Architect Ernesto Pereira focused on three simple things when remodeling a typical Portuguese dwelling in coastal Vila do Conde: “Wood for its comfort, water for its peace, and light for its vitality,” he explains. He balanced these primary elements in the Silver Wood House, a domestic and geometric oasis that brings home the sandy colors and textures of the nearby beach.
Copenhagen-based architect Martin Kallesø was tasked with a simple program: create a freestanding guest room so that visitors have a private and cozy place to lay their heads. What ensued was a mashup of local influence, Japanese stylings and irregular geometry.
Architect Michael Maltzan designed a home in Montara, California, for his sister and brother-in-law. From certain vantage points, the home’s unique angles result in M.C. Escher–like optical illusions.
Perched in the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Building codes mandated a pitched roof, but the structure boasts a highly geometric form (the firm’s signature move), courtesy of balconies that jut from the facade, echoing the roof’s slope. In profile, the domicile has the prototypical gable, but from all other angles it takes on the look of abstracted folding planes that express the steep site, says architect Ulla Hell of Plasma Studio.
By creatively manipulating the angles and levels of exterior surfaces on this modest Polish country house, architect Peter Kuczia achieved exceptionally high solar exposure, increasing its capacity to gain energy from the sun. The house earned the nickname “chameleon” for its ability to adjust comfortably to the region’s extremes using advanced sustainable design.
This Decatur, Georgia, residence belonging to two book authors is an angular exercise in creating a dynamic structure. "It has energy and does not feel heavy or is static," says architect Staffan Svenson of Atlanta-based firm Dencity Design. The resulting modern live/work abode gives the owners a sense of adventure as they traverse the spaces.
The E+ Green Home, a concept house located an hour outside Seoul, not only points the way to a greener South Korea, it may well be the most sustainable house in the country. Built on Kolon Engineering and Construction's grounds, the E+ Home is the neighborhood's green building star. From this angle you can see the permeable pavers and sustainable landscaping, like water catchment pools and living walls, that make this place a paragon of green housing.
On a once-vacant corner lot in a transitional Jersey City neighborhood, a pair of local architects devised a clever prefab for a resourceful client. A cedar-slat rain screen hangs on the facade of Denis Carpenter’s concrete house in Jersey City, softening its appearance and adding a modest dash of color.
North Star Rising—the four story brick housing project designed by the Slovak architectural firm Nice Architects—is stylish down to its reinforced concrete floor slabs. Situated in Senec, a suburb of Bratislava and a popular summer destination, North Star Rising is a starkly iconic building. Jutting up into the sky, its nearly triangular design realizes the architectural possibilities of a somewhat oddly-shaped urban lot.
Enric Ruiz-Geli’s firm Cloud9 designed the suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable. The Villa Bio is situated a little over an hour outside of Barcelona in Llers, a green, hilly, sun-bathed sprawl near Figueres. The Villa’s shape grew directly out of the land, echoing the sloping hillside forest that sits beyond the property line—and honoring the client’s request for a home without stairs to accommodate his two young children and disabled father.
When the time came to rebuild their home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the residents decided to keep parts of the original house intact, while aspiring to a richer, more adventurous way of living. Most of all, they wanted to adapt the existing home to take advantage of natural light without exposing the interiors to the harsh tropical sun. “He magnified the Caribbean lifestyle, with the water and sunlight, but in a modern language,” resident Carlos Delpin says.
Katja and Adam Thom’s cabin, on an exposed postglacial archipelago in Canada’s windswept Georgian Bay, is more than eight miles from the nearest road. The building, quite literally off the grid and far from inland neighbors on a long and slender granite outcrop, is only accessible by boat—or perhaps by seaplane if you’re aerially inclined. The winglike dips in the roofline situate and hold the house against the region’s brutal winds.
The Auckland, New Zealand, house that Henri Sayes designed for himself and his wife, Nicole Stock, is distinguished by an angled cutaway in the cedar cladding that mirrors the angular double-height space within. In the yard, a grassy berm, fashioned from earth excavated for the foundation, takes the place of a fence.