Mill Valley Cabins: Idyllic Studios


On a steep and lushly wooded site, long-time residents wished for studios in which to paint and practice yoga… personal spaces to expand their existing hillside home. What Feldman Architecture created is the stuff of dreams for me. Two separate studios, one for his painting, and one for her yoga and to act as a guest house, were notched in to the hillside. Creating two individual buildings minimized disturbance of the site. Continue reading

Flat 40: Floating Screen Wall


This extraordinary family home in Japan is surrounded on three sides by traditional residences and one seven story apartment tower looming on the other. I’m always delighted to see beauty built from adversity. The solution employed here is called ukikabe, or floating screen wall. Continue reading

Topo House: mimicking the landscape


In the gently rolling hills of Blue Mound, Wisconsin, this home is an extrusion of the topography on which it lies. Two opposing folded plates stretch out from the hillsides creating an elegant form in tune with its host surroundings. The lower plate appears to have been literally lifted from the surrounding meadow with its green roof. Steel covers the upper roof plane which dramatically extends beyond the home’s walls to provide protection for a terrace and shading for the house’s interior. Continue reading

Little Brick Studio: minimal intrusion


In the bustling urban setting of Melbourne, Australia, Make Architecture has created a private family oasis with the creation of this two level studio. Originally intended to provide space for the owners’ teenage sons, the flexible space could easily become a private office or a suite for mom. Continue reading

The Rieteiland House: a gorgeous architect’s home


Have you ever wondered what architects’ homes look like? As an architect myself, I do too! And few of us design professionals take the opportunity to create our very own. So I’m thrilled to share with you the Amsterdam home that architect Hans van Heeswijk designed for his family. Continue reading

Gueto House: depicting a giant centipede


This two-story building in Pucon, Chile seems to evoke the image of a giant centipede for its sloped roof silhouette and dense wooden structure that elevates the house. In fact, the volume is completely clad with larch shingles creating a powerful organic presence, while the irregular geometry of the roof contributes to a mysterious sensation of slow motion movements… Continue reading

House D: glazed pedestal awash in green


Picture yourself relaxing in a comfortable living room with a splendid view over a verdant land with mature fruit trees. That’s House D! This two-story building in Switzerland makes the most of an incredible natural landscape. A pitched roof volume appears to hang over a glazed pedestal – an ingenious strategy to minimize the impact of the building in such a green context. Continue reading

D Residence: traditional or contemporary?


In Lengau, Austria, a complex of two old rural houses has been transformed by LP Architektur into a place of retreat, while keeping the delicate fusion of traditional and new values. The bigger building shelters the main house while the old stable functions as the guest house. Continue reading

GSC House: small contemporary fortress


GSC House is a two-story building located on a hill slope facing a lake in Zurich, Switzerland. A need for privacy was one of the main goals, which resulted in a strategic position of the two volumes, taking advantage of the steep topography. In the future, an unapproachable but cultivated jungle will keep curious eyes from this small contemporary fortress. Continue reading

Atelier S: 17th century barn conversion


A 17th-century barn gives place to a new studio and exhibition space in Weinstadt, Germany. This beautiful renovation project by Coast Office Architecture demonstrates the everlasting adaptability of traditional buildings to modern necessities. In fact, the design followed a simple direction: maintain the original aesthetic and identity of the ancient timber structure by using traditional methods and techniques to reinforce the damaged barn. Continue reading