ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Zakynthos, Greece is home to a residence so beautiful that it seems it must be a dream. Built on a mountaintop overlooking the Greek island of Cephalonia, The Silver House was constructed to adhere to the magnificent views. From the terraces, living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom, the seascape spectacle is the key feature. Blue and white key colouring is reminiscent of traditional Greek life, making a house that is simple yet equally extraordinary. Olivier Dwek Architectures, www.olivierdwek.com/dwek-architecture/en.
METAL AS ANYTHING
A 55sqm steel object emerges in a rugged landscape, surrounded by nothing but trees and a lake that mirrors the sky. The starting point of The Vipp Shelter is going back to basics: a return to nature, with basic functions defining a dense, compact space that’s wrapped in Vipp’s signature steel, with a transparent finish. The purpose of building the shelter was not to compete with any existing or mobile architectural houses on the market, but to create an escape from city life that is fully functional, simplistic and indestructible. Vipp, www.vipp.com.au.
The unique inclusion of trees that literally penetrate the kitchen, family room, master suite, and the roof deck has earned this project its name – The Sycamore House. The aim of this home’s renovation was to restore the existing 1950s post-and-beam residence, while respecting its original design character without direct replication. Situated in Los Angeles, the house opens on to dramatic hillside views, creating a picturesque residence. Aaron Neubert Architects, www.a-n-x.com.
LESS IS MORE
Skilpod started two-and-a-half years ago with the intention of building house extensions that could be placed in less than a day. This particular model in Belgium – 48 Energy Plus – was built with the aim of renting it out to the type of demographic that would find normal houses too big, such as singles, young starters and older people. The construction is made from cross-laminated timber, and has sustainable energy levels from zero to negative, meaning it produces more energy than it consumes, thanks to solar panels, heat pumps, ventilation systems and more. Skilpod, www.skilpod.com.
SET IN STONE
This holiday house in Corsica, has been developed in harmony with its immediate context, both with the use of material from the region and in its reliance on local expertise for its craftsmanship. The stone used for the walls, and the wood employed for the windows, doors and timber planks all reflect this residence was built to ensure sustainability. While the exterior of the house is deeply rooted in its vernacular context, the interior design inherits a contemporary lifestyle, hence the name Contemporary Vernacular. WY-TO, www.wy-to.com.
Set on the tranquil Mount Sophia, Singapore, this project combines a distinctive architectural icon with a modern sophisticated interior. The 75 black-and-white apartments pay homage to the original shophouses that occupied the site as far back as 1823, reminiscent of this bygone era while contrasting against modern urban development. Named 1919, the project’s exterior design includes a beautiful facade and timber shutters, reminders of the site’s heritage and recalling the charmed life of ease and elegance associated with Singapore’s colonial era.
Park + Associates Pty Ltd, www.parkassociates.com.sg.
Building a single-block house in the overcrowded residential area of Kouchi City, Japan, was a challenge, due to lack of ventilation, lack of sunlight and confined premises capacity. So, instead of building one house, y+M architects built two house volumes that connected with each other to become one unit – The Twin House. An open-air staircase and a spacious courtyard centre the design, making it feel open and expansive.y+M design office, www.ymdo.net.
This contemporary building, known as PLS, has been designed to have a poetic ambience as it sits in the small city of Roveredo in Piano, in the Italian province of Pordenone. Wooden features contrast with laminated timber that’s hidden under a smooth white skin, resulting in architectural harmony with two opposing elements. The house is a continuum of space, as the open floorplan provides plenty of freedom to move about fluidly. It’s only broken by a spiral staircase, a feminine sculpture that breaks and then reconnects the simple grid system.
Corde Architetti Associati, www.corde.biz.
THREE AND EASY
Casa Gallarda in Spain consists of three key features: the transparent house, which is made of glass and extends to a pool deck; the burrow house, which contains facilities and was built out of concrete; and the white house, which is for sleeping and dreaming. The entirety of the home proposes living a life of simple acts, which is reflected in the modest white frame that is reminiscent of Mediterranean architecture. José Francisco García-Sánchez/JFGS architects, www.jfgs.es.
SECURE IN YOUR BELIEFS
This residential hideaway, House 399, is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Saigon’s vibrant yet ecologically polluted city. The cubic house with sides of 3.12m encompasses a modest combination of geometric simplicity. The occupants requested bare concrete walls with religious finishings, so the house becomes simply a background against which nature and religious beliefs are respectfully embraced. Kien Trúc O, www.kientruco.com.
BACK TO NATURE
At almost 700m above sea level, House Katarina not only has incredible views, it also sits harmoniously in the landscape. The top floor of this family home is the basis of a living room that provides cinematic views of the surrounding hills to the outlines of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. This focal projection contrasts with the lower part of the house, which is closed off and built for a more intimate setting. multiplan arhitekti, www.multiplan.si.
The commission for Two Houses Conesa was proposed by members of two families who shared a narrow and deep lot in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The requirement of the proposal was that the lot would be broken up, with one house in front of the other, and the majority of the build arranged over two compact storeys. Both parties wanted to free up as much of the ground floor as possible so they could fit in a courtyard and a pool. Concrete was used throughout both houses for its raw and honest character, and because it requires little ongoing maintenance. Besonias Almeida arquitectos, www.besoniasalmeida.com.