Drift Bay House: a Contemporary Retreat by the Sea

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Located on a sloping landscape near Lake Wakatipu, in Queenstown, New Zealand, Drift Bay House was designed by architects Bronwen Kerr and Peter Ritchie to suit the untamed environment and their family's needs. Primarily clad in black steel and softer timber boards, the 280sqm double level house has courtyards that protect against the prevailing wind and summer sun, a conservative interior...

Sea Sustainable Living: Enviro-Engineered Island

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With a backdrop of manmade mountains and engineered eco-niches, a Caspian Sea island proposal channels water and heat and tapes natural energy for a carbon neutral community in the bay of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. Co-designed by Danish architects at Big and engineers at Ramboll, the proposed Zira Island will mimic nearby landscapes and provide high-end living with minimal energy...

Contemplation Cubed: Meditation Pavillion in Sudan

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The Italian design team at Venice’s Studio Tamassociati has been nominated for a Detail 2009 prize for their Prayer and Meditation Pavilion in Soba, Sudan — a region that could use all the quiet contemplation imaginable. The structure is serene and substantial, comprised of two cubes with access slots in its outer walls. The pavilion is surrounded by a shallow pool and topped with bamboo...

Casa Camino a Farellones: Blending With the Wild

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Nothing short of breathtaking, Casa Camino a Farellones takes inspiration from the rich scenery of its environment. Overlooking imposing mountains and a vast river valley close to Santiago, Chile, Casa Camino was expertly designed by DRN Architects, who envisioned this brilliant home that rises out of the mountains like rock itself. With elegant wooden and glass walls, expansive living spaces...

Read All About It: Green Arizona Library

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It looks like Arizona has read up on environmental building engineering with its Arabian Library, an award-winning concept that incorporates green design with functional, modern ambiance. Because new generations of readers rely almost entirely on the Internet for information, developers at the Phoenix-based Richärd + Bauer architecture firm took a page from bookstores when designing the...

Skylab Architecture, Office Design for North

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Portland-based North Advertising is a branding company that had their 10,000 square foot office conceived by Skylab Architecture as a series of breakaway modules for working, collaborating, lounging, and eating. Designed with a cantilevered module that oversees the airy workplace, the modern cubicle is dominated by an elegant mix of pine paneling and raw steel - the perfect stimulus for...

German Engineering: Stuttgart Home Rises Above the Skyline

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Peeking above the city skyline in Stuttgart, Germany is a contemporary single-family home that efficiently uses space and materials. The roof of the home, designed by w67 architekten bda schulz + stoll, is multi-purposed as a roof-top terrace, which adds functional space and wonderful views from atop the glass and concrete box. Underneath, a slim structural column gracefully supports the front...

The Stylish Julie Sohn Boutique in Barcelona

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There are many things one could remember from Barcelona, but for the adventurous trendsetter one focal point is the storefronts where local designers sell their cutting edge duds. Such an example is the Julie Sohn Boutique, an amazing architectural exercise that renovated an ordinary ground-floor commercial space of an early 1900s apartment building into a fashion-forward shop for the...

The High Life Down Under: Australia's Highbury House

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Occupying one of the largest lots in the waterfront Sanctuary Cove resort on Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland, Australia is the Highbury House — a 5-bed/7-bath home that boasts drop-down plasma screens in the master suite, a gourmet kitchen, media room, sauna, gym and air-conditioned wine cellar. If for some reason you feel compelled to leave the house, just drive the home’s golf buggy...

Suntro House: White is Modern

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Designed by Jorge Hernandez de la Garza and located in a beautiful residential area of Oaxtepec, Mexico, Suntro House is an exquisite example of minimalist architecture. Proving more than just visually stunning, the house features a set of ray-shaped folds that filter natural light and a design flow that helps maintain a comfortable temperature in the hotter months in Mexico. With all the...

Pitcher Perfect Manchester Pub

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The interior of the Pitcher & Piano pub in Manchester, England has been reworked with copper, leather and dramatic details that emphasize the bar’s already theatrical, three-story setting in the hip Deansgate Locks quarter. Macaulay Sinclair director John Macaulay told the Contemporist the Nottingham design firm worked to contrast the bar’s existing industrial, utilitarian feel with modern...

Beyond Words: The Farrar Residence

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Located on a downhill terrain in Park City, Utah, the Farrar Residence is an exceptional tour-de-force in stone, concrete, wood and steel. Designed by award-winning architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, this uniquely shaped house respects the wild natural scenery-- with the boundary between inside and out disappearing in the most elegantly possible way. Expansive living spaces, modern...

The Perimeter Of Public And Private Design

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Glass, concrete walls and a reflecting pool frame the outline of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a Canadian research institute built in Waterloo, Ontario. The 18,000 square-foot building was privately funded and built on a public land boundary between the city’s urban center and a large park. The building is centered around two large spaces — a large corridor and a garden....

Microsoft's New American Home: A Digital Desert Oasis

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A few houses down from Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas home is a high-tech home outfitted with 10 Toshiba HDTVs, a 16-zone Nuvo sound system and Anthem A/V processors collectively software-orchestrated by Life|ware. Our friends over at Dvice were offered a sneak peak at the “New American Home” during CES earlier this month — a $5 million habitable tech model designed by Microsoft and a...

In From the Cold: Hot Italian Home Design

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Italian architect Duilio Damilano has constructed a sleek sideways home that showcases sleek, simple lines and substantial rectangular shapes. The "Horizontal Space" dwelling seems airy and open, but its minimalist design doesn’t keep the 3,200 square-foot home from appearing warm and comfortable. The white exterior and low profile of the 4 bed/4 bath home almost seems like it’s hiding...

California Cool: A Shady Porch Redesign

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Faced with upfront limitations imposed by the existing house, neighborhood and ever-shifting ground beneath California, the Los Angeles design team at Oyler Wu — Dwayne Oyler, Jenny Wu, Chris Eskew, Brad Goldpaint — has reconfigured the rear porch of a suburban home; warmly updating its look and function with poured concrete and lattice-like woodwork. At issue: Raising a roof to make room...

Earthy, Angular Modern Home in Portugal

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Nestled between sloping sand dunes is a contemporary, angular home that contrasts, but doesn’t compete with its surroundings in Grândola, Portugal. Lisbon-based architect Luis Pereira Miguel and a team from Pereira Miguel Arquitectos designed the home, Casa Monte na Comporta, which was completed in late 2008. The design used concrete, wood and glass surfaces that dance with texture and...

Japanese Minimalism in the Caribbean: Dellis Cay Villas

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Award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has designed a pair of villas for a private Caribbean island. The two “Maison” villas (“H” pictured above, “S” in the gallery below) are stark, with clean lines designed around Ban’s signature aesthetic which combines minimalism with nature-inspired geometry. The $7 million-plus villas share an ocean pavilion (“O” in the gallery...

Lac Superieur Residence: Stacking boxes with style

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For a vacation home, the Lac Superieur Residence is a structure full of grace and visual appeal. Standing on a sloping hill in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, Canada, this boxy contemporary abode looks a lot like a strategic stacking of squares. Designed by Saucier + Perrotte architects, the award winning building features a simple, clear minimalist design that divides it in three...

Northbridge House: A glassy affair down under in Sydney!

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A modern home requires an equal weight of inspiration as there is wood, glass and concrete. That's exactly what architects from Johannsen + Associates designed for this cool and laid back home in Northbridge, Australia. The lavish and spacious five-bedroom house looks gorgeous on the inside with its modern furniture and amazing furnishings, but expect to be charmed by the unabated view of the...