Zirahuén House (2016) by Intersticial Arquitectura situated in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico | The Hardt
Zirahuén House (2016) by Intersticial Arquitectura situated in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. Casa Zirahuen is the first stage of a two twin house project that creates a small dwelling in a residential area in Querétaro’s periphery. Facing the residential monotony in typology and isolation of the area generated between the 7 meters high adjoining walls, the proposal’s idea based on shaping a different integration to the site, one that dignifies and offers better ways of living in its outside and inside space. Some of the principal challenges to solve were to create a product that makes use of passive design strategies, local constructive methods and a commercial competitive scheme which is sensitive to a complex real estate context. The house works around a main guiding axis that splits and distributes the public program in the ground floor and the private program in the first level. The use of a central patio works as a natural lantern that articulates and ventilates, a witness to the house’s everyday life.
The design of the project is thought to be versatile enough in order to adapt to the user’s needs. The study of areas and proportion of living spaces, added to the rational constructive modulation gives the home the option of a flexible and controlled growth (spanned in stages to equip the house with 2 to 4 bedrooms, optional TV/family room, and additional outside spaces). The exposed materials reveal its constructive honesty, the polished concrete, and bare brick reflect the quality of artistry and craftsmanship the region has to offer. Its textures and tones respond to a natural palette found in the local area, Querétaro’s semi-desert context.
© Marcos Betanzos
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Lavaflow 5 (2013) by Craig Steely Architecture located in Hawaii County | The Hardt
Lavaflow 5 (2013) by Craig Steely Architecture located in Hawaii County. The 2,800 ft² (260 m²) house is situated on thirty acres of remote pasture, Lavaflow 5 frames the sea and sky with structure and line. The slender steel frame supports walls of varying opacity; from nothing to glass, to screen, to solid – creating a laminate of materials tempering the expansive view overlooking the Hamakua coastline on the eastern slope of Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island. The remoteness of the site, our desire for large open expanses, and a commitment to build sustainability led us to investigate prefabrication in steel as a method of construction. We began by researching standard prefabrication systems but all that was available seemed clumsy and lacking the refinement we desired. So working closely with our structural engineer, we designed and developed a bolt together a structural system based on 8”x8” wide flange beams that allowed for long spans of steel while keeping the elegance of scale we had envisioned.
The frame was fabricated in San Francisco by a shop that usually focuses on small-scale architectural steelwork. They built this frame to the tolerances they usually apply to their staircases. An off-the-shelf corrugated self-supporting roof system was integrated into the structural engineering and delivered to the site along with the steel frame. It took five days to erect the steel frame and roof. Lavaflow 5 sits at the top of the property protected from the strong winds that are a constant on this side of the island. The house is long and thin with all rooms looking north towards the ocean. Circulation is on the south side and sun is mitigated along this extended hall with an epoxy resin screen – a product usually used for industrial decking. The house is elevated above the site and entered across a 50’x 50’ reflecting pond.
The narrow plan of the house provides passive cooling through cross ventilation allowing for the elimination of mechanical air conditioning. The industrial screen filters the sunlight creating a consistent and diffused interior light quality throughout the day. Another sustainable feature includes a solar heating system for all domestic hot water. This decidedly simple building of steel, concrete, and glass provides the essential requirements for living while focusing attention on living experientially in Hawaii’s dynamic environment.
© Bruce Damonte
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Situated in San Diego, United States, Redwood House (2017) by Jeff Svitak | The Hardt
Situated in San Diego, United States, Redwood House (2017) by Jeff Svitak. A house and studio nestled into a unique canyon running through the city of San Diego. The canyon created an essence for the house to work around and integrate with. The concept was to diffuse the division between canyon and house so that the two flow together seamlessly. Instead of a blunt massing object between the street and the canyon, the house is divided into separate massing elements, which allow the canyon to enter into the spaces of the house and studio through a slim courtyard element.
The house is accessed across a floating steel bridge, and through a sliding cedar door that begins the reveal moments and windows into the canyon setting beyond, although limited and controlled. From there the user travels through the various spaces of the house as the canyon unveils itself if full form. The living room space is a cantilevered room floating within the natural elements of the canyon, which opens up completely to the life outside. The circulation flows inside and out, access to the bedrooms is through an outdoor vestibule and then into a soft wood box where trees are the only visual element. The basement has another outdoor private access and is utilized as the architect’s office and studio.
.The house is accessed across a floating steel bridge, and through a sliding cedar door that begins the reveal moments and windows into the canyon setting beyond, although limited and controlled. From there the user travels through the various spaces of the house as the canyon unveils itself if full form. The living room space is a cantilevered room floating within the natural elements of the canyon, which opens up completely to the life outside. The circulation flows inside and out, access to the bedrooms is through an outdoor vestibule and then into a soft wood box where trees are the only visual element. The basement has another outdoor private access and is utilized as the architect’s office and studio. The architectural footprint, while small, is vertically integrated to offer a wide array of living opportunities by complex yet refined geometry and spatial layouts. The architectural footprint, while small, is vertically integrated to offer a wide array of living opportunities by complex yet refined geometry and spatial layouts.
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House in Leiria (2011) by ARX Portugal located in Portugal | The Hardt
House in Leiria (2011) by ARX Portugal located in Portugal. The house is located in a “typical” peripheral urbanization of Pousos, a parish of the municipality of Leiria. Situated east of the city and at high ground, it works as a sort of panoramic belvedere over Leiria. So as to assure for more space and complete access to the faraway view, the owners also bought the three lots ahead, over the “cliff”, that were later gathered in a single lot. Although each lot allowed for the construction of a basement and two more stories, usually compacted and isolated in the center of the lot, this assemblage allowed the possibility of having a lower house, which “embraced” flatter portions, with garden space.
When we went to the place the first time, the streets surrounding the lot had already been made and, because of the earth displacement necessary for the street making, the land rose suddenly, starting from the sidewalk, like a suggestive construction of a topographic nature. On the surroundings, all the neighbor houses were already built and “circled” the lot in an “L” shape. The conception of the house emerges directly from the way we observed this reality. Dealing with a single-family house of large dimensions for local standards, we chose to divide the construction volume into two parts. Half of the construction is buried, like a negative of the land, and assumed as being a part of it. Over that half-land, a second volume is placed, long and flattened, in apparent white concrete. In the inferior volume are located the technical areas, the less used areas or those of support. In the upper volume, the socials areas gather around the main courtyard and the bedrooms around a private second one.
After all, the main characteristic of this house is the way its dialectical feature comes about: the underground, “natural” half of the building, its upper half, floating and “artificial”, and the life flowing between the two. One face, introverted, intimate, of shadow or reflected light; another, open, glowing, transparent, from where it is possible to enjoy the distant horizon. In the end, all that matters, as always in this kind of project, is to understand the life and personality of those who come to us in need of a house design and try to give them a new meaning for everyday life.
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
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Located in Long Thành District, Vietnam, LT House (2016) by Tropical Space | The Hardt
Located in Long Thành District, Vietnam, LT House (2016) by Tropical Space. This small house is located in a new residential area in Long Thanh District. The owner is a newlywed with the desire of having their own house. With the limited area, the architects think that the private space should be shared to have more space for the sharing area. The furniture is designed simply and easy to make. To save the cost, the owner has bought the material and make all of them. Therefore, the cost for this part was saved significantly. The front and back yards are the buffer space to reduce to hot from outside environment. The front yard is a relaxing area such as for morning coffee. This is the place that wind, sunlight and the shadow of the brick wall meet each other.
The ground floor is a multi-function space. It is used for both to gather friends and for a small coffee shop in the future. The mezzanine is the family space including two bedrooms (one for the couple, one for the baby in the future), kitchen and dining table. This sharing space is designed for the user to feel the direction of the breeze and touch the shadow and sunlight while they move from the ground floor to the stair and this sharing space. LT House belongs to the research for Affordable Houses in Vietnam of Tropical Space. The team is willing to create beautiful and enjoyable living space for middle-income labor around Vietnam
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