Contemporary Home in Mexico Features Glass Walls and Steel Bridges

The contemporary home, La Casa en el Bosque, in Mexico City, Mexico, is composed of two volumes connected by steel bridges and glass flooring and walls. One of the structures houses the living areas, while the other holds the laundry and service wing.

“The project was built with a mixed system of concrete and metal structure with wooden beams, a system that allowed us to have wide open spans without support,” explained the designers at Grupoarquitectura

The residence was built around existing trees without harming vegetation on the site, and includes other sustainable features such as a waste-water recycling system for irrigation. As you enter the house, you’ll be struck by an overwhelming feeling of height and space. The main living area encircled by glass offers front-row seats to the surrounding nature. “The two volumes are closed to the outside and face the gardens to the south and east.” Ample sunlight is brought indoors thanks to large windows and terraces.[Photography by Agustín Garza]

Family Home in Toronto Focuses on Energy Efficiency

Located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, The Counterpoint House designed by Paul Raff Studio Architects in 2014 was built to cater to the needs of an active family of four though interconnected living spaces and a nod to the natural outdoor environment. 

The 3,837-square-foot, energy-efficient home features open-concept living spaces, which organically flow from room to room. Natural light is highlighted with the upper levels of the house set back from the street to create privacy, while allowing for south facing windows to bring abundant sunlight into the middle of the house. The lower level “in-law” suite provides extensive views of the gardens along with ample natural light, which is rare for a basement apartment.

In addition to the skillfully designed structure, the south face of the house features a solar reflector screen which bounces sunlight into the home, resulting in an energy-efficient home with a small carbon footprint. 

“Southern light in the northern climate is wonderful for helping heat the house in winter, but can create too high a glare to be comfortable,” says architect Paul Raff. “The solar reflector screen solves that, while creating a dynamic play of delicate shadows, which to me is the visual equivalent of harp music.” [Photography by Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc., Steve Tsai]

The Butterfly Pavilion Emulates Rainforest in the Arab Emirates

Designed by German studio 3deluxe the ornamental Butterfly Pavillon located on Noor Island in the Arab Emirate Sharjah is the first in a series of attractions being built as a part of a roughly six acre transmedia landscape park. 

The whimsical structure consists of a free-form, 3D roof made of 4,000 gold aluminum leaves covering a glass biosphere park. The 475-square-foot pavilion interior not only houses 500 species of butterflies, but also an artificial rainforest ecosystem with many tropical plants. 

The curved roof of the pavilion arches from the base of the glass structure and is multipurpose, creating a cover to help regulate temperature from the climate by providing shade and funneling hot air over the facade. The dramatic shadows cast by direct sunlight through the roof is meant to emulate standing under the treetops in a rainforest. [Photographs by 3deluxe]

Parisian Attic Apartment Blends Rustic With Contemporary

Named Habiter sous les toits — which literally translates as “living under the roof” — this attic apartment byPrisca Pellerin blends rustic architecture elements and contemporary interior design. The objective of this renovation project located in Ivry-sur-Seine, France, was to maximize space and bring in as much natural light as possible through a series of well-placed attic windows. 

“From the bedroom to the living room, the eye finds no obstacle in its way, thanks to the funnel effect of the central corridor, which is the point of convergence between all the functions of the apartment,” the designer explained.

The color palette was kept simple: “In order to create a warm and cocooning place, walls and sub-slopes are clothed in white and light gold grey,” the designer added. A large array of textures were used — matte and satin paint, polished concrete, brick, wood — including a variety of plants in pops of vivid green to add to the streamlined, contemporary interior. [Photography by Hugo Hébrard photographe d’architecture]

Bachelor Pad Apartment in San Francisco Showcases Modern Artworks

Located in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, this contemporary bachelor pad apartment envisioned by Geremia Design features modern Scandinavian design. The project focused on encompassing a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of areas for entertaining by pairing an open-plan concept with masculine details. 

“With furniture versatility as a priority, we selected a modular sectional, vintage bar cart and stacking dining chairs to support various social gatherings,” the designers at Geremia said. “The combination of vintage and modern pieces reinforces the contrast inherent in the building’s original wood structure and modern whitewash finishes.”

But the showcase of this small apartment isn’t limited to its pieces of furniture. “We curated a fresh and striking modern art collection by artists Noemie Goudal, Tauba Auerbach and Josef Hoflehner as a bold opposition to the subdued palette of the space,” the designers added. Another added gem — the apartment also links to an outdoor terrace with breathtaking views of the city. [Photos by Aubrie Pick]

Old Dutch Classroom Transformed into Creative Family Home

An old school building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was recently converted into a series of private homes. This particular apartment, designed by Standard Studio, addresses the contemporary needs of a family of five. “The teacher’s lounge was remodeled into the bedrooms and the classroom into the living space,” the designers explained.

One of the main goals of the conversion was to create an open-plan social space for the family to gather. At the same time, privacy had to be maintained. The kitchen, living room, dining room, work space and play area for the children were all combined in a generously-sized first level, designed for interaction.

Storage is of essence when designing for a family with three young children, so “play stations” were created under the staircases to work both as designated play areas as well as an out-of-the-way place to store their many toys.

Large windows allow ample natural light inside and enhance the feeling of space. “Concrete floors and steel staircases kept the characteristics of the school but when combined with plywood, it resulted in a bright and warm interior,” the designers added. [Photographs courtesy of Standard Studio]

18th-Century Spanish House Features New Floating Staircase

Located in the historic city of Santiago de Compostela, the interior of this 18th-century Spanish townhouse was transformed by local architect firm, Arrokabe Arquitectos to create a modern and contemporary style complete with a wave-shaped ceiling and floating staircase.

The architects left the building’s street-facing exterior intact, but completely renovated the interior with new timber framed doors and wall partitions. The townhouse is comprised of three stories, including a smaller loft level. The first floor encompasses a guest suite, while the ground floor accommodates an extra bedroom, a dining room, a lounge and a separate kitchen.

The most dramatic feature of the new interior is the staircase installed to replace the old one, that connects all four levels and appears to be floating. It begins as a solid structure but changes form as it ascends the floors of the home. Distinct design features can be found on all four levels which include storage areas, bookshelves, low cupboards and hollow benches. The finished Spanish townhouse provides an ideal blend of elegance and practicality, creating the perfect home for a family of five. [Photography by Luis Díaz Díaz]

Cube-Shaped House in Chile Takes In Dramatic Sea Views

House D by PANORAMA + WMR Architects is defined by minimalist architecture and a dramatic location on top of a cliff, 215 feet above the sea. The project in the coastal village of Matanzas, Chile was especially envisioned as a holiday retreat for a couple and their son.

The 1,033-square-feet house has a cube-shaped exterior, with large window piercings that frame the views. As you step inside, you will discover an intricate layout, divided in two floors. The first level accommodates a single space for the living room, dining room and kitchen; in the back, there is room for a sleeping area and the second-floor staircase.

The terrace on the first level is cut into one corner to form an L-shaped living area, while the second floor is set on a 45-degree angle, which creates double-height ceilings in the social area.

Even during extreme wind, the inhabitants can spend time on the terrace, thanks to its special design and orientation. All interiors are finished in natural pine and white plaster, for a spacious, inviting feel. [Photography by Sergio Pirrone]

Pyramid Cottage House Reflects the Icelandic Landscape

Located in the middle of Iceland’s famed Golden Circle Route, about an hour and a half ride from Reykjavik, the Pyramid Cottage House is an unconventional holiday retreat. The project consists of two pyramid-shaped volumes connected by a single-level entrance hall.

According to the owners’ description, the property was built to reflect the Icelandic landscape and complement the small vegetation of moss and trees in the old lava-field. One of the structures accommodates an open-plan living room, which combines the kitchen, lounger and dining table. Natural light is allowed inside through triangle-shaped windows, which give an interesting 3D effect to the spaces.

The second pyramid hosts the sleeping areas, with three small bedrooms designed on the first level. The magic happens when you climb the stairs and reach the top of the structure, enclosed in glass. It is here that you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings and the Northern Lights. The lovely wooden deck with minimalist furniture acts as an open invite to witness fresh summer mornings in Iceland. [Photographs courtesy of airbnb]

Contemporary House Built to Integrate With Natural Landscape in India

Architecture BRIO completed the design of Riparian House, a contemporary residence located in Maharashtra, India. The dwelling is placed near the foothills of the famous Ghats riverfront steps and overlooks River Ganges. “The top of a vegetated roof merges with the top of the hillock, hiding the house from the approach on the east side,” the architects explain. “Inside the residence one can enjoy the views to the north of the Irshalgad hill fortress and the sunset over the river to the west.”

A complex exterior design was chosen in order to adapt the building to weather changes throughout the seasons. The array of materials — Indian limestone, galvanized steel windows, bamboo poles — allow shade and breeze during the summer and provide a waterproof indoor environment during the stormy monsoons. “A screen of columns creates an ever-changing pattern of light and shadows throughout the seasons and times of the day, making the building a sensor of light,” the architects added.

One of the key features of the residence is a suspended timber deck veranda which surrounds the house on three sides. The living area connects to this outdoor space, which offers views of the swimming pool and landscape beyond. [Photography by Ariel Huber]