The Floating Farmhouse’s semitransparent addition has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original 1820s farmhouse. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property. Photo by Mark Mahaney.
Seen here from the south, Villa van Vijven’s orange facade is meant to mimic the tiled rooftops of Holland’s country buildings, while the building’s horizontal pull echoes the flat landscape. The second-floor living rooms look out on the 4,200-square-foot communal garden, one of only two shared spaces in the whole community.
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 work—managing subcontractors, sourcing materials, driving the front loader—she moved in. With a façade made of corrugated sheet metal, Cooper walks us through her completed home and reveals what it took to make this $200-per-square-foot abode a reality. Photo by Mikey Tnasuttimonkol.
Enric Ruiz-Geli’s firm Cloud9 designed the suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable. The concrete volumes of the upper and lower floors are independent to allow expansion and compression while a CNC-cut formwork was used to create the wavy pattern in the home’s concrete outer walls. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.
This family of cost-conscious Hamburgers (freshly back in Germany after years abroad) converted a kitschy turn-of-the-century villa into a high-design home. Instead of trying to minimize the discrepancy, the architects emphasized it by keeping the old-fashioned facade intact and painting it graphite gray. Photo by Mark Seelen.
Oakland, California, doesn’t want for stately old Victorian houses, but heritage and zoning regulations often make them tough to renovate, particularly if you have an aesthetic departure in mind. By raising the house, Mike McDonald was able to and create a new modern office space below.Photo by Jason Madara.
Viewed from a good distance down the slope running to the Union River, the Maison Amtrak is clearly oriented toward the river. Their deck is sheltered from the neighbors’ view by Cohen’s bedroom to the right and the living room at left, leaving ample privacy for their window-clad façade. Photo by Mark Mahaney.
To integrate the Shade House into its surroundings, the exterior features a combination of raw concrete and exposed wood (reclaimed lumber) that complements the existing concrete structures of the neighborhood. Beneath the exterior cladding and the roof is a clever energy-saving solution: radiant barrier house wrap. The wrap, which looks just like tin foil, repels radiant heat and bounces it right back into the atmosphere—a breath of fresh air in Houston’s torrid summers. Photo by Jack Thompson.
“People scold us if we don’t raise the kite,” says Kari K. Holm (sitting with her husband, German-born architect Jürgen Kiehl). From the bench outside, extending from the window heavy facade of their Norwegian home, the couple can wave to friends passing in boats and make use of those long summer evenings. Photo by Pia Ulin.
Tuned into its sylvan setting, this affordable green home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is a modern take on the surrounding centuries-old structures. The house’s skewed cubic form is clad in plank-like Cor-Ten steel panels and shielded by a rain screen. Over the years, the Cor-Ten will develop a rich patina that will liken the home to the weathered and rusted farm buildings in the area.
In this Facade Focus on brick, Tom Verschueren, of Mechelen, Belgium-based DMVA Architects, created 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.”
In a Melbourne suburb, a family of four redefines “interior design” with a private house that doubles as a public art gallery, but the exterior of the house is equally creative. Read more about the Housemuseum in All the Home's a Stage.
In the story A Little Bit Country, we learn "the couple initially planned to build a neotraditional farmhouse, which is standard fare in this corner of the world. But over the course of the year-and-a-half-long design process, their notions were tweaked, prodded, and coaxed into the minimalist incarnation they now call the Porch House—and home.
David Barragan and Jose Maria Saez call their Pentimento House "an architecture to be naked to connect with its surroundings." Built using a new, Lego-like modular prefab system the two architects developed, the Quito, Ecuador, project is featured in our December/January 2013 issue of Dwell on newsstands now. Don't miss it!
In our Facade Focus on Steel, learn how 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. Photo by Sharon Risedorph.