Top houses of 2017

1. THE NOT SO “SIMPLE” HOUSE

South Korean architect, Moon Hoon’s recent project ‘The Simple House’ is located on the South Korean island of Jeju. The house is made of cantilevered boxes that are braced together by diagonal reinforced concrete beams – inspired by spider webs!

The Simple House is surrounded by attractive beaches and lush vegetation but it also exposed to changeable, tropical weather that impacts the local architecture. Therefore, Hoon proposed a contemporary, bunker-like residence while interpreting the traditional architecture of the island.

Spread over 200 square metres, the building is comprised of three blocks/levels. The blocks are stacked on top of each other and oriented in different directions, each end filled with glazing to capture daylight and the best views.

The brightly lit interior features a fresh and modern appearance with recessed lighting, light timber surfaces and in-built furnishings – such as the bookshelves that run along the staircase that spirals through the centre of the home. The first floor contains a playroom on one end and a guest room on the other. The second floor opens out to an outdoor dining that is atop the floor. With the master bedroom, bathroom, outdoor jacuzzi and outdoor garden located on the top floor.

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2. HOME OF THE 200 YEAR OLD OAK TREE

The Hidden Pavilion by Penelas Architects is a space to meditate and retreat amongst the nature of Las Rozas, suspends over a small waterfall. Trees frame the house and also penetrate the specifically designed open spaces. The generous building glazing blurs the distinction between indoors and outdoors.

A spiral staircase connects the pavilion’s two core levels. The main living accommodation is found at the intermediate storey, where the kitchen and lounge connect to a private external veranda.

Roof surface above the top level is inclined which guarantees adequate space for a 200 year old holm oak tree! adjacent to the house. The architects and residents wanted to protect the holm oak tree and also acknowledged the significant amount of light that it would block. As a solution, 5 red cylindrical light wells were built on the roof terrace to funnel light into the interior communal spaces. The wells almost give the pavilion a transparent, passenger ship like appearance! Only three materials were used for the construction of the house: rusted steel structure, glass facade and a cherry-tree wood interior that compliments and softens the steel, glazing and dark tiles.

The passing of the seasons generates new senses and emotions within the design.

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3. THE HOUSE THAT GROWS WITH IT’S OWNERS

Japanese couple’s love for gardening has literally come “full circle”

Designed and built in 2015 by Fujiwaramuro architects, The House in Mukainada would be a delight for any passionate gardener. The house has a continuous circular concrete garden promenade that cuts through the couple’s timber clad home.

Situated in Hiroshima, the intent of the design was to integrate external and internal space, making it easier for the elderly couple to enjoy their vegetation. Making most of the mountain views and daylight, the house is positioned at a diagonal angle – also offering privacy from adjacent buildings.

The pathway completes its circumference internally, a paler timber floor is used to define the space Central living area is connected by a kitchen, office, guest room, and a bathroom. The adaptable internal space allows for the couple’s desire to run a variety store and gallery/workshop in the future.

The garden design is meant to grow with its owners, eventually making it a verdant walkway that won’t get your feet dirty!

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