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Old Country Mansion

Many of us who may dream of restoring a home within the Mediterranean countryside would have simply turned our noses up at the site of an age-old foundation and retaining wall. However, Josep Lluís Mateo of Mateo Arquitectura dove head-on into the reconstruction of this Old Country Mansion in La Garrotxa, Girona. The Barcelona-based firm realized early on that this foundation was more than just lost ruins; it was a perfect canvas upon which to create a true work of art. Continue reading

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Buddy’s House

Simple forms become complex jewels when artfully defined by materials. This modern sleek home, designed by Sergey Makhno architectural workshop, is rich in contrast and light. The larger upper floor, wrapped in ebony steel and black brick, overhangs the lower level walls of natural concrete. A two-story rectangle is framed again in steel, pierced with sheets of glass, and its end walls wear sliced rounds of oak. The wood is a natural unifying element that bridges the highly contrasting hues of brick, steel, concrete, and glass. A separate building with faces of brick, concrete, and timber rings is centered within two steel roofed open areas. One acts as a carport and the opposite an outside living place. Continue reading

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Doboz Bar Budapest

Enveloped by the World Heritage site of the old Jewish Quarter in Budapest is an exciting new bar. Now the entertainment district of this historic site, the Doboz (meaning “box”) bar is a purely modern intervention on the exterior. The design by 81font architects projects up through the enclosed courtyard of the eclectic 1880s stone facades of the former residential buildings. With a storied history as a hospital during World War II and the home of a rabbi and his seven daughters most recently, the buildings lay abandoned and neglected during the late 1900s. Continue reading

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Captians House

There is such beauty in simplicity. A steeply wooded site in rural Pennsylvania is home to two interlocking rectangles. Designed by Bromley Caldari Architects, it hugs the rocky site that overlooks the Delaware River. At the same time, it’s as if you’re in a treehouse. Continue reading

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Saint Roch-de-l’Achigan City Hall

A former convent’s prayers were answered and new life was injected in to the 1881 structure. Affleck de la Riva architects resurrected the historic structure in to the city hall and municipal offices. Valued as a symbol of the community the limestone masonry walls are a symbol of stability. With 1560 sq.m over three floors and more space within the copper clad mansard roof, it is a spacious city hall for the small farming community. Continue reading

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Carbon Positive House

Carbon neutral housing is truly catching on and hopefully homes that contribute more than they require will do the same. Archiblox, an Australian design-build company, ups the sustainability game with their Carbon Positive House. This means that the prefabricated homes produce more energy than they need to operate, and can provide that energy to the existing energy grid. Continue reading

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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