In a leafy residential area a few miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, architect Christian Arnold took a sloping, triangular lot and designed a new home for his growing family—an open, tree house–like structure on stilts that hovers at the quirky edge of a conventional neighborhood. Inside, the hearth is made of large slabs of limestone, which Christian cut himself, intentionally leaving imperfections on the surface for texture.
In southwestern England, an architect transforms a former postman’s cottage on a sprawling estate. To integrate the cottage with the new design, architect David Sheppard added a concrete column adjacent to an existing stone chimney and a new slate chimney “at the heart of the composition.” From this, the roof structure fans out; the small structure now serves as an anteroom. Thanks to a disused local quarry, the architects were able to apply the same mix of granite and limestone used on the cottage’s exterior walls throughout the addition.
An architectural designer and an artist harnessed the collective power of their design firm to remake a dilapidated mid-century gem into a hillside perch for their family. Though little remains of the old structure besides the limestone foundations and fireplace column adjacent to the outdoor patio, the surviving open-air stair tower hints at the house’s unusual past. A striated concrete wall designed by Pollen Architecture & Design contrasts with the rough limestone rock of the home’s existing stair column.
Architect Drew Mandel updated a traditional Edwardian in Toronto to look modern and cozy. The clients desired a warm material base for the interior so Mandel used American walnut for the flooring, millwork, and staircase. Loire limestone covers the landing below the steps and Calacatta marble clads the kitchen counters and island.
To escape the chaos of Rome on the weekends, a family of four commissioned the renovation of a 1930s farmhouse on a sprawling plot of Tuscan coastline. Built during a Fascist land reclamation project during a controversial part of Italian history, the house has ties to the past that architectural firm Labics preserved by keeping the original limestone walls intact.
Relying on local materials and local craftsmen, New Yorker Lauren Ewing turned the 500-acre property in Vincennes, Indiana, that her family has farmed since 1806, into a retreat where she could escape the city for a few weeks or months at a time. The house she designed—a version of the venerable Southern-style shotgun house, updated with a modernist flair—has given her a place to unwind and reconnect with her Midwestern roots. Ewing’s builder, John Lane, used a front-end loader to stack slabs of Indiana limestone for the house’s front steps.
From the street, this 18th-century stone residence blends in inconspicuously with its neighbors in the old city of Safed in the north of Israel. Architects Henkin Irit and Shavit Zohar preserved the historic shell, while introducing contemporary elements to the interior including concrete, wood, steel, and glass. The walls are made of recycled limestone sourced locally from dismantled houses.
The New York City-based firm Delson or Sherman Architects assembled this duplex apartment in a Soho row house from two stacked apartments and a new rear extension. "The rooms in our design begin compressed, then sequentially expand to draw you through the space," says principal architect Jeff Sherman. In the master bedroom, the firebox is soapstone, which stores and slowly releases the heat of the fire. The limestone hearth is recessed flush with the whitewashed bamboo floor.
An atypical modern house that translates the language of traditional Japanese building into a Southern California context, the Wabi House is a compelling study in contradictions. Although the roof deck affords a view of the surrounding area, the lasting impression of the Wabi House is of a building that focuses inward onto the very specific lives of its residents. The limestone-clad volume at the east end of the house extends to the second story, housing Shino and Ken’s master suite, which opens onto the planted roof deck.
Toronto doctor Yash Patel's home is an 1880 house on a quiet block in The Annex, a 19th-century downtown district. "This is a very pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood, and that’s important to me," he says. A modern garden by architect Heather Dubbeldam hints at what's inside. The interior and the yard flow into each other—limestone, ceramics, cedar boards, and a row of beech trees all working together in subtle harmony. A custom unit of sapele wood holds three masks that evoke Patel's East African heritage in the kitchen. The backsplash and counter are made of gray St. Marks limestone.
On a leafy residential street, Paul Raff Studio Architects created a family-friendly home where light takes center stage. Dubbed the Counterpoint House, the modern design offers a bold counterpoint to the traditional homes in the surrounding Toronto neighborhood. According to Paul Raff, the biggest design challenge was creating a functional home that would accommodate the family's regular activities all on one level. This was solved by "collaging spaces of different shapes and sizes together." The airy family kitchen features Loire limestone floors, BassamFellows Tractor stools, and an Eames molded plastic chair.
After several design studies for a remodel of a 1960s ranchburger-style home in Dallas, Texas, Braxton Werner and Paul Field of Wernerfield Architects convinced their clients to scrap the plan altogether. The original house was oddly situated on its one-acre wooded lot, and it didn’t engage well with the outdoors of the property. The new 4,800-square-foot residence in the Preston Hollow neighborhood is warm and inviting, yet unapologetically modern. The home's outer walls were dry-stacked with limestone cut from a Texas Granbury quarry, and its gabled roof was made with weathered Cor-Ten steel.
On the site of what was once a commercial garage, architect and sculptor Mark Merer conceptualized this English home to blend in seamlessly with the unique landscape and bridge the gap between past, present, and future. Similar to the kitchen, white materials and finishes are favored in the home's bathrooms. White limestone is complemented by Ikea cabinets, counters, sinks, and taps.