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A Connecticut Home with Terraced Green Lawns

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Specht Harpman Architects surmount the Weston Residence with a scattering of green roof terraces.

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Inside one of the terraces, a bed appears at the ground level created by its encircling grassy lawn.

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This beautiful space is the guest suite upstairs.

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Surprising transparency allows the surrounding greenery to be glimpsed through the house in orchestrated frames.

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Steps into the house bring you to another example of transparency:

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…that even the fireplace is surprisingly surrounded by glass.

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With no obvious chimney, it is not clear how this magic is wrought.

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Next to the living room, a pair of stainless steel islands comprise a simple, brisk kitchen.

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The master bedroom has easy access on the ground floor, for ageing in place.

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A fireplace does double duty in both dining room and the bedroom.

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Below the guest suite, a clerestory window in the master bathroom also looks out at a grassy lawn at eye level.

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The green terraced spaces and the transparent views conspire together to even more fully immerse the Weston House in its Connecticut landscape.

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Rotterdam Garage with a Central Opening to the Sky

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The story behind this fascinating view through the roof in Rotterdam is a young man’s love of his car.

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Not many people would see living in a shared space with the fumes from their car.

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But the client’s car was an electric car. No dirtier than an electric fridge or an electric TV.

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So Rotterdam-based Studio OxL turned this challenging “sows ear” of a site into a “silk purse” of a shared home for the client and his EV.

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The architects covered the high windows overlooking factory walls on each side with frosted glass.

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Entirely surrounded by a 19th century factory, the only avenue for light was from above, so a central opening was cut from the roof.

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This courtyard is open on top.

Rain gets drained away through a “rug” that is actually red gravel square  laid out in the center of the sky box.

Architecture in Limbo

The roof was raised behind the central open courtyard and skylights added there.

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The underfloor is radiant heated for toasty winters and the double-glazed glass slides back for good ventilation.

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On the far side from the street entrance for the EV is the bedroom and bathroom.

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It is hard to see where there is a kitchen. Perhaps he eats out, or brings home takeouts.

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Or perhaps, it really is permitted as just a (very nice) garage.

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A Double Height Glass Display Case in the British Countryside

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Níall McLaughlin Architects designed this double-height glass box for the firm’s former Quantity Surveyor in Piper’s End, a farming hamlet in the Green Belt Zone around London.

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The main building is envisioned as a glass display cabinet, or “vitrine”.

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This was because from working all around the world, the client and his family had brought back many loved objets they wished to display.

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Though the bed is hidden, the windows of the transparent master bedroom on the second floor can be seen through around the bold two-story fireplace element.

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An enclosed building behind the glass building supplies the stairs to get to this second floor in the glass building, as well as master bedroom closets and bathroom.

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This wood clad building behind the glass building matches in size and shape, contrasting only in material, and the juxtaposition references the regional vernacular.

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In the farming community setting, buildings for different purposes and built of different materials, are similarly placed next to each other in series.

“We enjoyed the matter of fact arrangement of farm buildings in the area,” say the architects. “Buildings, glasshouses and sheds, are juxtaposed in an ordered way relating to the demands of particular processes, stacked loosely like books on a shelf.”

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You enter through the enclosed “wooden cabinet” as the architects describe this building in back, going through a modest doorway into the stair hall.

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Here, the high “shed” roof references a third type of local farm building, an open barn.

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In the British farming countryside, water is seen more as a livestock necessity than a swimming pool.

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This water feature also acts as a barrier to horses and ponies who drink from it, while preventing them from coming further into the human area.