Hawkesbury Manager's House by HMA. Central Otago, New Zealand

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Herriot + Melhuish Architecture worked in partnership with USA firm Marmol Radziner and Associates to develop a Californian Modernist style house redefined to sit in a Central Otago context.

The challenge was to adapt the traditional layered horizontal planes of the ‘modernist Californian pavilion’ to local planning rules and extreme weather conditions; and of course, take advantage of the spectacular views to the north of the site. Our client requested clever detailing to deliver cost effective solutions to these parameters.

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Scottish Ruin Tranformed into Modern House by WT Architecture. Isle of Coll, UK

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This mid-1700s house on the wind-whipped Scottish Isle of Coll has been revitalized by a contemporary renovation after being abandoned for 150 years. WT Architecture was tasked with the unusual challenge of integrating a crumbling ruin with a modern, environmentally sensitive home. The White House’s fractured facade forms the perfect bookend for the new building, contributing great character and history while protecting the new home from the brutal Atlantic winds. Step inside and you’ll find yourself firmly in the 21st century – the home features sweeping banks of glass that face the breaking ocean, open living spaces, and locally sourced low-impact materials.
The massive stone walls of the original home were doomed to failure as they were set on top of a sandy foundation and further eroded by treasure hunters searching for buried gold. A century later the home was abandoned to the whims of the coast until a couple decided that it would be the perfect backbone for a new house. The first job was to firm up the home’s stone walls and foundation. The new home huddles within the confines of the immense walls and branches out with a glass-lined living room at the home’s core. The other wing is buffeted by a large dry stacked stone wall. Lighter materials such as wooden beams and steel provide basic building elements while reducing the energy needed to ship materials to the site.
via wtarchitecture.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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Seascape Retreat by Pattersons. Banks Peninsula New Zealand

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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.
via pattersons.com

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Restoration in La Cerdenya Spain by Pablo Elorduy

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This project takes place in a small village in La Cerdanya, on the north valley side, south oriented the village’s heart consist on 20 houses, surrounded by fields and pastures where farming and agriculture are the main activities. Breathtaking views of the Cadi mountains make of this setting a piece of nature paradise.
Most of the buildings in the village organized enclosing an outside space called the “era”. The village plan shows how the old constructions were built in order to create ensembles of living and working units arranged around exterior enclosed spaces.  Overall they form a grid-like pattern of barns and stables as well as houses.
One set of these buildings consisting on a haystack, a barn, a warehouse, a small dwelling and a “badiu” (traditional backyard), pertained to our client who wished this space to be re-designed and re-arranged to become his home and additional guest areas.

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Casa Vi by Ev+Lab Atelier. Sondirio, Italy

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This house is located in the surroundings of Sondrio on the Orobic Alps, Italy, at about 1000 meters of altitude..
From a formal point of view the house refers to the rural houses: the only sloping roof, completely coated by stone, with no eaves.
The structure is in reinforced concrete and concrete bricks, with suitable thermal insulation, in order to obtain a good living comfort, and coated with local stone.

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Casa Meztitla by EDAA. Mexico

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Casa Meztitla is an intervention of a natural scenario. It showcases the luxurious value of leisure, the tropical weather, the intense sunlight, the smells of nature, the over 500 year-old landscaped terraces and the ever-present rock mountain: El Tepozteco. It is context in itself. The house, built out of rough stone, crawls low under the trees, aligned with the vegetated-covered stone slopes. It is the creation of pure space within the natural space (Paz, O., 1987). It has an introverted living yet is continually open to its surroundings. Only two elements reveal its existence to the outside world: the colorful bougainvillea flowers showing randomly through the trees’ dense foliage, which mark the plot’s perimeter; and the massive and monolithic white box that emerges through the treetops.
all images KUU Studios
via edaa.mx

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16th Century Mountain Stone House Restored by V. Savarerino. Sondrio, Italy

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The house is situated at the entrance of Val Bregaglia, in Northern Italy, in the middle of the 16th century rural settlement of Crana. In the late ‘700 the village had more than a hundred inhabitants, but nowadays it’s in a state of semi-abandonment and the few restored buildings are almost exclusively used as holiday homes.
The new project includes an aerial link between the two volumes, consisting in a wood and glass bridge. The two buildings become a unique articulated and distinguished living space.
The external architectural choices reflect the local traditions in terms of materials, typologies and morphological aspects.
In this project of “re-use/recovery/restoration” the real issue has been how to turn a simple barn into a house with high standards of energy performance.
The only visible contemporary signs on the facade are the presence of two large fixed windows, which are facing on the South and on the East towards the mountain landscape.In the interior, three are the elements in relationship: the wood, the sunlight in the space, the panoramic views.

all images Paolo Valentini
via amallective.com

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