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Modern Chicago home design provides ideal interiors for displaying owner’s art collection

Read the full article at: http://trendsideas.com/search/44678 A house that turns its back to the street, then opens up to gallery spaces and sunny living areas inside. Trends editorial director Paul Taylor looks at a contemporary Chicago home by Wheeler Kearns Architects. Modernist house with simple, cube-like exterior, designed by architect Dan Wheeler and interior designer Sherry Koppel to house large art collection. The driving force behind the design of this Chicago new home is a little unusual. Its owner has an impressive and expanding art collection, which had been difficult to truly appreciate in the cluttered interior of her previous home. Her new home – designed by Dan Wheeler of Wheeler Kearns Architects – gave an opportunity to customise the interiors to provide the ideal settings for the artworks. His design effectively turns the house’s back to the street with a simple cement board facade shielding the interiors from the two busy streets it overlooks. To the right is the garage, while on the left the house steps back to form the front entry – a large pivoting door that leads into a walled courtyard. From here, the multi-layered nature of the design is revealed – something Dan Wheeler compares to peeling back the layers of an onion. This simplicity in design continues with the interiors by Sherry Koppel. All the walls, trim and ceiling are painted the same shade – a soft gray with a subtle hint of blue – which provides an ideal backdrop for the artworks. The result is that every piece now how has the space it deserves and works have been selected for specific areas. For example, the photographs that needed to be kept out of the sunlight are hung in the gallery leading from the front entry The consistency in the design can also be seen through the use of the same materials in all the rooms. So the Hawaiian koa wood and Corian tops used in the kitchen are also found in the master bath and closet. Besides the artworks themselves, what makes this house so impressive is the way it opens up from its guarded street presence to the bright gallery spaces and sunny living areas inside. Video: http://trendsideas.com/search/44680

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Traditional New England Colonial house with woodlands backdrop

Read the full article at: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/43295 The New England Colonial architectural style remains a popular choice for families – it’s a symbol of the past that conjures up feelings of warmth and familiarity. Architect Jan Gleysteen discusses key features of the genre and how it is still well suited to modern living. New England Colonial architecture is an enduring style that’s just as appropriate for family living today as it was back in its heyday in the 1930s and ’40s. Architect Jan Gleysteen says there’s a good reason for this – such houses are not only imbued with traditional character and charm, but are also a symbol of the past. As such they conjure up feelings of warmth and familiarity. “There is a scaling to these houses that ensures they seem to wrap protectively around the family,” Gleysteen says. “This concept of scaling is readily evident in this property – mature beech trees frame the house beautifully, make it seem as though it has always been there.” The architect says the house replaces a 1980s modern house that was built on a 45° angle to the street. “Most of the houses in the small town have a New England Colonial character and are built parallel to the street. The original house on this block had no curb appeal, so that was a key consideration in the planning of the new house. We placed it parallel to the street, on a slight rise, with a U-shaped driveway providing a double entry.” The traditional formality of the front elevation is also typical of the style. Gleysteen ensured the main volume has a strong symmetry – to the extent that one of the two chimneys that anchor the sides of the house is purely for aesthetic purposes. Other features of the New England Colonial style include the fieldstone siding, which is framed by prominent corner pilasters with recessed panels. The house also has black-forest green paneled shutters with exposed hardware, antique lanterns, and Georgian-style columns and dentil mouldings below the roof eaves. “Unlike the rear, there are no dormer windows on the front elevation, which gives the house a simpler, cleaner look from the street,” the architect says. The recessed front entry opens to a hall with a relatively low 9ft 4in ceiling. “An intimacy of scale was a specific request by the owners – they didn’t want an ostentatious double-height entry hall.” Video: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/45691

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Contemporary new home with pool flowing through living spaces

Read the full article at: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/44847 With its cantilevered wings and a pool flowing through the living spaces, this ultra-modern new home commands attention. Architect Mark Dziewulski talks about maximizing the outlook, providing privacy and the spectacular entertaining terrace. Modern architecture can bring innovative design responses to challenging projects, and turn convention on its head in the process. For this project, the challenge for architect Mark Dziewulski was the need to open up the house to the extensive views, while maintaining privacy in a suburban neighborhood. In addition, the plan needed to incorporate owner/builder Chrisa and Dean Sioukas’s Mediterranean Modern design aesthetic. “Site planning was crucial,” the architect says. “By positioning the house on a ridge at one end, we could maximize the outlook over the remaining property and gain the best views of the landscape.” The architecture also had to play its part in providing privacy. Dziewulski took advantage of the gradient to create two cantilevered forms with a two-story volume behind. “The house presents a tripartite massing, with two projecting wings closed off at the sides, almost like blinkers. This directs the eye down the property, while simultaneously screening the entertaining areas. The cantilevered forms also reinforce the sculptural qualities of the built structure in relation to the slope.” Dziewulski addressed the need for privacy at the front of the house as well. The house is more closed off on this elevation, yet still welcoming. Garage doors are concealed around the side of the house, with the garage wing clad in a porcelain tile with a rich, warm woodgrain patina. This wing also encloses the forecourt. Textural contrast is provided by a limestone wall and smooth white stucco. But it is the entry that commands attention. This also takes the form of a projecting double-height portal that reads as an extension of one of the cantilevered forms at the rear of the house. “The entry is a glazed, open portal,” says the architect. “But because the idea of a traditional door is important for a formal entry, we have incorporated a solid door that appears to float within the glass wall. There is still a real sense of openness. “The form of the portal flows through the house, creating a large, double-height reception space before continuing out the other side.” For the owners, the living and entertaining areas were critical. They required a very flexible living space that would allow them to have intimate family gatherings. But they also wanted to be able to open everything up to host large receptions with caterers and banquet tables. The formal entry leads directly into the main reception room, which in turn flows outdoors. “This is a warm climate, so it was also important to provide indoor-outdoor living,” says Dziewulski. “We call this the inside-outside house, as most internal rooms and amenities are replicated on the outside.” The distinction between inside and out is further blurred by a long lap pool that runs right across the rear of the house, slicing through the cantilevered wings. “You can literally swim in and out of the forms. And with the glass doors in the formal living area peeled back from the corner, the reception room resembles a floating platform.” Family living areas are off to one side of the reception room, in the central volume. A wall clad in custom milled white oak tiles separates the two spaces, and keeps the look warm. This wood has the same look and dimensions as the porcelain tiles on the exterior – the owners say it is almost impossible to distinguish between the two. Even the grout lines are aligned, so there is a strong visual connection with the entry. The family living space, which can be closed off from the entertaining areas by sapele pocket doors, enjoys a similar outlook. Glass sliding doors open it up to the pool terrace and the view. This room also features a double-sided gas fireplace that warms and brightens the entry on the other side of the sapele wall. The sleek Poliform kitchen, at one end of the room, has wenge wood base cabinets, glass upper cabinets and a Carrara marble island countertop. The perimeter countertop and backsplash are in stainless steel.... Video: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/45563

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Vacation home on historic farm property north of Chicago – traditional design with a modern twist

The barn-like structure of this family vacation home echoes the design of surrounding farm buildings. There are two sides to every story – as seen in this vacation home on an historic farm property. Trends editorial director Paul Taylor looks at architect John Vinci’s design of the house. This substantial home on a historic farm property north of Chicago is full of contradictions and surprises. Architect John Vinci had already completed several projects on the farm –including a barn, museum and bridge – when the owners asked him to design a vacation home on site too. This new structure needed to comfortably accommodate all their adult children and their families at any give time. The site overlooked fields and waterways, which suggested a glass walled building to make the most of the views. But a modernist design would have been at odds with the rustic farm buildings on the other side of the site. Vinci’s solution was a dual approach to the building. His steep hip roofs and white stucco siding echo the look of classic farm buildings in the area. On the facades facing century-old dairy buildings on the property, Vinci retained a conservative look with windows and doors in proportion with those existing barns. But it’s a different story on the opposite façade. Here Vinci has essentially created a modern glass façade to overlook the rural views. And the pitch of the roof is broken by living spaces extending out. The four-story observation tower is another structure reminiscent of similar, older versions on two nearby barns. However, the new tower is also given a twist – with the wraparound windows breaking away from the traditional form. Entry to the house takes you directly into the double-height, central living room. This has a dramatically high ceiling that follows the steep pitch of the roof and is supported by exposed, painted steel beams. Dormer and clerestory windows flood light into the space, while the steel staircase leads to one of two master suites that also overlook the rural views. Read the full article at: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/44581 Video: http://trendsideas.com/#/search/44595

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Contemporary suburban new home in Atlanta - on exposed corner lot

Contrasting materials, layered planes and sculptural cutouts on the exterior of this new house inform the interior living spaces Taking the less conventional approach to design is a sure way to give a house a strong identity and sense of place. Invariably, form is dictated by function, and building materials take on a whole new significance. For this project, architect Scott West created a bold, multi-layered facade where walls slice through windows and cutouts provide changing perspectives that blur the line between inside and out. The sculptural, geometric form of the architecture extends to the landscaping, where the entry path turns at right angles and is flanked by terraced gardens. "The house is on an exposed corner lot," says West. "Consequently, the owner wanted the suggestion of a barrier between the street and the house without the unfriendly look of a fence. We turned the front door sideways so it is not an open invitation for just anyone to wander up the path." Strong, bold materials and an absence of large windows on the corner elevation also create a visual defense. West teamed natural slate, ipê hardwood and stucco with a new proprietary bamboo tongue-and-groove siding. Each material defines a separate piece of the 3-D composition. "Rather than presenting rooms as a collection of little boxes, I designed the house as a sculptural assembly of spaces," says West. "The gaps in between the solid planes create a negative detailing, which is where the windows are positioned." Read the full article at: http://my.trendsideas.com/#/search/42315 Video: http://my.trendsideas.com/#/search/42316

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Contemporary rural home with solar screen

Traditional materials used in innovative ways are defining modern architecture in the 21st century This new home was designed to have an intimate connection with the rural landscape. Architect Neal Schwartz discusses the rationale behind the design and position of the house. A home in the country is increasingly seen as an antidote to city living, so it's not surprising to see contemporary rural architecture is also finding a different expression. This house, on a 40-acre ranchland site in California, challenges the local building styles to provide a home that melds with the rugged landscape -- architect Neal Schwartz says it was conceived as a base camp for the owners and their children who love to explore the surrounding hills and tracks. "The architecture is a direct response to the need to link with the outdoors," Schwartz says. "For example, the approach involves a series of thresholds, including bridges over a seasonal watercourse, that foster the idea of movement and exploration. "The geometry of the house also helps. With its long, angled wing, the building appears to embrace the hills behind. And the forced perspective created by a tapering 100ft-long solar screen on the exterior guides the view back into the landscape." Positioning the house low on the site was another way to focus attention on the hills beyond. "For many architects, the first impulse is to conquer a hill by placing the house at the very top. We wanted to flip that idea, so that the hill rises up behind the house, creating a much more powerful experience. It also made sense to build on the flat in terms of construction costs, and there is less noise from the local road. "It was important to keep the house as abstract as possible -- we were not looking Read the full article at http://my.trendsideas.com/#/search/43375 Video: http://my.trendsideas.com/#/search/43678

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