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12 Modern Home Facades

From imaginative takes on brick to the ultimate steel cladding, enjoy this tour of creative modern home facades.

renovating an old farmhouse in New York

Hope Floats

A self-taught designer embarks upon a solo mission to resuscitate a 19th-century homestead.

casa delpin living room

San Juan, PR

After three rainless weeks a welcome tropical shower blew into San Juan, Puerto Rico, one afternoon last May, awakening Casa Delpin with the sound of trickling water.

villa van vijven exterior

Modern Communal Living in the Netherlands

Craving not just a home but a proper piece of architecture, a handful of design- and business-savvy Dutch families banded together, hired an architect, and set about forming the community that would net them the houses of their dreams.

Modern house in Los Angeles with corrugated metal facade

131-Day House

Architect Jayna Cooper had never designed a house before, much less played general contractor, when she broke ground on her new home in the middle of Los Angeles in 2009. After a grueling four months of hands-on hard work—managing subcontractors, sourcing materials, driving the front loader—she moved in. Here, she walks us through her completed home and reveals what it took to make this $200-per-square-foot abode a reality.

villa bio house

It Takes a Villa

Enric Ruiz-Geli’s firm Cloud9 designed the suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable.

shade house exterior

Houston, We've Solved a Problem

A bird flying over Houston, Texas, sees only a sprawling canopy of trees. It seems the perfect nesting place for creatures both avian and human alike; unfortunately, the green ends at the tree line. All of those leafy branches shade a city that appears to care little for sustainable design, with cars that chug gas by the low-mileage gallon and oversized houses that dominate the persistently expanding cityscape.

Modern shotgun house CabFab composite board sliding doors

Project: Live Work Home

Richard Cook, a principal at Cook + Fox Architects, surveyed the Near Westside’s inventory of vacant structures and arrived at a conclusion that would guide the design of the Live Work Home. “The last thing in the world that the Near Westside needed was another house, whether it’s green or otherwise,” he says. “What it needed was a new prototype.”

affordable modern green home in North Carolina

Region of Honor

Tuned into its sylvan setting, this affordable green home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is a modern take on the surrounding centuries-old structures.

brick facade House BVA in Belgium by DMVA Architects

Facade Focus: Brick

Yves Borghs and Katleen van Ammel wanted their new house to offer maximum privacy but also maximum light. The solution proposed by Tom Verschueren, of Mechelen, Belgium-based DMVA Architects, was to create a closed street-side facade with an open backside facing the garden, totally glazed from the ground up to the saddleback roof. On the street side, the only true opening is the door; the seven tall, slim windows are screened by what Verschueren calls “knitted” bricks. “In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”

dark grey metal house Villa DVT The Netherlands by BoetzkesHelder

Facade Focus: Metal

While still studying architecture at Eindhoven University, Servie Boetzkes and Jeroen Helder landed a commission through “friends of friends” to build a home in a suburb of Arnhem.

wooden Newton House Massachusetts by NADAAA

Facade Focus: Wood

A Boston couple with a big extended family wanted to enlarge their brick neo-Georgian with an addition that would fit a generous kitchen and hangout space, all while avoiding superfluous detail. Or, as architecture firm NADAAA interpreted the brief, they wanted a “clean space where they can evacuate themselves from their stuff.”

raw steel facade of modern house in Idaho

Facade Focus: Steel

Idaho-based architect Susan Desko—previously a senior design architect for Frank Gehry—created a house built of untreated steel plate and glass that towers among the trees of its Ketchum landscape.

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