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Krampon, or the house gripping the landscape, nestled on a rocky emplacement in Hyogo, is the one of the most ingenious projects made by Japanese architect Shogo Aratani. Clambering on the steepness of the scenery, this two storey venue is designed for an 11-meter change of level, front to back, is divided into a string of blocks staggering up the natural line of the hill slope. “We decided to place volumes along the sloped ground to minimise excavation,” said the architect. “We designed the spatial sequence in relation to the landscape by placing three volumes along contour lines.”
Situated within a natural scenery, trees present have been fully integrated into the final design, whereas the rock that did get excavated was reintroduced in the system serving as main part of enclosing pavement and steps routing us to the main entrance. For maximum benefit of the landscape and views, main areas of the residence are on the top floor which open to a extended wooden roof deck. Its interiors lay connected down the slope to street level, the three volumes outlining the house follow along the surrounding natural profile. The three straight volumes are adjacent to the main staircase, a triangular central section, that can function pretty much as a small library.
Daniel Hasson designed this luxurious apartment in Tel Aviv, very close to the sea. Interior inspires calmness and sophistication. Envisioned as a continuous and unitary living space, the living/ social area opens to the sea. Walls have been replaced with floor-to-ceiling glass panels, allowing inhabitants to explore visually the infinite expanse of water. Decoration implied choosing a fine selection of Armani and Fendi Casa furniture, complemented by an interesting palette of colours, ranging from flawless white to beige, gold and black. The floors, a little bit glossy, add a sense of preciousness.
Details play a key role in creating this fabulous interior: rich textures, long curtains, the contrast of black and white, glossy ceilings – everything was wonderfully combined to obtain a décor defined by harmony. Bedrooms feature marble floors and royal-size beds. Translucent draperies allow the beams of sunlight to slowly sneak inside. Bathroom frames the perfect sea view. Just relax in the tub while enjoying a majestic view of a sunset in the sea. Not many have the privilege to experience daily such a true wonder of nature!
Traditional & Outdoor Room: Both 2014 Architectural Trends (Edward Clark Landscape Architect, LLC)
In this article we’ll bring to you ten heavy hitting architectural trends and give reasons why they’ll continue to grow in strength in 2014.
1. Passive Homes
One of the most prevalent trends in the architectural world today is the shift towards a reduction in the consumption of energy; a reduction in carbon emissions, a focus on green principles. The passive home deals with this entire issue of wasted energy and carbon emissions, and it’s because of this solution which PassivHaus provides which has made them the center of focus and architectural design thus far in 2014.
We envisage, as the economic woes of the world start to lift, more and more governments will begin to offer PassivHaus grants and funding. If this happens: This’ll be a trend which will have a very real impact in changing the world and our children’s future for the better.
Passive homes will be a strong trend in 2014; but mark our words that this trend will continue to swell year on year for the foreseeable future.
It has been said that the living of today are exposed to more information in one day (content of the New York Times) than an average person in the 17th century is exposed to in their entire lifetime. One could argue that the type of information a person of the 17th century was exposed to is of a different kind of information in which most of us today would be blind to; but let’s focus in on the principle of information overload.
The fact is that most people don’t know how to organize and process the sheer volumes of information they face everyday; what’s important and what isn’t; etc. It’s for this very reason more and more people are turning an area of their home into a place of retreat; a place to relax and unwind. The most popular choice in 2014 is the home spa; a place where one can escape to and unwind.
The home spa industry is growing at a healthy rate. In quarter four of 2013, it grew by 10% compared to the same quarter the previous year. It just so happens I’m a statistician by education, but it doesn’t take a statistician to tell you that a 10% increase is significant and shouldn’t be brushed aside. The home spa industry is healthy and will continue to be a favorite in architectural design in 2014.
Further evidence of this trend can be demonstrated through new builds in the United States. Over 50% of new builds are now equipped with a whirlpool bath.
That Place of Relaxation & Rejuvenation from Di Vapor
3. Flex Rooms
What are flex rooms? Flex rooms are rooms or areas in the house which have a range of uses, or could be changed at some point during the year. It’s usually a place in the house which is used for more than one purpose, for example an entrance hall also being used as a dining room.
Why is this a popular trend and why will it be strong in 2014? The strength behind this trend can find its strength in three main factors; baby boomers, income and versatility.
Let’s start with baby boomers. Architects are now designing homes to accommodate the growing elderly population who are opting to stay with family. These houses have to be well organized, usually segregated from the rest of the house in some way in a self contained unit. This allows for separation between the family (sanity preservation) and it also allows the living space to be rented out if need be.
Secondly, income. As disposable income has dropped significantly and pensions lost in the crash of 2008, retirees have been forced to move in with their families as they simply can’t afford to live by themselves, or pay for a retirement home.
Thirdly, versatility. Options are empowering and give the homeowner choices. Flex rooms enable maximum usage with the space given; maximum usage output per square foot of living space – It also allows for change of use if so required.
With the development of manufacturing technology, investment into the whole area of prefabrication (especially in China) has helped move this trend into significance. Don’t just think homes either, this trend stretches far and wide, encompassing hotels, office buildings, sheds and end of garden builds.
The main draw of this trend are the monetary savings in which it offers. The repetitive manufacturing process means savings in raw materials and saving in manpower. Entire walls and furnished floor space are pre-made in a factory, which are then delivered direct to the plot, ready to be assembled in some giant Meccano like structure.
Project management is easier, build time is less, work force required is reduced; all money saving factors and all reasons why this is a growing trend which’ll continue to develop in 2014.
The materials which are used in building, decorating and furnishing the home are an issue which is being addressed by architects and designers.
Paints, upholstery, insulation, wood stain and other synthetic materials used in the home which cause hypoallergenic reactions and possible serious health problems are being replaced with those which don’t have such negative side effects.
Alternatives to these potentially unhealthy materials are always available, it’s just a matter of sourcing them at a price which clients are willing to pay. It may be a matter of selling the potentially significant health benefits of these materials to help overcome the potential cost increase; the winning strategy to win their approval. It’s just like the concept: If you have never had a heart attack, eat and live as though you have had one, to prevent (or at least reduce the risk) that problem from occurring.
In the same vein, architects are looking to cut down on the hypoallergenic and prospective carcinogenic materials, a trend which we’ll see in 2014.
This is one which we particularly like; the kitchen being the focal point of the home. No longer will the kitchen be that room which is built in the dark recesses of the house – Now it’s being elevated to center stage. The kitchen is set to be the room in the house which is being used for more than just cooking. We are seeing it being used as a place to think, study and work in addition to whole range of other multitasking uses.
It’s a similar dynamic to the flex home, but more specific. Having the kitchen as the hive of activity within the house is great for bringing the family together and strengthening relationships. It’s the trend for 2014 which should continue for years to come.
You might have noticed while driving around the massive, often bold colored storage locker buildings; they’re everywhere. It seems like this trend has grown like an out-of-control garden over the past 10 years, but there is a fundamental reason for it. People have acquired so much ‘stuff’ they don’t know what to do with it, so much so that they are paying monthly payments to store their junk precious items in storage.
Without tackling the underlying problems that would be the job of psychiatry professionals; architects realize the need and are catering for it. More storage space is obviously needed in the home, and they are designing varied solutions with style & finesse. Clutter around the house can be unsightly, and in a world of design where less is more, clutter needs to be dealt with; even if it’s merely storing it.
Again, based on need, this trend is a growth trend which’ll be popular in 2014.
Some of the best designs in 2014 won’t necessarily be newly built buildings on the cutting edge of architectural genius, but rather using the existing shells of buildings to build around. Buildings which have a rustic industrial aura, church buildings, factories and buildings with historical character are all existing buildings or derelict shells have character features which are difficult to recreate in modern design. It’s a wonderful endeavor that helps to save historical beauty, which is why we’re glad this is a growing trend in 2014.
Where the outdoors was once a place exclusively for the garden or yard, it is now being used for outdoor rooms. The advance of outdoor eco-friendly materials has enabled architects to become more creative with the use of outdoor areas. Space is a valuable commodity, so it makes logical sense that this trend is growing; especially as population growth increases whilst house prices remain staunch. The trend will be especially popular in areas where the weather is kind, but even in places such as the U.K. you’ll find brave and creative architects making it work.
Making it Work in Australia – MW Architects Hitting the Nail on the Head
10. Disaster-Friendly Designs
It seems that nobody is safe from flooding, storms, fires and earthquakes these days. Growing up in England I’ve always categorized these dangers as problems that other country’s have.Hurricanes: I think Florida. Earthquakes I think Tektonic regions. Floods I think of Tsunamis in tropical countries. England this winter has experienced the worst flooding in 250 years, with flooded homes and damage costing an estimated $2 billion dollars. Whatever the cause for the erratic conditions we are facing as a human race; it’s reach is far and wide, and it’s an issue for geographical areas which previously weren’t affected – These areas are now investing into solutions to protect against such natural disasters.
As such, architects are now future proofing their designs for natural disasters such as flooding, storms and the likes. This is a trend which has been forced upon us by need, and it’s an important one for coming decade.
Commissioned and challenged to design a space divider in Socrates Sculpture Park (Long Island City, USA), artist Alyson Shotz came up with a creative mirror fence. The installation is barely noticeable during summer and winter and sparkles some great visual effects in autumn and spring, when the color diversity is at its peak. The unconventional project measures 138 feet x 36 x 4 inches (42.06 m x 91.44 x 10.16 cm) and evokes the reflection of space in its continuous conversion. It is really calming to think about the Shotz’s creative approach and try to discover the many implications an almost invisible barrier may have on a certain environment. However, the artistic value of this project was not the only argument for featuring it on Freshome. We also want to ask your opinion regarding the practical aspects of such a design. I’ve seen several interesting nature-inspired fence paintings and designs, but would any of you guys really consider having a mirror fence?
Aemer Architects designed the 13 Cove Grove, a private luxury mansion, located in Singapore. Its connection with the waterfront is on all levels: from structure (curving like a boomerang to facilitate views), to the transparent interior and the timber deck extending from the house into the pier. Opening toward the lap pool, it offers a relaxing view and a calming zen feeling. Moreover, a water feature wraps the entire ground floor. When it comes to the structure, 13 Cove Grove is a complex piece of architecture, that enhances the feeling of space, unlike many other rectilinear houses on similar plots.
“The house opens toward the waterfront in a much more transparent and open manner through glass enclosure, timber deck and balconies. Aamer also varied the spaces of the house sectionally.” On one hand, the ground floor was envisioned as a fluid unitary space, comprising living and dining. The second floor, on the other hand, boasts compartments, with bedrooms framing different views of the landscape. There’s also a third floor, accommodating a home office. The dominant colours are black and white. The infallible blend of colours inspires elegance and refinement.
Grand Europa Apartment is a wonderful project designed by Farid Chacón and Claudia Urdaneta of NMD|NOMADAS for a family who lives and “breathes” through music. Very modern and hip, the residence located in Maracaibo, Venezuela, spreads over 300 square feet and displays a functional interior, specially designed to provide acoustic comfort. The two architects assigned with the project have paid special attention to soundproofing without lacking style. The walls and ceiling were coated with wood panels to enhance sound. Envisioned as a fluid space with no walls to divide the rooms, the apartment exhales breeziness and elegance.
As Friedrich Nietzsche said: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” For the owners of Grand Europa (apartment), music is pure passion. What started as a hobby soon became a story about love for music. Naturally, the owners decided to grow their passion and completely transform their home into a music-friendly environment. A piano occupies a corner in the living room. An impressive piece that adds a sense of sophistication to the entire place. The walls favour a crystal-clear sound. The overall design feels precious, contemporary and refined.
Recently we’ve stumbled upon Flotanta House, a project designed by Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture, in an exotic and exciting location, Puntarenas Canton, Costa Rica. The house elevated above the ground, on a series of piloti, gives the illusion of floating above the hillside. We were absolutely amazed by the powerful influence of nature on the house’s design: box-like pavilions made of natural materials, all connected between them. The maze of greenery encompassing it creates privacy and charges the inhabitants with energy, contributing to their wellbeing. Framed views of the ocean are accessible from almost everywhere in the house.
“We decided to allow the slope, the earth, the vegetation, water, and animals to flow underneath the house. This common sense solution allowed us to create a very delicate intervention, one that allows the terrain to breathe whilst providing spectacular views out towards the ocean from the key location on the site.” Circulation is made through exterior corridors, connecting all the living spaces between them. The massive use of wood links the environments, creating a dialogue between nature and home. Nevertheless, openness plays a key role in rendering a relaxing atmosphere.
Finalizing the Norway’s July 22 memorial site competition, Director of KORO/Public Art Norway Svein Bjørkås decided that Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg would build three July 22 Memorial sites in Norway. In order to commemorate the attacks in Oslo and Utoya (a small island outside of the capital), the artist presented a proposal to cut a gap into the Sørbråten peninsula, which faces Utoya. The jury for Public Art Norway said Dahlberg’s idea to make a physical incision in the landscape was as powerful as it gets: “The void that is created evokes the sense of sudden loss combined with the long-term missing and remembrance of those who perished. The proposal is radical and brave, and evokes the tragic events in a physical and direct manner”. With the names of the victims written on the flat vertical stone surface of the other side, the cut is said to be an acknowledgement of what is forever irreplaceable. Visitors here will be guided down a pathway through into a tunnel that leads to the “wound”. The cut will be excavated and moved to Oslo, where it will be part of a second memorial. The installations are scheduled to be completed by July 22, 2015
Russian architect Andrey Bugaev from ArtEcoloy sent us photos of a small cottage he designed near Moscow, Russia. The 18 square meter dwelling is located on a hill and serves as a refuge for two adults and two children. People come to “The Ship” for the weekend in winter and the house stays empty for the rest of the week. On the arrival of visitors the fireplace is started and the temperature rises to 20°C (68°F) in half an hour. According to the architect, The “Ship” is very small, having a total surface of only 18 square meters. However, it has everything that is necessary for convenient living. There is a bathroom with a shower cabin, a small and comfortable kitchen and plenty of storage space. A mezzanine located above the bathroom and entrance area is a true children’s playground. All the materials used to build this small cottage are completely organic and all the house was assembled directly on-site. Find it as cozy as we do? [Photos and information provided via e-mail by architect Andrey Bugaev]
Australian visual artist Ian Strange refreshes our perspective on suburban culture. From graffiti to explosions, from building a replica of his childhood home to exploring a larger suburban perspective, Ian Strange (formerly known as street artist Kid Zoom) pushes the boundaries of self-expression with each idea. Lustik opened our eyes to his latest work – the dark half-buried suburban house “Landed” on the forecourt of the Art Gallery of South Australia.
As Ian told Complex in an interview, “The last show HOME was a very personal investigation of my own suburban upbringing. SUBURBAN is expanding on that to look at the suburbs as a whole and the family home as a larger icon.” His latest installation for the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is a site-specific sculptural work that creates a jolt in the viewer’s perspective. You know that house is not supposed to be there, and yet a half-buried black-painted 1920s suburban Australian home contrasting the surroundings is staring back at you.
The artist honestly admits that people’s reactions to his former works “really helped me to grow and understand the work as I was making it”. Check out this eye-catching contemporary art installation in Adelaide, Australia between 28th of February and 11th of May 2014 and join in on Ian’s artistic growth!