House Between The Trees By Sebo Lichy Architects. Bratislava, Slovakia

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Steep terrain with three robust chestnut trees, which owners decided to preserve. This is how the property on which a unique family house was to be built looked at the beginning. Architects from Šebo Lichýˈs atelier took the challenge and designed a genuine construction inspired by famous Tugendhat villa.
The front part of the house is levitating on dynamic pillars and provides amazing panoramic views of the surrounding area. The back part of the house is plunging into the rising hill and is composed of several levels. When entering the house you find yourself in the middle floor, which is spacious and completely barrier free thanks to the extended part on the pillars. This floor belongs to parents with their bedroom, bathroom and workroom. There is also living room and kitchen, visually separated with the fireplace. Huge windows can be open to enable ventilation of the space. The floor above the children rooms with their own bathrooms and patios are situated. The floor below there is a basement with laundry room and home gym. A genuine invention represents the shaft for laundry, which delivers the clothes from discreet cover on the corridor right to the basement.
via sebolichy.sk

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Park Corner Barn by Mclaren Excell. Oxfordshire, UK

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et amongst beech-wooded farmland high in the Chiltern Hills, Park Corner Barn was originally part of the neighbouring farm estate and was used as an agricultural threshing and cattle barn until the   mid-1990s. Built in traditional brick and flint in the late eighteenth century, the barn was enlarged to twice its original size thanks to a Victorian addition in 1864- resulting in the building which stands today.
The first conversion of the barn in 1997 appeared to have been an exercise in squeezing as many rooms as possible within the building envelope over two floors, with a lower priority given to the rich material and spatial qualities of the building. The external treatment of the barn also made for a building with a lot of untapped potential.
The success of the project relied on undoing much of this previous work. A limited budget meant careful allocation of expenditure – some parts of the existing layout being left unchanged – but much of the building was taken back to the bare elements of the barn’s agricultural origins.
via mclarenexcell.com

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RE-USE by Global Architects. The Netherlands

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The renovation of the top floor of this Dutch mansion was a challenging one since the goal was to restore the traditional function of the rooms in an efficient and contemporary way without compromising the overall spatial experience. The main section of the apartment consists of a large space that contains the living room and the dining room. Two minimalist style built-in closets are centrally positioned alongside both walls and provide the total amount of requested storage space, including a hidden fridge, storage for the laundry machine and a bookcase. A clear division in functionality and the recovery of the proportions of the rooms have been accomplished without diminishing the sensation of the abundant presence of space. Daylight penetrates from both sides the complete depth of the interior and the ceiling hovers unhindered over the entire space.

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The Pierre by Tom Kundig. San Juan Island, Washington

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Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects used dynamite, chippers and saws to bore through the huge boulders of a rocky outcrop on a North American island to make room for this raw concrete house. Named after the French word for stone, the Pierre is a single-storey residence designed to cut into the protruding bedrock of the client’s existing property, located on one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle. “Putting the house in the rock follows a tradition of building on the least productive part of a site, leaving the best parts free for cultivation,” said Tom Kundig, a director at Olson Kundig Architects and the lead architect on the project.
The house is slotted between two sections of rock. Its walls are made from exposed concrete, with a smooth surface that opposes the rough stone, while the roof is covered with grassy plants to allow the building to merge into the landscape. Traces of the stone continue through the house’s interior, where a cave-like bathroom tunnels through one of the boulders and features a mirror that hangs down from a hole in the ceiling.
The Pierre was completed in 2010 but was named as one of 26 winners of the American Institute of Architects’ Institute Honor Awards.
via olsonkundig.com

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18th Century Ancient Party Barn by Liddicoat Goldhill. London, UK

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London studio Liddicoat & Goldhill has remodelled a derelict barn in Kent, England, to create a home featuring mechanically operated doors and a staircase that wraps around a chimney. Named Ancient Party Barn, the house comprises a cluster of 18th-century buildings that once functioned as a threshing barn, dairy and stables for a farm in rural Folkestone.
Architects David Liddicoat and Sophie Goldhill were tasked with transforming the buildings into a home for a couple who are avid collectors of architectural artefacts, and who were looking for a retreat from the city. “Our task was to combine the quality of the surviving barn fragments with the texture and tone of their found materials,” he said.
The structures were in a fairly dilapidated condition, so their original green oak frames has to be dismantled and repaired offsite.
In one of the smaller blocks it was simply reinstalled, but in the main barn some elements had to be replaced with steel beams – although these are disguised behind structurally insulated panels, all fronted by wood.
One of the biggest interventions was the addition of numerous mechanically operated openings, allowing the building to be either securely closed off, or opened up to take advantage of countryside views. These include large shutters intended to evoke the original barn doors, which front an open space at the centre of the barn. One the other side of this space is another set of doors, concealing a large rotating window operated by an adapted chain lift. Elsewhere, the architects have added an “aircraft-hangar door” that concertinas upwards to create a canopy for a terrace.
via  liddicoatgoldhill.com

 

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Embraced House by Pedro Quintela. Portugal

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A cozy house that wraps you in its embrace. An old building in Cascais, Portugal was restored by Portuguese artist and architect, Pedro Quintela who turned it into the Embracing House. The materials in this cozy, warm home explode with vitality. In 2008, architect and artist Pedro Quintela from Pedro Quintela – O Espírito do Lugar Design Studio came upon some old stone ruins in Malveira da Sierra, at the foot of the Sintra mountains and offering ocean views. He fell in love with the place and bought what the locals called “a pile of rubble”. Pedro Quintela personally supervised the long restoration process – from cleaning up the site to the interior design – and the result is a truly unique home, one that clearly contrasts with contemporary minimalism.  The materials play a very important part in this work and were selected to respect the identity of the original construction, all sourced locally – pinewood, Sintra granite and of course recycled stone from the ruins. The architect appears to have picked up the pieces of a puzzle, delicately adapting them to different positions and using them in new ways. The U shape of the volumes gave the house its name – Embracing House. But this is something more than just a question of form, it is actually in keeping with Pedro Quintela’s holistic approach, which has been visually interpreted by the photographs of Ricardo Oliveira Alves. Design where the architecture, as Quintela himself says, is an evolving process structured into three stages: adaptation (responding to the location), transformation (a form of reflection) and crystallisation (the creation). And the resulting architecture is new but old, an authentic work that reflects “the spirit of the site”.
via livegreenblog.com

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House on Solitude Creek by Robert Gurney. Maryland, US

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Architect Robert M. Gurney, has designed a home in St Michaels, Maryland, that sits on the edge of Solitude Creek. Originally this foundation was occupied by another home, however the creek flooded and damaged the original house, causing it to be removed. To be able to keep the same location as the original home, the architect decided to add 2 feet to the height of the original foundation. If they hadn’t done this, they would not have been allowed to build on the same foundation due to new codes and regulations. By adding the height, they were able to keep the waterfront location, and build a house that was designed to take advantage of the views. The main living area has a wall of windows, allowing direct access to the outside, as well as letting the natural light fill the space. The homeowners wanted spaces to accommodate the owners’ collection of modern art, which includes works by the owner, who is an artist specializing in abstract paintings.

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