Category Archives: Architecture

HOUSE W, TAIPEI | BRINGING IN LIGHT, PLANTS AND AIR

2 March 2017

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors
 

Despite being located in a densely populated area of Taipei in Taiwan KC design studio managed to bring light, plants and air into this small three storey townhouse simply called, House W.

To overcome the houses’ disadvantaged location KC design studio opened up the roof and installed structural glass as part of the flooring on every level. This transparent core lets light travel all the way to the ground floor giving much needed daylight to the open plan kitchen, dining and living area.

Their second radical decision was to set the facade back and putting a metal mesh in its place. This creates semi transparent small outside spaces on each floor allowing the owners to bring in plants and greens whilst giving much needed air flow and a wonderful space to sit and relax.

I’ve been featuring a lot of extraordinary architecture lately – partly because I haven’t come across many equally extraordinary interiors. But the main reason is that even though these houses are out of many people’s reach financially (certainly mine) I believe you can always pick up interesting details and ideas from spaces that have had less constraints on budgets. Boutique hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants as well as any public building incorporates a myriad of ideas, details and materials that can translate into your own home. All it needs is some closer inspection and an open mind.

This home is fascinating for me as they’ve achieved an open-plan, modern and industrial look on a vertical scale. Bringing in plants and greenery has softened the look and added another layer of interesting texture. I like the juxtaposition of rough concrete beams next to the sleek stainless steel kitchen which is cleverly integrated into the staircase to make use of the limited space and to keep the ground floor as wide and open as possible. A design trick you may have seen in my blog post of an Islington conversion here a few weeks ago.

I hope you share my enthusiasm for this unusual space and it’ll give you some inspiration for your own home. It’s certainly got me thinking.

 

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house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

house w, taipei, taiwan, townhouse, kc design studio, air, light, plants, structural glass, semi transparent, metal mesh facade, trend, industrial look, concrete, architecture, interiors

 

 
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | KC Design Studio with thanks
 
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SPA ANNEX DESIGNED BY PATRICK JOUIN AND SANJIT MANKU

20 February 2017

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

 

Oh this Spa annex had me at hello ‘beams and concrete’. It’s a recent addition to the family run Hôtel des Berges in the Alsace region and designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku who previously redesigned the hotel’s Michelin stared restaurant.

To cater for mind, body and soul what better addition could there be to a family run hotel in a picturesque French village with a Michelin stared restaurant than a spa for guests who seek total relaxation in harmony with nature.

The building itself is inspired by the region’s large old barns and the structure is timber frame and concrete with chunky beams and untreated materials being used throughout. I like the deliberate choice of showing the building’s structure rather than concealing it with plasterboard. In particular the pitched roof in the generous five junior suites upstairs where the construction is fully exposed. A trend which I’ve noticed more of recently – see my post on the three mountain huts restaurant in Switzerland.

My favourite bit has to be the pool area though which is just perfectly and discreetly lit by the sunlight flooding in through those wooden slats across the window. What could be more relaxing than watching dispersed sunbeams dance across the water!?

 
spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

spa annex, mind, body, soul, relaxing, restful, harmony, nature, pool, french, alsace, pitched roof, exposed beams, untreated materials, discreet, michelin stared restaurant, hotel des berges, architecture, space design, Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku

 

 
ARCHITECTURE & SPACE DESIGN | Jouin Manku Agencies
MORE INFORMATION | Hôtel des Berges
PHOTOGRAPHY | Nicolas Mathéus with thanks
 
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THREE MOUNTAIN HUTS | PETER PILCHER ARCHITECTURE

13 February 2017

swiss, mountain, restaurant, three huts, oberholz, ski resort, peter pilcher, Pavol Mikolajcak, architects, structure, spruce, traditional, textures, construction, concrete, wood, view, scenery

 

Winter has Britain firmly in it’s grip and I’m dreaming of heading off to the mountains with the family for some snow. One place I’d love to explore is the South Tyrolean Dolomites and the Swiss resort of Oberholz where this gorgeous new mountain restaurant has opened up designed by Peter Pichler architects in collaboration with Italian architect Pavol Mikolajcak.

I’m fascinated by the structure of the three large huts facing slightly different mountains with the volumes flowing and connecting into each other. As the architect describes it: “The cantilevering structure grows out of the hill like a fallen tree with three main branches creating a symbiosis with the landscape. At the end of the branches a large glass facade frames the surrounding mountains from the interior of the hut.”

The exposed internal structure in local spruce helps you ‘read’ the buildings’ construction and draws you to the large window at the end of each volume. Somehow it reminds me of inside a whale, looking at it’s rib cage, not that I’ve never been inside a whale [obvs]. The textures and materials use inside are contemporary without compromising on local relevance with the use of spruce and concrete. The wooden chairs too are a modern take on the traditional, curvy Swiss chairs by squaring the backrest off and keeping a cut out to make it easier to move them around, only in this version it’s a lozenge and not a whimsical heart or leaf.

It’s a beautiful project and though I love skiing I wouldn’t be too upset if I had to spend my days in here looking out at the stunning scenery.

 

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swiss, mountain, restaurant, three huts, oberholz, ski resort, peter pilcher, Pavol Mikolajcak, architects, structure, spruce, traditional, textures, construction, concrete, wood, view, scenery

swiss, mountain, restaurant, three huts, oberholz, ski resort, peter pilcher, Pavol Mikolajcak, architects, structure, spruce, traditional, textures, construction, concrete, wood, view, scenery

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MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Pilcher Architects in collaboration with Pavol Mikolajcak Architects with thanks

 

 
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ARCHITECTURE | THE ARK SHELTER

27 October 2016

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When I came across the Ark Shelter I was immediately drawn in. A mobile cabin with zero impact placed anywhere you like. Merging into the landscape, no wifi or TV just nature and the people you’re with. Hit the reset button and go back to basics.

Ironically technology has made most of our lives even more frantic with the majority of the population glued to their phones and mild anxiety attacks when there’s no wifi. So the ultimate luxury is now a life away from the stresses of everyday life, stepping off the grid and letting our mind calm down by emerging ourselves and engaging with nature. Really opening up every sense and experiencing life and what it is to be alive. I might be going a bit philosophical on you but I truly believe that we all need that engagement with nature, it keeps us sane, grounds us and heals.

So the clever architects behind the ARK shelter have come up with this extraordinary module, clad in black on the outside and natural wood on the inside with a central woodburner and innovative space saving solutions so the minimal clean lines don’t distract from the surrounding landscape.

The simple constructed box has a variety of opening platforms and window options and can be extended and made to fit your specifications before being placed where ever you like. Personally I’d like mine to be set amongst the dunes on a beach and take in the ever changing light and weather from my panoramic bedroom window or sit on the sundeck with a cup of coffee, smelling the salty air and listening to the wind and sounds of the sea.

To read more about ARK’s philosophy head over here and be inspired.

 
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ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

ark shelter, architecture, architect, zero impact, design, style, minimalist, natural wood, back to nature, woodburner, philosophy, landscape, cabin, module, ecological

 

 
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Ark Shelter with thanks
 
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REYDON GROVE FARM BY NORM ARCHITECTS

12 September 2016

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor
 

I’ve totally fallen for Reydon Grove Farm in Suffolk designed by Danish über architects NORM who seem to be hitting the Zeitgeist with every project at the moment.

Reydon Grove Farm is a contemporary take on the classic farmhouse and manages to merge the best of functional Scandinavian and modern American indoor / outdoor living.

The single storey building sits on a sandstone platform and features huge floor to ceiling windows that flood the space with light and give wonderful views across the farmland with a walkway and canopy wrapping around the house. The layout is simple and effective with a dividing entrance hall between the communal spaces and the bedrooms and bathrooms and the decor is decidedly pared back emphasising the quality of the build and the different materials used.

The space seems to be incredibly warm and calm and I’m so happy to see clients who are brave enough and don’t mind going against the norm (no pun intended).
 

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

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Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

Reydon Grove Farm, suffolk, Danish, architects, norm architects, zeitgeist, contemporary, farmhouse, functional, modern, simple, American, indoor, outdoor, walkway, views, simple layout, quality, different materials, warm, calm, interior design, pared back, decor

 

 
MORE INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHY | Norm Architects
 
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