1. North Bay
Architect: Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects, Location: Friday Harbor, Washington
From the architect: "North Bay is located on a stunning but restricted site overlooking Griffin Bay on San Juan Island. The most practical area to build was exactly where three beautiful old-growth trees had already chosen to live, and a prior architect, in a prior design, had proposed chopping them down in order to use that portion of the site. To us, the trees were an essential element of the site and had to be preserved. As a result, we shifted the placement of the house, minimized the programmatic requirements, kept the clients on a square foot restriction, and pressed tight against property setbacks. The clients desired an intimate, yet dynamic family residence that reflected the beauty of the site and the lifestyle of the San Juan Islands. The house was built to be both a place to gather for large dinners with friends and family as well as a cozy home for the couple. Built with the strength to withstand the island’s windy winter storms, the pavilion, while light and airy in appearance and feeling, is constructed of glass, steel, and stout wood timbers and doors."
Architect: Philipp Architekten, Location: Waldenburg, Germany
From the architect: "The challenge of House Philipp was primarily determined by the striking location on a small mountain ridge with a splendid view to the north. To meet this specific situation, the cube of the main house was completely glazed with frameless windows. In this way, the fantastic surroundings and the desire for living in total harmony with nature as well as the longing for sun and light could be paid tribute to. A cube placed in this glass box acts as a key element, completely paneled with elm wood. It contains both the kitchen and the staircase, and at the same time it forms the static backbone for the attic above. It’s amazing how the cantilevered top floor seems to float above the fully glazed ground floor. It is characterized by a long hallway running across the entire width of the house, used for playing games."
Architect: CAB Architects, Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
From the architect: "Our goal with the renovation of this Edwardian house was to reinterpret traditional styling and detailing in a modern way throughout the home—from exterior to interior. The front facade is whitewashed pink brick with dark navy-grey trim. The kitchen utilizes caned upper cabinets, brass fixtures, and bright white marble countertops and backsplash to contrast with the black base cabinets. Between the kitchen and dining rooms is a pass-through bar (or servery), with dark turquoise base cabinets with an integrated wine fridge and bar sink. The powder room across the hall uses a whimsical custom Art Deco–inspired mirror and screen to transform the black-and-white space."
4. Miner Road
Architect: Faulkner Architects, Location: Orinda, California
From the architect: "The clients are a couple of environmental scientists who, along with their two sons, relocated from the Oakland Hills to the warmer climate of Orinda. Their commitment to sustainability, including a request for net-zero energy performance, was evident in their thinking throughout the design process. The three-bedroom program began as a remodel of a 1954 ranch house at the foot of a hill next to a seasonal creek. After finding the existing structure and soils to be unsuitable, the direction settled on reusing the existing footprint under the shade of a Valley Oak that had grown up close to the original house. The family desired an open living layout that connected directly to the landscape."
5. Coburg House
Architect: Lisa Breeze Architect, Location: Coburg, Victoria, Australia
From the architect: "Having lovingly restored the front of this Californian bungalow, our clients were seeking help to reinvent the back of the home. The brief was to create a functional, beautiful, and bright abode for their family. We achieved this with a combination of repurposing the existing spaces and adding a small extension to the back and side. We added a new kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and living space, all with a strong connection to the outdoors."
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