Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 4
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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.

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A Cool and Citified Courtyard Residence

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Harcourt Street is a private residence in the garden of an existing Victorian home in Melbourne.

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Australian architect  Steve Domoney Architecture has created a roomy escape that wraps open glazed walls around a courtyard.

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It was important to the owners to not remove any of the old growth trees, which led to the courtyard design.

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The significant specimen trees now leave their signature dappled shade on a newly emerged residence.
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The owners had subdivided their parcel of land, using the funds from the sale of the Victorian on the property to build on the other half.

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With the glazed spaces weaving around trees both outside and within a central garden court, the mood is tranquil and cool.
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The quiet and reflective spaces are punctuated by the grandeur of the existing tree canopies.

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A pervasive zen sensibility of cool serenity is created amidst the turmoil of the hot Australian city.