When a Japanese couple asked architects Takaharu and Yui Tezuka to design a small home that would evoke the Italian love of food, informal gatherings, and natural settings, the result was la dolce vita in Tokyo.
Inspired by the traditional Japanese engawa, the home's entire interior wall opens, extending the house visually and socially into the small garden that lies between the multigenerational family’s two homes. The boys’ favorite feature is the soccer goalpost (which doubles as clothesline).
Architect Thomas Balaban creates a secret outdoor oasis within this Montreal house. Since the sunniest part of the lot is at its center, Balaban designed the residence around a courtyard. "The outdoor space became the heart of the house," Balaban says. "You have the usual array of mechanical 'bells and whistles'—low-consumption fixtures, heat exchanger on the ventilation, radiant concrete floors, etc.— but the courtyard is the main green feature. It brings natural light to the basement and the center of the structure. It also creates a microclimate, protected from the wind. In combination with the stacked stair, it helps provide passive natural ventilation using a chimney effect through the house. The stepped courtyard also gives every space in the house direct access to a patio."
This 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area. “From the beginning we knew we needed to remove the rear 80s extension and preserve the front Edwardian home,” architect Michael Ong says. “So, we were interested in how the two different architectural styles would work together.” The old Edwardian home can be seen in the center of the frame, through the dining room and kitchen of the addition. Merbau Decking extends into the garden, which became the focal point of the home.
The indoor-outdoor Grand Plié sofa and Piaffé table, which the couple designed for Driade, perfectly suit the whitewashed courtyard, with curving silhouettes that echo the surrounding stonework. Serafini and Palomba purchased the metal lanterns at a local market.
A pair of architects helped a client carve out this oasis of calm amid São Paulo’s bustle. A cement-tile floor carves a path through the dining room as it runs the length of the apartment, blurring the boundary between inside and out.