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Posts Tagged ‘Refurbishment’

* Residential Architecture: 128G Cairnhill Road by RichardHO Architects

Posted by the editors on Friday, 26 April 2013

128G Cairnhill Road by RichardHO Architects

Residential Architecture: 128G Cairnhill Road by RichardHO Architects: “..Our initial survey of the property revealed the building’s good bones. The house’s original condition was quite good but its configuration did not suit modern living. A primary concern was that the kitchen and bathrooms were located at the back of the house, away from activities of the living and dining rooms and inappropriate for entertaining..We retained the building envelope and reconfigured the layout to create a single, seamless living-dining-kitchen volume, taking special care to maintain the hierarchy of space so central to the design of pre-war shop house. The resultant scheme is a distinctly modern take on a traditional shop house. It received an instant stamp of approval from the owners. “I love the fact that when you enter, you can see straight through the back, but know that the various areas are designed for specific purposes,” says the owner..To recreate the shop house essence, we redefined two characteristic features of shop house architecture – the skylight and the air well. To emphasise the importance of this space as the fulcrum of the house, we introduced a water feature and koi pond and made the staircase wind around this water feature. Where the air well was once exposed to the elements, it is now equipped with a retractable glass roof and independently operated blinds that reflect 75 percent of the heat back into the atmosphere, keeping the internal temperature comfortable. Depending on the extent to which the blinds are retracted, the time of the day and the intensity of the sun, the shaft of light streaming in casts shadows in varied patterns. On moonlit nights, the glass roof can be fully retracted to take in the view..The second storey has one wing housing the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, and the other containing the nursery and daughter’s bedroom. We custom-designed and installed a series of child safety doors at strategic locations, which can be removed once the owner’s daughter comes of age. The master bedroom is a self contained volume reminiscent of a luxury hotel suite: a divider at the entrance doubles up as the bed’s headboard, while a bank of wardrobe in a high-gloss white finish lines walls on either side. The piece de resistance is the master bathroom, with its view of lush greenery that whisks one away from the hustle and bustle of city life..The guest room on the attic level functions as the owners study when there are no visitors. Here, an enormous 4m high glass door and glass wall are used in place of the usual timber and brick counterparts. We wanted to enhance the sense of space. If you open the door, air can flow through and ventilate the space. Our rationale resonated well with the client, who picked this as his favourite room in the house. The room is large with high ceilings and a real ‘loft’ feel. “Sitting at my desk, I can look down into the kitchen and my family room”, says the owner. A surprise awaits intrepid visitors who make the journey all the way up to the rooftop: an outdoor terrace with an infinity edge pool and a panorama of green, the same view shared by the master bathroom..This is one of the most contemporary shop houses we have done so far. But it has the unmistakable feel of a shop house, because we do not believe in creating space in a conserved house that do not have memories of its past. It would be like a person with amnesia. The owner agrees. “I love the clean feel and while the house is very modern, there is no question about its origins:, he says. Asked if the house suits his family’s needs, the owner replies, “Very much so. There are spaces we can do things as a family, and there are spaces we can do things separately. It is great for entertaining but also quite intimate at the same time.”..”   Extensive glazing, natural light, privacy, garden views; interesting interior volumes, details; historical, social and contextual sensibility..

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image: © Vineyard Production; article: “128G Cairnhill Road / RichardHO Architects” 17 Apr 2013. ArchDaily


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* Residential Architecture: House of Joyce & Jeroen by Personal Architecture

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 27 March 2013

House of Joyce & Jeroen by Personal Architecture

Residential Architecture: House of Joyce & Jeroen by Personal Architecture: “..The dilapidated state has necessitated a thorough reinforcement of the foundation and load-bearing structure of the entire house, opening up extraordinary possibilities in an otherwise commonplace apartment renovation..The combination of ambitious design visions and a large measure of trust from the client have resulted in a rigorous and uncompromising redesign, in which voids and split levels accentuate the full height of Den Haag, The Netherlands, typical row houses..The potential of the brick structure, the details such as glass-in-lead frames, and the characteristic “en-suite” room divisions were the deciding factors in purchasing the house, according to the clients. The tension between antique features and modern techniques is very evident in the redesign plan. The classical street façade is restored to its former glory, from ground to third floor..Behind the doors of the “en-suite“ element, a complete change is taking place. The rear façade is removed and clad with glass to a full height of 11 meters. The floor levels are detached from the façade, creating a void that spans three levels and generating an optimal source of daylight..In the back of the house, the load-bearing wall between the corridor and the living room  is replaced with a steel construction. Four new floors with a net height of 2,4 meters protrude from this construction. These floors remain openly linked to the existing floor levels. The interplay of voids, the split-levels and the glass façade, all create a spectacular drama between interior and exterior on the one hand, and between the existing and new floors on the other..The intervention in the back of the house can be interpreted as a three-dimensional, L-shaped element of five storeys, accessed by a new steel spiral staircase. The staircase brings a new dynamic between the different parts of the house and makes a separation between owners and guests possible. Vertically, the L-shaped element ends in a roof-terrace with jacuzzi and outer kitchen that lies far above the balconies of the lower floors..This rigorous redesign project has reorganized the total accessible surface of the house towards an excess of floor space, generating more rooms and more daylight. To the owner, the residence promises an extraordinary living experience. To passers-by, it cannot be distinguished from any other house on the van Merlenstraat..”  Outstanding redesign and renovation; extensive glazing, natural light; indoor / outdoor and contextual sensibility; interesting interior volumes, interplay and details..

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image: © René de Wit; article: “House of Joyce & Jeroen / Personal Architecture” 26 Mar 2013. ArchDaily

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* Residential Architecture: HOUSE House Melbourne by Andrew Maynard Architects

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Residential Architecture: HOUSE House Melbourne by Andrew Maynard Architects: “ extended melbourne family owning two neighboring houses in dire need of a restoration and addition led to the clever re-design by local practice andrew maynard architects. the solution is simple and effective, join the two mirrored residences through a shared pivot point, with a backyard that is capable of transforming into one cohesive park. in breaking from typical australian homes with low roof lines and expansive footprints, this new typology introduces the strategies implemented in higher density contexts, creating slender taller structures with light flooding in from the roof and opening more space for the garden. the addition is a contemporary cedar-clad volume with several windows of varying sizes and a small children’s rendition of a house painted black meeting the street to discourage graffiti artists from tagging the wall..the interior exposes black steel elements as the primary frame structure, a spiral staircase and mesh corridors. the original brick of the existing buildings are left exposed creating a more industrial feel with decisive injections of warm wood planks for the siding and flooring accented through the glow from the skylight. the separate masses contain their own private areas and share the main living functions in the new addition..”  Ample glazing, natural light; interesting fenestration, interior volumes and materiality..

See our post on another home by Andrew Maynard Architects: Residential Architecture: Hill House by Andrew Maynard Architects.

image: © peter bennetts, courtesy of andrew maynard architects; article: Designboom

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* Residential Architecture: The Rechter House by Pitsou Kedem Architects

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Residential Architecture: The Rechter House by Pitsou Kedem Architects: “..The “Rechter House” in Tel Aviv, Israel, was originally designed by Zeev Rechter as a single storey home for his family with an orderly arrangement of internally and externally exposed, longitudinal concrete beams which formed the basis for the internal spaces, whilst adhering to the principles of “open planning” that were prevalent in those years. Over the years, an extra floor and a third wing were added to the building in such a way that its original form was hidden and the modern design principles governing its original design were abandoned. As the project’s designer, I was asked to cope with a situation where the house had been stripped of its original ideas, disconnected from all of its parts and been used by two, separate families..The family that purchased this old and neglected building asked me to design them a home that united all of the parts of the dwelling into one, new fully integrated living unit, both in terms of its function and its design style. The main idea behind the project wasn’t necessarily to preserve the existing habitat and its configuration, but rather to conserve the spirit of the original design. With this in mind, I redesigned the house’s external features and internal spaces..I preserved the horizontal grid and gave it extra intensity when I divided it into two halves through the use of a spacious double space running its entire length. Within the space, I placed a staircase that consolidated all the masses of the structure into one single unit with a huge bookcase along the entire wall that further emphasized the double space. I zealously preserved the original concrete beams and the broad schematic of the building. The design and placement of all internal spaces, functions and rooms was integrated so as not to deviate from the horizontal grid. I also addressed all the external walls of the house. I made new openings that allowed views from both the outside into the home and from the inside out..This was done in order to emphasize the length of the lines and the different architectural elements. On the long façade fronting the street, I allowed for a dialogue between the structure and the street by installing vertical, aluminum leaves that move on an axis and allow for a visual connection between the residents of the house and pedestrians in the street, and a blurring of the barrier between the private and the public. The movement of the leaves allows light to enter at differing angles during the day and thus brings life and drama into the highly organized spaces and the restrained architecture..The choice of materials (such as the concrete floor and exposed concrete beams, iron stairs and railings that underwent a prolonged process of rusting, the repeated usage of the original silicate blocks and various metals placed at differing intervals) was done with great thought and included materials that are not considered “fashionable” so that they will not overpower the architecture and will help form a bridge between the two era’s; the first, the original one storey design and the other the new, present day design. With the new design, I tried to write or present a personal and updated version of a private dwelling in the spirit of the modern era and in an international style..The final result of the architectural design and the new interior design is a reserved and cultured private home with human proportions and spaces that together form a strong and clear form, free of unnecessary decorations and designer “chit-chat” with a clean and moderate form and ideas, that reflect the architectural and social principals that are so difficult to find in today’s modern world..”  Extensive glazing, natural light; interesting materiality and interior volumes and details..

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image: © Amit Geron; article: Rosenberg , Andrew . “The Rechter House / Pitsou Kedem Architects” 05 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. <;

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Design & Decoration, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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