Situated on a secluded lot in Quogue and offering views of the bay from its rooftop terrace, this new modern house is composed of a series of stacked rectangular volumes that loosely form an L-shape. Clad in tongue-and-groove horizontal cedar and punctuated by square and rectangular windows, the house features multiple glass doors on the ground level that slide into the wall. All public spaces — living room, dining room, family room and kitchen — flow seamlessly onto the ipe wood terrace and lap pool. Above are three bedrooms, the library and a second-floor roof garden, all of which provide access to the rooftop terrace. Ground source heat pumps, an extremely well insulated envelope, and solar panels are some of the elements that provide this 3,400 square-foot house with sustainable and efficient energy.
Austin Patterson Disston Architects
All images courtesy of Austin Patterson Disston Architects
Austin Patterson Disston Architects
David E. Austin, AIA
McKee Patterson, AIA, NCARB
Stuart L. Disston, AIA, LEED GA
Austin Patterson Disston Architects is a full-service architectural and planning firm with offices in Southport, Connecticut and Quogue, Long Island. Founded in 1982 the firm includes three partners: McKee Patterson, AIA, Stuart Disston, AIA, LEED GA, and David Austin, AIA, and a staff of 23 — 6 registered architects, 2 LEED accredited and 12 architects/designers. The firm’s work is largely focused on bespoke projects, residential, hospitality and private clubs.
House A is the first of three carbon neutral dwellings in Scarborough made from high recycled content concrete panels and whitewashed recycled brick. The house is 3 storey mini tower with a garage underneath and a loft on top. Minimal land, minimal house, minimal life.
This compact house is composed of a series of interlocking rooms and gardens that create spatial variety, while allowing the house to adapt to changing needs. Doors and windows slide open and closed, revealing views and protecting privacy on a site that was once a rear tennis court. Today it shares its boundary with 11 surrounding houses.
Living spaces are located on the ground floor with connecting vistas through to the garden and central courtyard. Bedrooms are located on the upper level of the house and have operable shutters to ensure privacy and control views and outlook to the surrounding landscape.
Off-white concrete bricks, concrete floors, white stained cladding and naturally oiled timber combine to create a generous home that provides maximum living comfort for its occupants, with minimal long term maintenance.
The dwelling is designed to be passively environmentally responsive, with orientation, cross flow ventilation, batten screens, exposed concrete slab and double brick walls all coming together to ensure substantial thermal mass and reduced energy use, while maximising occupant amenity.
Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
All images courtesy of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
Established in 1998 by Tim Jackson, Jon Clements and Graham Burrows, JCB is a design-led architectural practice of over 50 design professionals united by a shared commitment to the delivery of innovative design solutions. more
Set in the harsh high desert of California, Sawmill is a family retreat embedded into the tough, scrubby landscape. Sawmill harnesses the challenges and opportunities of its remote site, emphasizing sustainable strategies and reclaimed materials. Demonstrating that high design can also be high performance, Sawmill is a net-zero home that operates completely off the grid.
The client brief called for a self-sufficient home that maximized connection between architecture and nature, and between family members inside. Riffing on the tradition of tents around a campfire, the house is comprised of three wings connected by the central hearth in the living area. Here, a 12-by-26-foot window wall retracts with the turn of a wheel, transforming the outdoor patio into the fourth “tent” around the fire.
Tough as nails, Sawmill is made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh climate, where fires are a major hazard in summer and winters are extremely cold. The design approach was driven by a scavenger mentality, seeking always to do more with less, including using salvaged and recycled materials whenever possible.
Carefully sited to minimize disturbance to its remote environment, Sawmill acknowledges that while the desert is harsh, it is also fragile. Historically, the valley had been used for mining, ranching and logging – hence the name “Sawmill.” Recognizing this past exploitation of the site, the homeowners wanted their house to give back to the land, rather than take from it. Sawmill stands as a testament to high design as an environmental ethic – a building that connects people to place.
Olson Kundig is a full-service design firm whose work includes residences (often for art collectors), museums and exhibition design, hospitality projects, commercial design, academic buildings, interior design, landscape design, and places of worship.
The firm is led by five owners—Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin, and Kevin Kudo-King—who are supported by eleven principals, fifteen associates, and a staff of approximately 140 in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The firm opened a workspace in New York in 2014 to better serve its expanding roster of East Coast and international clients. The in-house interiors studio, founded in 2000, provides a full range of services, including material selection, custom furniture design, and purchasing capabilities. The landscape design studio provides in-house design services dedicated to artfully integrating nature and the built environment.
The firm began its creative existence in 1966 with the architect Jim Olson, whose work at that time centered on explorations of the relationship between dwellings and the landscapes they inhabit. Olson started the firm based on the essential ideas that buildings can serve as a bridge between nature, culture, histories, and people, and that inspiring surroundings have a positive effect on people’s lives.
Located on broad sweeping ranch lands overlooking a lake, Gambel Oaks Ranch was designed to blend into its surroundings and is not visible from any public roadways.
Following natural contours, a low-profile roof nestles the predominately one-story home into the scrub oak canopy.
Entrance to the site is choreographed to slowly reveal the residence in a series of glimpses through the trees, culminating in an arrival court that constrains panoramic views. From inside the home, views build from interior spaces to distant sights: pool terrace, pasture, far-off lake, mountain peaks.
In June 2015, the Gambel Oaks Ranch residence was awarded LEED for Homes Gold by the USGBC for its innovative use of horizontal loop field GSHP, PV, HWS, and radiant heating/cooling slab thermal control technologies.
Stone was used in layers reflective of the local geology: one color matched to the distant mountains, the other caged in gabion baskets from site rock excavated for building foundations.
Private areas within three distinct Corten boxes are organized as a family compound to contain the master suite, guest suite, and garage. Public gathering spaces defined by the Corten forms flow effortlessly outdoors for entertaining.
Perched on a mountain in the Eastern Townships, the Crowhill cabin is based on its timelessness and minimalism concept. By its angular shape, the project aims to underline the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
The project takes advantage of the rocky cape to anchor its raw concrete foundations, on which rest two volumes advancing towards the treetops.
The first module contains the living areas while the second has two bedrooms. By accompanying the natural slope of the ground, their sloping roofs reinforce the sensation of sliding over the cliff. The entrance forms an in-between space between the modules that are oriented differently from each other’s.
The overhanging roofs on the south facade emphasize the view while limiting solar gain during the hot season. On the side, a wooden platform located in continuation of the kitchen is oriented west towards the sunset. The burnt wood use on the facades and the pre-woven hemlock planks result in a natural palette for the exterior envelope.
Inside, the panoramic view becomes the focal point of the living spaces and of the master bedroom. On the floor, the ceramic with a concrete finish unites all the spaces and reminds the natural finish of the foundations.
While enhancing the landscape, the project above all considers the cabin as a minimal and contemplative space, inviting tranquility.
All images courtesy of _naturhumaine
Stéphane Rasselet graduated from McGill University’s school of Architecture in 1990. After working on major projects in offices in Paris, Stéphane returned to Montreal to gain local experience at Dan Hanganu architects, The Arcop Group, and Lapointe Magne et associés. His experience comprised largely of the conception and realization of large scale rehabilitation of existing buildings such as l’institut d’hôtellerie du Quebec (ITHQ) and the ‘Théatre Espace Libre’. In 2004, Stéphane joined forces with Marc-André Plasse to found _naturehumaine architects. Within the first two years of the practice, they had been finalists in two major competitions : The Cistercian Abbey in Oka, and the theater in Dolbeau Quebec. Stéphane became the principal partner in 2013. more
305 de Bellechasse, Suite 308
Montreal, Quebec, H2S 1W9
This off-grid cabin is an escape from the high stress of our client’s busy work life. Born in Taiwan, she spent her childhood in traditional Japanese houses (built during occupation). Out of this grew a love for highly crafted minimalist design. Our brief was to capture that and design a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built in. The only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress on the sleeping loft.
With long views to the south and tall trees to the north, the cabin opens onto an east and west deck, capturing morning and afternoon sun while affording views to the south. A high roof allowed solar panels and a skylight to catch sun from over the trees.
Maguire + Devine Architects
All images courtesy of Maguire + Devine Architects
Maguire + Devine Architects
Maguire + Devine Architects is a young and dynamic architecture studio based in Hobart, Tasmania.
Hugh Maguire, Dan Devine and Rob Maver‘s shared values about social architecture and sustainability lead them to apply a contemporary design sensibility to form, space and material, responsive to context and climate.
176 New Town Road, New Town (behind Dispatch cafe)
GPO Box 1066 Hobart TAS 7001
Like a divining stick locating water, this house directs itself to the view.
An existing house on the property has been completely reimagined as part of a larger schema for the site. A new timber screen acts like a hedge to define a protected courtyard space – a cultivated garden within the broader rolling hills of the Mornington Peninsula landscape. The new house branches from the old across the slope, unfolding to engage with expansive views stretching over Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay. A skin of copper on the sides of the house is taut and crisply defining. It is sliced open to frame the views that have been divined from the site.
Entry is through a glass link between old and new where a glimpse of the view is afforded before venturing inside. Timber of local species is used to line the interior, with varying textures across floor, walls and joinery. The interior is like a cabinet itself, a place to wander through, a place for refuge and prospect.
The owners purchased 15 acres of tidal wetlands and former potato fields with the intention of building a house that would respond to and directly connect to its surrounding landscape. Even though most of the land was untouched by construction, the entire property was restored to a natural state by removing non-native invasives and adding indigenous plants. Because of the ever-increasing severity of storm surges, the owners agreed to raise the main living floor ten feet above the natural grade which consequently allows for wide, unobstructed views over the protected wetlands of Peconic Bay. The guest rooms, half a flight below, open out to the meadow which has been gently raised to protect these rooms from floodwaters.
The design incorporated European low-energy design details and materials which allow all building systems to be electrically powered and offset by a solar panel array.
Ryall Sheridan Architects
All images courtesy of Ryall Sheridan Architects
Ryall Sheridan Architects
Ryall Sheridan Architects designs projects which include new construction, renovations of existing structures, interior design, and additions to historic structures. Partners Bill Ryall and Ted Sheridan collaborate with the studio team to serve the various requirements of clients. Current and recent projects include a new sound recording studio near Brattleboro VT, the conversion of an 1880s tenement building into an artist’s foundation in New York City, and various residences in New York State, Vermont, Long Island, Virginia, and loft, townhouse, and apartment renovations in NYC. All projects incorporate strategies for implementing environmentally-friendly, sustainable design. The studio works on projects beginning with the conceptual design phase, and following through with comprehensive working drawings and specifications, pricing of the work with contractors, construction supervision, and furniture installation. The firm has successfully produced commercial, institutional, and residential projects that have benefited from a close working relationship between client and all members of the project team.
Ryall Sheridan Architects is likely to be the first office in North America in which all people are certified as Passive House designers.
Charles Rose Architects was commissioned to design a family vacation home on a site in Chilmark, adjacent to an agricultural area and with distant views of the Atlantic Ocean. The house site was limited by a unique deed restriction that set the maximum height of the structure at six feet above grade on the building’s uphill side. The design responded to this restriction by sinking the upper floor into the grade along its north side, and stepping the two floors of the house down the existing slope. To capture the view of the ocean and surrounding landscape, a roof deck was set within a flat, planted roof. This strategy preserved the view-sheds of properties further up the hill.
At first, our clients imagined a house which embraced the vernacular forms and materials of the island. However, as we worked with the building envelope restrictions, our clients were convinced that a contemporary architectural form would best suit their needs and aesthetic sensibilities, while addressing the unique hillside site.
The immediate site and distant views, the quality of light and shadow are at the core of the design. The building’s angular shapes and overhangs are responsive to the land’s form and the need for interior shading to reduce glare and create a luminous interior. Multiple terraces, including the roof, offer a variety of vantage points and family gathering places. Cedar shiplap, a material that links the building with its historic context, clads the exterior.
Materials: Cedar siding; white-washed, wide-plank white oak; limestone; granite; walnut and tile
Location: Dutchess County, New York, US
Area: 2,000 SF
American Architecture Award
AIA NY Design Award
Interior Design Best of Year Award
Boston Society of Architecture Housing Award
World Architecture Festival Finalist Award
Architizer A+ Design Award- Special Mention
SARA NY Gold Award of Excellence
SARA National Design Award
Designed as a contemplative retreat for weekend visitors, this guest house is situated on a rock outcropping that overlooks a trout pond and open farmland with vast unobstructed views to the landscape. The house integrates a number of sustainable design strategies, including geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floors, natural ventilation, motorized solar shades, photovoltaic panels, and rainwater harvesting for irrigation, in addition to an elegant structural design.
Open views to nature create a stunning backdrop for the main living and sleeping areas. A main bedroom and two ‘couchette’ nooks with built-in bunk beds provide accommodations for six overnight guests.
The couchette nooks, bathroom, and storage rooms are housed within a slatted wood core in the middle of the house. The custom wood wall system surrounding the core allows natural light to penetrate through to the inner spaces of the home by day; at night, light emanates from the wood core and provides a warm, inviting glow in the living areas. The slatted system also allows the whole house to ‘breathe’; comfortable natural ventilation occurs throughout the house, even in the sleeping couchettes and storage closets.
The structural design for the house relies on 4 steel columns imbedded in the wood core; the roof cantilevers out from these 4 columns. This elegant structural solution uses the minimum amount of materials to achieve expansive, open living areas at both ends of the house. The façade of the house was designed as a thermally robust system of high-performance, triple-paned glass units that vary in width from 10’ to 20’. The entire glass assembly was prefabricated off-site, shipped to the site in one container, and erected by crane in 2 days.
Landscape design strategies were closely tied to the design of the house. A tight palette of native vegetation highlights vistas and other natural features on the property while also managing storm water run-off. Local bluestone slabs and shale excavated from the site create outdoor seating areas and pathways; bluestone steps from the terrace lead to a barbeque area and an outdoor shower in the woods.
Katherine ChiaFAIA and Arjun Desai AIA are the founding principals of Desai Chia Architecture. Since 1996, they have established the firm’s reputation for authentic design, creating inspiring environments expressive of their use and materials; Desai Chia’s portfolio includes cultural, residential, and commercial projects as well as commissions for product design and collaborations with artists. Projects are currently in development throughout the United States and India.
Desai Chia’s projects have been published extensively and received many accolades including the AIA Institute Honor Award, AAP Small Firm of the Year Award for Multi-disciplinary Architecture, numerous American Architecture Awards, AIA Design Awards, Interior Design Best of Year Awards, the IDEA Award, and several Good Design Awards. The firm’s work has been exhibited at the Center for Architecture, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Istanbul Bienniale, Salone del Mobile Milan, the Herman Miller showrooms in New York and LA, and Parsons The New School of Design.
Katherine Chia FAIA earned her Master of Architecture degree from M.I.T. and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College. Prior to founding Desai Chia Architecture, she worked for Maya Lin on numerous art and architecture commissions. Chia is a registered architect in the state of New York & Connecticut. She has also been a faculty member in the architecture department at Parsons The New School of Design. She is Co-Chair of the Van Alen Institute’s Program Leadership Council, an elected member of the AIA NY Finance Committee, and Trustee Emerita of Amherst College.
Arjun Desai AIA grew up in New Delhi and Mumbai, India. Prior to founding Desai Chia Architecture, he worked at SHCA/NY on numerous civic projects in New York and Washington, D.C. He earned his Master of Architecture degree from M.I.T. and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bennington College. Desai is a registered architect in the state of New York and an active member of the AIA NY.
Desai Chia Architecture
115 West 27th Street, Suite 901
New York, NY 10001
After successfully completing the New York offices for a family-owned French global beauty brand, Mapos was asked to design a family retreat for the founders on a stunning 5-acre waterfront site overlooking Peconic Bay in the Hamptons. Mapos was challenged by the clients to create a timeless design for a multi-generational family which would celebrate the site, incorporate the latest in sustainable design strategies and technology, and exude beauty.
The family had fallen in love with the existing tree arrangement and natural fauna of the site, particularly an old growth Sycamore in the meadow. Respect for the site was paramount and special care was needed to be taken to minimize site disturbances of any kind. It was collectively decided that there could be no painted sheetrock surfaces anywhere in the home, only true, unfinished materials which would be allowed to patina naturally in the salted air of the Hamptons.
Springhill House is a private dwelling designed for an author and artistic director seeking a tree-change from living in the inner suburbs of Melbourne.
The dwelling is part of a larger project of re-imagining and revitalizing an under worked paddock into a place of habitation, connection and reflection. The project explores place-making within a vast rural setting and supports the notion that a dwelling has emotional foundations and memory intrinsic to its physical built form.
The site is defined by triangular boundaries formed by natural desire lines of the county roads. The land that flows across the site has been sculpted into soft undulations from surface water that flows through the ground from the nearby Springhill. There are two dams and a spring at the low point.
The dwelling is sited towards the high point of the site adjacent an outcrop of granite that forms an subtle rise to the north of the building, offering both a foreground for aspect from the dwelling and shelters the home from the noise of the road to west.
The building form takes its cues from archetypal hay sheds that litter the broader Australian landscape. These stoic silhouettes, roofed yet open on all sides, are borne through farming conventions and rational necessity. They are often a reminder of ideas of frontier and shelter that are present within the Australian psyche. For the client, this approach conjured memories of her childhood home on the plains of Western Queensland.
Much like a hay shed, the dwelling’s roof extends beyond the enclosed forms creating sheltered, flexible spaces around most of the building’s perimeter. Supported by a series of glulam portal frames, the roof defines the areas of habitation from the treeless, grassy expanse beyond.
The materials of Springhill House have been selected for their robust and utilitarian qualities. Large galvanized metal sheets are fixed to the outer layer of the building and provide the main source of weather protection. The external material is comfortable within this rural environment and in keeping with its vernacular purpose, it is left unadorned celebrating the inherent qualities of the steel. Subdued reflections of the sky and paddock ripple across the skin of the building, softening the otherwise hard material.
Internally, typical circulation is removed from the plan and spaces overlap to form dual purposes. The living space is organised to the north and west overlooking the outcrop of granite and harnesses the warmth of winter sun. This communal area can remain open and flexible or be curtained off to create a quiet sitting room or spare bedroom.
The main bedroom is orientated the east of the dwelling to capture rising sun and expansive view. The kitchen, bathroom and laundry services are clustered in the centre of the plan and form the main delineation between the work spaces and living spaces. Two working spaces are arranged behind the living spaces, making use of diffuse southern light.
At Springhill House, capturing views was important to the client. Three large windows are arranged around the dwelling to capture the diverse qualities and facets of the paddock beyond. View and ventilation are separated. Solid ventilation panels are organised throughout the dwelling to enable cross flow ventilation that can be controlled from space to space, leaving view and aspect clear of obstruction.
The home enlists a pared-down material palette of burnished concrete floors, birch ply joinery, porcelain tiles and stainless steel fittings. Blackbutt decking that encircles the dwelling’s verandah also carries through into the bathroom, converging internal and external elements. Internal detailing and joinery are simple and minimal yet highly resolved. The understated design provides the opportunity for occupants to imbue the space with their own histories and experiences.
Throughout this project, each detail of the design is approached with consideration of longevity, value and beauty. No element of the building extends beyond its purpose. Standard sheet sizes of the internal plywood and external steel define the proportions of the spaces. The timber structure is both necessary and provides a rhythmic layer to the facade. Custom steel adorns internal work benches to provide a flash of colour as well as a durable surface. These elements and proportions come together to impart the dwelling with an understanding of human scale.
The entry to Springhill house is nestled between two grass mounds to the south of the dwelling. The entry door is seamlessly detailed to merge with the metal cladding with only the handle, light and path to signify entry. It is fully exposed to the elements and provides a definitive threshold between inside and outside. This conscious decision highlights the sense of exposure of the paddock in contrast with the warmth of the dwelling within.