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.
The Northland House is a modern home designed by Parsonson Architects which sits on a high ridgeline overlooking Wellington Harbour in Wellington, New Zealand. Looking east, there is a spectacular view of the harbour and hills beyond. A protective courtyard wall gives the house a lot of privacy from the roadside, while the interior spaces feel very open and connected to the harbour side of the outdoor landscape.
This modern home located in Cerro Lo Curro, Santiago, Chile, and designed by Schmidt Arquitectos Asociados, sits on a gentle slope with a forest of eucalyptus trees. Materials such as stone walls and wood floors are used for the house. The big windows bring the interior and exterior together, creating an open environment for the enjoyment of the natural landscape. The tiered lakes made of stone provide sound and moisture to the air.
Holman House, designed by Durbach Block Jaggers Architects, sits on a dramatic 70-meter (230 feet) high cliff in Dover Heights, in the eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia. The living and dinning areas cantilever out over the ocean, providing dramatic views of the coastline and the ocean. The lower floor base is built from rough stone walls forming an extension of the cliff below.
Fennell Residence is a floating house in Portland, Oregon designed by architect Robert Harvey Oshatz. Situated on the east side of the Williamette River, this weekend retreat has a dramatic view from the open plan interior. The architect’s imaginative use of curved glue laminated timber to evoke the poetry of the ripples and contours of a river makes this unique floating house a true work of art.