Mountain house, Nova Lima, in Minas Gerais, Brazil

All social and private house areas were developed in single level faces the mountains. The verandas of the premises are turned to the grassy courtyard with the swimming pool, a water mirror, a douche and a cascade is located.

Architect David Guerra

Retail mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Designed by Stephen Pimbley, SPARCH’s director and founder, the ambition is to make an exciting and unique retail destination, standing out among its competitors. Because Mont Kiara is a predominantly residential neighborhood is family orientated. This family spirit is captured in the building design which uses a ‘friendly’ palette of finishes in texture, feel and color. Shoppers entering the atrium will step into natural sun light cascading onto a pixelated ‘floral’ floor surface, paying homage to the buildings tropical context and providing the space with a unique identity. The floor surface depicts an abstract image of the hibiscus flower which is used as a device to identify zones for events and displays and to guide shoppers into the atrium. The geometry and energy of the floor pattern is carried into the structure of the roof that vaults the atrium; a steel shell supporting an ETFE pillow roof. Hereunder themed events, cultural performances and activities will be staged to entertain and engage visitors.

Key on achieving the ambition is based on the following design principles: Provide an attractive environment and stimulate the senses to move through. Deploy a circulation strategy as a continuous loop, this making all shops equally accessible and easy orientation. Locate physical and visual attractions enticing shoppers to explore all areas.

Photographs: Milk Photographie

Cabin on the shore of Shuswap lake, British Columbia, Canada

Mature Cedar, Poplar and Fir trees litter the site on the west, north and east sides. The southern portion of the site rolls towards the beach, dominated by 180-degree views of Shuswap lake and the low-lying hills that bound the lake’s opposite shoreline.

Designed as a seasonal retreat for a couple, this 2300 square foot single-level house was conceived to support weekends of casual outdoor/indoor living for the owners and their guests. One of the main design objectives was to seek ways of marrying a traditional cabin vernacular with a open-concept space, modern, contemporary, tailored to its site and facilitating an ease of movement between exterior and interior spaces. This was achieved with the support of an extensive use of wood.

Upon entry into the space a clear structural order in wood becomes apparent. The interior spaces of the cabin are organized around a central circulation hall lined by a row of exposed 7”x 7-1/2” Douglas Fir glulam posts, and punctuated with light cast from skylights at either end. A 7”x12” glulam beam supporting 3”x9” exposed glulam joists, leads one from the main entry to the living area of the home as it gently rises to create a tall, light filled volume. In the opposite direction, the wood ceiling slopes down creating the compressed, intimate spaces of the guest bedrooms and library. A large outdoor room carved out of the plan separates the ‘guest wing’ from the rest of the cabin and serves as a shaded refuge from the intense summer sun. Glazed on its north, west and east sides and open on the south, the outdoor room allows for lake views from deep within the interior and blurs the boundary between outside and inside. Detailed to allow their bottom track to be flush with both exterior and interior floors when open, large sliding doors on the eastern side of the outdoor room expand the interior space outwards further eroding any clear demarcation of interior versus exterior spaces.

Together with a supporting cast of natural materials, wood ultimately works to shape, define and unite the spaces of the home seamlessly from inside to out. Western Red Cedar clad exterior walls continue through to the interior, becoming tactile elements in the enclosed space and important details in consideration of the overall interior palette. Vertical grain Douglas fir built-in millwork throughout the home references the living firs on the native lakeside site and imbues the clean, simple spaces with warmth and texture. Juxtaposed to these varying soft wood tones is a monolithic polished concrete floor and robust slate fireplace that anchors the home and draws one’s gaze upwards to the exposed Douglas Fir glulam roof structure and ceiling decking. These structural elements extend out to the exterior and define the continuous roof line that quietly commands the north and south elevations. Subtle sloping undulations in the roof structure delineate the three main segments of the house: the living area, the guest-wing and the owners’ bedroom with en suite bathroom.

Photography: Ivan Hunter

The Scholl Residence in Aspen, Colorado, USA

The clients Studio B Architects dwell between Aspen and Miami and are avid collectors of photography and videography. They requested an architecture and a solution that would exhibit their revolving and expanding collection. The house exterior is composed of sand-blasted concrete, custom zinc panels, tempered glass railings and aluminum window/door glazing system. The interiors consist of cantilevered oak floors and stairs, darkened oak flooring, Carerra marble, European engineered cabinetry, integral plaster ceilings and walls and porcelain shower enclosures. The architecture is sober and calculated in its detailing and is reduced to its essence. Resolution of elevation and plan were reduced to the most lowest honesty and denominator of a process.

The lower level is below grade and houses the gallery space, provides two guest suites with an attached room and large wine cellar. The entry level offers a guest bedroom, the client’s  office, the garage and laundry/mudroom area. The upper level contains the dining, living, kitchen, opens to the private garden and balcony and master suite.