NEST House by Gerardo Ars Arquitectura

Designed for a retired couple and their growing family who longed for a refuge that would offer respire from the city, with ample spaces for recreation and gardening. The inspiration for this house emerged between the combinations of two cultures; Chiapas, the state where the couple were born, and Veracruz a city they love and have built a life for themselves and their children.

The house is located on a hill, in a gated community “Playas del conchal” with an exceptional view of the Gulf of Mexico in the town of Alvarado, Veracruz. Mexico.
The plot is very regular with an interesting drop of 1.2 m from side to side and front to back, which led us to design a gradual change in the levels seeking a delicate flow between the spaces on the first floor. The idea was that the gardens surround the house, so the living room, dining room, and guest bedroom offers a view of them.

While entering the house is impossible not to see a dividing wall (coral wall) between the living room and the dining room, inspired by a coral that grows from floor to the ceiling, which references one of the dividing walls of the first houses that couple lived when they were young, located in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas

Security and privacy without sacrificing the privileged view were the most important requirements made by the owners, so we developed on the second floor an irregular layout that ensured a good view from multiple direction so that the master bedroom can see the sunrise and the sea while the other two bedrooms have views to the landscape.

The sun and the wind were important factors to consider during the design process because Veracruz is a very windy city. The facade of the second floor is wrapped with a screen of perforated concrete that flows with the form of the house that acts as a filter, ensuring the occupants privacy and safety also helps to reduce the wind and the heat gain.

The design of the Screen pays tribute to an abstract interpretation of traditional textiles made by the indigenous community of Chiapas, with repetitive geometric shapes. The pattern designed to look like random provides those inside an unnoticeable look of what’s going on outside at the same time allowing daylight to wash the interior of the balcony and the bedrooms creating a luminous atmosphere and an interface between interior and exterior.

The owners are hammocks lovers, so we designed a rooftop terrace with a special covered area for hammocks, the holes of the roof are not just for aesthetics but also were made by the shape of “pumpos” a typical fruit of Chiapas, so when the family enjoy the hammocks could remember a bit of its culture.

This is a house that manages to embrace and reinterpret the culture, as well as addressing modernity and the requirements of contemporary living with meticulous design resolutions.

LOCATION: Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico.
DATE: Design: 2012. Completed: 2013
ARCHITECTS: Gerardo Ars Arquitectura.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Gerardo Robles.
AREA: Land: 290 m2. Constructed area: 285 m2
STRUCTURAL: Ing. Carlos Caballero
MATERIALS: Concrete and aluminum.
COMPOSITION: Gerardo Robles

Housing complex in Chalandri by Golden Ratio

On a plot of three-sides, measuring approximately 30m * 50m in the area Patima Chalandri was constructed a nine-residence housing complex. Each house consists of three or four interconnected levels, with a total range in size from 220m2 to 120m2.

The field is slightly inclined on the long side, whereas the main facade, which coincides with the small size, is facing south. The building program for the development of individual volumes involves creating homes that fulfill the needs of functionality issues taking into account the requirements of future buyers.

Morphologically, key design principles are integration with its natural surroundings, unobstructed view, adaptation to its urban environment according to the principles of sustainable building design, integration of water cooling components and continuous interaction of each residence with the whole party, both through the green open spaces of the complex and the neighboring public open space areas surrounding the plot.

Functionally, the homes are characterized by vertical organization in three or four levels. Utility spaces and parks are situated in the basement. On the ground floor with a private entrance for each home, the option to create high living-room leads to a highlighting of individual architectural details and the inseparable connection of indoor and outdoor space. Bedrooms and restrooms are developed on the first and second floor ensuring privacy. At the level of the roof is created a recreation area – roof garden, offering uninterrupted view of the Penteli mountain.

Construction data
Taking advantage of the plasticity of the housing volumes, a whitish colour of coated sides was selected, combined with thermal break windows in gray color, the wood paneling in selected niches and horizontal wooden or metal linear elements on the facades. Inside the house, the dialogue between wood floor surfaces and the coatings with minimal off-white color accents sectional is maintained, leaving a leading role to the surrounding open space and the view through the large openings.

Golden Ratio _ Collective architecture
Michael Bakas Architect Engineer ntua,
Kostas Bakas Civil Engineer ntua
Alexis Bakas Mechanical Engineer

Villa Lambda by Mercurio Design Lab

Villa Lambda’s concept springs out of an exploration in the domain of pure geometry applied to architectural forms. The client requested a villa which broke with typical Singaporean suburban formulas, whether modern or classical pastiche. The brief also required optimisation of a tight site and parking for nine cars. Two inverted triangles, slightly offset from one another and slightly offset – a design solution that immediately offered a powerful interpretation of an idea and potential for a great development ahead. With further refinement, the triangle geometries was smoothened up.

One end got heavily chamfered, becoming a skewed quadrangle and allowing a large cantilevered roof eave to protect the large windows of the bedroom, which initially should have access to a balcony but was later scaled down to a ledge. The other triangle was stretched at its opposite end and slightly smoothened to form a rounder bullnose morphing from the house walls into a long car porch. Lambda should have resembled a sport car but as its conceptualisation took shape, it started to project the idea of a space vehicle. Therefore, when the car porch was designed with two canopies at each side to extend the protection of the parked cars, their resemblance to winged stabilisers was one right touch to the design finalisation.

Now the building begins to reflect its name, lambda, the Greek letter used to signify the notion of a wavelength, a triangulated formal composition of apparent opposites held in dynamic tension. This is emphasised by the habitable attic solution, providing an extra storey. The aluminium-clad roof with the extruded flaps at the rear of the third storey terrace was intentionally designed to extend the space-ship metaphor, while the doghouse containing the lift over-run was made to look like the air-intake of an engine room. In turn, these gestures support an over-riding strategy of generous eaves and canopies to provide privacy and sun protection. The result is a house which is simultaneously bold but mysterious.

JA House by Filipe Pina + Maria Inês Costa

Located on the north-center of Portugal, the house was meant to combine the rural and the urban lifestyle. The lot is surrounded by different types of constructions, consequence of the informal settlements, characteristics of most Portuguese cities neighbourhoods.
The existent stone ruins, vestige of a traditional house and the lot’s configuration, were the main aspects for the new project. The program requirements, a family house, have led to an almost total land occupation.

The first principle was to separate the new and the old construction, even if they are connected inside. A stone volume represents the existent building; a concrete volume the new one. The second principle was to introduce light in the middle of the house. Two different empty spaces were generated: the entrance, and the heart of the house – the courtyard.

The courtyard and the stairs are the center of the house and its living. These are the key elements for the spatial relationships between the different parts of the house, the interior and the exterior. The program was divided in two levels: the living room, the kitchen and the garage were positioned on the ground floor; the bedrooms and the library at the first floor. The suite was placed in a privileged point – the memory of the old house.

The scale and the site identity were always present on the construction details and material choices: stone, concrete, steel and oak wood. Inside the white and the wood comfort. Outside a granitic and a new concrete mass were sculpted on the same way.

Architectes in charge: Filipe Pina + Maria Inês Costa
Web site:
Year: 2014
Location: Guarda, Portugal
Area: 260 sqm
Photographs: João Morgado

Casa dos Caseiros by Mário Ferreira + Sara Antunes

This small house is at the entrance of Quinta da Boavista, Mesão Frio in the Douro Valley, set in a dramatic landscape transformed by man over the centuries to produce wine. It houses the caretaker and is the first phase of an intervention that will expand and refurbish the existing buildings for agriculture and tourism.

The house replaces an existing agricultural construction. It is the reinterpretation of a vernacular typology composed of simple volumes set at a right angle to the stone wall of the terraces that shape the landscape. Upon arrival at the estate, the house sits at the entrance, slightly detached but perfectly integrated into the group of constructions that possess a strong homogeneous character. This character is given by the simple white volumes covered with ceramic roof tiles, retaining walls in local stone, wooden trellis and remaining carpentry painted a deep blue.
Still, as much as this building relates directly to this vernacular tradition, in line with the client’s wish and the desire to maintain the fragile balance and consistency of this cultural landscape, it also relates to the modern tradition, providing an openness of interpretation, with a subtle reworking of details which tend to give a more abstract and ambiguous character to the whole.

The spatial organization is simple and compact. The entrance is set back inside a porch, framing the view over the river Douro. Inside, we sought to make the spaces coincide with the outside form, with the simplest possible division and no transitional or circulation spaces. One volume houses the main living space and kitchen, all under the vault of the roof, and the other volume, slightly smaller in scale houses two bedrooms. The bathroom occupies the space left over from the entrance porch and its secret storage space overhead.

Part of the charm of this type of building, as is the case with gatehouses, lies in deliberately adopting a small scale. An effort was made in keeping the edges of the roofs as low as possible, which, in contrast with the height at the centre of the rooms, accentuates their spaciousness despite their small physical size.

Architects: Sara Antunes Mário Ferreira Arquitectos
Location: Mesão Frio, Portugal
Area of the Property: 63 037m2
Area of Construction: 70.4m2
Construction: 2013-2014
Colaboration: Marta Lourenço

Photos © Jose Campos

G. House by XYZ Designers

This detached house with a self-contained flat is being built on a plot of approximately 2,000 square metres in a prime residential area of Weinheim (Bergstrasse) for a family of five. The design is for a building that is split into individual volumes and that has two storeys facing Weinbergstrasse in the northeast and three storeys facing the garden in the southwest due to the extreme slope of the plot.

The playful arrangement of the various volumes, characterised by sections that protrude or are set back, makes the 800 square metre house appear smaller and helps to integrate it into the smaller structures in the existing surroundings. On the southwest side the lower storey protrudes far into the garden. Its roof area forms a terrace in front of the living and dining area with a depth of approximately
four metres. The terrace is given a generous extension in the southwest because of the way the building is set back, allowing a pleasantly proportioned outdoor area to be created with a tree in its centre.

The division of the building’s volume is mirrored by its architectural design. The ground floor, which is faced entirely in glass and aluminium, contrasts with the upper level, which is clad in light-coloured natural stone. The façade that faces the street is mostly closed in order to fulfil the client’s wish for protection against uninvited onlookers. On the side facing the garden,
however, the design is open and allows indoor and outdoor areas to merge together.

Villa Bellevue by Bureau A

Individual villas have played a particular role in the history of domesticity. They are inevitably the set for the rich and dramatic play of family life whether in fiction or reality. In that sense all villas belong to a very same lineage : a stage for the domestic drama: love, passion, adultery, brotherhood ; the ups and down of family and love stories. Regardless of whether the scenario comes with a happy ending or not, similarities appear in all domestic environments.

Bellevue Avenue, a three and a half kilometre long street in Los Angeles which hits on one end the eternal Sunset Boulevard, another street closely tied to the history of Hollywood as well as the title of a famous Billy Wilder movie. The villa inside which the action takes place, in a certain Hollywood tradition, works as a claustrophobic set displaying the strained and decadent life of Norma Desmond. The entire world of Norma shrivels up in the nostalgia which can be found in every millimetre of the interior space of the villa. The entire décor
reveals a past grandeur and the sadness of her actual life.

On the other side of the world, in Geneva, a young family settles down in another villa in another Bellevue. The home life setting is designed for an opposite scenario, for a life that expands, opens to the exterior and avoids claustrophobia. Spaces are now constantly connected with each other and the whole house fights against the darkness of “Norma’s life”, who was trapped in a static feeling of fake comfort. Here everything is white or clear, and could predestined the family to another scenario with a happy ending – or actually no ending at all, leaving the family free to write their own home life. However, a tiny sign speaks out about the fragility of every designed interior as well as the vulnerability of every family.

The light bulbs of the library remind us of something, recalling a glimpse of a backstage make-up mirror. They say, like Jake Lamotta does in another seminal movie, that at the end “it’s all entertainment”.

K.Villa by XYZ designers

The building is located in a residential area of Düsseldorf, in the
‘White Estate’ in Golzheim. This estate was constructed by the
National Socialists in 1935/36 in a period of one and a half years
as a model estate that formed part of the propaganda exhibition
Schaffendes Volk, meaning ‘Productive People’. The estate,
which comprised 95 whitewashed brick houses, formed the
south-easterly limit of the former exhibition grounds and is directly
adjacent to the Rhein River. The Nazis used the estate as a
prime example of the ideal artists’ and workers’ estate according
to National Socialist principles. All the houses were constructed
in accordance with so-called model buildings and their rural village
character was in line with the guidelines of the Gauheimstättenamt
or ‘local homestead department’. As the required
rooms could not be incorporated in the existing building it was
decided to replace the house with a new structure. Despite strict
stipulations for land use it was possible to double the useful area
through corresponding organisation of the layout within the given
building plot. This was achieved with a very simple structure without
any dormer windows or other structures on the roof that could
have been regarded as distracting. Thanks to its formal restraint
the new building integrates well into the surrounding structures
without negating it contemporary character as an example of
21st Century architecture.

DM2 Housing by OODA

One of the most demanding tasks in Porto nowadays is the intervention on the major amount of old and historical buildings of Porto´s downtown. This project is a renovation of a 20th century building to convert to a 17 housing unit for students and young people in general.

The DM2 Building , located in downtown Porto (priority intervention zone ), in the area of protection of the National Museum Soares dos Reis, is dating the nineteenth century and their original composition the property was intended for a single dwelling taking ornamental and construction of the whole intrinsic characteristics of the buildings at the time, both in functional layout as an ornamental and aesthetic .

However, a later change occurred in ¬ late twentieth century, the building has undergone a profound change taking place inside caused by the modication of use required .

The property became divided by several independent floors with features framed in services and trade and lower floors have been completely redesigned and trace assets were hidden in part and / or removed from the particular frames original, wood structure of the floors (now concrete) and traditional skylight at top of stairs . Indeed, the draft D.Manuel intended to rebuild the property , returning the initial function of integral housing, recovering traces of hidden identity, reinterpreting traditional elements and giving the building a new sense of contemporary housing program with a set of typologies ace current market needs .
So Manuel II building as a whole distributes 17 apartments T0 and T1 types, ranging in size between 28sqm and 105sqm, spread over 5 floors and are accompanied by a landscaped patio intended for parking.

The rehabilitation now completed, restores the original residential function, underlines the unique formal and constructive characteristics and adapt to a contemporary urban reality of the city of Oporto .

Name: DM2 Housing
Type: Commission
Size: 1,100 sqm
Team: Diogo Brito, Rodrigo Vilas-Boas, Francisco Lencastre, Francisca Santos, LourenÇo Menezes Rodrigues
Location: RUA D.MANUEL II, Porto, Portugal
Status: Built
Date: 2010-2014
Photography: Joao Morgado


Euston Street Residence by Knight Building Group

Boldly standing tall in Malvern, the striking façade demonstrates fearless architectural design featuring a variety of materials including the impressive use of ALUCOBOND® cladding. This home encases, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, open plan living, first floor retreat and three outdoor entertainment areas including alfresco dining and BBQ. Secure underground parking facilities come complete with a storage room. The house is built using quality materials, including an impressive custom-made recycled timber front door, bamboo floorboards and timber staircase with glass rails. The combination of materials in one home is striking and gives the home an edgy yet warm feel. The large windows make the house appear stately as they reach from floor to ceiling. The large streamlined kitchen comprises a stone bench top and custom designed cabinets. The huge master bedroom with walk in wardrobe provides ample functional space and the LED lighting throughout the house enhances the visual aesthetics.

Project: Euston Street Residence, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
Architect: Knight Building Group, Australia
Fabricator/Installer: Iskandar Construction Pty Ltd. Australia
Year of Construction: 2013
Product: ALUCOBOND® Smoke Silver Metallic
Photos: © Knight Building Group


Block rehabilitation in Historic Centre of Lagos by Vitor Vilhena

The building is located in the historical center of Lagos, Rua do Jardim, Rua General Alberto da Silveira, Rua Dr.
Júlio Dantas and Travessa da Coroa.

It adjoins the four streets, with fronts built in all the above mentioned streets, forming a quarter.
The existing buildings, were very degraded, without possibility of adaptation.
The complete demolition of existing buildings was authorized by Governmental Departments and the building was
totally reconstructed.

This Multi-Family Housing Building consists of 2 houses with 2 bedrooms and 11 houses with 3 bedrooms, for a
total of 13 houses, spread over 3 floors, still contemplating a basement parking, gym, indoor and outdoor pool.
A single core accesses makes the distribution in outer gallery, promoting the area for residential use.
The facade and interior layout promote the relation of the rooms (living area) with the streets.

Circulations, private and service areas (bedrooms and kitchens) are oriented towards the interior of the building.
Entrance to the building is made via a courtyard promoting a private outdoor use.
The landscape views led to the creation of a leisure platform on the roof with pool and chairs for contemplation of
the Lagos Bay and the urban structure inserted in the historical city-walls.
The basement has an interior- pool, showers, Turkish bath, sauna and gym.
The presented solution was developed as 3 separate volumes, corresponding to different dimensions of
implementation, in order to follow the topography of the streets and control building height.

This volumetric utmost importance in the structuring of different identities, having chosen to take this sectioning
and reinforce it with wedges and distinct window metrics. There are also variations in the window’s protections,
which contributes to the individualization.
The building enjoys a privileged position taking advantage of composing almost an entire quarter, assuming great
importance in the urban landscape.

date of project: 2011
date of completion: 2012
status: built
location: Lagos’ historical centre, Algarve – Portugal
building area: 2605.00 m2
plot area: 879.50 m2
client: Santos da Terra, Real Estate Investments
cost: 390.000 €
program: Rehabilitation of a Quarter in the historic center of Lagos – 13 Houses
architects: Vitor Vilhena, Michael Vieira, Liliana Sequeira, Mario Espinha
photography: João Morgado


Libertad 196 by Gerardo Ars Arquitectura

Two houses built on a topographically hilly plot with a slope of 4 meters at the highest point; the project is located in the town of Boca del Rio, at the Port of Veracruz.
The houses of minimal spaces were designed as a modern and functional alternative intended for young families. With 120m2 and 130m2 each, the idea was to take advantage of the extra spaces, such as above the doors and down the aisles, as storage spaces and services, also the stairs were placed above the parking lot to maximize space.
The houses were designed to make the most of the sloping topography of the land, the activities of the houses were developed on platforms at different heights, this genre that each house had a double semi height, staying in the ground floor the living room at one level and the kitchen and dining room to another level by giving it a dynamism space.
Upstairs are the bedrooms connected by a corridor with small windows and planters, this serves as a sunscreen, giving better thermal sensation inside the bedrooms as well as privacy.
The climatic conditions of the area played a role in the arrangement of the houses, being perpendicular to the street for the minimum direct radiation from the sun, therefore parking and stairs are placed on the side of the street, as a filter for heat.
By client’s requirement, the view to the outside is to green areas and a vertical garden and not to the street, providing privacy and security for residents.
At first glance seem identical houses, but to go into them, roam around and you will notice that each competes for identity, one of the major differences between them is the roof garden that was made in the house of the background, to give you a bonus and use the fifth facade (roof), which commonly is ignored and on this occasion was used as a space for recreation taking advantage the climate of the area.

name: Libertad 196
location: Boca del Rio, Veracruz, México.
date: project: 2011. Construction: 2012
architects: Gerardo Ars Arquitectura.
team: Design: Gerardo Ars.
photography: Gerardo Ars.
area: Plot: 250 m2. Constructed area: 250 m2
structural: Ing. Carlos Caballero
materials: Concrete and aluminium.


MoyaMoya by Fumihiko Sano

This is the residence in the commuter town in the suburb of Tokyo.

We constructed the studio where our client could study and dye kimonos, her chief hobby, as the center of the house; also, we tried to provide the place to communicate and interact, accepting foreign students after her kids leave the home.
The shape of the building plot is a huge square (9100*9100), and it slopes and spreads north and south. Because of the slating ground, a private space was settled in the northern part commanding a fine view. An open ceiling studio is connected to a kitchen, so that allows the client to have a big party as she desires. Considering when she ages in the future, her bedroom, a study room, and other infrastructures are placed on the first floor. Other single rooms, a living room, and a Japanese style room are on the second floor; moreover, you can enjoy a fine prospect with Mt. Fuji from the living room.

When we look at this project from a different perspective, the most significant characteristic of this construction is the stainless steel fence which surrounds the building. By creating the space which makes the border between the inside and the outside of the building vague, the inside thereof is difficult to see from the outside. In terms of security, significant effects can be also expected.

A moire pattern is generated since the stainless steel is doubled, and it makes people feel as if they are in the inside even if they are in the outside.
Being swayed by the wind, the stainless steel fence shines and causes a great variety of the moirepatterns. The angle and strength of the light are certainly changed by time – morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The change of the light creates not only gripping moire patterns, but also gives different and diverse impressions to the house. This is the place where people can closely enjoy the transitions of time, seasons, and climates through the house.

Completion date: May 2014
studio PHENOMENON by Fumihiko Sano
Location: Higashikurume, Tokyo, Japan


Residencia Tambore by Conseil Brasil

Considering his enormous admiration for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – a major 20th century German architect who helped define modern architecture – the architect Anna Novaes, of the Conseil Brasil office, created the project of a residence of 230m ² with concepts of architecture created by famous professional .

The references used were taken mainly from the German pavilion design for World Expo 1929 in Barcelona, popularly known as the Barcelona Pavilion , which complete 85 years in 2014 .

Van der Rohe innovated structures and valorized open spaces. Extended environment when using glass as partitions, also on facades . For the first half of the last century these features were great innovations , and gave him recognition. Their concepts of the construction and urban planning were expanded and used later in projects worldwide, including the elaborated by Conseil Brasil.

In the residence, located in Alphaville, Sao Paulo, the architect opted to integrate all social environments – dining room , breakfast room , TV room , gourmet and livings – and at the same time, separate them only by partitions glass in the model of sliding doors. This results in the incidence of natural light in every room . The kitchen , in turn , is separated from other spaces by a panel developed by Anna Novaes.

This mix of materials , especially with the glass composition is strong feature in the designs of Van der Rohe . Other highlights are the straight lines and structural objectivity , clearly perceived in the residence.

The German architect was also the creator of the famous phrase ” less is more ”. This means that sometimes the simplicity of a project and a well designed architecture is sufficient to cause her evidence , because the real beauty is inherent in the essential elements.

In the design of Anna Novaes , the concept for the decoration was no different . The architect chose to invest in structural motifs and fixed decoration, as differentiated coatings , plus the choice of a palette of muted and neutral colors used elegant way, without extravagance , in all environments , even in intimate .

“Mies van der Rohe is one of my great idols . Thus , their conceptions end up being absorbed in my projects . In particular , almost all structural items can be associated with it . Even the rear facade , which is entirely of glass” – says Anna Novaes.

Tambore, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Project: Anna Novaes / Conseil Brasil Arquitetura
Photos: Marcelo Scandaroli


4067 West 33rd Avenue by PTL Design Inc

4067 West 33rd Avenue is quietly nestled “West of Dunbar” on Vancouver’s desirable West Side. This is a quiet neighbourhood pocket of the Dunbar Vancouver community that entitles the home owners to Southlands Elementary & Lord Byng Secondary School catchments. These are some of the most desirable schools on the West Side as well as Vancouver as a whole. This West Coast Contemporary House is a short 15 minute drive to the heart of Downtown Vancouver & 25 minute drive to YVR Vancouver International Airport. This prime location is surrounded with a variety of parks, quiet tree lined streets & the university endowment lands filled with walking & biking trails amongst this large forested reserve.

This 3072 SqFt open concept home is perfect for entertaining & has all the essentials for raising a family at the same time. Meticulously designed by PTL DESIGN INC & built by AC PROJECTS, this is a 5 Bedroom / 4 Bathroom modern dream home spread over three levels. 4067 W 33rd Ave offers Radiant in-floor heating on all levels, HRV System (Heat Recovery Ventilation) throughout the home, Air Conditioning in the 3 upstairs bedrooms all to make for the most comfortable living experience. The double sliding door system opens the living room up to the over sized entertaining patio with sunken outdoor lounge for the summer months. This home offers over heigh ceilings (9.5 Ft) on all levels & the luxuries of Walnut Floors through the main & 2nd level with a hidden master walk-in closet for the largest wardrobes. The luxuries of this ivory white kitchen are Meile stainless steel integrated appliances, Corian white stone counter tops & white custom cabinet units with soft touch drawer systems & integrated storage units throughout. This open concept Kitchen / Eating area / Living Room & entertaining patio make for a flowing day to day use in the summers when indoor out door living is at its best in Vancouver.

4067 West 33rd Avenue offers a very contemporary curb appeal that holds a very unique spot on the block. With extremely straight sight lines, and the use of what looks to be two large rectangles side by side this home comes alive with all aspects of its exposed architecture in the spot light. Through the use of dark blue & beige stucco outlining the two exterior sections of this house & dark blue aluminum framed windows throughout this home offers somewhat of an industrial appeal. Softened by its extensive use in both the front & back of cedar siding & cedar doors this industrial look is taken down a notch. The Japanese influenced front yard is one entire rock garden perfectly integrating the trees and exposed concrete retaining wall, stepping stones & front stair way of the home. The back yard is of a softer nature with an abundance of cedar decking & large grassed area offering only small stone detailing throughout. The large two car garage also in a navy stucco is softened by the cedar siding feature facing the house.

All in all this house was built custom by the owner / architect and it shows with the luxury detailing & use of space that you only find when building with ones own lifestyle in mind.

Architect/Studio: Scott Lin / PTL Design Inc
Project Name: 4067 West 33rd Avenue


House and Ateliers by Cláudia Melo

This house and ateliers for Arts intend to create a complex to work and live rather than just a house.
It was specially designed for the needs of the inhabitants – a couple of artists with a high sense of aesthetic and interest in the the Art as a way of knowledge – and according to the site – a rude landscape with hot dry climate between Castelo Branco town and Spain. The specific site has a small river, land rocks and shallow vegetation with a unique sense of beauty. There are no trees except beside the river and a cliff dominates the site and alows 360º views. The construction is located here.

This complex to work and live in has a center, an open field like a square that organizes all the spaces – interior, exterior and circulations. Funcionally this void is equivalent to a medieval cloyster since is a place between interior and exterior that can be walked in all its extension.

The adjacent spaces are fragmented in blocks according to its funcionality – from domestic to public including circulations. Volumes are distributed from the north to the south and from public to private and first volumes seen from entrance are ateliers , that protect the house. A narrative with aesthetic and functional objectives reveal a code : volumes that correspond to places to live / work in are grey and appeal to stableness due to its finishings made of concrete blocks and steal plate with horizontal lines. On the opposite sense circulations are vibrant and dynamic since they are red, made of steal plates with vertical lines and designed with intricated geometry.
This complementary conjunction of materials and colours reflect the traditional houses of Castelo Branco, where walls are solid, made of grey stone with wooden doors and windows painted red. Red is the best colour to protect interiors from both extreme hot and cold weather due to its cromatic spectrum.

Sustainability is a very important issue and house is organized in two levels to be integrated in the natural landscape. Majority of compartiments face south and are properlly shaded by geometry of balconys and louvres to receive natural light and heat gains in Winter thus avoiding it in Summer. Natural transversal ventilation allows natural cooling of building specially in the summer nights by night cooling. Thermal mass from concrete walls helps creating a heat battery to prevent from excessive solar radiation in Summer and minimizing heat losses from the interior in the Winter. Low coast materials and constructive solutions also express sustainability and architecture without waste.

On the first level the couple´s bedroom has the bathroom integrated on it due to aesthetic, functional and sustainable reasons : bathroom is facing south throw a big window and is separated by the bedroom from large window doors. In Summer, these doors are open and natural ventilation is comming from outside to cool both bedroom and bathroom. In Winter doors close both spaces and a buffer zone is create in the toillet to receive solar radiation from exterior and introducting it into the bedroom by convection.
The rude landscape is now absorbing this new element and owners are living on it and printing their own time and space patterns. The building now belongs to all of them.

location: Castelo Branco, Portugal
size: 538 sqm
conclusion: 2010
architecture: Cláudia Melo
lighting design: Pedro Pinto
engineer: Sílvio Baptista and António Mateus Filipe
construction: Afonso Baptista
fotography: Miguel d´Aguiam


Three House by Gerardo ArsArquitectura

Built on an irregular land of 7 by 19 meters approximately, located in the town of Boca del Rio, at the Port of Veracruz.
“The house is for our children” phrase essential and inspiring of the client that served as the basis for the development of the project.
Based on the concerns and needs of a family consisting of father, mother and three children.
The house is composed of three orthogonal modules in which they are developed the program of activities, taking as well on the ground floor public area/private; access, parking, living-dining room, kitchen, master bedroom and on a high floor only the private area, with the rooms of the children distributed per module.

The environment and its geographical situation potentiated the utilization of the climatic conditions, which led to generate optimal ventilation spaces to ensure that the interior of the house remained fresh and bright without detracting from its architectural qualities.

Features such as “privacy and security” were necessary due to its location, resulting in a design that provides the feeling of confinement and protection of the user toward the outside, and whose form reflects the tangled of the typologies of surrounding housing according to the urban growth of the area.

And finally the more showy and striking aspect of this project, its facade, which seeks to combine as if it were a “lattice” the personalities who are extroverted and introverted children, reflecting the brotherly coexistence between them, which leads to describe this as a housing project with authentic personality, daring and bold, without leaving aside the close relationship of the customers who live with their needs.

name: Three House
location: Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico.
date: project: 2013. Construction: 2014
architects: Gerardo ArsArquitectura.
team: design: Gerardo Ars.
photography: Gerardo Ars.
area: Land: 142 m2. Constructed area: 220 m2
structural: Ing. Carlos Caballero
materials: Concreto armado y aluminio.
composition: Gladys Chavero Villeda


Spencer Butte Residence by Richard Shugar AIA, LEED AP

Located on the south side of Spencer Butte in Eugene, Oregon the residence showcases sustainable design, state-of-the-art technology, and thoughtful material selection.

The design optimizes daylighting using high-performance windows and doors to frame the views of the surrounding landscape. The performance of the building envelope is also emphasized using advanced insulation techniques, an airtight wall assembly, and an exterior rainscreen to maximize protection against the elements and achieve insulation values far beyond code.

Heating and cooling of the house relies on a geo-source heat-pump. Combining a highly-efficient HRV system with radiant floor heating, the homeowners are able to control seven distinct thermal zones. When not occupied, the zones use the latest in sensor and automated home technology to keep the home comfortable while minimizing energy consumption.

The house also features the latest in renewable energy. Photovoltaic panels provide back-up energy for the residence and a charging station for an electric car, while solar hot water panels meet demand for domestic hot water. A vertical wind turbine, prominent at the site’s entry, contributes to the production of energy at the residence.

Water conservation is also emphasized at the residence. EPA Water Sense plumbing fixtures are used throughout the house, while the landscape was designed for water efficiency. Drought-tolerant native plants line the landscape, cared for with site-specific drip irrigation zones

Project Title: Spencer Butte Residence
Architect: Richard Shugar AIA, LEED AP
Project Manager: Peter Utsey, Associate AIA, LEED GA
General Contractor: Morrow and Sons Inc.
Completed 2013
Eugene, Oregon
4085 sf new construction