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Convent de Sant Francesc

There is no denying the controversial qualities of this modern intervention of a 1700s convent in Santpedor, Spain. Some will desire a full restoration of the church, the only remaining element of the former convent complex. Some will say its merits are gone and what remains are not worth saving. Some, like David Closes arquitecte, embrace the undeniable artistry and history of an ancient time. Continue reading

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Blantyre House

The challenges of tiny urban lots and the solutions derived from them never cease to amaze me. The Victorian neighborhoods of Toronto are dense with lots that are generous in depth and stingy in width. This one is just 20 feet wide and 120 feet long. And neighbors are very close in their physical relationship. Williamson Chong pushed the boundaries of the lot’s width, but not its depth. At the request of their clients, the home’s depth retreats to maintain a 100-year-old Norway maple. Continue reading

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Seaview House

Three pavilions comprise this beach side cottage. With a long-standing relationship with the clients, architect Jon Clements of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, had a rare advantage in designing what will eventually become their full time residence. Continue reading

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Dalarna Summer House

A summer house in rural Sweden reclaims materials and childhood daydreams. Architect Leo Qvarsebo designed the five-level retreat for his family. A meadow on the edge of a forest is an idyllic location. And the scarcely populated site provides unfettered connection with nature. Continue reading

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Winterlude Pavilion

Take a break from the brisk cold and often grey days of winter at the Winterlude Pavilion in a park in Ottawa, Canada. The brilliant geometric form, designed by Adrian Bica and his team, is sparking a sense of wonder and engagement. Its sparkling shape is reminiscent of a soccer ball, appealing to children and adults alike. Made of interwoven pentagons and hexagons, the tubular geometry is simple and complex at the same time. Continue reading

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La Couleuvre

In a dense urban fabric, a young family expecting twins was challenged by limited expansion options. Wishing to maintain their upstairs tenants, their only choice was to expand out in to the garden. Even that area was limited. They enlisted Naturehumaine Architects to resolve the spatial issues and create a dynamic home for their exuberant young family. Continue reading

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Veranda House

In a new forested development in a Montreal suburb, this single family home succeeds at being very private. Its street facade is warmly and deliberately standoffish. A rich wood door defines the entrance in the elegant and austere two-story clay brick form. A tall lean corner window peeks inside the living area at one end and a horizontal ribbon of windows lights the corridor above. Yet contrary to the stark facade, the house hugs the ground in an inviting approachable manner. It has eliminated traditional steps and raised floor levels to create a strong bond between interior and exterior spaces. Continue reading

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Arch Wall House

What a unique way to define a duplex home. The Arch Wall House by NAF Architect & Design Co. uses the two homes’ connection as a separation. It is not only a powerful division, but also a connecting drive and distinguishing element for both homes. Continue reading

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Holy Cross House

Deep narrow urban lots come naturally with many opportunities. Architect Thomas Balaban maximized these in increasingly popular ways. The three level, three bed, three bath 300 sq.m. home clearly contrasts its traditional neighborhood in materials. Yet its volumes are subtle, familiar, and inviting. Continue reading

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Panorama House

On a stunning site with forests and valleys and grassy marshes, taking advantage of all of them is key. Blouin Tardif Architecture-Environnement did just that by flipping a traditional cottage. By placing the private sleeping quarters on the ground floor, daily living spaces enjoy the splendid natural views. Continue reading