Sea Ranch Residence

A simple blend of modest design and magnificent landscape

Sea Ranch, California – Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Built area: 1,030 sq. ft. house, 550 sq. ft. guest house   (95 m2 + 51 m2) Year completed: 2007 Photography: David Wakely A pleasant mix of simplicity, atmosphere, timber hues and the view make this home a special place. The whole is further enhanced by the natural […]

Harborview Townhouses

A good mix of style, function and affordability... Harborview Townhomes - Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine – Kaplan Thompson Architects Built area:    11,841 sq. ft. Photography:    Trent Bell Photography It seems to us that, all too often, the first thing that disappears in multi-family housing developments, is storage space. Site ratios and an insatiable demand for multiple bathrooms usually mean that something has to go in order to […]

STF Kolarbyn/Eco-lodge

Skinnskatteberg, Sweden – STF Kolarbyn/Eco-lodge Re-established in the Winter:    1996 Photography:    Skogens Konung and Claudia Deglau The word “hotel” doesn’t have to mean lots of fixed glass, endless corridors and air-conditioning. If you want to escape all of those trappings and the city, Sweden’s most primitive hotel will appeal. The “rooms” were built by locals using timber, […]

Habitat 67

Habitat 67 - a design principle decades ahead of the market...

Montreal, Canada – Moshe Safdie Year built: 1964 to 1967 Habitat 67 is, without question, one of the most important and iconic multi-family developments globally. But if you’re under 50 years of age, you’ve probably never heard of it. We thought we’d revisit it as it approaches its 50th anniversary. At a time when half […]

The Mini-B

The Mini-B

Seattle, WA  –  Joseph Giampietro Built area:    29 m2 (300 sq. ft.) Photography: Mini-B Passive House It may be small, but the Mini-B(ungalow) is a fully certified ‘passivhaus’.  In common with all its brethren, it uses only around 10% of the energy of a comparatively sized, conventionally built home. The home was built to demonstrate […]

Allies Farmhouse – from WWII military base to a sustainable, family home

Once a US military base, now a beautiful family home!

Essex, UK – Timber Design Land area:     30 acres  (12.15 hectares) Year renovated: 2012 Photography: Simon Maxwell and Sam Morgan Moore This multi-award winning home is built on farmland that was used as a base by the USAF 381st Bombardment Group during World War II.  Using a timber frame with a modern twist, the home […]

Autarkhome – a fully sustainable houseboat

A fully self-sustaining passivehaus... that floats!

Maastricht, Netherlands  –  Autarkhome and Pietet Kromwijik Year built:     2011 Internal area:     140 m2   (1,512 sq. ft.) Cost:     From €455,000 Meet the Autarkhome – the houseboat that has full passivhaus certification and that generates 100% of it’s own power. Now add that it creates its own drinking and household water and […]

Zigloo Domestique

Zigloo Domestique

Victoria, Canada – Keith Dewey Number of Shipping Containers used: 8 Shipping Containers Built area: 185 m2 (2000 sq. ft.) 3-4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms Year built: 2006 Photography: Keith Dewey It takes a lot to challenge convention and think totally “outside the square”. Keith Dewey is a designer, who was inspired to build a container home while attending […]

Dani Ridge House

Built to withstand the elements

Big Sur  California  USA  –  Carver + Schicketanz Year built:     2011 Lot size:     30 acres  (12 hectares) Built area:     2,000 sq. ft.  (185 m2) Cor-ten steel, reclaimed timbers, rock walls, limestone floors, laminated beams and a green roof ensure that this ocean-side vacation home will always be minimum maintenance. […]

Big, Bold, New and Old

Stone and reclaimed timbers

Jackson Hole Wyoming USA  –  Atelier One Year Built:     2010 Built Area:      Substantial! Not everyone wants or can afford a home of this size. However, it is refreshing to see such a substantial home using so much reclaimed timber. In fact, despite it’s substantial size, the use of reclaimed timber, wood […]

Headwaters Camp

The man-made lakes create a thermal mass

Big Sky South Central Montana  –  Dan Joseph Architect Site area:     22 acres  (8.9 hectares) Built Area:    1,800 sq. ft.  (167 m2) Year built:     2012 Builder:     Highline Partners Photography:     Audrey Hall Set on the edge in a series of man-made ponds, streams and falls designed by the lead […]

Retreating to the Foothills

Yatsugatake Villa – MDS Location: Hokuto-City, Japan Area: 110.01 m2 Built: 2012 The owners of this villa are an older couple who left the city to spend their retirement farming. They wanted a low-maintenance home with maximum energy efficiency. Located in a harsh environment in the foothills of a mountainous region, it was necessary for the house to […]

Base Valley House

Heat sinks and natural ventilation tame the local climate...

Near Hiroshima  Japan  –  Hiroshi Sambuichi Site area:    12,000 m2 Built area:     100 m2 Photography:    Katsuhisa Kida / FOTOTECA Gabion walls made from local stone and a glass roof tell you that this is no ordinary home. Hiroshi Sambuichi is an architect who appears to have little time or patience for […]

Edgeland House – healing the land

Edgeland House Austin TX

Austin TX  USA  –  Bercy Chen Studio LP Built area: 130 m2  (1,400 sq. ft.) Year built: 2012 Photography: Paul Bardagjy In many areas of the western world, industry has come and gone, more often than not leaving a badly scarred landscape in it’s wake. This was such a site. We’ll leave the telling of the tale to the architects: “Edgeland House […]

Stoned and Green in Vietnam

The green roof and central courtyard create natural air-conditioning...

Dong Trieu, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam  –  Vo Trong Nghia Architects Built:     2011 Photography:     Hiroyuki Oki If you have looked at ‘Wind and Water’, you’ll know why we really like the work of this firm of architects. Their use of natural materials makes every building both unique and immensely habitable. The wonderful green […]

Angles, Timber, Earth and the Ocean…

A window on the universe

Merricks North  Victoria  Australia  –  Wood Marsh Architecture Built:     2009 Photos:     Jean Luc Laloux I looked at this house and thought ‘No’.  Then I looked again and thought ‘Maybe’.  Then I looked again and thought “I really like this”.  Now I see it with some tall trees casting shadows and shade and I […]

Lucky Shophouse – a bookstore turns a new leaf

Modern Singapore

Singapore  –  CHANG Architects Photographs: Invy & Eric Ng and Albert Lim K.S. Looking at modern Singapore, it’s almost impossible to believe that it has a 1,000 year history.  It is street after street on pristine modernity.  The Singapore as we know it started in 1819 when the British established a port on the island. World War II […]

Le Petit Prince Nursery School

Le Petite Prince Nursery School - Saint Nom la Bretèche, France

Saint Nom la Bretèche, France  –  AR + TE Architectes This extension to an existing pre-school facility / day care centre near Paris is worthy of an album here for three main reasons; the extensive use of sustainable materials, the high energy efficiency of the building and the fact that it was completed from start to finish in just 12 weeks. […]

Outside In House – Japan

Outside In House - Takeshi Hosaka Architects

Yamanashi, Japan  –  Takeshi Hosaka Architects Photography:  Koji Fujii Nacasa & Partners Inc Built:   2011Area:   102m2  (1,100 sq. ft.) Maybe it’s bias and maybe it’s fact, but we consistently find amazing innovation in the work of Japanese architects. Is it a function of the small and often, irregularly shaped lots? Perhaps Japanese architects […]

The Mini House

Sweden – Jonas Wagell Architects Area:  15m2 (162 sq. ft,) internal + deck/veranda Prefabrication can save new home owners a lot… of money and stress.  As most builders will admit, if it can go wrong, at some stage it will.  Rain, theft, damage, mistakes – they all add to the cost of a new home. […]

Hillside House

Hillside House - Portola Valley California

Portola Valley  California  –  Field Architecture Built:   2011 Area:   184m2 (1,990 sq. ft.) Situated in a pocket of oak woodlands in Northern California’s Portola Valley, the original house had endearing elements well worth preserving.  Incorporating green design throughout, the new addition gently cascades down the hill, echoing the natural slope of the topography.  Floor to […]

Kona Residence – it’s all in the details

Kona - the grand entry...

Kona Hawaii  –  Belzberg Architects Built:   2010 Area:  740 m2 (8,000 sq. ft.) While a home of this size and in this location may not be on the bucket list for everyone, we think that there are so many innovative ideas, that it is a home worth featuring. We’ll rely on the architects to […]

Palmwood House

Palmwood House - London

London  U.K.  –  Undercurrent Architects Area:    Wandsworth Year Built:    2007 – 2008 Photography:    David Butler Older cities are littered with remnant spaces, abandoned workshops and other derelict sites. These sites are often outside of current site regulations and development guidelines. They often become dumping grounds for rubbish and sometimes, the homeless.  Undercurrent Architects has been […]

Red Hill House and Home Office

Building in under 'Queenslanders' is now common practice

Brisbane QLD Australia  –  Bligh Graham Architects Built: 1880 – 2010 The inner-city Brisbane suburb of Red Hill is well named.  The soil is certainly red volcanic loam and the area is certainly hilly,  In fact, very hilly.  Add in that most early Queensland homes were elevated for ventilation and it is now very common […]