Contemporary Ecole Maternelle, Paris

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Eva Samuel Architects and Associates a Paris-based design studio has designed this preschool in Paris, France.

According to the architects: “The building’s envelope is a response for several environmental aims: visual protection, increased natural light to counteract the surrounding solar screens, no thermal bridges, natural ventilation and double flux in winter. This contemporary Paris school is the first to comply with the City of Paris’s climate plan. The result is a thick façade with varied reliefs – bay, alcove, and concave windows – which are used horizontally on the roof as skylights and to house air treatment machinery and ventilation chimneys. These multi-form strawberry-coloured elements enliven and dematerialise the façades. Their anodised aluminium cladding changes from pink to golden grey to green depending on one’s movements, point de view, the colour of the sky and reflections of nearby buildings.

“The atmosphere inside the contemporary French school is gentle and serene. The only colours are those of the materials themselves, such as the wood of the false ceilings and the bay windows. The façade’s thickness creates a strong sense of protection and minimises outlook from neighbouring towers. The children enjoy taking over the micro-spaces generated by the façade’s thickness, using them as mini-living rooms, for reading, tea parties, hiding, etc.”

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Luxurious La Lucia Residence, South Africa

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Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA) and Antoni Associates both Cape Town-based design studios have designed the La Lucia house. The luxury family home can be found in Durban, South Africa.

According to the architects: “The brief called for a relaxed family holiday beach house on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal.

“The luxury South African building has been sensitively designed to gently nestle between protected milkwood trees, in an area that has strict environmental controls. A sense of arrival is enhanced by an austere entrance flanked by two of the milkwood trees. The cinematic panorama is only revealed as one enters the double-volume hallway. The ceilings are clad with aligned timber slats which draw the eye to the seascape ahead.

“The ground level can be enjoyed as one continuous space or arranged into more individual and private spaces. All the spaces open up either onto the sea facing pool deck or to the afternoon sun lit garden on the west. The four sea-facing bedrooms are located on the upper level and open onto private individual terraces.

“The interior design by Antoni Associates express simplicity and restraint while making the contemporary South African home comfortable and cosy.”

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Contemporary Caspersen Beach Pavillion, Florida

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Sarasota-based deisgn studio TOTeMS Architecture has designed the Caspersen Beach project. Completed in 2012, the contemporary beachside park pavilion can be found in the Sarasota County, Florida, USA.

This contemporary beachside park pavilion is an initiative by the Parks and Recreation Department to provide an iconic beach park restroom pavilion for the county that visiting beach-goers can easily identify. The beach pavilion is nestled within a nature preserve in a county-owned park along the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the architects: “Design inspiration was found in the coastal vegetation in this gulf-front park.  An abstract version of sea-oats was used as a continuous design theme throughout the park structure.

“The structure is nestled between two protected natural preserves. As one ascends the ramp the natural preserve encloses the building volumes which are oriented to provide enhanced views of the natural preserve and the Gulf of Mexico.  Turtle lighting provides an ambient glow of amber light

“The contemporary beachside pavilion has sustainable design features that include clerestory louvers for passive ventilation and skylights for daylight harvesting.  Cement-fiber siding, cast-in-place concrete and aluminum tube ‘sea-oats’ are the exterior materials selected for their ability to withstand the waterfront environment and seasonal weather.

“The design challenge was how to provide aesthetic vertical accessibility via ramp which was 120’-0” in length. The abstract use of ‘sea-oats’ as a screen element was used to unite the ramp with the building.”

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On Cloud 9 With Cloud House, Australia

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McBride Charles Ryan an Australian design studio has completed the Cloud House project. The contemporary property can be found in Melbourne, Australia.

Cloud House is an addition and renovation to a double-fronted Edwardian house in Fitzroy North. Over the course of close to a century, this house has received several additions and modifications.

According to the architects: “McBride Charles Ryan’s work for the contemporary Australian house is designed in three parts. This allows for a sequence of distinct and unexpected episodes, with glimpses previewing oncoming spaces and experiences as you move through the home.

“The street facade has been left to demonstrate the clients’ respect for the evolution of the character of the area and the modest street alteration belies the extent of the comprehensive internal renovation work. The spaces within the original structure are largely white in colour, united by exotic floral hallway carpet. This journey through the space is followed by encountering a disintegrated red-coloured ‘box’. This is the kitchen, at the heart of the contemporary Australian property, which acts as a bridge linking the major spaces. A cloud-shaped extrusion is the unexpected final space. Following the form of a child-like impression of a cloud it is a playful addition where family and friends can eat and have fun surrounded by the curved form.

“The new living addition faces due south while allowing controlled north sun into the living area and providing effective cross ventilation. The form of the ‘cloud’ conforms to setback regulations without appearing obviously determined by them. The extrusion creates a dramatic interior language where walls merge seamlessly with the floor and ceiling. The craftsmanship is remarkable throughout; it has a sense of care one typically associates with the work of a cooper or wheelwright. While the geometry is playful, the extrusion is essentially a contemporary barrel vault. It is our hope that this cloud has a ‘silver lining’.”

 

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Contemporary Gramercy Park Townhouse, New York

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Fractal Construction a New-York City-based design studio has refurbised the Gramercy Park Townhouse. Completed in 2007, the luxury townhouse is located in New York’s Gramercy Park neighbourhood.

According to the architects: “With its grand bones and patrician façade, this 1848 Gramercy Park townhouse presented exciting challenges for the new generation of the Isaly family. Previous conversions had left one large triplex crowned by three loft-like residences. Their dream was simple but ambitious: the reconfiguration of the building into two dwellings, one atop the other, of equal value and scale. At the same time, the structure’s deteriorated condition meant investing in a whole new steel frame as well as replacement electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

“Ulises Liceaga, redeveloping the upper half of the contemporary New York building only, kicked off the project by adding a whole new top floor. Measuring 620 square feet, the additional story thus solved the issue of an equal division of space between the two dwellings. Thereafter, the design plans called for an open-plan, floor-through kitchen/dining/living space, a TV room, office, three bedrooms and three and half bathrooms.

“The family imagined a showcase home that honored its soul while unashamedly bringing it into the new century. In their quest for daring, they turned for help also to ODA (Architect of Record), Ingo Maurer (lighting design) and Emilio Garcia (sculptor). Everyone on the team harnessed their talents to the single vision of forging spectacular, multi-function spaces in a family home bathed from top to bottom in the sparkle of the sun in the summer and the softer rays of the New York winter.

“The result is a Manhattan address that captivates like few others. The walls and ceilings of the living and kitchen area are punctuated with the sensuous sculptures and exploding light fixtures of Garcia and Maurer. The bricks-and-mortar rear wall of the two main floors has vanished, replaced by a glass curtain fitted with tiny diodes, invisible by day but glinting at night like a private constellation. The outdoor terrace leading from the living room has a glass floor and overlooks the private gardens below. With every available patch of roof converted into usable space, the contemporary New York townhouse boasts two more terraces as well as a roof deck.”

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