Casa Kike

The RIBA award-winning Casa Kike in Costa Rica by Gianni Botsford Architects is not only one writer's paradise, but an architectural aphrodisiac for the eyes. Set in lush natural landscape, this shoreside home boasts the "coupling [of] indigenous techniques and materials with modern design technologies and aesthetics" and is stunningly harmonious yet outstanding for it. At a cost of a mere £55,000, this astonishing abode is based around a main studio space, with library, writing desk and grand piano, and set apart via a raised walkway are the bathing and sleeping quarters. This wooden structure contains roof beams up to 10m long and a mono-pitched roof elevated towards the sea shore.

Casa Kike

It is incredible to me living in England that what is essentially my dream home where I could write and read and play piano amongst the wood and the sunshine is available by the power of major-award-winning architects for what is a relative pittance. To have that level of contemporary design in such a setting would be not only inachieveable here but also astronomically expensive. I would gladly swap the concrete jungle for Nature's own in an instant as here's proof it doesn't Costa Lot to live in Costa Rica. Truly inspirational.

Casa Kike

© photographs copyright christian richters you can view more at archdaily.com

Via: Arch Daily


Read-Nest

If you're cravin' a haven, this little prefab sprout could be just what you need. Read-Nest (Need-Rest?) is a 10m-squared prefabricated structure created to be your own private mini-hideaway situated wherever you choose for a spot of sanctuary. This smart update on the traditional garden shed is constructed with an exterior clad in vertically striated naturally oiled wood and an interior clad in waxed birch-plywood. The interior offers a fold-away bed for additional space when required which nestles beneathe a skylight, fitted shelving units and a work table situated before a large window which also folds horizontally to create and outdoor cover. Externally and internally, Read-Nest is created to be environmentally complimentary whilst providing you with all you need for quiet relaxation or study.

Read-Nest

Visit Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter online at www.dortemandrup.dk

Via: Arch Daily


The Manhattan Penthouse

Living in the city all too often means sacrificing nature's hand in our habitat, a decision which, for the less green-fingered among us, can be a gladly made and conscious one. However, two Yale professors are working to change this attitude, to help us embrace more greenery in our immediate scenery and prove that city-dwelling lovers of smart design can have the best of both worlds. Architect Joel Sanders and ladscape designer Diana Balmori are teachers of a course called Interface; a study of the harmonising of these two disciplines. With the green light from Lower Manhattan penthouse owner, Matthew Blesso, Sanders and Balmori took the $4 million, 3,100-square-foot apartment as their canvass, creating $1 million-worth of indoor and outdoor renovations.

The Manhattan Penthouse

The most immediately striking of their work is, of course, the series of roof gardens which, complete with outdoor shower, is invitingly functional. But the goal here was not just to create a more natural edge to outdoor space, but to bring nature to flow within aswell as without of the property. The light and space within the apartment is heavily complimented by the foliage which winds unobtrusively amongst the gorgeously natural wood finishes, all of which work to promote a natural air of wellbeing within the urban sphere. A concealed drip irrigation system and sepecifically-chosen flora help the nature-craving urbanite for whom tending to more earthy necessities does not, in fact, come naturally. So, when it comes to habitation at least, nature and nurture needn't be a debate, but a happy co-dependency.

The Manhattan Penthouse

Visit The New York Times for more info on this story.

Via: Modern House Designs


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  • Jungle House Treehouse By Baumraum
  • Jungle House Treehouse By Baumraum
  • Jungle House Treehouse By Baumraum
  • Jungle House Treehouse By Baumraum
  • Jungle House Treehouse By Baumraum
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Baumraum is a german company specialising in treehouses. In our modern times, as we strive to create a haven for our children or child-like hideaway for ourselves, this is becoming less and less of a unique trade. Many companies these days have tapped into this want, creating rustic treetop nests or more elaborate almost-homes where we may seek a more fun, innocent and nature-embracing retreat from the world. However, what Baumraum creates is a modernist twist on the tradition; uber-contemporary examples of mankind's design to nestle amongst nature's own.

The Jungle House is one among several design templates offered and really is your home away from home. This pod-based lookout is strictly for grown-ups; an almost Bond-like hideout that yet retains the uncomplicated magic derived from an inherent need to seek a very personal refuge from the world. Baumraum do offer much maneuverability within the templates, with design and construction created to fit the client's needs and environmental constraints.

Visit Baumraum online at www.baumraum.de


MC1 House

Architect Juan Robles seeks for a balance between design and nature, for a committed and respectful interaction of the two, where architecture can at once stand out and blend in to its environment. MC1 House (Casa MC1) exhibits exquisite conformity to this concept, working its striking modernity into the lush Costa Rican habitat and proving a love of nature and desire for design need not mean a compromise.

MC1 House

MC1 House

MC1 House

Visit Juan Robles Architecture online at www.roblesarq.com

Via: Design Milk


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  • Walensee House
  • Walensee House
  • Walensee House
  • Walensee House
  • Walensee House
  • Walensee House
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This modern Swiss home finished in 2007, is set amongst panoramic views of lake Walensse and the mountains of Churfürsten. The way the scenery is framed by the floor to ceiling glass is simply sublime. Set on beautiful sloping meadowland this beautiful modern house generates most of its own energy using photovoltaic panels on the roof and a modern stove.

ArchDaily has more pictures of this stunning home by km Architektur


Zebrano Design

Those of us living in UK have enjoyed (or not depending on your property ladder status) an enormous and unprecedented boom in the housing market in recent years. Now that a looming bubble burst is upon us we have all considered the financial effects that this will have, but how many of us have considered social effects of the looming effigies to that rapid era of growth? With swathes of unoccupied market apartments likely to become the new slums and sprawling estates of mock Tudor horrors we seem so keen on living in, the UK’s architectural future looks bleak. For what so many people take for granted is the impact of our environment on not only our quality of life but our psychological well being.

And with that in mind I have a new raison d’être, a vision mission I know I’m not alone in dreaming. So my contribution to the cause? Why, I’m going to shamelessly plug some much needed UK based contemporary architecture in the hope we as a nation will start realising that modern can not only be beautiful but also offers us a better way of living and a sustainable future.

First on my list is Edinburgh based Zebrano Design who pride themselves on offering innovative, contextual and well detailed architecture for the 21st century. Bravo!

Zebrano Design

Zebrano Design

For more information visit Zebrano

Via: Contemporist


Landmark Houses, Gloucestershire, UK

Typically when we come across examples of contemporary residential architecture, it generally does not call the UK it’s homeland. So imagine our surprise when we came across a whole development of such, not just on UK soil, but in the prestigious and much revered Cotswolds, home of winding lanes, rickety yet charming stone cottages and plenty of antiques. Then add the exact location to that element of shock, the Cotswold Water Park, a nature reserve and outdoor pursuits treasure buried deep in the heart of the conservative countryside, a place where I myself spent much of my youth dabbling around in a canoe.

So you see, Landmark Houses, are not even just mere landmarks they are something quite historically groundbreaking too. Billed as the UK’s first residential nature reserve, the development although unquestionably modern is sensitive to the surroundings, a place where families can embrace both the countryside and the contemporary existing in harmony together.

The sponsor and land owner Jeremy Paxton, has brought together over 30 of the worlds leading architects including, Will Alsop, Eva Jiricna, Sutherland Hussey, Richard Meier and Partners, Roger Sherman, Sarah Featherstone, Alison Brooks, Piers Gough and Greg Lynnto complete this impressive project.

Designs include the Orchid House, inspired by the camouflage of the Bee Orchid and the Sundance Villa, of which the main floor rotates 360 degrees for panoramic views of the landscape.

For more information and images visit www.lmearchitecture.com

Boat House

Sundance Villa


Owen Street

In a move to aid the regeneration of the Great Jackson Street Framework, Manchester City Council has approved West Properties’ planned Owen Street development. The development, which will be part of the re-invigoration of the brownfield site, form a section of the council’s strategic plan for the area and will incorporate local amenities alongside stunning Ian Simpson-designed towers.

West Properties, who exist as one of the strongest leaders in Manchester’s continuing urban renewal, plan to create the five-towered complex as a site of environmental consciousness, much like their Princess Street development, Origin. Not only do the landscaped public spaces and residential gardens make Owen Street visually green, but West Properties plan to continue this environmental focus with eco-friendly solutions such as biomass technology, solar energy and the re-introduction of the ground source heat pump currently being installed at Origin.

Ranging from 13 to 49 storeys along with a new river walkway, ‘coffee pods’ and raised gardens suspended above shops, restaurants and offices, Owen Street will provide the modern urbanite with all the contemporaneity of Manchester living. Donal Mulryan, chief executive of West Properties, comments on the plans, which provide 1,094 apartments, 100 serviced apartments, a 209 bed hotel and a 36,000 sq ft gym and swimming pool facility: “We’re creating an all encompassing city centre destination with cutting edge architecture and much needed public space.  Manchester needs world class developments like this if the city is to compete on the international stage.  We must get the right mix of residential, commercial and leisure space to drive the regeneration of the area.”

West Properties’ developmental plans have been well-received by the public as well as Manchester City Council, and work is expected to commence on site in November 2008.


The Botanic

Part of the New Islington development in Ancoats, Manchester, Bryant Homes’ The Botanic promises to bring environmental harmony to contemporary, urban living. UK-native plants, mature trees and grass fill the garden enclave, enclosed and protected by the twin apartment blocks to which they bring an oasis of nature amid city living. Located just east of Manchester city centre, The Botanic forms part of New Islington; Manchester’s Millennium Community, an innovative complex spearheaded by the partnership of national regeneration agency English Partnerships, Urban Splash and New East Manchester Ltd together with appointed social landlord, Manchester Methodist Housing Association.

The 30 acre site is being radically transformed to a strategic and ambitious vision created by Will Alsop.  A new canal and water park, over 1700 new homes, office space, a school, a health clinic, shops, bars and restaurants are planned to be created, using the worlds best architecture.

But what can The Botanic offer the discerning urban dweller, besides a certain natural tranquillity? Floor to ceiling dual-aspect windows flood the largely duplex apartments with natural light and provide an opportunity for both a garden and a city view. Its 200 apartments will be of smart interior, with contemporary fixtures and fittings demonstrating the usual high finish of a Bryant home. Green in more ways than one, the project will bring a new style of living to Manchester, with recycling facilities, a water collection system and an environmentally-conscious construction ethic.

With its Manchester M4 postcode, The Botanic has all the city has to offer on its doorstep, but whilst still offering a retreat from city living. Apartments are currently available from 1-bedroom to luxury 3-bed duplexes measuring nearly 1,000 sq.ft. Prices start at £132,950.

The Botanic Manchester

For more information on The Botanic, visit Bryant Homes online at www.bryant.co.uk/northwest/thebotanic


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