Casa Grove I by MATEU Architecture
MATEU Architecture have sent us images of the Casa Grove I in Coconut Grove, Florida.
"Casa Grove I by MATEU Architecture
The detached house is probably the most explored, analyzed and experimented with building type. Most architects start their careers designing houses. At the same time, a house can be a complex undertaking, made up of numerous components, public and private spaces, daytime and nighttime activities, active and passive functions, each with personalities as complex and different as their many users. In its simplest form however, the house is a shelter, protection from the elements, an enclosure defining space, interior and/or exterior.
The site for this project is located on a lush tree filled lot, fronting a heavily traveled street in North Central Coconut Grove, Florida. The lot is 40 feet wide by 170 feet deep, with the front of the lot facing northwest. All of the beautiful oaks hovering over the property remain as part of the design solution.
The architects were challenged to design a functional, cost effective and uniquely creative setting, affording maximum privacy, openness, security and buffered from the street traffic noise. The resulting design is one that addresses the issues of the privacy/openness conflict and the ever increasing concern for security in today’s world.
The courtyard design allows for the main public spaces to be buffered from the street by the front structure that contains a garage/carport and a bedroom/studio/office above. The entry sequence is such that the side setback is used as a filter to the house, and deliberately extends the arrival sequence by placing the front door at the rear building, making a small lot appear larger.
The living/great room is a two story volume, simple in its detailing, so as to not compete with the elements that define an individual’s signature (furniture, art, etc.) that personalizes spaces. The floors are of rectified porcelain tiles, creating a natural texture on the lower floor, while the upper floors are clad in wood. Spaces flow into each other, borrowing visually from their adjacencies, creating the feeling of much larger spaces, while allowing intimacy whether a few people are gathered together, and at the same time affording adequate space for dinner parties of 100 people.
The upstairs is reserved for the private functions of a master bedroom suite, with private decks and outdoor spaces available for private moments, even in the tight lot and setback constraints of Coconut Grove.
The simple, cost effective and creative assemblage of spaces and finishes in this simple project, on this small urban setting, should be an example of the need to continue our architectural explorations into rational, timeless residential designs."
Visit the MATEU Architecture website – here.
Photography by Claudia Uribe
The Pentagonal House by Kazuya Morita Architecture
Kazuya Morita Architecture have completed the Pentagonal House in Tsushima city, Japan.
"Description from the architect:
Think about roofs, we can say it is another landscape, which is created from where the architecture would build. As well as the natural landscape has, they have full of attractiveness for the space to live for us. And at the same time, roofs had formed by integration of different kind of technologies, so we can say roofs as “meta-technology” of architecture. If we start designing architecture from thinking about roofs as meta-technology, we have chance to deliver another technology for making roofs to be better landscape to live.
The site is within a calm village near Nagoya, Japan. It is a housing for young couple, and just next to this architecture, there is an old Japanese style house their parent lives. To respect for and harmonize with neighboring environment, we delivered traditional hipped roof as many neighboring houses has. This characteristic pentagonal geometry of plan was delivered to have the maximum space in this site and adequate open space around it. Then we start to think about how to live under the second landscape, pentagonal hipped roof.
Five main structural walls were set in radially, and it makes possible to take in the outside spaces as extension of interior spaces. In the center of the architecture, radial walls were cut off in dome shape, to make space for a dining table. Here, under the peak of the landscape, we have tall ceiling height and whole families can enjoy their dishes all together and wide range views to gardens. In 5 surrounding spaces with low ceiling height, under the skirts of the landscape, people can stay calm and relax with appropriate distance from others, just like a life in our traditional house.
Besides delivering this characteristic geometry ( it is a kind of technology) to the plan of this architecture, we tried to use the most usual wooden structure system what most Japanese houses are constructed nowadays. Walls were finished with round corner in Japanese traditional white plaster
Location : Tsushima city, Aichi pref. JAPAN
Program : private housing
Structure : wood
Site area : 692.63 sq.
Built area : 87.73sq.
Design : Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio
Structure engineer : Mitsuda Structural Consultants
Construction : HATANOKOUMUTEN Co,. Ltd.
Photo : Shinichi Watanabe
Branson School Student Commons by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop
Turnbull Griffin Haesloop designed the Branson School Student Commons in Ross, California.
Description from the architects:
The Branson School is an independent high school occupying seventeen acres of hilly terrain in the residential community of Ross, California, just north of San Francisco. The new 7,550 s.f. Student Commons building is located in a narrow glen in the center of the campus, along the pedestrian path between the upper and lower campuses. The central gable and large window wall front onto an inviting terrace and lawn while the flanking support wings, sheltered under green roofs, connect to the adjacent hillsides with board-form concrete walls. Sited to take advantage of the sunny southern exposure, the new building features large overhead doors that open onto a generous plaza for dining, meeting and outdoor learning. By providing spaces for gathering and socializing throughout the day, the Student Commons serves as the heart of campus activity. The building is LEED Platinum certified and features many sustainable strategies, including a living roof, radiant heating, natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, and pervious paving.
Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer
Thomas Phifer and Partners designed this house in Millbrook, New York.
The journey of arrival at the Millbrook House is an unhurried ascent, focused on experiencing and re-experiencing the land. On this 200-acre site, an architecture of discrete geometric objects set within a heroic landscape choreographs the route, mediating an unfolding sequence of thresholds and views. Up a rambling drive, through a forest to a small, gravel car park, the approach shifts to a footpath, rising along a hill’s ridge. In spirit, the progression recalls the seemingly meandering, yet deftly orchestrated path to an Ancient Greek temple, engaging the visitor with a landscape held even more sacred than the building itself.
At Millbrook, the first glimpse of built form is a cantilevered, weathering-steel box, the guesthouse, hovering over an edge of the car park. Deep red, patinated steel panels form a retaining wall, extending from beneath the studio straight up hill, rising with the regular rhythm of metal plates beside bluestone treads, set into the slope like stepping stones on a pool of water.
The ascent reaches the hill’s crest, a grassy promontory, flanked by a rectangular glass pavilion along one side and, on the opposite edge, a series of four low, mahogany-sheathed volumes—as pure and distilled in their geometric repetition as a Minimalist sculpture. This arrangement around the clearing frames long, perspectival views of the Hudson Valley, reminiscent of the vista-capturing gestures of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia and Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute.
The glass pavilion at Millbrook sits so lightly and with such transparency that its floor seems to flow uninterrupted from the surrounding carpet of lawn. Once you’ve crossed the threshold, into the living-dining-kitchen space, full panoramic views open up, dramatically and in all directions.
This clear volume plays against the wood-clad monoliths, windowless from the approach, their opaque, mahogany shells echoing the rich, earthy hues of the weathered steel. Though seemingly freestanding, the pavilion and its wood counterparts all connect indoors, beneath the grassy precinct. Each mahogany box, partially embedded in the sloping terrain, forms a private cabin for sleeping and bathing, entered one level below the glass pavilion. As if emerging from the earth, these high-ceilinged cabins have an intimate rapport with the landscape. In counterpoint to the visually expansive hilltop perch, they open only eastward, to the morning sun, each to its own bamboo garden and the meadows beyond.
Your perception of the house and site evolve: not simply as you cross the land, but also as you move through the interior, from grand communal to quieter private zones. Outside, the experience crescendos as you crest the hill and step across the high lawn. But only when you venture into the glass pavilion does the journey reach its climax, from contained space opening to the vastness of the landscape.
Holy Family Shrine by BCDM Architects
Description from the architects:
Through a unique and divine series of events, a group of people with diverse backgrounds discovered each other and found that they had the same idea: to build a place off Interstate 80 for travelers to pray and discover the Catholic faith. After two years of searching for the perfect site, one was secured overlooking the Platte River Valley near Gretna.
The purpose of the shrine is to provide an opportunity for people to develop and discover the Catholic faith. Often, the faith is seen with the convoluted influences that distort its origin and intents; this secluded place allows for the discovery of Catholicism without such outside distractions.
Upon entry to the site, visitors experience a natural prairie setting. Once inside the entry portal, the visitor is drawn to a central, tomb-like room naturally lit by a large light opening in the roof. In the center of the room is a pool of water, the source of which is dripping from a metal sculpture symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Also in this space is a conference and gathering room and an information area.
The chapel structure itself is 45 feet at its highest point, made of arching members of wood and steel. As visitors enter the chapel, the water from the entry portal does as well, further symbolizing the presence of the shroud of Christ. Etched in a prominent piece of glass at the front of the chapel is an image of the Holy Family. With an open view of the prairie and river valley beyond, this image appears like spirits in heaven.
Visit the BCDM Architects website – here.