House S by Becker Architekten – A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

Project: House S
Architects: Becker Architekten
Location: Wiggensbach, Bavaria, Germany
Area: 8,180 sq ft (plot), 1,829 sq ft (living area)
Photographs by: Courtesy of Becker Architekten

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House S by Becker Architekten

Becker Architekten have designed the House S at the foothills of the Alps in the Wiggensbach municipality in the state of Bavaria, Germany. This home was designed to fulfill two purposes: a home and an office space.
House S provides its residents with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes as any home should when it is flanked from all directions with the beauty of the Bavarian countryside.
The design of this home was inspired by the traditional Bavarian barns and the materials used in it were locally sourced. It is built into a hillside which helps buffer the wind from the north side. Sliding shutters are used on the other sides to protect the home from the sun and the wind but they can always be opened to paint the beautiful vistas.

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

Natural and traditional woods from the region were thoughtfully used for external walls, staircases and timbering as well as for internal walls, roof construction, insulation, windows, flooring and furnishings The building utilized local craftspeople and builders only, minimizing transportation distances and resources.

Located in the foothills of the Alps, this residence is a modern interpretation of a local barn. Designed to be suitable for both living and working, it offers intense exposure to nature, daylight and beautiful views, as well as generous rooms within a flexible plan. A staircase divides the building vertically, separating the garage and offices from the living areas. Upstairs, the rooms are arranged openly around a concrete core that is the static backbone of the building. This concrete core contains, among other things, a furnace, the bathroom, lavatories and a kitchenette. The more private living areas, which include a bedroom, bathroom and studies, are located downstairs and mimic a cellular design.

The southward facing panoramic windows are parallel to the hillside’s incline, creating a spacious, trapezoidal loggia on both levels. Due to flexible sliding window shutters, the house can be made completely open or closed, allowing the owners to control the level of light and shadow inside as well as providing an appropriate weather shield for wind and snow. The exterior façades are made of traditional white fir, which will grow increasingly grey over time to match the aluminium sheet metal of the roof. In constructing the residence, the architects added regional value by using natural and traditional materials, minimizing transportation distances and using local crafts people only. The aesthetically beautiful residence was built according to the low-energy-house standards in Germany.

Becker Architekten

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

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House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

House S by Becker Architekten   A Low Energy Home in Bavaria

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Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Project: Hilltop Residence
Architects: Miró Rivera Architects
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Area: 8,070 sq ft
Photographs by: Courtesy of Miró Rivera Architects

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Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects

Today, we are glad to bring you a stunning design of a contemporary home in Austin, Texas by Miró Rivera ArchitectsBut if you’ve already seen the pictures of the finished design, you will find it very hard to believe that this extravagant 8,000 square feet home was once a dark and abandoned structure dating back to the 1980s.
Its new owners wanted to release the full potential of the site and the old building, that is why they had the architects transform the seemingly boring house into a masterpiece of the contemporary style. Besides its beautiful exterior and interior design, the Hilltop Residence brings unobstructed views of the beautiful Lake Austin and the hills in its background.

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

When the new owner of this 1980s house called for a complete renovation, the architects saw the opportunity to transform its dark, dated interiors while taking better advantage of the home’s spectacular location atop a promontory offering a 180-degree view of Lake Austin and the rolling hills beyond.

The existing driveway and garage, which had occupied a large area of prime real estate at the center of the property, were reconfigured in order to provide for a generous, landscaped courtyard accessed by a series of stepped terraces faced with Pennsylvania bluestone. Exterior stucco walls were replaced with warm ipe planks, while a small trellis and copper-faced, offset-pivot door greet visitors.

Inside, what was once a fragmented collection of spaces was reorganized according to a clear hierarchy. A central great room acts as a hinge point between the east wing housing the dining room, kitchen, breakfast area, wine cellar, and children’s rooms; and the west wing containing the master suite, home office, and exercise room. Zebrawood cabinets, Brazilian cherry floors, and a distinctive fireplace clad in stainless steel mesh accent the interior’s subdued material palette. Meanwhile, a sweeping aluminum trellis unifies an existing terrace along the home’s rear perimeter, providing shade and capturing breezes. An expanded ipe deck steps down to a zero-edge pool serviced by a small outdoor bar, all set against the seemingly limitless backdrop of the hill country beyond.

Miró Rivera Architects

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

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Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

Hilltop Residence by Miró Rivera Architects in Austin, Texas

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Understanding The Enormous Importance Of Your HVAC Unit And Air Quality

As a homeowner, you should understand how incredibly important it is to make your home a safe, clean environment. Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Your home’s air quality can easily be diminished by an array of outside factors. Poor air quality can make your home uncomfortable and unsafe. It can also lead to various health problems, including asthma and allergies. While your HVAC system is vital to your comfort and sanity, it can also decrease your home’s air quality if you’re not careful. Within this guide, you will learn more about the vitalness of your home’s air quality and how your HVAC unit can play a role in the equation.

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Understanding The Enormous Importance Of Your HVAC Unit And Air Quality

The Risks Of Poor Air Quality

First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with the risks of poor air quality in the home. While many people realize that poor air quality is bad, they do not fully understand the risks involved. For your consideration, some of the most notable risks will be explored in greater depth below.

Understanding The Enormous Importance Of Your HVAC Unit And Air Quality

Possible Allergic Reactions

Some people can actually experience allergic reactions, due to exposure. Indoor pollutants can lead to a wealth of problems, including headaches and dizziness. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may also begin to experience a sore throat, nosebleeds and itchy eyes. How can you know for certain that your allergy problems are directly linked to poor air quality? Leave the area and see whether or not the symptoms improve. If they do, there is a good chance that your home’s air quality needs to be rectified immediately!

Understanding The Enormous Importance Of Your HVAC Unit And Air Quality

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Mold Growth

While allergy problems are bad, poor air quality can lead to even more dangerous problems. One thing to remember is that mold thrives in areas with excess moisture and poor air quality. If your home possesses both, there is a good chance that your home will develop mold at some point in the future. Mold can increase the intensity and frequency of allergy problems! At the same time, some specific types of mold have been known to cause cancer. If your HVAC unit is unable to remove the excess moisture, you’re going to have a big problem on your hands.

Understanding The Enormous Importance Of Your HVAC Unit And Air Quality

Increased Energy Bills

Poor air quality will cause your home to become littered with particles. While you might not be able to see these particles with your naked eye, they will have a major impact on your HVAC system. They’ll eventually settle on the system and this can greatly reduce your HVAC unit’s efficiency. In return, your HVAC system will be required to work a little harder to keep your home at the preferred temperature. Even worse is the fact that this will result in your energy bill soaring higher and higher. The importance of indoor air quality is truly paramount.

Indoor air quality is important for your healthy, your home and your wallet.

Clean The Vents And Ducts

When your HVAC unit is switched on, it will begin blowing dust and dirt everywhere. This can create a major problem, if your ducts and vents have not been cleaned in a long time. This is why it is absolutely vital to keep your vents and ducts cleaned as good as possible. You can generally clean the vents on your own. You may also be able to clean a portion of the ducts. However, you’ll probably need to enlist the assistance of a professional to clean the ducts thoroughly from start to finish.

Nevertheless, it is vital to keep your ducts clean to prevent your home’s air quality from dropping.

The Types Of Filtration Available To You

Poor indoor air quality not only affects your health, but it can affect the efficiency of your unit as well. A duct system that is clogged with dust and dirt will have to work much harder to satisfy the thermostat in the home. In return, this puts more and more strain on your system over time. With that being said, any homeowner’s number one defense to fighting pollutants and maintaining good indoor air quality is knowing how to properly filter their system.

Just because you are changing your system’s filter on a monthly basis doesn’t mean that you are promoting good air quality. In fact, you could be using a cheap quality filter that is just allowing pollutants to escape right into the home. This is why it is imperative that you completely understand everything you possibly can about the different types of filtration options available to you.

  • Passive Filters – Passive filters are, without a doubt, one of the most common types of filters available on the market today. In fact, this is probably what you have in your system right now. These filters are constructed of fibrous materials and come in a variety of different efficiencies. Some are very efficient, while others are not. Generally, the cheaper you go, the less efficient the filter is going to be.
  • Electronic Filters – Electronic filters have been on the market for some time now and they are growing more popular due to their unique properties. These filters utilize an electronic charge to actually attract dirt and dust to a collector plate. The collector plate can be removed, cleaned, and reinserted. While these filters collect more dirt and dust, they can cause major clogs and problems within the system if they are not properly maintained.

Either option is good, but it is best to opt for the highest efficiency you can. This will allow you to keep your home’s air clean and safe for you and your family members!

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How to Make (and Keep) Your Reputation as a Designer

If you want more clients as an interior designer, or in any role that involves creative solutions for your clients, you need to think about building and maintaining a personal reputation. That means creating a personal brand, earning favor in your budding client base, promoting yourself, and protecting your reputation if and when it comes under threat.

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But how can you establish this, and what can you do to maintain it?

Create a Personal Brand

Your first step is to create a personal brand. You can do that with the following measures:

  • Choose a target audience and style. As much as you might like to, you can’t target “everybody.” Your target audience should be specific to you, to reduce competition and increase your relevance. You’ll also need to decide on a signature artistic style, which may come before or after your target audience. People need to be able to recognize you based on your work alone.
  • Claim your social media profiles. Next, make sure you’ve claimed all your personal social media profiles. If you have a catchy name, consider using that instead of your real name, and include at least one good headshot on each profile. You’ll also want to include images and detailed descriptions of your work, so newcomers get an immediate impression of what you’re about.
  • Post images of your work. You won’t be able to grow an audience unless you provide them with images of your ongoing work. Publish new content frequently—every day if possible—and keep your followers in the loop with your latest projects.
  • Consider starting a blog. While you’re at it, consider starting your own blog. You can use it as a funnel for your social media traffic, and as another place to publish and show off your best work. Later on, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) or other promotional methods to build even more traffic to your brand and work.
  • Network, engage, and grow. The real trick to establishing a personal brand is attracting and maintaining more connections. You can do this by connecting with as many people as you already know (including your clients and colleagues), then attending networking events and meeting new people as often as possible. Start conversations with your followers, and always remain open to new opportunities to meet people.

How to Make (and Keep) Your Reputation as a Designer

Build a Reputation

Once your personal brand is in place and you’ve started attracting some clients, you can move to the next step—building your reputation. You can do that by:

  • Collecting reviews and testimonials. You can only do so much to build your reputation by yourself; most artists and designers grow fastest when other people are building their reputation. Here, you can do that by attracting more reviews and testimonials from your clients, which other prospects will use to evaluate your capabilities, and potentially hire you for more work. Social proof from third parties is almost always more effective than individual efforts of self-promotion.
  • Getting featured in prominent publications. You can also improve your visibility and your reputation by getting your work featured in prominent publications. This seems like an impossibility at first, but if you start small and scale upward, it’s actually quite manageable. Write a column or submit work to some local magazines, or niche publications that might feature you, and gradually add more features to your credentials until you’re able to get published in prominent, national works.
  • Networking with influencers. You can also jump-start your visibility by networking with known influencers in the industry. It will immediately boost your credibility, and expose you to a new segment of your potential audience.
How to Make (and Keep) Your Reputation as a Designer

A handsome young man sitting in front of his computer while looking at the camera

Guard Your Reputation

Once established, you’ll have to protect your reputation as well:

  • Get ahead of compromising news. If you’re ever put in a compromising situation, such as being pulled over for a DWI or facing a lawsuit, try to get ahead of the news. You’ll be able to proactively update your audience, and you’ll have more control over how the facts roll out.
  • Respond to criticism. Inevitably, you’ll attract criticism from followers, strangers, and occasionally, from past clients. When it happens, respond directly and politely; learn what you can from the incident, and don’t escalate things.
  • Stay consistent. The more consistent you are with your work, the bigger the following you’ll be able to grow, and the less impact negative incidents and criticism will have.

It isn’t easy to build a strong reputation from scratch, but there are some basic tenets that anyone can follow to success with enough time and effort. Don’t be discouraged by ups and downs, or by the amount of time it takes to develop; this is a long-term strategy, and one that will pay off if you stick with it.

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Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Project: Tree Top Residence
Architects: Belzberg Architects
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Area: 13,885 sq ft
Photographs by: Bruce Damonte

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Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects

The Tree Top Residence is a modern dwelling located along a natural ridge line in Los Angeles, California. This luxury home was designed and developed by Belzberg Architects and it spans across three levels. It was designed in a way to celebrate the specific landscape of the site on which it is built. The surrounding topography is mimicked through the long and narrow plan, emerging above the crows of the surrounding trees.
Hidden from the street to protect the privacy of its residents, the Tree Top Residence remains open to its site but it also offers views over the terrain below it by extending a small piece of its last floor over the canopy of the trees.

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

The Tree Top Residence celebrates the site’s complex landscape, merging with it seamlessly and emerging from it atop the canopy of trees that surround it. Built along a natural ridgeline, the long and narrow plan of the three-story house mimics and inverts the angles of the site’s topography, creating dynamic vertical and horizontal relationships.

Vertically, an eccentrically-helical stair functions as a primary organizing element and a sculptural gesture upon entry into the house. On the ground floor, it acts as a threshold into the open plan; on the floor above, it separates the master suite and children’s quarter, while providing a light well to the basement. Horizontally, walls are used sparingly in favor of fluidly connected spaces. Movement and views between dining areas, kitchen, play and gathering spaces are uninterrupted, and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors blend the interior with the outside.

Hidden from the street, the residence is insulated from its neighbors, but open to its site. Canted limestone louvers, and dense planting on the north facade shield the interior from the closest adjacency. Conversely, the rest of the building opens to the site with floor-to-ceiling glazing, relying on both the house’s generous distance from the property line, and the densely wooded valley below to create a natural screen. The design culminates in the master bedroom, which features full-height sliding doors at its cantilevered corner. The orchestration of this view, overlooking a dense canopy of trees, embodies the intent to offer respite from the city below.

Belzberg Architects

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

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Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

Tree Top Residence by Belzberg Architects in Los Angeles, California

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The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

Project: The Dell
Architects: Elliot Architects
Location: Northumberland, England
Area: 2,368 sq ft
Photographs by: Jill Tate Photography

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The Dell by Elliot Architects

Elliot Architects have designed The Dell house for a family that wanted to live in a home that is sensitive to the surrounding nature, but also to not be boring.
It is located in a forested area in Northumberland, England where it was adapted to the sloped site surrounded by trees in every direction. It’s design is rather simple. It is made up of two parts that intersect in the middle however, there are multiple elements contributing to the design of this house.

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

A previously undeveloped site is to house a four bed bespoke family home.

The proportion, orientation and topographical nature of this site presented us with a significant challenge. The constraints of the site fought against the conventional arrangement of a domestic property with its public and private zones.

The site slopes steeply from back to front as well as dishing side to side; there is a mature wood to the South which also presented issues of overshadowing.

We chose to adopt a cruciform plan which subdivided the land into quadrants dealing with public arrival, private South facing courtyard and grassed garden area to the rear of the property exploiting the only flat section of the site.
We wanted to be sympathetic to the site as well as mindful of budget so we designed the building to react closely to the sites existing contours; the roof level is constant and the shifts in the floor level respond to the position of the room and its function i.e. large kitchen, living, dining room has a proportionally high ceiling volume.

Materials are natural with modern detailing. Slate shingle walls and roof to the ground floor with timber and slate to the second. By diving the plan and section as we have the building appears as a series of single storey accommodation further reducing the impact on the site.

Elliot Architects

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

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The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

The Dell by Elliot Architects in Northumberland, England

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Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Project: Sonoma Vineyard Estate
Architects: Aidlin Darling Design
Location: Sonoma Mountain, California, USA
Area: 18,000 sq ft
Photographs by: Courtesy of Aidlin Darling Design

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Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design

The Sonoma Mountain in California is the home of a pristine contemporary residence designed by Aidlin Darling Design
The Sonoma Vineyard Estate is a luxurious mansion that spans across 18,000 square feet that include the main building, a residence for the caretaker, a barn, an irrigation center, water storage, garden guest rooms, gardens and an orchard. In between all of these spaces are a couple of stunning swimming pools that offers views that are nothing short of spectacular. There are no words to describe the grand design of this residence but if there were, then the architects are the ones to know them, so let’s see what they had to say about their masterpiece.

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Carefully situated on the edge of a vineyard, this rural residence engages its surroundings in establishing a frame of reference for one’s experience of the site.

The design negotiates three basic criteria: private residence, expanded art preserve, and vineyard operation. A careful manipulation of building, landscape, and topography facilitate a poetic coexistence of programs and site, as well as serving to understate the size of the main residence. The architecture quietly reciprocates the complexities of site and program, facilitating a variety of experiences and daily routines. The process was approached with a deep reverence for the act of making, and a consonant respect for the land. Grounded in an exploration of cartography, the resulting structure facilitates one’s understanding of the site and mapping of place – physically, temporally and metaphorically.

The house is sited at the base of Sonoma Mountain, affording expansive views across the vineyards and valley to the east. Its placement among the vines brings the vineyard and its seasonal cycles directly into the life of the house. Its orientation and elongated profile allow passive heat gain on cool mornings, and provide shade on hot afternoons. This also allows light to penetrate the house in a variety of ways throughout the day.

A long reflecting pool, its water level in measured contrast to the rolling ground plane, runs from an intimate southerly forest, through the house to panoramic northern views. The monolithic pool functions as an abstract reference datum; it structures the arrival sequence and daily routines. Domestic spaces are organized along its length, and a parallel loggia provides a meditative walk between the different phases and activities of the day.

Perpendicular to the pool is a narrow footpath, which connects a series of garden rooms on the eastern side of the vineyard to a subterranean wine cellar adjacent to the dining hall. Linking site and program to the course of the sun, the path embodies metaphors of a lifespan, from birth to burial, from creation to consumption. The crossing of these two cardinal axes defines a conceptual center at a void in the body of the building. It locates entry to the home at mid-level and the dining room on the lower floor, centering the ceremonial spaces of arrival and departure and of communal dining.

The choice of materials and their detailing support this spatial and temporal narrative through one’s tactile experience. Wood and stone floors convey an understanding of one’s position relative to the ground. Heavy stacked-stone walls are juxtaposed with light steel framing to establish a narrative hierarchy; their interaction creates a range of spatial conditions, from intimate enclave to expansive open space. The visual, tactile and acoustic qualities of each material contribute to a mnemonic mapping of the house and its landscape.

Aidlin Darling Design

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

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Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

Sonoma Vineyard Estate by Aidlin Darling Design in California

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Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Project: Dune Villa
Architects: Hilberink Bosch Architecten
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Photographs by: René de Wit

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Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten

Hilberink Bosch Architecten have integrated one of their latest projects called the Dune Villa with the forest that surrounds the site.
The Dutch studio have built this home as a luxurious countryside retreat in Utrecht, The Netherlands where its unusual setting is clearly defined by three components. The dense vegetation, a large open forested area and a beautiful vista of the neighboring Utrecht hills are the key features of this contemporary home.
The lower level of the building is dedicated to the living areas as well as the kitchen, master bedroom, library and office. This way, they are guaranteed to make the most of the forest that is in the backyard of the home.

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

A site in a pine forest with a height difference of six meters is unique in the Netherlands. The clients are aware of that and asked us to design a ‘living’ house which fully adopts the qualities of the plot. They cite three icons as a reference, each with their own qualities. De scenic naturalness of F.L. Wright, the openness of Mies van der Rohe and the tactile materiality of Zumthor. With a sense of necessary modesty we accepted the assignment.

The plot exists of three areas: dense vegetation towards the street, a large open space at the front and an open pine forest at the back of the plot, which is characteristic for the area. An offshoot from the ‘Utrechtse Heuvelrug’ dune lays on the north side of the plot, which results in the six meter height difference. We strictly followed the division in three parts. The different volumes of the villa are situated on the north and east border of the open space, in and on the dune. The garage and the long garden walls enclose a cultivated courtyard, the only area on the plot where nature is directed by man.

Hilberink Bosch Architecten

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

The main areas of the residence, such as living room, kitchen, office, master bedroom, roof terrace and library, are situated on the first floor which provides the best experience with the forest. Because of the setting on top of the sand dune, one can walk straight out into the forest

The guestrooms and the pool are situated in the dune and on the ground level of the courtyard. The pool is enclosed on three sides with large glass sliding doors. This ensures an outdoor feeling in the wintertime and in warmer periods it can be transformed into an outdoor swimming pool. The connection between the floors is made on two specific places: a closed core with an elevator, stairs and the backdoor and a main entrance which, with its double height, accommodates large works of art and theatre performances, and contains a spiral staircase.

Besides clear references to the icons, who acted as inspirations for the plan, the connection with the location is the most profound base for appearance of the villa. The colour of the applied concrete is directly derived from the dune sand. All the concrete is seamlessly poured in one piece. The robust walls are perpend-less and there is no pointing used for the masonry in thin bricks, that measure up to one meter. The colour nuances in the mix of the bricks, beige, orange and green on a dark shard, are deduced from the bark of pine trees at hand.

Hilberink Bosch Architecten

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Accents in the facades are made of vertical wooden slats of varying widths and colours. They reflect the lines of the forest. The window frames, when visible, have a coating that takes over the colour of the surroundings. Finally, all the usual image-disturbing solutions such as expansion joints and metal trims have been left out, giving the building a great naturalness. All these components collaborate in deeply connecting the villa with its location.

This idea is continued in the interior. The floors, in the same concrete colour, have different finishes, from roughly sanded to highly polished depending of the character of the space. The special brickwork establishes, besides the many pieces of art, a painting on its own. The surrounding forest becomes a part of life in the house because of all the glass. In certain places inside and outside are literally connected with each other. The rough concrete floor from the courtyard continues to surround the swimming pool and Piet Hein Eek built a bookcase for the office space from harvested birch trunks and glass panels. The same birch trees in the garden, design by OSLO, define the atmosphere in the area between the villa and the street. The garden stems from the design and materialisation of the villa, cultivates in the courtyard with connections to the existing forest.

The joint search from the architect with the client for the right mix of familiarity, naturalness and surprise led to this unique home. By bringing together a powerful image and using the qualities of the site, a house is designed that fits the residents like a glove.

Hilberink Bosch Architecten

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dune Villa by Hilberink Bosch Architecten in Utrecht, The Netherlands

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Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Project: Butterfly House
Architects: John Maniscalco Architecture
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Photographs by: Joe Fletcher

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Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture

The Butterfly House in San Francisco, California is a very unique home. It is a mid-century modern home that was completely rebuilt to tailor to the owner’s needs. On the outside, its exterior takes on a sleek modern shape that doesn’t stray too much from the rest of the homes on the street but it is the interior that makes this home unique.
Designed by John Maniscalco Architecture, there are lots of different materials that combine colors to create a lovable minimalist design. This home is made for the ones who live in it. Check it out!

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

In this complete rebuild of a mid-century modern home, the design flows from an analysis of the varied site conditions already present and reinforces key relationships to the site while establishing new ones. From a relocated street level entry, a careful sequence follows the slope and curates the vertical movement through the home from earthbound experience to the open sky and panoramic views. Each level takes on a different purpose – first, establishing new ties to the street, then anchoring family spaces to the south-facing garden, turning inwardly focused at the sleeping level, and ultimately dissolving at the top level living spaces and roof deck to reveal panoramic connections to the city and bay.

 John Maniscalco Architecture

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

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Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

Butterfly House by John Maniscalco Architecture in San Francisco, California

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Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Project: Millbrook House
Architects: Thomas Phifer and Partners
Location: Millbrook, New York, USA
Area: 5,500 sq ft
Photographs by: Scott Frances

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Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer and Partners

The Millbrook House is a project by Thomas Phifer and Partners that is located on a 200-acre site that overlooks a clearing with the Hudson River for a backdrop in Millbrook, New York.
The sculptural design is formed by four wooden cabins clustered around a modern glazed pavilion. Each of these structures has its own function and style. The lot of them are interconnected by a large garden as well as paths that are hidden underground.
The pure geometric lines of the Millbrook House look beautiful in combination with its earth-hued exterior shells. All of this gives this structure an elegant aesthetic that engages with its surroundings.

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

The Millbrook House is a private residence located on a 200-acre site in the Hudson Valley. Under the direction of the client, the design developed as a meditation on eastern architectural forms. In specific, designing the home as a sequence of views onto the surrounding landscape. The first glimpse is of the guest house, a weathered-steel box cantilevered over the edge of the car park. The retaining wall’s deep red, patinated steel panels extend from beneath the studio up the hill, rising in unison with the bluestone treads toward the main house. Situated on the land’s highest promontory, the residence comprises a rectangular glass pavilion along one side and a series of four low, mahogany volumes on the other. The house’s program is organized on two levels around a spacious outdoor courtyard. The public functions, living and dining spaces, are located on the upper entry level in a steel and glass pavilion. The progression of natural light over the course of the day and seasonal change during the year is visible from the open pavilion.

The residents access the bedrooms, study, and play spaces on the lower level with a stairwell, which is semi-concealed under the courtyard’s green roof. The lower level is composed as a series of individual cabins, whose double-height windows frame views of the landscape. The family room at the base of the stairs opens to the south, while the bedroom and guest room cabins face the bamboo garden and meadows to the east. The house’s integration into the topography reduces demand on climate control systems, increasing natural insulation and benefiting from the effects of thermal lag. The house is naturally ventilated through its sequence of operable doors and vents, while direct sunlight is mitigated via exterior screens on glazed units.

Thomas Phifer

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

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Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer in Milbrook, New York

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