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Arch.itect.us: architecture from the edge….

Intricate Folding Facade Showcased by Modern Nursery Design in Marburg, Germany

architecture modern nursery
Opus Architekten completed the design of Nursery +E, a modern nursery project developed for the Town council of the City of Marburg, Germany. The new building comes with a total surface of 1100 square feet and displays an intricate modern architecture: “With the ground floor partly built right into the slope, the compact, two-storied building attracts attention with its folded glass facade towards the meadow and the also multiply folded roof. This striking exterior shape results in a high recognition value, not only for reasons of design but also to create an energy-plus house.” Solar panels are integrated in the folding facade, perfectly aligned to attract as much energy as possible.
design building nursery
The modern nursery offers five group rooms for about 50 children: “On the ground floor are two group rooms and a multi-function room next to the entrance. In the back, below-ground area, on the other hand, are the technology- and the housekeeping- as well as the storage rooms, a kitchen and a staff room with an atrium in-between. On the upper level are the other three group rooms. All the group rooms were similarly designed and two groups each at the most share a differentiating area.” With plenty of glass openings and mirrored surfaces, the building reflects shades of green and wood. This makes for a good integration within the landscape, despite the avant-garde shape. [Photographs: Eibe Sönnecken]
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Family Living Inside Suspended Cantilevered Volume: Fly Out House in Japan

architecture residence Tatsuyuki-Takagi-Architects

Architect Tatsuyuki Takagi envisioned Fly Out House, a m odernresidence in the shape of a cantilevered volume in Toyohashi, Japan. The project was especially built for a small family and suspended above the ground in order to provide an optimum level of privacy from the busy street. Opposite to the main road, views of the neighboring residential area are framed through large windows.

design residence Tatsuyuki-Takagi-Architects

The clients’ brief requested a home that would accommodate a large open-plan living space for the family, but also provide parking for the husband’s car collection: “To leave most of the budget for the living area, this project began by proposing a blueprint which will provide enough parking space and create comfortable living by taking an advantage of the less valued sloping land. In this case the client came to us before the purchase, so it became our target to bring the most effective cost between which sort of land to purchase and the design to be built on top“, the architects explained.

In order to reduce noise pollution, a deep balcony (serving as a buffer zone) was imagined between the living area and the street side. A plywood staircase leads the way to the bedrooms, tucked away in the most secluded area of the house. [Photography by Satoshi Asakawa]

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Living Room Decorating Ideas that Expand Space

The living room is often the first room that visitors see when they walk through your front door, and the space sets the tone for how guests feel about the rest of your home. Your living room is also a place for entertaining friends and relaxing with family and its design should reflect that.

While making the space physically larger would involve expensive remodeling, there are many ways to make the room look bigger that are simple to execute and budget friendly. Check out the following easy-to-do and creative living room decorating ideas.

Focus on the Floor

flowing dark hardwoods

The floor takes up a significant amount of square footage and thus is one of the most high impact spaces in your living room. Ue one flooring material, such as wood or carpet, throughout your living room and adjoining rooms to visually expand the space and create flow with your design. In that same vein, avoid interrupting the eye with contrasting floor coverings. Use sofas and cabinets with legs, so the floor fades under the furniture rather than stopping suddenly at a wall of wood or fabric.

Take Advantage of the Walls

multicolored walls and light hardwoods

The place where the walls meet the floor defines the size of a room both physically and visually. You can’t alter the location of your walls without a construction crew, but using living room decor that emphasizes the wall’s height draws the eye up and makes the room appear bigger. To accomplish this hang floor-length curtains close to the ceiling, use tall bookshelves to compel guests to look up or install crown molding.

Arrange for Traffic Flow

hardwoods and distinct living areas

Uninterrupted movement is one sign of a large space, so arrange your furniture in a way that allows everyone to move easily from one area to the next. Determine how someone enters the room and where they’re most likely to go, such as to a sofa or desk chair, then arrange the furniture so people can use paths without obstruction. Make sure to allow enough space to perform tasks common to the room, such as opening and closing window coverings and reaching for light switches.

Add a Focal Point

red couch light floors

Emphasize a focal point or accent piece in order to take people’s attention away from the size of the room. This can be anything from a feature wall to a mantle, or a bold piece of furniture that creates contrast with the other walls. Another option is to add a contrasting accessory. Look for an object in a style that differs from the rest of your decor. For example, if you primarily rely on traditional pieces, try something avant-garde like some modern art. If you prefer minimalist modern furniture, choose something that’s traditional, such as an antique armoire, as your focal point.

Use Mirrors to Reflect Light

mirror above simple seating area

Mirrors push walls away and reflect light, which makes the space look bigger. Use them in front of your most attractive decor, such as flowers or rich drapes or windows, to reflect beauty and please the eye. Avoid using a mirrored wall, which can look too retro and alter your aesthetic. Instead, rely on one large framed mirror propped on the floor, or group several smaller mirrors on a wall.

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Entry Tower and Sweeping Views Over San Francisco Bay Defining The Belvedere Residence

architecture modern home San Francisco
Overlooking San Francisco Bay, the Belvedere Residence designed by Polsky Perlstein Architects aims at capturing light and surrounding vistas: “The site has South and West views over the San Francisco Bay toward Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge. With a desire for connecting the home to the outside on both levels, the Main Level has continuous windows and doors on the western elevation opening to a spacious terrace with sweeping views from the Golden Gate Bridge to Mt Tamalpais.” The clients requested an entry tower, which is why the highlight of the residence is an elliptical volume accommodating the entrance hallway and a stairway linking the two levels.
design modern home San Francisco
Spectacular design features were integrated throughout: “The main level Great Room contains both lining and dining spaces adjacent to the kitchen. Additional spaces on the first floor include his and her offices, each with its own bathroom, a glass-enclosed wine room, an AV Room and a garage with car lifts for four cars. To the East, the kitchen has a back-lit Onyx island and pocketing sliding doors that open onto the spa terrace.” The second level is where the sleeping areas are located. You will recognize the master bathroom in the photos below, as it includes a beautiful bathtub carved from a single block of silver Travertine. See any other details you find interesting? [Landscape Architect: Studio Green; Photography by Bruce Damonte]
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Optimum Flow of Spaces Exhibited by Mid-Century Modern Home in California

architecture contemporary home
Klopf Architecture, Outer Space Landscape Architects, and Flegels Construction updated a classical 1950s original mid-century modern home designed by the late Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Ellis Jacobs. Klopf Architecture pushed the original design intent to make the house more open and uniform from space to space, while improving energy efficiency. The project also involved capitalizing more on the already incredible views, improving the flow of spaces, providing an outdoor living area, and ratcheting up the quality level of the home in general.
design modern home
The custom mid-century modern home is a remodeled single-family house in Redwood City, California, USA. This 2,000 square foot (plus garage), three bedroom, two-bathroom home is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. As you enter, you are greeted by an open-plan kitchen, dining and relaxation zone, which acts as the social core of the house. A diverse array of materials and textures adds dynamics to the overall scheme. As you walk through the rooms, you get a sense of elegance originally mixed with a welcoming factor. We would love to know your thoughts on this home design with legendary modern roots! [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Klopf Architecture]
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Soho Loft Combining Scandinavian and American Design Sensibilities

arhitecture design modern loft
Gabellini Sheppard Associates completed the design of an impressive loft in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District, New York, USA. The 8,300 square-foot apartment combines American and Scandinavian sensibilities, as it was especially imagined for a professional couple, American and Danish, and their three children. According to the architects, the loft aims at “preserving the character of the building and its intrinsic spatial continuity and generous proportions while fulfilling the programmatic needs of the client. By incorporating the unused roofscapes as a series of urban garden terraces, the project becomes an extension of the entire neighborhood.”
design modern loft
Flexibility was one of the main defining elements to consider when planning the space: “The continuously open floor-through space has been punctuated by two vertical light wells. The existing storage mezzanine was reconfigured to allow the master suite to become a floating platform that defines the public and private areas. With a sensibility to lightness and openness, the new design emphasizes spatial fluidity, permeability and flexibility and influenced by the client’s programmatic requests, blurs the lines between public and private, children and adult.” Art is stylishly integrated in the overall scheme and emphasized by ambient natural lighting. [Information and photography courtesy of Gabellini Sheppard Associates]
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Two Penthouses Merged into Expansive Home: The Chicago Hi-Rise Project

architecture inspiring contemporary home
This expansive Chicago home envisioned by Dresner Design and boasting an area of 5000 square feet (464 square meters) is in fact a luxurious merger of two penthouses. Developed for a couple of European musicians, the Chicago Hi-Rise project is nestled amongst skyscrapers and offers views of Lake Michigan. One of the main brief requests was to have a practical residence, with plenty of storage. Accepting the challenge, the architects came up with a variety of integrated storage solutions and the idea to “maximize space using a double-sided island, open shelving, drawers, flip up cabinetry and a sliding door for the pantry”.
design inspiring contemporary home
The predominant color palette in black, white and gray keeps things simple and elegant. A major focus was directed towards designing the bathroom, meant to be a contemporary indoor oasis: “To maximize views, the architect designed the layout so the shower faces the glass curtain wall. A European frameless shower was used with a solid surface curb the same color as the floor tile for a perfectly tailored and modern aesthetic.” The transparent cabin allows for unobstructed views, yet ensures privacy due to the usage of frosted glass. What do you believe are the highlights of this Chicago residence? Do you personally observe any drawbacks? [Photography courtesy of Dresden Design]
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Exclusive New Home Overlooking The City of Angels

Modern home for sale on Woodruff Avenue in Los Angeles, California

Designed by Marmol Radziner and constructed by Fountainhead Builders-Developers, this new home in LA presents its contemporary shape in photos you will love enough to share. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout make the contemporary structure reveal the surrounding view and suburban landscape while flooding the spaces with an abundance of natural light.

From the moment you see this new home on the street, you can’t help but wonder how it would be like to come home to this, past the beautifully grained wooden door and into a world of curated architecture.

Modern home for sale on Woodruff Avenue in Los Angeles, California (1)

The good news is this modern home in LA is for sale. Listed at $3,795,000, this new construction rises on Woodruff Avenue in Los Angeles, capturing from a safe and private distance views of the bustling city and rising skyscrapers. The 5 bedroom and 5 and a half baths offer plenty of private space for hosting family or friends when they come over. Imagine walking up the outdoor stairs and into an open floor plan continuing outdoors.

Considering the home as “fundamentally a series of relationships between people, spaces, and the surrounding context“, Marmol Radziner imagined this new home as being in harmony with the surrounding nature and neighborhood. All it needs now is someone who perfectly fits in. Design and landscape come together to shape an indoor-outdoor environment anyone would be grateful to call home. More than just a place you recharge and reconnect with family, this new home is an architectural gem, inspiring you with its lines and choice of materials and with details like the way sunlight filters inside or the way palm trees reflect in the oversized windows.

Marmol Radziner architects did an amazing job designing this home. And how about this imposing Prospector Residence unveiling surprisingly warm interiors in Idaho? Would you prefer to live there, maybe?

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Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Yard

Tailoring the look of your home’s exterior is one way to create a space that reflects your personality. There are many cheap landscaping ideas you can tackle on your own that are high impact without a high price tag.

Creating a modern, beautiful yard doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, the gorgeous, million dollar contemporary gardens in the magazines are possible today thanks to creative designers with a desire to use materials and plants that were easily sourced and more environmentally sensitive. Landscapers and architects wanted to re-use creative materials that were low-maintenance, cheap or free and plants that required little care or water.

Get creative to come up with your own cheap landscaping ideas.

outdoor-zen-garden

First, consider the space you have and what you will use it for. Do you have a large backyard that you like to spend time in? Does your front yard lack curb appeal? Determining what you want from your yard and what functions you’d like it to have will help guide your landscaping decisions. We’ve assembled a few cheap landscaping ideas to help you create a yard you’ll enjoy.

Make Geometric Patterns With Pavers and Ground Cover

pavers-modern

A cheap landscaping idea that creates great visual impact is the use of pavers and ground cover. If you have unused ground space in your yard or bare earth you’d like to cover up, use recycled or broken pavers in a mosaic pattern of your choice. Plant moss or creeping sedum between the seams for contrast. The combination of the two materials means you need less of each, saving you money.

Creeping sedum is a light green perennial with yellow flowers that spreads on its own, thrives in full sunshine, and doesn’t need much water or maintenance to survive. Another great option for creating a fragrant path is the use of the herb lemon thyme in your mosaic pattern. It grows slowly, requiring minimal maintenance, is edible and releases a nice aroma when stepped on.

If you need to create a pathway through your yard, this also works as one of the best cheap landscaping ideas. While laying the stones on top of grass or the ground is an option, you can also dig shallow holes in the shape of the stones in order to ensure that they are flush with the ground.

Ask Friends for Cuttings

outdoor-succulents

There are many flowers and plants that can grow from a small cutting of another plant. Before you head to the nursery to buy plants, seedlings or bulbs (which can be expensive), ask friends who have foliage that you admire for several small cuttings of their plants. Some beautiful flowers and plants like succulents and butterfly bush grow very well from clippings and will spruce up the look of your home’s exterior.

Add Planters to Your Cheap Landscape Ideas

painted-planters

You probably already have what you need in your home to grow flowers or vegetables, so you don’t have to buy raised beds or planters from a gardening store. Some great ideas for planters that you might already have on hand include wine crates or barrels, tires, or old pallets. Cluster repurposed planters at different heights to add depth and dimension, and give a visual focal point to your garden.

Another inexpensive but contemparary way to upcycle your planters is by painting them in a bold color. If you’re using terracotta pots, soak them in water for an hour before painting with water based paint.

Plant With Perennials

outdoor-color
Perennials are plants that return year after year, while annuals are planted and live for only one season. For a budget-friendly flower choice, fill your garden with perennials. Great, modern perennials for your yard include:

–Allium (purple ball-shaped flowers shown in image above)
–Astilbe
–Baptisia
–Buddleia
–Coneflower
–Kangaroo Paw
–Sage
–Veronica (spiked purple flowers in image above)

Decide on one of two different design approaches when landscaping with flowers — a one-color floral garden or a combination of colorful perennials.

Buying perennials might cost you a little more in the beginning, but it will be a one-time expense that will pay off in your garden — both financially and visually — year after year.

Use Ornamental Grasses For A Cheap but Contemporary Garden

outdoor-color-grasses
A combination of grasses add texture, color and a modern look to your garden. While they can be a great, low-maintenance addition to your yard without breaking your budget, grasses help your landscape look high-design and expensive. Some grasses worth adding to your yard include:

–Blue Oatgrass
–Feather Reedgrass
–Flax (colorful)
–Fountaingrass
–Little Bluestem (colorful)
–Zoysia (low and perfect for a soft ground cover)

Plant the grasses in clusters and add some perennials for an easy, year-round garden.

Use Gravel as a Cheap and Chic Garden Accent

gravel-gardenasian
Gravel is low-maintenance, durable and relatively inexpensive. Use gravel in spots where plants don’t thrive, there’s heavy foot traffic, drainage problems or an area where an architectural, modern look is needed.

Add Unexpected Materials to Your Garden

recycled-fence
Corrugated steel, wood scraps, found objects and old copper can be artfully recycled into a unique feature in your yard. One of the easiest places to start is by adding unexpected materials to your fence or patio wall.

Get creative and add some of these cheap landscaping ideas to beautify your yard.

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Dynamic Redesign for Colonial Style House in Westchester, New York

architecture westchester residence
Fougeron Architecture completed the redesign of a colonial style house in Westchester, New York, United States. A face-lift was done by changing all the exterior materials and reimagining the position of the windows. The project also included a living room expansion which currently takes advantage of the surrounding landscape. Connected to the swimming pool and courtyard, this part of the house offers plenty of opportunities for family interaction. The canted roof allows for tall windows and an abundance of natural lighting inside.
design westchester residence
Maximizing living areas was the main focus in developing a welcoming home that the entire family could enjoy: “The formal dining and living rooms are situated on two levels to help break up the size of the space. The kitchen includes glass-faced cabinets, modern amenities and an island with drawers below for a microwave and beverage cooler. A chalkboard wall in the back becomes a place for family messages and artistic expressions by friends. The second floor includes a new master bedroom with in suite bathroom and closet.” We appreciate the dynamics exhibited by the interiors of this Westchester residence. How do they look from your end? [Photography by Albert Vecerka]
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