Tour on Garden and Sea house

Garden and Sea / Takao Shiotsuka Atelier
By Nico Saieh

Architects: Takao Shiotsuka Atelier
Location: Japan
Client: Private
Project year: 2008
Constructed area: 237 sqm
Photographs: Toshiyuki YANO (Nacasa & Partners Inc.,)

The site faces the sea and has deep depth. And it inclines toward the sea by the vertical interval like 2M. We arranged the house in the center of the site. The plane shape of the house is wedge to spread towards the sea.

We planned the first floor as a place to enjoy a garden. The part facing the garden of the half underground is a glass window. By it, a slope of the ground just appears as form of the openings. The exterior floor covered with the white gravel. Since it is surrounded by the outside wall, outside can also be felt like the interior of a room. By place to stay and movement at that time, relations with a person and the ground surface change.

The second floor enabled it to set up a sense of distance with the sea variously in the inside of a building. The both ends of cylindrical space long in the direction of marine are glass windows. An indoor partition wall is also glass. We can look at sea side and the location of the other side at the same time from the room. Even if the sojourner is in any place, he can see or feel the sea.

The first floor that enjoys the yard, the second floor that enjoys the sea, and 2 space were divided clearly. Owner enabled it to spend the time of non-every day by going back and forth mutual space with the different feature appropriate for the cottage.

Best Green House

Good Things, Small Package: A two-bedroom house and the subdivision it hails from defy Texas conventions

Shipley Architects

…Cheatham divided the site into 50 building lots, divvying the number between progressive spec homes and empty land that purchasers can reinvent with the help of an approved architect…

…Shipley Architects has been chosen by land buyers four times, and it has wrapped up two projects. Most notable of this pair is the 1,500-square-foot residence known as UR 45, which the local firm designed for Urban Edge executive Rick Fontenot…

…"Rick observed me working and responding to some of the problems with the other houses," Dan Shipley, FAIA, says of his selection to work on UR 45. "I think he saw a flexibility to experiment and to adjust to smaller budgets." Indeed, UR 45 currently contains just two bedrooms…

…The little terraced building sits on six concrete piers, with its back to the street: An opaque carport marks the east-facing street side of the house, and Fontenot and his wife enter the house via a ramp that leads to a door on the long, southern elevation; it opens directly into a living room with kitchen island…

…“There’s nothing particularly exciting about the form except that I think it’s well-proportioned and has a certain logic to it,” Shipley says, adding, “Because it’s very compact, floats above the piers, and that you enter it from this gangplank, it’s like a houseboat.” Both the carport and house volume are wrapped in southern yellow pine boards normally used in porch flooring…

…Between the great room and its westward view of local DART trains sits a porch that cantilevers over a ridge leading down to the light rail’s tracks. This deep outdoor room protects occupants from direct sunlight, while trees soften the glare of summer’s late-afternoon rays…

…Shipley, who cites foam insulation and geothermal air-conditioning among UR 45’s sustainable features, says that even though fenestration “is probably less than 25 percent of the building envelope, we tried to locate all the glass so you always feel close to natural light.”…

…In a poetic example of that effort, light filters into the great room through open risers in the stairway that separates the great room from a guest bedroom…

… The stairway leads to the second-story master bedroom suite…

…Stair treads
comprise glulam salvaged from other Urban Reserve projects, while the flooring is recycled from the dance floor of Fontenot’s own wedding…

...Architect and client are aiming to certify UR 45 as LEED Platinum. The designation would stand as an example for the neighborhood because—while Shipley compares Urban Reserve to “a parking lot full of nicely designed cars like Coopers and Fiats”—the subdivision is conscientious, too...

…The DART station is nearby, and the team that includes Cheatham and Fontenot have removed few trees from the site, implemented rainwater harvesting, and minimized street widths and the stormwater runoff that correlates with it.

X House / Arquitectura X

Architects: Arquitectura X - Adrian Moreno Núñez, Maria Samaniego Ponce
Location: La Tola, valle de Tumbaco, Quito, Ecuador
Contractor: Adrian Moreno Núñez, Carlos Guerra Espinosa
Client: Adrian Moreno Núñez, Maria Samaniego Ponce, Lía Moreno Samaniego
Design year: 2003 – 2006
Construction year: 2006 – 2007
Structural Engineer: Pedro Caicedo
Electrical Engineer: Pedro Freile
Services: Raúl Cueva
Constructed area: 380 sqm
Photographs: Sebastián Crespo

Design Concepts

Not having a site when we started design on our house, we set out an elemental scheme that could work both in Quito and the valleys east of the city; this meant distilling our experience into an abstracted form, inspired in the work of Donald Judd, that could be placed in any of the sites we would be likely to find: an open ended box, whose spatial limits would be the eastern and western ranges of the Andes.

As we had no actual place, we looked to the spaces we felt our own, and found the patio as the essential place maker throughout our architectural history.

On the other hand was our fascination for the prototypical glass house and its possibilities in our year round temperate climate.

While the patio creates a sense of place it has to be enclosed in order to work, so the mountains can’t become the spatial limit. The glass house is perfect for that unlimited sense of space; the addition of a patio to the glass house gave us the chance to adapt to the different site possibilities.

We separated the private and public spaces defining a patio, the service spaces and circulation could be added as a plug-in as needed depending on site conditions, further defining the patio.

Finally this diagram could be fitted into the open ended box according to specific site conditions that would define orientation, size and proportion.

Zaha Hadid announces new project for Cairo

Zaha Hadid announces new project for Cairo
By Karen Cilento

Zaha Hadid announced her latest design, the Stone Towers, for the expanding district of Cairo, Egypt. Within the 525,000sqm towers, Hadid’s design provides office and retail spaces, a five-star business hotel with serviced apartments, and sunken landscaped gardens and plaza called the Delta.

Further project description after the break.

“I am delighted to be working in Cairo. I have visited Egypt many times and I have always been fascinated by the mathematics and arts of the Arab world. In our office we have always researched the formal concepts of geometry - which relates a great deal to the region’s art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics. This research has informed the design for Stone Towers,” Hadid commented.

Hadid’s towers were inspired by the ancient Egyptian stonework which incorporates a variety of patterns and textures. Working off this inspiration, the facades on the North and South elevations of each tower adopt a vocabulary of alternating protrusions, recesses and voids. Such spaces will emphasize light and shadow, which will, in turn, accentuate the curvatures of each building within the development.

“With a large-scale project such as the Stone Towers, care must be taken to balance a necessary requirement for repetitive elements whilst avoiding an uncompromising repetition of static building masses,” states Hadid. “The architecture of Stone Towers pursues a geometric rhythm of similar, interlocking, yet individually differentiated building forms that creates a cohesive composition,” Hadid added.

The towers will add much needed space to Cairo’s expanding region and will fuse smoothly into the existing urban landscape. Hisham Shoukri, CEO of Rooya Group said, “There is a overwhelming need in Egypt for developments of the highest international standards required by the serious and growing investment climate of the country - ultimately contributing to making it a hub for multinationals in the region. The Stone Towers needed an architect with daring ideas, innovation, international expertise and experience…it needed Zaha Hadid.”

Architectural Record's House of the Month

Screen House

New Westminster, British Columbia
Randy Bens Architect
By Ingrid Spencer

Reuse, renew, recycle, renovate! When New Westminster, British Columbia, couple Jeanine Harper and Les Linfoot, and their three sons, aged 18 to 26, needed more space, they decided to build onto their 2,500-square-foot 1950s ranch-style house. “It was an L-shaped, low-slung, post-and-beam house,” says local architect Randy Bens, who did the redesign. “The house was so neutral, and it had this nice red oak flooring which was in very good shape. We knew that we could update and expand the home but still keep a lot of the existing structure and walls.”

New Westminster is about a 20-minute drive from Vancouver, and Harper and Linfoot’s house sits atop a hill in a suburban area rich with mid-century Modernist architecture. “I grew up in an architect-built, Modernist house,” says Harper, “so I like that aesthetic and wanted our house to echo the sensibilities of the neighborhood.” Linfoot, an artist, says he wanted their house “to move into at least the 20th century and maybe even the 21st.” Like Harper, he appreciates a lack of clutter and smooth transitions between inside and outside spaces.

Bens understood that with three boys in the house (for the moment, at least), Harper and Linfoot needed private space. His redesign created a 1,000-square-foot upstairs addition comprising a painting studio, master suite, and deck. “Architecturally,” he says, “the goal was to knit together the old and the new with simple gestures and materials that would be sympathetic to their context, yet fresh.”

Zoning laws wouldn’t allow Bens to create an upper addition that would fill out the footprint of the existing house, but that was not his intention. “The climate here is very gray and rainy, the light very soft. We wanted to be sure light would get into all parts of the house,” he explains. Bens organized the addition’s massing by creating chunky new volumes to sit on existing structure, but added a double height to the downstairs living room, and created upstairs decks that would take advantage of views. To shade the south-facing double-height living room, the architect created a horizontal screen of stained timber and anodized aluminum for the exterior. Placed at a 90-degree angle, the screen protects the entr

y from rain and sun, and adds a horizontal element to counter the vertical nature of the added volume. Vertical cedar siding, gently sloping roofs, exposed glued laminated beams and rafters respond to the aesthetic of the neighboring mid-century post and beam houses. To add a contemporary element, Bens installed zinc panels above and alongside existing window openings, aligning them with new openings above.

Inside, the architect retained the original floors (and added recycled fir flooring on the second level) and extended neutral white walls though the house as a palette for Linfoot’s art collection. New millwork, including built-ins, was constructed from a mixture of Appleply and Plyboo. Rounding out the sustainable features for this house that has

no air conditioning, the upstairs bathroom incorporates Paperstone, a tile made of recycled paper, on the counter and tubs, and a composite recycled tile is used on the floor and shower walls. A new steel stair connects the two floors, and decks are made of pressure-treated cedar. “It’s all very simple,” says Bens modestly. “Wood floors, white walls—it’s hard to screw that up.”

Harper and Linfoot have a bit more to say. “The view, the whole upstairs, it’s hugely pleasurable,” says Harper. “More than just light, there’s a lightness to the house that is such a nice thing. It flows, there’s so much space, yet it’s also quite cozy.” Says Linfoot, “Cookie cutter houses don’t appeal to us, and while we know the hou

se reflects features of others in the neighborhood, we’re also surprised by the people who we see standing on the street and staring.” But for Linfoot, it’s not just all about his house. “We wanted to use a young architect for this project,” he says. “It was important for us to be part of the patronage of someone with talent who’s just starting out.”

Harper and Linfoot now have the house of their dreams. Whether their adult sons leave them to it remains to be seen.