cut lava entrance that welcomes you home. Opening onto the deck are the glass-enclosed living room, dining room, kitchen and a guest room. Taking you upstairs, a cantilevered mango-wood staircase leads to the master bedroom, bathroom and study. Visible from the home’s deck, the Kilauea crater glows red by night.