This project is an example of how a minimal and modern space design can be achieved to respect sustainability and eco standards. Crone Partners are the architects who designed this house located in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Embracing the challenge of a relatively tight inner suburban location, and restrictive building envelope, the designers worked closely with the client to rationalize their “wish list” into a concise and deliverable brief. Little was lost in this process and even less in the translation to a finished home for the builder / client and their young family.
The house’s finely detailed bold rectilinear form is set back from the street amidst a carpet of natural ground cover. Entrance down the side of the house is made via a subtle path formed from old railway sleepers embedded into the ground. Whilst sitting comfortably in its street context proportionally, and with setbacks respectful of its neighboring properties, the view from the street confirms immediately that this house is quite different to those around it. The project is realized through a series of simple intersecting and overlapping rectangular forms. Each “box” represents a distinct portion of the overall program. A sleeping / study zone, a living zone, a garage / workshop, and cantilevered above all of this, a parents retreat, complete with its own living area and secluded outdoor terrace.
This 4000 m2 property is located in Bryanston, South Africa , the beautiful villa is designed by Nico Van Der Meulen. The splendor lies in its magnificent scale yet light impression, the transparency and horizontal span of its structure helps with that. This has to be one of the most residential villas with open spaces and amazing views surrounding it from every angle.
Upon entering through the gatehouse you look down the sloping driveway with several large cantilevers protruding from the building, some in rust, other areas clad with unfilled travertine, and an atrium behind a mentis grating screen.
Next to the front door a large reflective koi pond flows over a retaining wall next to the drive way, with an illuminated glass staircase behind a two story curtain wall in the background. The lift shaft forms a strong vertical element finished in rust behind the pond. All of this is framed by a cantilevered concrete beam. The staircase behind the koi pond is a double glass construction, with lights between the two layers of glass. Above the lower garage a huge cantilevered structure hangs out, suspended by beams built into its roof.
The house was designed around three massive trees, one at the tennis court, and the other two on the east side of the house. The view from the hall towards the east is into one of these trees, framed by a large sliding window in the kitchen.
The kitchen, breakfast room and family room leads seamlessly through wall to wall frameless sliding doors onto the patio, with the dining room situated behind the family room, sharing a fireplace with the family room. When the doors are open, the family room, breakfast room, open and covered patio and kitchen becomes one large area. Parts of the dining room floor is glass, with a view down into the koi pond, and two huge lights from M Square are suspended over the dining room table.
Architectural icon after the other, A-Cero never refrain from keeping us in awe with the amazing sculptural designs they present. I am really impressed recently with Spanish designers and their works.
The design impact of this Open Box House, as they named it, can not be missed, the open spaces, the minimal use of colors yet strong volumes are what characterized it. The residence is located on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain and the design is inspired by Spanish sculptor Jorge Oteiza.
The interior spaces are overlapping and overlooking each other. A large mirrored partition serves as a background for a long fireplace, a glass bridge hangs over the living area and is adjacent to a large bookcase.
Natural light is plenty, tiles used are large grey ceramic tiles, furniture used is mainly from Fendi Casa. In the photo above you can see the Elisa chairs by Fendi Casa and the Canova console in black lacquer finish. The sofa is called Domino, also by Fendi Casa.
This project in particular has sentimental value to me. The Ghazale Residence is three-story villa which is a collaborative work between architect Gilbert Zarka and myself, Sahar Ghazale.
Located in Chtoura, in the beautiful Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, this residence stands out in terms of design. It is the only such architecture in the area, as opposed to the traditional designs surrounding it.
On the exterior facades, we used Basalt stone in both white and grey, and Béton brut (architectural concrete). You will notice several volumetric elements such as concrete pergolas, a 13m high chimney and high glass structures allowing as much light as possible into the house. One of the main features of the garden is the shallow pool with fountains and teak wood pergolas.
In more than one area there are double height voids and skylights. Even the basement enjoys natural sunlight through a garden continuing from the exterior to the interior. The main entrance boasts a long runway of stamped concrete in two different grey tones with contracting white sea stones flanking from both sides leading to a 3meter high solid walnut main door.
The owner is a person who loves his garden and cherishes every single plant, thus requested numerous water features and a beautiful olive tree he raised on a separate hill. Palm trees which are usually synonymous with humid and hot areas such as the gulf, composed a large portion of the plantation in the garden of this villa, something which is unusual for this specific location.
The interior design is a continuation of the exterior. The basalt stone continues to the inside on numerous walls. A red wall supports the main staircase. Apart from that all finishes are in neutral tones indicating luxury and simplicity. Wood used on the ground level is Palisander which contrasts beautifully with the dark tinted walnut doors. All doors were in the form of panels reaching ceiling height.
Most of the furniture used was from Roche Bobois, which is the owner’s favorite brand. Ceiling design is very simple. Lighting is mainly in the form of indirect lighting, halogen spotlights highlighted certain areas for warmer color effect. In future posts I will be introducing more interior photos of the different rooms on the upper floors.
For further information you can contact me directly on my contact page or email.
“New York City inspires and fuels everything I do. Donna Karan New York and DKNY embrace the energy of the city. One is luxe sophistication, the other is fast, hip and spirited. Both are modern and reflect how we live day into night. To me, they’re like caviar and pizza, a limousine and a taxi, the skyline and the street.” Donna Karan
You can only imagine what type of life a fashion designer as popular and hard working as Donna Karan could be leading. After a long hectic day and living in the “city that never sleeps”, the best haven to return to is one of minimal design yet with an elegant touch fit for an elegant designer.