Architect Piers Taylor’s renovation and preservation of an old gamekeeper’s cottage led to a sharp L-shaped layout, with the modern addition proudly displayed. Photo by Ben Anders.
Basel-based architect Silvia Gmür’s concrete villa on Lake Maggiore is a remarkable platform from which to marvel at sublime, peaked vistas. Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House is clearly in the DNA of her weekend getaway, but she disrupts the purity of the glass-box formula even as she preserves its sense of mathematical precision. Gmür’s version has two floors, each a separate home, each slashed in half creating a large terrace, and each punctuated by an unlikely pair of pyramids, one of which is made to stand on its head. It’s a gravity-defying joke on the cantilevered engineering holding all that concrete aloft, with a sly, topsy-turvy reference to the surrounding mountain peaks. Photo by Hélène Binet.
Curving up 44 levels, the Coil house by Tokyo architect Akihisa Hirata redefines flexible living. Each room has a loosely defined purpose that changes according to the whims of the family. Devoid of heavy furniture, each landing accommodates a multitude of activities on a daily basis. “[This] fits our ‘futon lifestyle,’” says the resident, explaining that the family freely spreads out their mattresses on any of the large landings at night. Photo by Koichi Torimura.
Echoing the site’s topography, an apartment building by design firm Plasma Studio in Sesto, Italy, has abstract folding planes that provide practical balconies as well as add aesthetic value. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus.
Architects Carrie and Kevin Burke designed their home to be a time-telling observatory. Sunlight is corseted through a 24-inch glass eye suspended just beneath a skylight, making the living room double as a sundial. Photo by Prakash Patel.