Three Cusps Chalet by Tiago do Vale Architects

The “Three Cusps Chalet” is a clear example of the Brazilian influence over Portuguese architecture during the 19th century, though it’s also a singular case in this particular context.

Right as the Dom Frei Caetano Brandão Street was opened, a small palace was being built in the corner with the Cathedral’s square and thanks to large amounts of Brazilian money. It boasted high-ceilings, rich frescos, complex stonework, stucco reliefs and exotic timber carpentry. In deference to such noble spaces, the kitchen, laundry, larders and personnel quarters, which were usually hidden away in basements and attics, were now placed within one contiguous building, of spartan, common construction.
Built according to the devised model of an alpine chalet, so popular in 19th century Brazil (with narrow proportions, tall windows, pitched roofs and decorated eaves), the “Three Cusps Chalet” was that one building.

Due to the confluence of such particular circumstances it’s quite likely the only example of a common, spartan, 19th century building of Brazilian ancestry in Portugal.
Siting at the heart of both the Roman and medieval walls of Braga, a stone’s throw away from Braga’s Cathedral (one of the most historically significant of the Iberian Peninsula) this is a particularly sunny building with two fronts, one facing the street at West and another one, facing a delightful, qualified block interior plaza at East, enjoying natural light all day long.

At the time of our survey, its plan is organized by the staircase (brightened by a skylight), placed at the center of the house and defining two spaces of equal size, East and West, on each of the floors.
The nature of each floor changes from public to private as we climb from the store at the street level to a living room (West) and kitchen (East) at the first floor, with the sleeping quarters on top.
Materials-wise, all of the stonework and the peripheral supportive walls are built with local yellow granite, while the floors and roof are executed with wooden beams with hardwood flooring.

Confronted by both its degrading state and degree of adulteration, and by the interest of its story and typology, the design team took as their mission the recovery the building’s identity, which had been lost in 120 years of small unqualified interventions. The intention was to clarify the building’s spaces and functions while simultaneously making it fit for today’s way of living.
The program asked for the cohabitation of a work studio and a home program. Given the reduced area of the building, the original strategy of hierarchizing spaces by floor was followed. The degree of privacy grows as one climbs the staircase. The stairs also get narrower with each flight of steps, informing the changing nature of the spaces it connects.

A willingness to ensure the utmost transparency throughout the building, allowing light to cross it from front to front and from top to bottom, defined all of the organizational and partitioning strategies resulting in a solution related to a vertical loft.
The design team took advantage of a 1,5 m height difference between the street and the block’s interior plaza to place the working area on the ground level, turing it westward and relating it to the street. Meanwhile, the domestic program relates with the interior plaza and the morning light via a platform that solves the transition between kitchen and exterior. This allows for both spaces to immediately assert quite different personalities and light, even though they are separated by just two flights of stairs.

The staircase geometry, previously closed in 3 of its sides, efficiently filters the visual relations between both programs while still allowing for natural light to seep down from the upper levels and illuminate the working studio.

The second floor was kept for the social program of the house. Refusing the natural tendency for compartmentalizing, the staircase was allowed to define the perimeters of the kitchen and living room, creating an open floor with natural light all day long. Light enters from the kitchen in the morning, from the staircase’s skylight and from the living room in the afternoon.

Climbing the last and narrow flights of stairs we reach the sleeping quarters where the protagonist is the roof, whose structure was kept apparent, though painted white. On the other side of the staircase, which is the organizing element on every floor, there’s a clothing room, backed by a bathroom.

If the visual theme of the house is the white color, methodically repeated on walls, ceilings, carpentry and marble, the clothing room is the surprise at the top of the path towards the private areas of the house. Both the floor and roof structure appear in their natural colors surrounded by closet doors constructed in the same material. It reads as a small wooden box, a counterpoint to the home’s white box and being itself counterpointed by the marble box of the bathroom.

Fitting with the strategy of maximizing light and the explicitness of the spaces, the material and finish choices used in this project were intentionally limited. White color was used for the walls, ceilings and carpentry due to its spacial qualities and lightness. Wood in its natural color is used for the hardwood floors and clothing room due to its warmth and comfort. Portuguese white Estremoz marble, which covers the ground floor, countertops and on the bathrooms and laundry walls and floors, was chosen for its texture, reflectivity and color.

All of the original wood window frames of the main façade were recovered, the roof was remade with the original Marseille tiles over a pine structure and the decorated eave restored to its original glory.

The hardwood floors were remade with southern yellow pine over the original structure and all the surfaces that required waterproofing covered with Portuguese Estremoz marble.
Ground floor window frames were remade in iron, as per the original, but redesigned in order to maximize natural illumination (as on the east façade).

architecture: Tiago do Vale Architects, Portugal
location: Sé, Braga, Portugal
construction: Constantino & Costa
project year: 2012
construction year: 2013
site area: 60 m2
construction area: 165 m2
photography: João Morgado

Monsoon Retreat by Abraham John Architects

Set in the picturesque valleys of Khandala, nestled between Mumbai and Pune, this Monsoon Retreat is a spacious villa with a private swimming pool and evergreen gardens.
The design of the villa was formulated on the seemingly antonymous concepts of privacy and openness. The orientation of the villa ensures total privacy, while maximizing existing views, creating a sense of openness and belonging to nature. The tree-lined road leading up to the villa introduces the built mass as a solid core; it is only upon entering the premises that one suddenly experiences the expanse of double height volume and the indoor-outdoor feel.

Fluidity of Spaces:
The living room was conceived as an “outdoor space” with abundant light and natural ventilation.
It opens onto decks and gardens on either side, in keeping with the concept. A continuous wall serves as a textured backdrop to the living room and continues onto the deck, lending it a rustic feel.
The cantilevered wood and steel staircase connecting the two floors is set against imposing double height windows; it is bathed in light, allowing luxuriant indoor plants to thrive. The indoor courtyard pathway continues from the staircase area towards the garden. Showers of light are suspended from the ceiling creating a serene ambience.
The open floor plan makes the Living – Dining – Swimming Pool and Deck areas feel like an expansive lounge.
The Dining Room suspends over the private pool, giving the room an island-like feel; the tree in the dining area adds an element of surprise. The Dining island becomes an exotic “outdoor” space where one can enjoy the breeze, the proximity to the water and to the greenery.

Three bedrooms are situated on the first floor. The master bedroom is separated from the other two bedrooms via a bridge that spans across the double height space of the living room. The Master Bedroom is a complete suite by itself, made up of a large bedroom looking onto a private terrace, a master bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. Wooden rafters span the entire Master Suite ceiling, giving it an earthy, out-of-town feel. The bedroom’s wooden flooring brings in beauty and warmth.
A walk-on skylight is a unique feature between the bedroom and the terrace overlooking the garden.

One with nature:
The villa is designed in response to site conditions. Sloping roofs have been designed to withstand the extreme monsoons rains experienced in the area. This house allows one to experience nature.
The indoor/outdoor boundaries disappear as every room opens up to a private outdoor space (terrace or garden). Outdoor decks and landscaped gardens serve as expansive entertaining areas with artful illumination and mood lighting.

Indoor courtyards, skylights, double height sliding-folding windows add to the outdoor feel. Light and shadow add warmth & texture. The carefully chosen, limited palette of materials ensures consistency in design, minimises maintenance and encourages sustainability.

Spaces created harmonise with their surroundings and encourage sustainability by using “green” materials that accentuate warmth & transparency, whilst ageing beautifully: natural sandstone & engineered wooden flooring, large sliding and openable double–glazed windows, which cut down on solar radiation and air conditioning load, allowing for uninterrupted views and access to landscaped areas; automation & LED lights reduce electrical consumption. Cross ventilation ensures minimum use of the AC.
The Villa showcases Five Bedrooms (optional Media Room) with attached Bathrooms and balconies.

In addition there is a Staff Room, a Kitchen and a Powder Room.
Landscape and lighting design play an essential role in the project: outdoor areas and even indoor courtyards, namely the staircase and dining courtyards abound with greenery. Earth was mounded up, boulders & exotic plants were added to create an interesting entrance. The parking area was paved using green paver blocks which allow grass to grow.

Location: Khandala, India
Project Completion: October, 2013
Area: 8400 sft
Project Architects: Abraham John Architects
Design Team: Abraham John, Alan Abraham, Anca Florescu, Amey Mhatre, Bhavika Chauhan, Niranjan Fulsundar
All Photographs (c) Alan Abraham
True Monsoon Retreat designed in response to site conditions: evergreen courtyards, skylights blur the indoor-outdoor boundaries.


Sommelier’s Home by Architema

The residence is located in the suburban area of Budapest. Built on a plot that offers a spectacular panorama and steeply slopes on the north side. The beauty of the bright white villa lies in the exciting geometrical shapes and the exceptional high quality of construction. Yet the modest style are far from being common architectural solutions. The asymmetrically structured facades with their vast glazed surfaces, and the vertically shifted roof levels make both the building and the interior spaces characteristic.

The architects strived to design the building as functional as possible, and for the sake of the overall high architectural quality, their attention has encompassed even the tiniest details of the interior design. The reasonably linked spaces, the striking zone connections, and the enduring materials, as well as the furniture and fittings all create a delicate, yet cosy environment for the everyday life of the family of four.

An imposing stairway escalates to the entrance, which opens into a separate guest apartment and to a large contiguous social space with spectacularly elaborated elements. Not only the cityscape but also the well-maintained garden becomes part of the interior through the glass surfaces of the slightly divided breakfast room, dining hall and living room. The crossing line between the zones of different functions is seemingly blurred, and the borders are marked with distinctive attractive architectural solutions, however the consequent and delicate material usage unite these areas into a definite whole. The space is divided by the granite grey kitchen with a massive American walnut fronted wardrobe on its back, or by the brownish grey grained tiles pillar that incorporates the fireplace and splits the duplex living room into separate parts. The latter genuinely leads our eyesight up to the library and to the second living-room found on the first storey, making the different floors appear connected. The gallery is nevertheless the most spectacular point of the house, since through its large windows which open into more directions it provides a real terrific view. The first storey also accommodates the kid rooms and their separate bathrooms, as well as the triad of the bed-and bathroom and the wardrobe of the parents.
The cellar level which also provides space for the garages, is the place for hospitality. Here a wine shelf that is separated by a glazed wall that keeps the temperature steady and a pizza oven render a stylish design, whereas a custom-built sauna ensures a proper relaxing experience.

The clear interior design concept is also prevalent in the conscious colour choice: starting from the cellar the tones turn gradually lighter. The darker shades of the cellar flooring, the rough oak surfaces, the greenish hues, and the gold lining that highlights the individually lit wall recesses feature the modern version of the classical wine cellars. The ground floor is dominated by elegant greys and modest drabs, whereas beige, chalk-white and a few warmer tones prevail in the intimate spaces of the first storey. The sometimes bold, sometimes moderate match of the distinctive elements shows a truly delicate sensibility; all shapes, colours and materials integrate in a surprisingly natural way.

Location: Near Budapest, Hungary
Site Area: 950 m2
Usable floor area: 460 m2
Design Year: 2009
Construction Year: 2012


Casa K by PEÑA architecture

Transformation of museum to house
The former Kralings Museum at the Hoflaan has been transformed starting in 2010 into a luxury apartment building. The building contains three apartments with a communal entrance and an elevator that offers access to the upper floors. The Casa K project involves the street level apartment which consists of two layers: a ground floor of 195 m2 and a basement of 90 m2. The apartment has a garden of over 600 m2.

A new design for the project Casa K has been developed for the two levels using and adapting the existing installation structure in de building. The design challenge was to turn the windowless basement and the ground floor into one unified space while still adhering to the city’s preservation requirements pertaining to the Hoflaan area. In addition, the architect had to design the interior including all the closets in the office, bedroom and storage room. The kitchen is fully customized based upon collaboration between the architect and the client. A lighting plan has been designed, and materials and colours for the whole house have been chosen.

The key element of the design is a walnut cube which begins on the ground floor and protrudes through the first floor living room where the cube forms a raised platform. In the living room, the cube is surrounded by walkable glass. The cube determines by its size and position the division of the space and therefore provides a clear distinction between the front and rear parts of the living room.

The raised platform in the living room is suitable for various applications such as seating or lounging. The stairs to the cube give access to the basement where a small bathroom is built into the cube. The glass around the cube in the living room allows daylight to penetrate the basement. Three small windows in the street facade provide additional natural light.

Walnut is employed for the cube as well as for the cooking island and the office. The combination of walnut with the colour black is an integral element in the apartment. Thus, the handrail is made out of black painted steel, like the kitchen door. In the kitchen and the hallway, black fittings are used.

The closets in the house are of different colours. In the kitchen, the cabinets are finished in an aluminium colour. The bookshelves in the reading area are in dark grey stained wood.

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Client: Confidential
Design: PEÑA architecture
Project architect: Gabriel Peña construction: Steinvoort BV, Rotterdam furnitures: 13speciaal, Rotterdam
Lighting: LichtNL, Rotterdam gross floor area: 285 M2, 600 M2 garden
Status: completed 2013


House P+G by Architekten Wannenmacher + Möller

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. A detached house, built in 1999, which still exists on the plot, is to be retained and included in the design.

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 so far into the garden that its roof area forms a terrace area in front of the living/dining area on the first floor with a depth of almost 4m. This level 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. There is a tree in the centre of this outdoor area, giving it a special atmosphere and also screening it from the existing building that is immediately adjacent to it.

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.

Construction: 2012
Architect: Architekten Wannenmacher + Möller GmbH
Photographer: Jose Campos


Halffloors by Pedro Brito

The house was built on a central city terrain with 80m2, were i built a house with 277 m2 (useful), an architectural achievement using half-floors! The house has three bedrooms, one dining room, one living room, one office, three exterior accessfull areas (one a complement to a bedroom, other on the dinning/kitchen level and which is made of glass and other is the rooftop where exists a swimming pool) and a two car garage with car lift.

The house is simple… it is organized in a vertical and hierarchical way. The social areas are on the inferior floors and the private areas on the superior levels. To achieve great visual amplitudes and dynamic interconnections between spaces, the interior was structured in half-floors. The width of the plot decided the stair. In fact, it became the heart of the house.

Positioned adjacent to those spaces is a courtyard that together with the half-floor structure induces a vertical continuity, create a gentle horizontal connection. The courtyard affords a sense of depth and expansion to the spaces, allowing for all the floors from the basement to the first to be experienced as one space connected vertically and horizontally.

It’s a minimalist house with a unique design! All interior decoration was specifically designed, from the wardrobe, dressers, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and office furniture. The predominant colors in the house are white and black creating these a unity between the spaces making it very lightweight and “clean”, with the exception of the couch, specifically designed for this house.

Planned and designed taking into account environmental concerns, Halffloors® is a unfamiliar house with Class A + energy certification.


Belas House by Estúdio Urbano

The house is located inside the Belas Clube de Campo, a private condominium, where topography allowed to maximize exterior areas and offer privacy to the users.

The project extends throughout three floors; the first floor comprehends garage, maid room, laundry room and technical area; the second floor comprehends the office, living room, kitchen and bedrooms; the third floor is entirely occupied with the master bedroom.

The tension between the house and garden is obtained through the creation of “balconies” that are intentionaly higher than needed. The same tension was created between the house and the sky through the thick solar shades. Autochthonous vegetation occupies the extensive gardened areas.

Single house at Belas Clube de Campo, Sintra
Time frame – 2009/2012
Architecture team – Estúdio Urbano A.A. Ldª – Alain

Gameiro e Ana Duarte
Engineering team – Pórtico Vertical Ldª – Pedro

Landscape architecture team – Gonçalo Anastácio
Photography: Joao Morgado – Architectural Photography

Program – Habitation
Plot area – 2133m2
Construction area- 587m2
Typology – T4+1
State – Built


3608 Quesnel Drive by EDG Homes Inc.

Welcome to the latest Contemporary Masterpiece on the West Side of Vancouver. 3608 Quesnel Drive is located in the heart of the Arbutus neighbourhood on Vancouver’s West Side. This is a custom built home perched on a 6395 SqFt IRR corner view lot at 20th Ave & Quesnel Drive. Modern living is showcased in both the inside & outside of this property. The house is 3835 SqFt over three levels. The main floor is a completely open concept entertainers dream with Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, sunken TV lounge & VIEW corner of folding doors out to your feature patio. From both this main level & the Master Bedroom above you have completely unobstructed view of the West Side, Downtown, Burrard Inlet WATER & North Shore Mountains. The main level additionally offers an office space & powder room. As you enter your sun drenched southern exposed back yard from this level you are greeted yet again with a space that demands the gatherings of family and friends. From expansive green space to the built in BBQ & Fire Pit, you will be spending many nights at home in this very private and secluded space. The stairway to the second level is a key architectural feature through the centre of the home, that is framed in steel & glass. The top floor offers the Master Bedroom a completely open concept En suite & walk through closet + 2 more Bedrooms & 2 more Washrooms. For your modern living convenience you will also find a second set of Washer / Dryer on this level. The Basement houses the 4th Bedroom + Workshop (could be used as 5th Bedroom – built in closet), 4 piece Washroom, Media Room & Laundry Room / Mud Room. You also have access to your mechanical room & Cold Room for wine storage. One of the many conveniences of this house is that the double car garage is attached at the basement. So pulling right into the house & out of the elements with the family & groceries has never been easier. This Modern Home additionally offers Radiant Hot Water Heating throughout with air conditioning units delegated to all key living areas of the home. Central stereo system ensures that you are never without the possibility of music, & you also have your Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) System running to keep the fresh air moving!

This modern home has exposed Cedar Siding, Exposed Concrete & dark grey stucco.

The Architect is EDG Homes Inc.
The house is 3608 Quesnel Drive, Arbutus Vancouver. BC Canada, V6L-2W8. 4 Bedroom / 5 Bathroom / 3835 SqFt House / 6395 SqFt View Lot / $4,389,999.


10x10x10 House by 123DV

Cube island is a suburb in Leidsche Rijn (the centre of the Netherlands) where all the houses are designed as cubes.
The idea behind the 10x10x10 House is to create maximum spacious experience within a simple cube shape.

The floorplan of three stories is divided in a narrow long zone of 2,5 x 9,5 meters and a wide zone of 6,5 x 9,5 meters. This results in outspoken places: intimate spaces for bathing and lofty spaces for living and sleeping.

The void between the wide and narrow spaces is topped with a roof light. Sunlight can penetrate deep into the house. It also allows 10 meter views towards the sky when entering the living room.

Photography: Christiaan de Bruijne


Family house Palkovice by Qarta architektura

The house is situated in the periphery of Palkovice, nearby Frýdek Místek. From this site is the view of the Beskydy mountains. The first idea was to reconstruct the old house on this parcel. The original house was situated in the middle of the garden and the architecture of the house was a product of the nineties of the 20th century. After a long effort to modify the old house and to adapt it fot the new requirements, we have find out, this is not the right way. So we have decided to build a new house. This idea allowed to place a new house in the back part of the site, so the house has a view of the mountains and facing the south in a same time. Another added value of this solution is that the owner can live in the old house, while the new one is being constructed.
The concept of the house is also based on the requirement of living on one height level. The solution was very easy on this flat land.

The next important point was to create some terrace, patio and atrium not just like a relaxing zone, but also like a connection between the interior and exterior. Interesting elements of the house are rooflights in the children’s room and entrance hall. Outdoor atriums with greenery placed inside the house are enlivening of interior.

The house is designed to the individual zones such as: part of the garage, entrance zone, or private area. The private area – children’s room with own sanitary facilities follows the entrance area. Another part – semi private area is made up of the kitchen, dining room, living room and outdoor covered terrace. In the northern part of the house is a cloakroom, bedroom, bathroom and study room.

The house is materially conceived as a combination of the stone, wood and glass.
Stone permeates from the exterior to the interior. Glass is in large areas for maximum connection with the exterior and valuable perspectives. The stone walls are harmonized with wooden paneling, beams and wooden floors.

Special thanks to the client for the trust in the architect.

Architects: QARTA ARCHITEKTURA s.r.o. | Jiří Řezák, David Wittassek
Location: Palkovice, Frýdek-Místek, Czech Republic
Completion: 2011-2013
Area: 310,5 sqm
Build up area: 385 sqm
Site area: 1778 sqm
Photographer: Ivan Bárta


House Vodnik by Eko Koncept

This ekokoncept wooden beauty is designed in collaboration with a client whose wish was to replace the old barn-house in the courtyard of their old house, with a comfortable, energy-saving and modern looking house that would not disrupt the aesthetic of the local environment. Despite the urban character of the wider area, the micro surrounding is densely interwoven with still-functioning agricultural farm buildings, so the privacy of the house was the guideline, while contemplating it.

The building is partly designed as a one-story building with a flat roof, which also is at the same time a fully used terrace, and partly as a two-story with a traditional gable roof. The second story opens to the terrace and the forest view in a fully glazed triangle, under a hat, diagonally cut, for an additional overhang, which shades the afternoon sun. The ground floor is almost fully closed (or has minimal openings) from three sides, to open extensively trough a set of panoramic windows to the SW side into the garden area. This pulls the living and kitchen area into the garden and connects this part with the summer kitchen (with additional storage), which fences the plot opposite to the house.
While the living area flows and connects to the outside, all the storage rooms, closets as well as the utility are lined along the closed facades. The master bedroom is also set in a more private part of the bottom floor, which provides the owner with plenty of peace and quiet.

The second story is designed in a way that the house is adaptable to growing family needs, so it could fully function as a separate living unit with a possibility of a second entrance.

architect: Tomaz Noc, Katarina Arsekic for company; EKO KONCEPT
name: House Vodnik
location: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013


House of the Arts by FAT

The Casa das Artes (House of the Arts) in Miranda do Corvo expresses the meetingbetween two identities, rural and urban, in a landscape marked by the Lousã Mountains.

The building features a contemporaryand volumetrically expressivelanguage. The sloping roofs establish a dialogue with the geometry of the mountain landscape, in an analogy to the village rooftops. The dynamism achieved through the continuity between façades and roof is accented by a strong red colour, emphasizing its design and highlighting the building through the surrounding landscaped area vegetation.

More than a building, the Casa das Artes pretends to be an iconic landmark, celebrating the place where people meet, where culture and art happens, a space capable of promoting and stimulating creative activity, increasing the population quality of life.

The project was conceived by creating versatile spaces, technically suitable for different kinds of events, in order to serve all segments of the population.
The deployment area was optimized tofavour landscaped spaces, allowing the creation of an amphitheatre for outdoor events, integrated in a garden which is a public space for the village, with several spaces and inviting pathwaysfor leisure.

The building consists of three volumes reflecting different sorts of use: the first one containing the stage areas, the second comprising the audience and foyer, and the third with a cafeteria and a future museum area, which constitute a visually independent volume.

The proposed diversity of accesses for the building attempts to emphasize the characterization of this site as a public space, while allowing the public direct access of specific places, such as the museum area and cafeteria, independently, without passing through the auditorium.

The main entrance is through the foyer. This space may function as exhibition area which can be divided into two by a short flight of stairs. From here depart two paths to an auditorium for nearly 300 people, with a motorized orchestra pit and six technical levels, properly equipped for holding theatre performances, opera, concerts, conferences or lectures.

The cafeteria can operate independently from the rest of the building, or even serve as an entrance point providing access to the auditorium. This space has a covered terrace with a skylight oriented west, channellingsunset light into its interior. The terrace area gives access to a multimedia room. The facade of the museum area is facing the northern part of the garden where one of the main entriesis located and the outdoor amphitheatre.

Client: Municipalityof Miranda do Corvo
Location: Miranda do Corvo, Portugal
Photo credits: “João Morgado – Architecture Photography”
Area: 2.360 sqm
Architect: FAT – Future Architecture Thinking
Project Team:Architect Miguel Correia, Architect Cláudia Campos, Architect SérgioCatita, ArchitectPatríciade Carvalho, Architect Miguel Cabral, Architect Margarida Magro, Architect Sara Gonçalves, Architect Telmo Maia, Architect Gabriel Santos, ArchitectHilárioAbril, Engineer José Pico, Landscape Architect Sara Távora
Builder: TECNORÉM – Engenharia e Construções, S.A.
Year: 2010 /2013
Photograph:João Morgado


House on the line of the horizon by KMA

A house which is on the borderline. On the verge. On the line of the horizon. It is a white, horizontal hyphen between the blue and the greenery.

It is a suburban, detached villa with an intriguing contour and perfectly white, smooth walls. The edges of the roof were outlined with a robust line and three parts of the building readjusted one against another were optically connected in one. Huge glazing added some lightness to a compact mass and enabled the sunlight to permeate the interiors.

The axe which organizes the plan of the whole building is an open and bright space of the living room and dining room. The latter can be extended for the floor surface of the terrace only by parting the panoramic windows. Partly glazed corridor leads to four bedrooms. At the end of this passage there is a swimming pool. Its enormous sliding windows guarantee sufficient amount of sunlight and provide a picturesque view over the garden. And in summer these two spaces fully merge.

A piece of an unusual world has been created in the suburbs of Wrocław. It is full of light and effortless elegance. A precise contour of the building has become an inherent part of the horizon. Glass panes, dazzling whiteness of walls and smoothness of the concrete have perfectly complemented the landscape.
Having avoided any ostentation it was possible to create a space which is modern, which emanates peace and harmony and discreet charm of luxury.

Location: near Wrocław, Poland
Architects: KMA Kabarowski Misiura Architekci (Łukasz Kabarowski, Anna Misiura, Katarzyna Solarczyk)
Usable floor space: 610 square meters
Carried out: 2011-2013
Photographs: Krzysztof Smyk


Skyfall House by BXBstudio

This Project is the final result of the evolution of the Skyfall House. Modifications of the project has to minimize the size of the building, its costs, amount of glazing and the energy consumption.
The house was designed to meet all customer expectations, balancing between the defined needs as functionality and the undefined dreams of theatrical vision of the house as the impressive fortress.

The house was designed on a very small plot, which significantly reduces the freedom to create architectural form. The house is pushed up to the road and to the borders of the neighbouring land to generate the biggest possible area of a garden to the south side. The size of the garden is multiplied by the terrace on the 1st floor and the green roof on top. All 3 levels – garden, roof terrace and roof garden are freely connected with communication in the central part of the house.

The house was divided into functional zones. As well north and the south facade was treated in the different way. South side, adjacent to the garden, was design to be more open with day zone and office space. North side of the house that is adjacent to the road was designed to place garage, technical rooms and kitchen.
South side of the building was designed to protect the building against overheating in the summer time.

Project: BXBstudio Bogusław Barnaś
Team: Bogusław Barnaś, Elena Casado Castrillo, Giulia Berloco
Cooperation: Dominika Ropek
Visualisations & Graphics: BXBstudio Bogusław Barnaś
Location: Krakow, Poland
Date: 2012-2013
Total area: 345 sqm
Client: Privat


Contemporary Alpine House by Ralph Germann architectes

Ralph Germann architectes designed this alpine house for a couple who wished to live in a harmonious environment, but there was a prerequisite that it could also comfortably handle gatherings of 20 persons.

The architects approached the brief by visiting the surroundings, observing the vernacular architecture of these pre-alps. The overall design was inspired by the simplicity of forms and volumes of the local farms. Ralph Germann architectes selected three key materials for the project: larch (facades, interior furniture and fixtures), concrete and lime (interior walls).

The house was designed as ecological as possible, installing a heating system that uses a wood pellet stove.

One of the most impressive features of the house is the 35m long “Wall sculpture” realized by Swiss artist Thierry Kupferschmid in Corten steel, which brings poetry to the entrance alley.

Some furniture and all interior fixtures were custom built for the house. A 12m long library was designed on the 2nd floor and the 5m high fireplace in the in the living area has been built with 8mm thick plates of laminated steel. The basement of the house incorporates a spa area and a 20 meter long swimming pool.

Architecture and interior design: Ralph Germann architectes
Photography: Lionel Henriod
Location: Swiss pre-alps / Fribourg
Size: 900 m2


Casa López/Lujano by Oficina 3 Estudio de Arquitectura

A medium size lot with hillside slopes. The house opens to the southwest, making solar control a serious challenge for this project.

The owners were very concerned about the environment, specifically about energy and resource efficiency. They wanted to maintain their privacy, but also directed us to provide an open, light-filled design, that responded to the hillside site. The owners also wanted a more controlled garden-type of an area and a more natural landscape on the rear of the lot. Sensible green measures were to be included, although the project budget would not allow “Grand” measures.

The design response in this built project, as stated by the owners, is to untie their co-dependence on external energy supplies, will self-provide power with solar energy, gray water will be re-used, the natural controlled garden acts as a Rainwater-Harvesting System, to be used for growing vegetables and other plants.

To preserve privacy, bring in light while minimizing unwanted solar heat gain, and provide connection to nature, we oriented a large window wall north to the back yard, sloping the ceiling of the great room up to increase the light and connection to nature in that space. The sloping roof also provides a surface suitable for mounting the 13.4 kW PV system. Other building faces have smaller, punched windows that maximize light as well as privacy.
The following points were taking in to consideration as basic concepts to our design.

The most important thing about this waste is how well made it is. Mostly because it is mass-produced for conditions in industrial automation.
Affordability By direct use of this components determined waste from other industries lower cost of raw materials, and provides the building project with an aesthetic determined by the physical properties of materials in its natural found state. The effectiveness of these techniques depends on the capacity of the separation of recoverable waste ensure maximum recovery of the material. Therefore, this residual waste generated from post-industrial process, can be applied directly or may be subjected to some form of manipulation or treatment.
Recovery + Logistics + Application = Re-used

Number concrete structural rings responsible for the transmission of loads to the floor, joined by a concrete foundation slab and roof; define the site-built CMU inner structure.
The combination of three primary elements defines the morphology of these building; the architectural pieces or building components are incorporated as walls, linings and envelope or skin, this latter, an important part of the inner workings of the house. The envelope (skin) is the outer layer mediating between the building and its surroundings.

By Continuous control of usage of resources. We took upon the fabrication of this wooden skin membrane, constructed mainly by refurbished wood used in prior in construction process, and wood discarded from local factories, aided by a lattice of perforated metal around its surface both act as thermal barrier. This boundary also includes the boundary between conditioned and limit the friction between the building and a changing context over time.

Creative Team:
Oficina 3 Estudio de Arquitectura:
Omar Bernal M.
Daniel Carrillo García
Structural Engineer:
Becerra + Nuñez Engineering

Mechanical Engineer: O3 Energy Group
Location: Tijuana, Baja California, México
Year: 2013


Redline by PietriArchitectes

The Redline project is positioned opposite Vignettes harbour, which connects Toulon with Seyne-Sur-Mer, behind the Autumn garden. The building is composed
of 3 different spaces, the base and two wings.

The ground floor is thought of as a mass of pressed concrete, shaped by a few openings with little windows looking out onto the car park and the houses’ entrance halls.

The two housing spaces feature long terraces which line their width. These are punctuated by separating walls which serve as outdoor display boards. In the centre of the building, a patio, a belvedere and walkways invite you to contemplate the centre of the block and the coastal landscape.

The project is in the running for the Golden Pyramids 2014

Programme : Construction of 59 housing units
Floor area: 4,300 m²
Budget: € 5.6 million
number of floors: +5
Delivery: 01 2014


House F by Kenji Ido

The house is designed for a couple, and is a wooden three stories house that is built at urban narrow site. Around the site is the mixed-use area where small houses, small factories, and small office buildings coexist together without any harmony. The client requested a garden in the south side of the site, and decided to make a building three stories to secure required rooms.

It aimed at a quiet, soft space with the wood and the paint finished wall. The space with a brightness and openness was secured, and the space was contrasted with spaces with density The beam of the void where the wind pressure had been received and the counter of kitchen were produced in the same material, elements were united, and “Meaning” of the beam and the counter was obscured. I made “the blank” where the light and the color tone change by progress of time were felt.

Project Name: House F
Use: residence
Site: Osaka, Japan
Architect : Kenji Ido / Ido, Kenji Architectural Studio
Design period : November. 2008 – August. 2009
Construction period : October. 2009 – February. 2010
Structural engineer : Masakazu Taguchi / Taguchi Atelier Planning Structure
Structure system: timber construction
Total floor area is 116.73 sqm.
building area is 53.25 sqm.
Plot area is 102.58 sqm.
Building scale: 3 storeys
Photography is by Takumi Ota.