King Residence

The residence designed by JFAK Architects located in Santa Monica, California got its name thanks to the surname of its owners: Erin and Matt King. What makes it different from other houses? The architects concentrated on making use of the plot of land with the shape of the building in order for the building to communicate with its surroundings. They have been successful in this respect and the house is on purpose inconsistent substance expanding into all cardinal points. Thanks to this form each side of the house has excellent light conditions and a view of a large garden and patio facing the street. Distribution of the green and white facades imitates the light from between the trees. An interesting feature of the residence is vertical glazing that allows reducing the need for artificial lighting and enables ocean breezes to naturally ventilate the entire house. Most of the doors employ frosted glass which transmits natural light while preserving privacy. The residence has cool modern look and energy saving technologies.



Base Architects is an Australian architecture studio which has been awarded a number of prizes for its innovative and modern architecture. According to them the basics of a successful result is close cooperation with the client so that his expectations could be met. One of the awarded projects from the year 2008 is the residence Storrs which is located also on the Australian continent. The family of the residence owner owned the 18 hectare site which was over 30 years subdivided into smaller parts and sold. This house is very eco-friendly. It makes use of solar energy to heat the water, the store tank contains more than 60 000 liters of water. The main building material – wood had been recycled from the wood of the old house, it was only milled. The residence mirrors the life and the history of the farm and the family itself. It offers a spectacular view of a large pond lying nearby.


Realization of the Mies Van der Rohe design

“Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With” is the name of the latest work designed by the Spanish artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. This Madrid-born artist has realized one of the famous Mies van der Rohe’s unbuilt projects – although upside-down. The installation is an inverted replica of Mies’ 50×50 House project from 1951. The house is a prototype of Mies` architecture. The steel columns form the main construction and that is why massive walls are not needed and the structure can be enclosed in glass. The interior is completed with black leather Barcelona chairs and a wooden kitchen which is placed, just as everything else, upside-down. This exhibition was supported mainly by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Krichman Family Fund of the Jewish Community, Phyllis B. Lambert and National Foundation for Art and Culture in Massachusetts. Special thanks went to R.K.Miles.


Spanish Palace’s Contemporary New Wing

Only recently a very modern expansion of the storied Palace at Aiete Park in San Sebastian, Spain has been finished. This neo-classical residence with unusual historic and cultural value has been enhanced by this expansion that stretches directly below the original residence, home to the Human Rights Institute. This project is partially similar to the Louvre’s underground expansion with its iconic glass pyramid. In this case the only difference is that it sports a huge grassy park instead of a hardscape. The daylight pertains into the interior thanks to the angular façade excellently fitted into the terrain. The expansion begins directly under the palace where, as well as on the first floor of the restored palace, the office space is situated. The second floor serves as a public interpretation center, providing space for workshops. The new part is covered by a green roof which at the same time serves as a lawn and symbolically its façade is made from green glass to increase the visual interconnection. It was designed by the architecture studio Isuuru architects.


House R

In the German town of Schondorf, close to the lake Ammersee, a German architecture studio Bembé Dellinger designed a villa which with its shape reminds us of the works of Rem Koolhaas or Coop Himmelb(l)au. The floors functionally interlock with each other and complement each other. An eye-catching detail are the windows framed in black steel which contrast with the white façade. There are more contrasting elements to be found on this design. The overall shape of the building is made out of mostly right angles and so offers a very dramatic effect. Acrylic glass cylinders of different sizes and randomly organized perforate the building’s exterior skin to continue through to the interior wall surface. This way interesting lighting of the interior by natural daylight can be achieved.


Actelion business center

The Swiss architecture office Herzog & de Meuron does not need to be introduced. Their architecture is very unique and cannot be overlooked. Their most recently completed project is the Actelion business center in Allschwil, Switzerland. At first site it reminds us of the game tetris where the tetris volumes seem to be floating. This floating trick is created with big cantilevers from ferroconcrete and steel. The project provides 350 offices for employees of a pharmaceutical company while harboring an open and communicative work environment. Roofs are planted with grass or conceived as roof terraces. The building is absolutely transparent in all aspects. Ducts and piping were purposely avoided in the walls to limit communicative barriers. An important element are braces organized in k- and x-shapes. They are fully visible and so represent not only functional but also aesthetical value. While designing this building the environment has not been overlooked – the triple-glazed windows feature automatically adjusting louvers.


Beat Pack House

Architects from Studio LOOP residing in Tokyo created a minimalistic living for young family dubbed Beat Pack in a dense populated part of the city of Sagamihara in the area of Kanagawa, Japan. The house provides privacy but at the same time a flow of natural daylight entering the interior from an inner atrium. There is no communication between the private and public space. From the outside the house appears as a cold unidentified object with randomly organized windows that provide different spaces with sunlight of different intensity. Entering the interior a magic world opens. The inner court is an important part of this homogenous complex. Each room is ingeniously furnished so that any element does not disturb the perfect harmony. All rooms are connected to the ground-floor by a circular staircase. Even the budget was tightened, architects did their best to create spacious and rich space full of fancy little details. Another element that is worth to be mentioned is a contrast between the exterior and interior not only in different functions of the space but materials and colours as well. Whilst the interior is more alighted thanks to white wall colour, the exterior is coloured in black.


Eugénia House

Brazilian architect João Diniz designed a house with a magic name Eugénia that tells a story of a sunlight, chilly wind and art. The house is quite tall with a simple rounded roof under which a space for a large and open living-room was created. The living-room as a center piece is light, airy and provides a unique view at the surrounding Brazilian wild of Lagoa Santa. The facade is ornamented with bas-relief by a Brazilian artist Anjos dos Jorge that contrasts with white metal fence and the roof creating an unusual object. As the result the interior space was maximised and provided with enough of natural sunlight. The house is a kind of a light cascade that enables the sunlight to flow to all parts of the building. At the lower level, the sunlight is reflected thanks to white rounded ceilings. The upper as well as the lower level opens to a garden with a view on a large terrace. The support construction is made from steel what forms an airy design while the side walls are made from bricks.


Family house in a park

The owner of the family house has bought a parcel in beautiful surroundings of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius with an old metal factory building made from yellow bricks. When the first layer of plaster was removed, it showed up that the building is made from bricks produced in a famous Lithuanian brick factory and has an important historical value. The building is considered as an important landmark and would be a pity to tear it down. Architecture studio G.Natkevicius & Partners came up with a creative solution to keep the historical building and build a new comfortable residence for the owner. Architects built a second layer, glass covering with steel support system that encases the original brick house. The result is a contrast of materials that creates a cosy interior. A combination of old objects with their own stories and modern design and technology with their fine lines form together this beautiful art-piece.

source and photo:

Pedestrian bridge from the future

Another unique architecture piece was created in Luxembourg. A pedestrian bridge in the city of Esch/Alzette which is the second biggest city after the capital Luxembourg. The object by architecture studio Metaform Architects has received an award for the building of the year 2010 from web site The main idea was to create a direct connection between the heart of the city and green surroundings – Gelgenberg park. The bridge traverses a railway that has divided roughly these two areas. The design is very specific and unique characterized by minimalistic but organic form accentuated by contrasting colours. While the exterior is white, neutral, the interior is red, the contrast provides an aesthetic experience. People passing the bridge experience a glimpse of future. The object clearly contrasts with surrounding chaotic environment. The bridge has a unique energy that emits into the surrounding areas.


Opera House Guangzhou, Zaha Hadid architects

The Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid architects is a 70 000m2 complex which rests at the heart of the Guangzhou`s cultural sites development in China. It has a close relationship with the pearl river to the south. It features two volumes wrapped in a triangulated skin of concrete, glass, and steel. The project aims to enhance urban functions by opening access to the riverside and dock. The resulting design serves as an urban and iconic gateway while establishing Guangzhou as one of Asia’s cultural epicenters. The spine and structural frame of the faceted skin is a dominant element in the interior space. The lobby and other public spaces interact with the dynamic treatment and guide the visitors throughout the volume. The many levels provide views of the main atrium space. The building offers a theatre seating 1 800 people, a multifunction hall and a number of other facilities.


Faculty of Law in Sydney

FJMT Office won an international competition to design a new Faculty of Law of the University of Sydney, Australia. The condition was to create a new identity of the campus and its new entry. The new modern design created enough space to work, study, lecture and conference rooms, library, a free-time spaces, parking at the ground-floor and quality public spaces. Sustainability is an important part of the FJMTs concept. A double-ventilation facade with wooden sun-blind that enables to regulate daylight. Another sustainable element is storing of rain water. An outstanding tower is put to the composition of simple volumes. The tower provides spaces underneath the earth level with daylight. The FJMTs project was awarded with a number of prices including the AIA price for architecture, urbanism and sustainability.


Glass Pavilion, Steve Hermann

The recently finished Glass Pavilion in Montecine, California is the magnum opus of the Los Angeles based architect Steven Hermann. It is a project of a family house located in the middle of a half acre plot. The vastness of the plot provides the house with privacy which thanks to the glass walls opens up to nature and the interior blends in with the exterior. The project is composed of five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a kitchen and a room with wine exhibits. On the ground floor with the terrace there is a gallery exhibiting at the moment the vintage car collection which belongs to the architect. The walls of the gallery are covered by light walnut wood. The glass walls are protected only by thin curtains. It is now listed at Sotheby’s for sale at $24 Million.

source and photographs: