Pavilion360 by Nuyken von Oefele. Austria
A house with a rooftop infinity pool by Kois Associated Architects - Tinos Island, Greece
Designed for the rocky terrain that makes up the island’s south-west coastline, the Mirage house is conceived by Kois Associated Architects as “an invisible oasis” where residents can enjoy panoramic views over the Aegean Sea without giving up their privacy.
The team decided to bury part of the building in the landscape and then create a large open-air living room in front. These will all be sheltered beneath the rooftop pool, which will act as a huge mirror to help the building camouflage with its surroundings.
Dry stone walls will surround sections of the interior and also frame the building’s entrance. These are designed to reference the traditional walls that can be spotted all over the scenic island landscape.
Patsiaouras explained: “The elements that stirred our imagination most were the linear drywall constructions that articulate the landscape and the scattered shallow concrete water-reservoirs used for agricultural purposes.”
Svalbard Global Secure Seed Bank on the Norwegien Island of Spitsbergen
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a safe storage for the seeds of literary all the plants in our planet. It can withstand a nuclear strike, and aims to preserve crops in the face of climate change, war and natural disasters. The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center and protects crop diversity by safeguarding spare seeds that belong to the other 1400 seed banks found worldwide.
When full, the vault will hold 4.5m samples – an estimated two billion seeds – from all known varieties of the planet’s main food crops, making it possible to re-establish plants if they disappear from their natural environment or are obliterated by major disasters. That’s why the facility is also called the “Biodiversity Doomsday Vault”.
The seedbank is 120 metres (390 ft) inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island,and employs robust security systems. Seeds are packaged in special four-ply packets and heat sealed to exclude moisture. The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, though there are no permanent staff on-site.
offSET Shed House by I Smith Architects. New Zealand
A small family house located in the coastal community north of Gisborne.
From a context of accrued bach-esk dwellings in a south facing coastal surf community, a strategy of sequencing building sets (aka surf) was generated to scale new form to its surrounds. Building sets are then offset to allow seasonal living and circulation options for variations in wind and sun exposure.
Summer opens and invites in community; with diagonal movement connecting offset and shaded external spaces. Here living holds minimal interior use, with summer circulation defining informal house boundaries, and the control of sand.
Life then internalises for winter shut down, with high level openings capturing precious northern light and warmth, and offset forms providing shelter to the southern exposure.
Hut on Sleds by Crosson Architects Whangapoua, New Zealand
On the shore of an idyllic white sanded beach in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula rests an elegant hut. Closed up, the rough macrocarpa-cladding blends into the landscape and perches quietly on the dunes, as passersby wonder how it could possibly function for a family of five.
Designed to close up against the elements, the hut measures a mere 40 square metres and rests on two thick wooden sleds that allow it to be shifted around the beach front section. This innovative portability is a response to the ever changing landscape that line the beachfront in this coastal erosion zone.
Within the hut, the ingenuity reveals itself further as no nook or cranny is overlooked. Every available space has been utilised, right down to the secret individual cubby holes hidden in the children’s bunk room.
For these clients it was all about the real essence of the hut; small, simple and functional. The hut comes to life when the enormous shutter on the northeast facade winches open to form an awning, revealing two-storey high steel-framed glass doors that form the main entrance. The hut then transforms into a sun drenched haven, opening up to the views of the surf and the distant Mercury Islands.
The mezzanine bedroom is accessed by climbing a wall-mounted ladder through a closeable hatch, it shares the same view as downstairs through the huge glass doors. Climb the ladder again and you arrive on a roof terrace which catches rainwater for the gravity tanks behind.
From the industrial style fittings to the quirky furnishings, this whole structure plays with the idea of the most egalitarian of Kiwi recreations and embraces and challenges the image of the traditional Kiwi bach. Small, simply and elegantly self-contained, this tiny elegant hut strips holiday living right back to basics.
Pumphouse Point by Cumulus Studio. Australia
Located just inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Pumphouse Point was originally constructed as part of Tasmania’s hydro electric scheme and has been unused for over twenty years before being redeveloped.
The redevelopment, which has already become a signature project for Tasmanian tourism, involved the adaptive reuse and refurbishment of two existing, heritage listed, off-form concrete art deco buildings – ‘The Pumphouse’ and ‘The Shorehouse’ – into a wilderness retreat.
The Pumphouse, a three storey building originally constructed in the 1940s to house pump turbines, sits on Lake St Clair at the end of a 250m concrete flume which is its only connection to land. The Shorehouse, located at the start of the flume on the edge of the lake, was constructed at the same time and accommodated offices and a maintenance workshop for the turbines. Eighteen new guest suites have been inserted within the existing concrete building envelopes – twelve of these are located in The Pumphouse and the remaining six are within The Shorehouse. The Shorehouse also accommodates the prep kitchen and main communal lounge / dining room.
Only minimal work has been done to the exterior of the buildings. This is a deliberate response to maintain the high heritage value of the existing buildings and to emphasise the contrast between the new interiors and the exterior – their distressed condition a testament to the harsh environment in which they are located.
Seascape Retreat by Pattersons. Banks Peninsula New Zealand
A romantic beachside cottage is set into a rock escarpment in a tiny boulder strewn South Pacific cove. It is a shelter designed as a honeymoon retreat for paying guests consisting of just three rooms, a lobby, living/sleeping and a bathroom.
This retreat is built using all local materials and is constructed largely from rock quarried near its site with in-situ poured concrete floors and an earth turfed roof. The structure is integrated into the escarpment above to protect occupants from falling debris. The cottage is self-sustainable in respect to on-site water harvesting and wastewater treatment. The project incorporated an extensive reforestation and re-vegetation sub project.
Its plan is an interlocking geometry responding to both near views of the Bay and far views out to Rocky Spires. It is lined with horizontal macrocarpa wood. This timber forms integrated joinery, wall and ceiling panels behind double glazed low e-glass in storm and shatter proof steel mullions which utilise earthquake resistant sliding heads.
Cabin Lille Aroya by Lund Hagem. Norway
This charming cabin on stilts perched over an uneven rocky site in Norway is a holiday home for an interior architect, an artist and their two children. Oslo-based studio Lund Hagem designed Cabin Lille Arøya to be an extension of the majestic landscape.The 807-square-foot home is located on a small island off the coast of Helgeroa village in Southern Norway. Hidden from view, the house replaces an existing structure on a site exposed to strong winds. The architects designed two volumes connected by a decked walkway that widens to form a terrace.“The new volumes sit naturally with the existing landscape and allow for free circulation and use of surround areas,” said the architects. Cabin Lille Arøya is one of three island cabins recently designed by the architects.
all images Alexander Westberg
Retreat Home by Lund Hagem. Norway.
There’s a house by the seaside in Norway – on the rocks. Nestled among the boulders of Sandefjord, on Norway’s south-east coast, Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem was created as an annex to a summer home. But this gorgeous seaside retreat is a place you’ll never want to leave. Not quite 100 SF (30 meters), it has plenty of light and plenty of view and feels much, much larger. Surrounded by weather beaten boulders, the extreme privacy was part of the plan – despite it being a primarily glass house. And the stepped concrete roof? It leads to a viewing platform – concrete stairs to your private deck. Panoramic ocean views make it the perfect place for a sundown drink. Here’s to glorious sunsets on the Norwegian coast.