Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 3
RSS

Home Design Find

VIEW: FULL | LIST | GRID

No Comments »

Earthy Luxury in a Dutch Afrikkaans Bush Escape

138 architecture

INK Design Lab created this glamourous neo-primitive resort in South Africa’s northernmost province of Limpopo.

215 architecture

The exterior manages to hint of both an immigrant Dutch ancestry and an indigenous African design vernacular.

315 architecture

Set in 12,000 acres of wilderness, the intriguing boutique hotel houses up to 26 visitors at a time.

413 architecture

Every detail is earthy and primitive, yet with an air of comfort and luxurious welcome.

514 architecture

Curves easily define all of the spaces, public and private, without strain.

715 architecture

The most surprising example: a well appointed library.

911 architecture

Perhaps because each guest room is centered on a fabulous oval or circular soaking tub, all the curved spaces never seem strained or at odds with the furniture.

614 architecture

Comfort and serenity imbue a soak in the contemporary bathtub in the glorious natural setting.

1012 architecture

Intricately carved double doors (with more circular designs carved into them!) lead to a completely circular free standing soaking tub in this circular room.

1115 architecture

In another, a richly polished mahogany floor and earthy plaster walls play against a refreshing contemporary oval bathrub.

814 architecture

After a day exploring the Savannah, how magical would be the comfort and charm of this earthy retreat.

1211 architecture

The sheer romance of a canopy bed with gauzy white curtains would offer refuge and repair to pamper battered senses.

139 architecture

You’d even return to a roaring fire that perfectly offsets the dreamy canopy bed in the distant African bushlands.

A study in contrasts.

No Comments »

Design Dilemma: Passively-cooled homes

modern exterior how to tips advice

In many Mediterranean climes, it has been the norm for centuries to build homes that stay cool even under a hot, boiling sun. Thick stone walls, small windows, wooden shutters, cool tile floors and windows placed on the northern side of homes have been time-tested ways of keeping a home in a hot climate cool. In fact you’ll find in most warm climates that builders have learned how to enhance the coolness of homes. In the Southern United States, for example, wide porches, tall windows, and high ceilings have been used to keep the temps down.

traditional porch how to tips advice

Above, a wide porch helps shield windows from direct sunlight. A screened in porch provides optimal ventilation, without worry about invading insects from open windows. Ceiling fans keep breezes moving. Ceilings are high, allowing plenty of room for hot air to rise.

In the Southwest, thermal mass in the envelope (adobe brick walls) provides a buffer against the intense summer sun, similar to the thick stone walls seen in the Mediterranean.  See below:

rustic family room how to tips advice

 

In more temperate climates, a mix of these strategies works best. Including:

  • Cutting down on direct sunlight in warm months
  • Drawing warm air out of the interior
  • Tightening a home’s envelope to keep heat from infiltrating
  • Designing spaces that keep the air cool in the “occupied zone”

For example, the two houses pictured at the beginning of this post are from the “From the Ground Up” competition. They are passive houses using very tight envelopes and heat-recovery units. The upper floors sport openings that allow the interior to act like one big chimney. The pop-up that caps the house has a south-facing window that heats up this zone, helping to draw warm air up and out of the house.

contemporary home office how to tips advice

For those not yet willing to stray too far from traditional forms of architecture, a “ranch-style” home oriented with the length from east to west can successfully work for passive cooling and heating. This design minimizes the home’s direct gain from the summer sun while maximizing its winter solar exposure.

Thermal zoning is important to getting a passively-cooled home to work properly. Living spaces should be placed in an area of the home where they will be cool or warm depending on the time of year. In hot climates, main living areas should be clustered along the cooler north and east sides of a home. Buffer zones like garages or porches should be placed on the home’s west side to protect interior living spaces from gaining too much heat.

The north-facing living room in the Australian home below attempts to work just that kind of magic.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

Another important component of a passively cooled home is the windows. Think carefully about where the dominant summer wind comes from, so you can use the prevailing breezes to your advantage. You should also give some thought to the type of window. Casement, jalousie, and awning windows can act as air scoops, channeling breezes into a home. Windows placed on opposite sides of the house aid in cross-ventilation, routing air through the home instead of letting it stagnate.

In addition, basics like insulation and a reflective roof can help out quite a bit.

If you’re smart about your home’s design, it can be surprisingly easy to survive the summers without air-conditioning. Your home will stay naturally cool with maybe only a bit of help from ceiling fans. You’ll stay comfortable, help save the planet and save a few bucks at the same time!

No Comments »

Swahili Traditions Blend Harmoniously with Art Deco in Kenya

 

140 architecture

A traditional Swahili house is scattered along a natural clearing in the coastal forest of Lamu in Kenya by Urko Sanchez Architects.

515 architecture

The client, Fernando Torres, wanted a house that would be in contact with nature.

He had a passion for architecture, and for Swahili traditional construction.

716 architecture

He needed a home that could host family gatherings but feel equally comfortable when he was alone.

216 architecture

The result, an outdoor pavillion on on sandy ground, reflects the client’s love of Swahili traditional construction and craftsmanship, as well as his enjoyment of outdoor living close to nature.

414 architecture

He wanted to preserve the forest as much as possible, so the house winds along within in a small natural clearing.

20 architecture

A series of curved exterior planters that extend inwards to become the smooth and cool concrete floor repeat the curved footprint of the outdoor “house”.

912 architecture

Cool breezes supply natural ventilation.

Construction had a low impact because only local materials were used.

173 architecture

The high arch of the traditional makuti roof effectively keeps out the bright sunlight and is also a good thermal insulator.

191 architecture

In Swahilli architecture this kind of makuti roof is used as a separate structure over the roof of the house or detached as a temporary construction.

815 architecture

Electricity to run the fans and lights is supplied by a solar power system out of sight.

1013 architecture

Rustic and lovely hand-shaped concrete sinks define the inside bathroom, but it is far from rudimentary.

Dignified Art Deco details like the lighting and the plaster decorations on the wall seem oddly fitting.

1212 architecture

Outside the shower room an al fresco bathtub in the same hand-shaped blond coral stone concrete makes bathing a natural delight in the midst of the forest clearing, for the grandchildren, or for Fernando when he is alone.

1116 architecture

Another outdoor bathroom offers a rustic privacy for visiting family members

1310 architecture

A sense of Kenya’s colonial past infuses the architecture.

Local craftsmen were used to create all of the intricate handiwork.

146 architecture

There is a seriousness to the incongruity of placing chandeliers in such a rustic natural setting.

154 architecture

The house could easily seem incongruous, with two such contrasting styles; urbane Art Deco played against the rustic Swahili.

182 architecture

Yet there’s nothing self consciously whimsical about the mixture of the highly civilized and the rustic traditions of Swahili construction.

It works.

No Comments »

A Very Bauhaus German Home for an Extended Family

110 uncategorized

The Strauss Residence by Alexander Brenner Architekten is an imposing structure reminiscenmt of the Bauhaus movement.

24 uncategorized

Located in  in Stuttgart, Germany, it houses a large multigenerational family – a couple, with their two children, and their parents.

84 uncategorized

Its all-natural material palette is somber, deliberate and weighty: stone, stucco, serious hardwoods.

103 uncategorized

Delineating the scultural exterior, highly polished black marble is juxtaposed with slabs of smooth matte white stucco.

44 uncategorized

The carefully sculpted exterior includes an interesting L shape shelf over the front door.

54 uncategorized

Despite the no nonsense practicality, there’s an amusing contrast in the sweet romance of the chandelier and the deer antlers.

34 uncategorized

The kitchen is along a wide corridor that offers visual connection directly to the garden at both ends.

92 uncategorized

It also has a sightline directly out to the pool area of the garden.

64 uncategorized

The small pool is sheltered in the corner of the high walled compound.

74 uncategorized

An abstract crazy quilt of cupboards in the kitchen is well disguised as a sculptural piece.

113 uncategorized

The large home is a live work office for the couple at the below-ground level, while the two stories above are the family quarters.

 

No Comments »

Vast Space Defines Brazilian Rainforest Home

114 architecture

Brazilian architecture firm Anastasia Arquitetos designed the al fresco Nova Lima House with a bold open upside-down L shape.

93 architecture

The house is sited next to a nature reserve and embraces the surrounding tropical rainforest.

121 architecture

Outside, a checkered pattern of timber decking and grass clears a piazza space in the jungle.

115 architecture

Here, a pool is set perfectly flush into the continous timber deck like a piece of jade glass.

55 architecture

From the street, the house gives no clue to the surprise awaits you inside.

45 architecture

One clue. It has a grand triple height entrance.

151 architecture

Once inside the home’s exterior walls, the interior really opens up.

131 architecture

Command of the gigantic interior space from this triple height canopy is magnificent, huge.

75 architecture

A wood slat skylight ceiling spills natural light spill deep into the vast tall space.

85 architecture

A soaring atrium creates a staggered multivolume space filled with overhead light.

104 architecture

Floor to ceiling glazing slides completely into the wall transforms the indoor area into an outdoor living room.

35 architecture

The exterior seems smaller, with horizontal slatted wood contrasting with the verticality of the forest surroundings.

65 architecture

Outside and inside, its materials – concrete, air, timber, and glass – offset the close tropical surroundings perfectly.