The Galley House: Narrow Escape

This tiny lot in Toronto narrowly escaped becoming an alley way or a diminutive dark traditional infill home. Once again out of an extreme challenge rises a bright solution. In this case the Galley House, by Williamson Chong, at less than 12 feet wide is 62’ long and three levels of 2,400 sq.ft. With three bedrooms and double-height spaces, once inside the width becomes insignificant. Continue reading


The Hendee Borg House: See the Light

Day light is often an underutilized design element. Yet for artists, one a sculptor and one a media artist, who own this Sonoma, California home, that brilliant component is mandatory. Designed by architect William O’Brien Jr., here natural light takes center stage as the most important aspect of the house’s design. Continue reading


Miner’s Refuge: Ode to Past and Present

At the foot of a hill in eastern Washington, a private retreat shared by two families is built on respect for the site and its resources, economies of scale, and the history and vernacular architecture of the mining area. The families’ wish list also included two main bedroom suites, a bunk room, and an open space for cooking, lounging, and dining. Continue reading


Small House in an Olive Grove

Cascading down a hillside in an olive grove in Sonoma, California, this 850 sq.ft. home is a study of volumes and the materials that form them. It was designed by Cooper Joseph Studio to be constructed and to reside in partnership with nature and the scientist owners’ agricultural projects which include olives and olive oil and bee keeping. Continue reading


The Butte Residence: Sprung from the Bluff

Architecture that springs from its site as a natural occupant is a rare thing, especially when the home is large, as in 7600 square feet large. The Butte Residence is delicately nestled on its 38 acre bluff in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A driveway meanders through the site’s pine and aspen forest setting the stage for the amazing home that will unfold. Continue reading


Sauna Box: shipping container for sweaty sessions

The uses for shipping containers once their travels have ended are a source for unlimited creativity. This is a refreshing and revitalizing transformation that utilizes the structural stability and mobility of the container. This 8’ by 8’ by 8’ retired corrugated metal cube has been converted, by New York-based Castor Design, in to a sauna. Continue reading


Essendon Prefab Addition: At Home Precision

ARKit’s prefabricated wall panels made even this addition to an historic home on a small site painless. These interlocking panels with integral insulation and wood or plaster interiors are precisely crafted for high performance. Using often undervalued short lengths of timber, in this case red cedar, the sustainably sourced lumber also is inherently pest and rot resistant. In this Melbourne, Australia residence the building addition, interior and exterior, was factory built and assembled on site. Continue reading


La Sentinelle: Modern Guardian

Just the location of this new family home in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec overlooking a pristine lake should fulfill any home owner’s wishes. Add to that a clever plan derived from site constraints, and expectations are succeeded. Continue reading


Lounge in Tepoztlan: creative space

Picture this…a small town south of Mexico City nestled in to rocky cliffs. The historic town center contrasts greatly with the lush wild country surrounding it. Creative types – artists, writers, musicians – have made it their idyllic retreat for many years. Part of a larger complex of bungalows that can be rented by days, months, or even years if you’re so fortunate, the lounge is a communal space in sharp contrast with nature. At the same time it acts as a liaison between man and the environment. Continue reading


ModFruGal Tree House

There are two very fortunate young boys in Tennessee probably enjoying this tree house even as I write. Their clever parents built it for them from standard readily available materials – namely conventional lumber, plywood, and corrugated metal. It’s just 64 sq. ft. plus a tiny front porch deck. Since it’s a stand-alone structure it isn’t what we typically define as a tree house. Yet it meets that definition in every other way. Continue reading