Situated on a hill overlooking Atami, Japan southwest of Tokyo, this spectacular ocean view villa has a striking oval dinning room that appears to be on an island surrounded by water. Designed by architect Kengo Kuma, this glass house in which water is also a key component has the effect of a structure floating on water. The oval dinning room is connected to the rest of the house by a glass corridor. The infinity-edge reflecting pool connects the house to the ocean and the coastline.
El Andaluz is a beautiful luxury condominium complex in Santa Barbara, California designed by architect Jeff Shelton. The mediterranean style architecture with Moroccan influence captures the essence of Santa Barbara living. The open-air courtyard bring light to the centre of the building and create a peaceful setting for its residents.
The Gundersen House is located in Haugesund, Norway on Scandinavia’s most western point. Designed by WRB Architects, the modern home sits on the shore of a fjord overlooking the water. The heart of the home is the outdoor fireplace under the roof covered patio and the heated swimming pool. The open plan house design and large patio take full advantage of the stunning waterfront setting.
The “Auto Residence” house located in Gnigi near Salzburg, Austria is a Volkswagen Beetle inspired home designed by Master Builder Markus Voglreiter. The owners bought the original 70’s style house and wanted to renovate and update the structure. The result was this unique transformation into a VW Beetle house which was completed in 2003. Voglreiter would later build a restaurant and bar “The Car. Das Auto” nearby. The “Auto Residence” is an eco-friendly house with energy efficient heating and insulation technology that reduces energy consumption.
The Schnabel House in Brentwood, California — built in 1989 and designed by world renowned architect Frank Gehry, whose works include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao — recently had a major renovation to bring it forward to the 21st century. The new owner wanted to preserve the integrity of Gehry’s original structure and clean lines, but replace old technology with more environmentally friendly and advanced system controlled by iPad. The mission was to take a beautiful piece of art and make it function as a modern home in 2010. The property is actually composed of four buildings which form a “village”, including a domed structure that looks like an observatory tower.
The Linked Hybrid apartment complex in Beijing, China is an innovative residential development designed by Steven Holl Architects. Eight 22-storey buildings are connected by pedestrian skybridges at their upper floors, encouraging residents to walk around the “neighbourhood”. The ground level is a public urban space with a hotel, restaurants, shops, a school, a cinema and an elaborate courtyard garden with a reflecting pool that becomes an ice-skating rink in the winter. This 21st-century residential architecture design offers a groundbreaking model for mixed use urban space that creates an open city within a city.
The integration between inside and outside is a key theme and function of this tropical house on Sentosa Island, Singapore. Designed by Guz Architects, the Fish House embraces Singapore’s tropical climate by creating an open space that allows interaction between the ocean, the garden, the swimming pool and the house. The natural sea breeze ventilates the tropical home, while the curved wavy roofs with solar panels supply energy to the house. This modern home promotes living in harmony with the natural environment.
Situated near the village of El Coco in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, this modern house on a dramatic cliff has a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and the lush rocky coastline. Designed by Victor Cañas Arquitecto, this 4,500-square-foot vacation home is largely made of glass on the ocean-facing side. Getting through the front door requires crossing a reflecting pool on concrete pavers which serve as the unorthodox “floor” of the foyer. The outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool and tempered-glass panels on the deck maximize the panoramic ocean view.