Kirkland-based design studio Thielsen Architects has designed North Fork Residence. This contemporary property can be found in Snoqualmie, Washington, USA.
According to the architects: “Perched on the edge of a wooded cliff overlooking Tate Creek, the contemporary Washington property occupies a small shelf of land on the east face of a mountainous site.
“The house forms mirror the natural slope of the site; grounding the house and making it appear as a natural connection between the steep slopes above and below it. This effect is intensified by the underground garage built into the slope and the use of natural stone as an exterior finish material where the building meets the ground. In response to the harsh environment, the portions of the house not covered in stone are sheathed in metal, which will patina with the passage of time and exposure to the elements.
“The interior design of this contemporary Washington property is organised along a central circulation spine with spaces transitioning from public to private along its length. All primary interior and exterior living spaces face east, capturing panoramic views of the Cascade foothills and Mt. Si.
“A crucial component of the project was the owners’ desire to restore the portion of Tate Creek which flows through their property. After years of abuse and neglect the channelized creek banks were choked with blackberries and other invasive plants. The channel berms were removed and the stream banks cleared of invasive species and restored with native trees, shrubs and perennials. A large meadow east of the creek now provides natural habitat and flood storage capacity relieving pressure on downstream areas.”
Singapore-based design studio Wallflower Architecture has designed the Sun Cap House. Completed in 2010, this contemporary, water front property can be found in Sentosa Cove, Singapore.
According to the architects: “Although the site was devoid of any development during the inception of the project, it was foreseen that the future built environment would be dense with neighbouring residences barely metres away on either side. The tropical sunlight falling on this resort island could also be harsh and intense but the proximity to the sea also blesses it with breezes that tend to channel through the waterways that are unique to the cove. Most properties along the waterway benefit from fantastic sew views, and the narrow rectangular contemporary Singaporean property site was no different.
“In response to the projected urban density and the site’s local environment, the home is designed with a thick, nine metre high wall that forms the entrance façade which wraps around to continue along the sides. Like the pulling back of a curtain to reveal the view, the walls terminate as it approaches the waterway where thereafter an inner enclosing structure of paneled glass continues, projecting toward a pool and garden. The massive, enveloping entrance and side walls are essentially a thermal and privacy filter. The wall occludes views from inquisitive neighbours but encourage the passage of breezes that find their way through the contemporary Singapore house rather than around it by deliberate vertical slotting dividing the enclosing wall into free-standing segments. The slotting also helps to filter natural light into the house and soften the impact of the harsh sunlight. The secondary glass paneled enclosure within but set away from the enveloping walls is designed to slide away so that the impression of width does not terminate at the glass line but are extended to the tall side walls.
“The impression of space however goes even further, for the slots in the walls reveal landscaping that extends beyond. The walls are parallel to but do not meet the eaves of the roof; a metre wide gap invites sunlight to wash down onto planting and greenery that thrive on either side of the wall blurring the distinction of an ‘inside’ ‘outside’ demarcation. Though a vertical surface, the rough plastered texturing of the wall catches light streaming in from the gap above and diffuses it into the living spaces. Perhaps the spatial experience is best described as akin to being held in the loving cradle of two cupped, open hands.”
Bucharest-based design studio TECON Architects have completed the Vultureni House project. The contemporary property can be found in Bucharest, Romania.
According to the architects: “Located on a relatively long and narrow lot in a visual hostile context the building suggests a division of private property in the public space of the courtyard from the street and the private inner space of the rear yard.
“The contemporary Romanian property participates to the aesthetics of the street by moving private plane separating public from all opaque fence 2m high and you find in most situations the front volume, such interposes space between the street and the house, a small garden and a large transparent surface.
“Opposite corners of the volume are generously cut resulting in consoles with large terraces and large glass surfaces for all important spaces. The stringency of the straight clippings is conjugated with playful circular openings that accompany you along the facade to the main access. The access is clearly marked on the solid white façade by a straight transparent glass cover and by the grassy ascending slope starts at the front gate.
“Once inside the volume, is a total paradigm shift. To the simplicity, the austerity, the introverted character of the outer volume, it is opposed a fluid interior space, continuous, with strong visual connections between all interior spaces. The surrounding visual connections between spaces controlled by cuts in the outer skin of the volume, together with different areas of the two courtyards increase the feeling of the internal volume.
“Development of interior spaces at half level, articulated by a central staircase expressed by a corrugated surface combined with ample glass surfaces amplify the feeling of spaciousness, essentially increasing the volume inside the limited outer capsule of the contemporary Bucharest property. This thing expresses to the viewer form outside the image of a discrete small sized building.
“The white surfaces are in tight connection between indoors and outdoors. The immaculate surfaces of walls are joined by the ample glass surfaces of windows, skylights, and the railings which are balanced by the warmth that defines alder wood floors. The robust volume is penetrated by light filtered through the two skylights, the interior space being flooded by it.”
Zurich-based design studio Clavienrossier Architects have completed the À Charrat project. Completed in 2010, the contemporary home can be found in the Swiss Alps.
According to the architects: “The contemporary Swiss property is situated away from the village. The house includes an adjacent barn that had a large space which needed to be renovated completely. Only elements which can easily be reused were preserved, cellars and floors of the pre-existent house —the rest was demolished.
“Volumes of visible tinted concrete replaced the double-sided roof and the transformed area. The big openings create light to flood the rooms and the geometry of the superstructures results both from a formal desire and from a will to remove the wall thickness.
“The various-slope faces enhance the highly varied game of the shadows throughout the day.
“There are no corridors in the contemporary Swiss home. Circulation is made along the external wall, from room to room. The overall view continues beyond the windows, opening onto the surrounding landscape.”
London-based design studio McLean Quinlan Architects has designed the Andalucian Villa project. This two-storey, luxury contemporary property can be found in Andalucia, Spain.
According to the architects: “The design strategy for this new contemporary Spanish villa was to create a building that would exploit the spectacular landscape, while creating an exemplary building for the 21st century.
“The site occupies a panoramic south west facing sweep of embankment, with impressive views to the Mediterranean, Rock of Gibraltar and Serranía de Ronda.
“The luxury Spanish villa has seven bedroom suites for the family and their guests in three linked pavilions separated by pools of water, gardens and stone terraces.
“Landscaping was key to the concept for this dramatic site and the combination of visual, solar and centrifugal influences inherent in the landscape created a natural orientation for the building – as a series of parallel surfaces on a NE/SW axis. These layers defined both shade and space from which to enjoy the Andalucian sunlight, providing tantalising glimpses of the view beyond and shaping tranquil spaces for the inhabitants.
“The effect of shadow and water in an Islamic garden was both a practical and metaphoric influence on the design of the whole building – helping to temper the immediate microclimate while quietly referencing the historical context.”