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Wanaka House

On 86 protected hectares along the mountainous shores of Lake Wanaka, an unpretentious home quietly resides like an anonymous benefactor. RTA Studio remarkably complied with the strict environmental requirements of The Mount Aspiring National Park World Heritage area. The contemporary house minimizes its energy use as required by the Resource Management Act. Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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Modern Boathouse

You may not yet have dreamt of a place for relaxation along with boat storage. Now you will when you immerse yourself in to this creation by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited. Picture an island in the archipelago of Georgian Bay in Ontario. It’s a four-season getaway with unlimited natural beauty where still waters reflect the mostly evergreen forest that springs from the rocky land. Continue reading

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The sustainable Asian House

Modern living probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of southeast Asia. “The sustainable Asian House”, a wonderful architecture book written by Paul McGillick and beautifully photographed by Masano Kawana, has opened my eyes to some amazing dwellings in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

This book explores the idea of sustainable living in the tropics from environmental, social and cultural points of view, showcasing contemporary houses that actually respond, adapt and work with the region’s unique climate. Continue reading

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Lipkow

An ancient Polish home type was the inspiration for this modern family home in mid-north-eastern Poland. SDA Architekti used historic forms and materials and manipulated them to enhance contemporary life. Continue reading