minimal | clean lines | lack of ornamentation | contrast | revealed structure | innovative | undisguised materials | functional | playful | open floor plan | contemporary l |iving with nature | organic | non-traditional | pure form | timeless

Posts tagged “facade

The Makeover…It’s Personal – Moving Forward 1 (Roof and Programme)

The weather in the Philippines was very unpredictable and it was crucial to complete the roof once and for all.   I was on Christmas holiday when we started working on it.  Some change in plan was consider like including covering the slab above the garage to provide a den, an extra room for guest, a TV room or study room as our previous one will be used as bedroom for one of the boys.   I left the country without finishing the work.  Eventually, a roof over my family’s head were screwed and riveted in place.

Since my family lived in here during the whole duration of construction, the architect came up with programme, doing the whole house in four (4) phases.  He prepared plan for each phase starting with the master bedroom with walk-in closet and ensuite bath (Ph1 – The Masters); the laundry, service kitchen, maid’s quarter with T&B, formal kitchen, dining and common T&B for the kids (Ph2 – The Service Area); the living room and the courtyard/airwell (Ph3 – The Front Room) and the kid’s rooms and the den (Ph4 – For the kids).  We did not include works in the facade (The Envelope) and the apartment at the back (For Rent – Back of the House).

(To be continued…)


The Makeover…It’s Personal.

The House has gone through a number of extensions, renovations and repairs.  From a humble 25 square meters house on 69 square meters lot to about 700 (including a proposed 5-doors apartments at the back), can you imagine how many has been done through all these years?

With the generous help and support of Arch. Butch who provide an almost free assistance, we finally came up with plan to do what I can say “the realization of our dream”.  We were so scared as we know our budget seems not enough to start the project.

It was sometime October 2016, when we had the discussion and came up with the plan to have the renovation.  We just wanted to re-roof and improve the facade that would make all previous extensions looks like it was done at one time.

The sketches were drawn and shown to us by the architect.

November 2016 from these initial concepts, it started to snowballed into Olympic scale.  These drawing started to take its form as Juni, my well-trusted contractor, started to demolish, break, and rebuilt.   Deliveries of materials started to filed up our space and the first hollow block has been set.

What makes us finally decide to have this major decision of rebuilding our house?  It’s the leak.  This bungalow was actually designed and proposed for  another storey in the future.  So, obviously all the extension has been covered with a slab roof that would serve later as the flooring for the next phase.  Unfortunately, budget did not allow me to push with the rest of my plan yet and it’s a fact that a slab is not a wise idea as a shelter from rain.  The leaked damage our ceiling and other stuffs below it.  We have to bear that for several years, whilst spending money for repairing and repainting till the next rainy season, again and again.

Hence, we came up with the solution, to cover the roof of the whole house and forgo the idea of the having another floor.

From paper…

To the real thing (with long time business partners, Edgar for the trusses and Apollo for roofing installation).  The roof was a combination of Banawe and Multirib from Puyat Steel (0.50mm).

(To be continued…)


This Swimming Pool Sits Comfortably In The Countryside Of Portugal

Mario Martins Atelier designed this swimming pool at a home in Portugal, where the design intention was described as “simple with a quiet presence, and where the natural vegetation, of almond and carob trees, typical of the Algarve countryside, predominates.”

Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG

“This Swimming Pool Sits Comfortably In The Countryside Of Portugal.” Accessed September 16, 2015. http://www.contemporist.com/2015/09/10/this-swimming-pool-sits-comfortably-in-the-countryside-of-portugal/.

A Historic Building Is Restored And Given A Contemporary Addition

LABor Studio transformed this historic office building in Chihuahua City, Mexico, by maintaining the facade and adding a contemporary addition to the home.

The designer’s description

This house is located in the historic center of Chihuahua City, in north-central Mexico. This district displays a deteriorated urban fabric due to the demolition of a great number of old buildings being replaced by surface parking lots. The population has migrated to the fringes leaving an empty housing stock.

The project was aware of the importance of both the restoration and integration of architectures while demonstrating the possibilities of contemporary housing in the urban center.

The old building is a two story structure built in the early twentieth century in a 40 square meter footprint. The construction system includes adobe walls, wood beams, a limestone facade, and an earthen roof.

The project and construction began in 2010 working with an office program. Restoration started by eliminating all of the non-original additions and rebuilding the earthen roof. The frontal facade was stabilized since it was detaching from the main structure. The neighboring 300 square meter property was added to the program while during this first construction stage. Therefore the program changed from office to a house.

The old and new construction was articulated by a vertical stair cube. The stair provides access to the two stories and the rooftop terrace where views of downtown Chihuahua can be enjoyed.

Access from the street happens in between the old and new constructions in a sequence that first goes through a patio-zaguan before penetrating to the interior. This access patio allows for additional light and ventilation for the old building while allowing for the concentration of rainwater collected from the rooftops.

Once through the threshold in the ground floor one can access a painting studio in the old building or the social area in the new building. The latter is a double height space composed of the living room and the kitchen. Both areas are divided by a bar and joined in the exterior by a patio. The garage can be added to the expansion of the social areas spilling to the exterior.

The second story contains the family room in the old building while the new construction has two bedrooms separated by a library-bridge. One bedroom is related to the street in the front and the other looks to the backyard.

The third and top level is a rooftop terrace with a steel plaque grill. The floor is a ceramic tile which allows the earthen roof to breathe out excess moisture. Plant pots and a light-well complete the arrangement with patio furniture.

The backyard has hardscape and softscape areas. The grasses, shrubs, and trees are a selection of native plants. Concrete modular pavers allow for the absorption of rainwater in order to help support the plants.

In the back of the property there is a water fountain framed by recovered timber from the construction’s scaffolding. Other recovered materials include the original limestone flooring, some of which was reinstalled while another part was crushed and used as ground cover to reduce the loss of moisture.

Design: LABorstudio
Photography: Rafael Gamo

A Historic Building Is Restored And Given A Contemporary Addition. (2015, July 11). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.contemporist.com/2015/07/11/a-historic-building-is-restored-and-given-a-contemporary-addition/

Casa Brutale, lyrical brutalism

Casa Brutale is a geometrical translation of the landscape. It is an unclad statement on the simplicity and harmony of contemporary architecture. It is a chameleonic living space, created to serve its owner and respect the environment. It is the inverted reference to Casa Malaparte, encased and protected by the tender earth that has hosted the human civilization for millennia. It is a complete study of aesthetics, structure, function and engineering, which thoroughly detailed, awaits solely its realisation.

Casa Brutale is OPA’s challenging vision of innovative architecture, where innovation refers to long forgotten terms such as ambience and materiality. Its subtle form allows for the magnificent view and the game of light and shadow to take center stage. The residence is constructed with simple materials: wood, glass and concrete, the convergence of the surrounding earth and water. The landscape is integral to the underlying concept, since elements penetrate and prevail over the construction. The roof of Casa Brutale, a glazed bottom swimming pool, is a continuation of the poetic Aegean Sea and in perfect communication with the vast blue of the Greek sky.

In essential simplicity, Casa Brutale is defined by three thick concrete slabs with all the installations preformed. The crystalline pool, made by reinforced glass, is set between the walls to smoothen the hard materials and let the abundant natural light through, illuminating the residence. The enormous glass façade frames and extracts the beauty of the Aegean. And small details of black-coated steel and brown/red aged wood complete the composition.

In literal groundbreaking integration, Casa Brutale penetrates the landscape. The underground building benefits from a perfect homeostatic mechanism with thermal insulation from the surrounding ground, and the cooling properties of the swimming pool. The optical impact of the building on the landscape is minimal, with only one façade on the cliff side and no volume extruding from the ground level.

Light penetrates the transparent or semi-transparent surfaces of Casa Brutale, bringing it to life. The dynamic light patterns caress the bare concrete with refractions and shadows. Bare concrete, or beton brut, is the finishing technique that gave the name to both brutalism and Casa Brutale. Raw, unpretentious, monolithic, marked by the wooden planks used to mold the casting.

After descending 50 stairs to the Aegean, under the shadows of epic concrete beams, you reach the entrance (also accessible by elevator). The tall, rotating door of aged wood (with the axis at ¾ lengths) opens to a breathtaking sea view, through the glass façade. The remaining space is bare, pure and simple; minimalism at its best. A concrete cast dining table is combined with concrete benches, clad with warm wood. Smooth curves sculpture the fireplace on the wall next to the bench. Behind the dining table, the guest room is formed under an old-fashioned Zoellner slab with a glass corner. Next to the guest room, there is a small passage to the utility rooms (storage room, bathroom and WC).

An inner staircase consists of thin, steel steps that allow the optical continuity from the kitchen to the glass façade. The staircase leads you to the mezzanine floor, where the master bedroom is exposed to the same overpowering vision of the Aegean. The bed is cast of concrete with wood finishing, while the walls are covered with mirror to enhance the play between light and shadows.

Casa Brutale redefines the harmonious coexistence of human and nature in a poetic homage to pure Brutalism.

Casa Brutale, lyrical brutalism | OPA works. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://opaworks.com/portfolio/casa-brutale/

Modern Summer Home Assembling Panoramic Ocean Views

From the very first time you enter the Long Dune Residence, you know it will surprise you with a modern floor plan enhanced by carefully designed details. The architects warn that “little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house“. Imagined by Hammer Architects, the modern summer home rises in a summer vacation community in Massachusetts, known as Truro.

Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, interiors absorb panoramas of natural surroundings from behind revealing floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. This permanent visual connection to the outdoors brings glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean deep inside and encourages owners to relax and enjoy their modern summer home.

Photos by Peter Vanderwarker reveal how the abundance of natural light filters through framed windows. Gleaming water views mirroring the atmosphere outside are captured like live transmissions from nature. Additional views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond, together with tall trees complete the inspiring natural setting. Mirrored on the inside, this natural order appears mingled with the home’s sleek design lines.

According to the architects, “the entry side of the house appears very solid with its wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.”

The contemporary architecture is spiced up with a linear floor-plan “broken” by a screened porch where owners and their guests enjoy meals with a view. “One wing of the house provides the guest bedrooms, while the other wing, which is rotated forty-five degrees in plan, contains the master bedroom suite. A screened porch with a referential kite shaped roof occupies the intersection of the two geometries providing views in all directions.”

Embedding active and passive solar design, the modern summer home supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Once you know how to plan home activities for your summer guests, a modern summer home will make its way to your summer wish list.

Modern Summer Home Assembling Panoramic Ocean Views. (2015, March 20). Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://freshome.com/2015/03/20/modern-summer-home-assembling-panoramic-ocean-views/

Imposing Modern Architecture in Sri Lanka: Chamila & Rohitha House

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This project presented to us by architect Channa Horombuwa is a conversion of a half-way done ordinary-looking house in Dompe, Sri Lanka into a contemporary piece of architecture. The house was at the half way mark, without a roof but with a collection of raw brick walls and slabs, when  the client realized that the outcome of the house was not going to be what he has been expecting. The new residence now consists of five bedrooms, three bathrooms, large living, dining, pantry, TV lobby and kitchen. The Gym is a separate section located next to the pool.

The large living room with a double height opens out to the large front garden on one side and to the swimming pool and deck on the rear side. The intension was to maintain the outdoor  indoor relationship very effectively with the use of large glazed panels. The entrance lobby or  the stair lobby is once again a double height space with a floating staircase running in one stretch as a feature on one side against a textured colored wall with a series of glass openings at random sizes. The garden runs around the house and joins the swimming pool at the rear end. The glass floor above the deep end of the swimming pool is a special feature and a popular seating space for the visitors. [Photos and information provided by architect Channa Horombuwa]

“Imposing Modern Architecture in Sri Lanka: Chamila & Rohitha House.” Freshome. N.p., 29 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. <http://freshome.com/2013/03/29/imposing-modern-architecture-in-sri-lanka-chamila-rohitha-house/&gt;.