design folio

Casa Varatojo by Atelier Data

Madeline Saxton-Beer - Monday, June 09, 2014

Located overlooking the Portugese town of Torres Vedras, atop the hill from which it takes its name, Casa Varatojo is no stranger to strong winds and low temperatures in an environment it embraces rather than denounces. 

The striking home, designed by Lisbon based architects Atelier Data, was created using an unconventional combination of traditional materials including cork cladding on the lower level, railway sleepers on the ground level, and a terracotta coloured coat on the upper section. With unobstructed views overlooking the landscape, this family abode features cinema and spa facilities along with an indoor infinity-like pool located within a glass room on the lower level that creates visual fluidity between the enclosed garden and views beyond. 

Sunny and private, the interior spaces have a limitless feel about them due to the single sloped roof designed to attenuate the strong winds. Transcending the regular typology of other residences, Casa Varatojo exhibits features that relate directly to its environment resulting in an interesting, one-of-a-kind structure that rises to the challenge of its unforgiving environment.  

Via Wallpaper

Mirage residence by Kois Architects

Anna Coe - Thursday, June 05, 2014

Situated on a hillside on the Greek island of Tinos, lies a spot of land destined to be the Mirage residence. The plan, designed by Kois Associated Architects sees an 'invisible oasis hidden from the unsuspected eyes'. The large one story residence's roof features a spectacular rimless swimming pool that blends the structure with the Agean sea. 

House in Balsthal by Pascal Flammer

Samantha Saxton-Beer - Tuesday, June 03, 2014

There's much to like about this little house hunkered down into its woodland site in Balsthal, Switzerland. The ground floor is set below grade, weighted down by a capacious gable roof. By digging out a little and stretching a ribbon of glass around the base, the dark tile and timber top of the house floats above the ground. 

A round window below the eaves speaks to the simple geometry of the architecture, and lends a quaint, birdhouse feeling to the elevations. The expressed cross bracing at the gable ends of the house could in some circumstances be a bit clunky, but here it becomes almost an abstraction of the tree branches which cluster thickly around the site. 

The architect's statement outlines how the house was designed to engage with the landscape in two ways - a direct link from the snug ground floor, and observationally from the upper floor, designed as a lofty-ceilinged viewing platform. A bit of digging in versus a bit of elevation, and the result is a beautiful site served two ways. 

Casa Swift by WMR Arquitectos

Ashley Ropati - Monday, May 26, 2014

Built using a variety of different sustainable timbers and perched high above the Chilean landscape of Matanzas Bay, the Casa Swift House by WMR Arquitectos has been constructed using naturally sourced materials from throughout the surrounding environment. While adhering to a fairly small budget, the house was constructed to resist harsh coastal winds and sea salt. The architects combined different types of tinted wood, contrasting beautifully to the white surfaces and darker materials utilized throughout the interior.

Via Wallpaper*

Invisible Kitchen by i29 Architects

Anna Coe - Monday, May 26, 2014

Dutch architecture firm i29 have released a concept design of an ultra slim, almost invisible kitchen island. The idea came from the designers' vision for the counter to be more of a piece of furniture as opposed to a kitchen bench - with their aim being for the system to seem to disappear. 

The counter top has a thickness of around two centimetres and the sliding panels behind the bench are repeated on the front, giving the impression of invisibility.

Elwood house by Robson Rak Architects

Anna Coe - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This recent renovation in Elwood, Melbourne by Robson Ray Architects (with interiors by Made by Cohen) was an extension of an existing Edwardian home. The structure now features clean lines and wide open spaces - a huge contrast to its previous interior.

Furniture used: Tufty time sofa in the living area (available from Matisse), Artemide Tolomeo Mega Terra floor lamp (available from ECC), Poliform Dama side table (available from Studio Italia).

Via Contemporist. 

Joseph Dirand's Paris Apartment

Anna Coe - Thursday, May 15, 2014

Renowned French Architect and designer Joseph Dirand (and the son of esteemed interiors photographer Jacques Dirand) has recently found time to perform a breathtaking renovation on his Paris apartment, despite his booming business. 

The tranquil apartment, located in Paris' 7th Arrondissement features parquet flooring throughout, that is juxtaposed with a neutral colour palette. A signature of Dirand's work is heavily veined marble, and this project is no exception - it has been used in the kitchen, bathrooms and for a fire place, "I like to look for materials that express a lot of disorder" he notes. 

The home provides ample privacy for his family of four - with all of the rooms separated, but all generously proportioned. A highlight of the furniture pieces used would have to be the stunning Oscar Neimeyer chair and ottoman in the master bedroom. 

Via tmagazine

Design: The Week In Review 12/05/14

Anna Coe - Monday, May 12, 2014

A. The Drinkable book that has water filters for pages [via FastCoDesign]

B. The Cloud Table by Studio Maks [via Trendland]

C. Young & Battaglia suspend a chandelier inside a lightbulb for Mineheart [via DesignBoom]

D. By Design | Inside a remote island made of marble, an artist's new abode [via Tmagazine]

E. Matisse beach club in Perth by Oldfield Knott Architects [via Contemporist]

F. Norm architects have created a beer foamer that promises better pints [via Dezeen]

Barn House by Whiting Architects

Anna Coe - Monday, May 12, 2014

The Barn house is the home of Steven and Carole Whiting of Australian studio Whiting Architects. They have taken an existing structure and completely renovated - the original brick first floor has been extended via black timber boards, and the shape is now reminiscent of a traditional barn shape.

The interior colour palette is mostly neutrals with touches of black that tie in with the exterior. Furniture pieces used include a Tom Dixon Offcut stool (available from ECC) and a Foscarini Twiggy floor lamp over the dining table (available from Matisse). 

Via Studio Arrc

Hotel Vernet by Champsaur

Anna Coe - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The grand Hotel Vernet in Paris has had a complete overhaul by French interior designer Francois Champsaur, which also coincides with the hotel's 100th anniversary. Champsaur has given it a contemporary elegant feel, while still keeping many of the original French features, including Gustave Eiffel's incredible glass dome above the restaurant. Champsaur is known for his work on several other hotels, but also many art collectors' homes, which is reflected in his design of Hotel Vernet where art and design take centre stage. 

Majority of the new furniture and lighting has been designed by Champsaur himself, however the entrance hall features Minotti armchairs by Rodolfo Dordoni, and the rooms feature desk chairs from &Tradition. Artist Jean Michel Alberola was commissioned for the fresco in the bar's ceiling - and was then asked to design the carpet for the same area.