written by:
July 29, 2015
These modern homes were designed with easy access in mind.
Modern pool house with seeded concrete walkway

In Santa Monica, California, where pools are plenty but not always eye-pleasing, Padraic Cassidy lifted one home's pool 30 inches off the ground­—dramatically elevating its aesthetic appeal. An ipe ramp climbs 30 inches from the concrete path to the deck, which wraps around two sides of the pool.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Master Stroke
1 / 11
Boxy white volumes with plenty of glass are the order of the day, with a winding courtyard and a ramp down to the ground. Photo courtesy of Thom Abel.

Some of Berkeley, California-based architect Don Hisaka's most loved projects are in Ohio, where his work ranged from residences to educational structures to commercial spaces. The Gund Summer Residence in Peninsula, OH, was built in 1965. Boxy white volumes with plenty of glass comprise the home, with a winding courtyard and a ramp down to the ground.

Originally appeared in Don Hisaka's Cleveland Years
2 / 11
economical modular prefab in bend oregon exterior

The exterior of this modular Oregon home is clad in Minerit HD fiber cement panels, left unpainted but punctuated by a bright green entrance ramp and cherry-red door that together form a visual exclamation point on an otherwise subdued facade.

Courtesy of 
Nic Lehoux
Originally appeared in An Economical Modular Prefab in Oregon
3 / 11
Another great move, and one that felt very Barragan, is this ramp that leads out of the entryway upstairs. The textured concrete has a real gravity, and like Barragan, Muniain deftly uses skylights to offer all kinds of indirect light that only enhances t

In Mexico City, architect Lucio Muniain's home recalls the great Mexican modernist Luis Barragan especially with its ramp leading from the entryway upstairs. The textured concrete has a real gravity, and like Barragan, Muniain deftly uses skylights to offer all kinds of indirect light that only enhances the surface of the soaring concrete wall.  

Originally appeared in Mexico City: Day 4
4 / 11
modern landscaping terrace pie deck reflecting pool granite patio

A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in the garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family's backyard in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a white-granite patio, which acts like an outdoor room. Board-formed concrete retaining walls double as ramps from the deck to the garden’s highest point.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Architect Sculpts Out a Tadao Ando-Inspired Backyard
5 / 11
The gradually inclined entrance ramp and open plan help make the house accessible to a range of users.

In the most unlikely of places—rural Missouri—Rocio Romero has designed and built a prefab empire. The Perryville, Missouri, show house for Rocio Romero’s LV prefab series is home to the designer and her husband, Cale Bradford. The home subtly reflects the area’s utilitarian rural vernacular. A gradually inclined entrance ramp and open plan help make the house accessible to a range of users.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in All You Need Is LV
6 / 11
Outdoor dock lowered by weight-laden pulleys

Off the coast of British Columbia—on a site accessible only by boat—a family of Vancouver urbanites commissioned a sustainable cabin for weekend getaways that feels a world away. Perched over a cliff face, the hooded deck of the Gambier Residence reads like a ship’s prow over Howe Sound, the scenic waters near Vancouver. A ramp on one side of the home offers an alternative to stairs. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in When Living on the Edge is Super Comfortable
7 / 11
Copper House, Omi, New York

When Kathleen Triem quit her job at a Manhattan design firm in July 1996, her associates were thunderstruck. Triem had decided to practice architecture in the more leisurely atmosphere of upstate New York and quickly landed a job in Omi. With a pracice rapidly expanding, Triem and her partner, Peter Franck, decided to build a house. The trapezoidal structure, nicknamed the Copper House, sits on a hillside overlooking the Catskill Mountains. The long entry ramp leads into the large living, dining and kitchen space. Another ramp leads from indoors to a wood deck. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Escape From New York
8 / 11
Casa serpiente exterior entrance

For a family in Lima, a 
team from local firm
 51-1 Arquitectos built 
Casa Serpiente behind a traditional colonial. Casa Serpiente, or “Snake House,” is named for the way its undulant form
 twists through a tree-studded garden. The entrance is reached via a long ramp perforated by uplights.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Cristobal Palma
Originally appeared in A Modern Concrete Home in Peru
9 / 11
A footbridge connects the Floating House to the island.

On the edge of a tiny island accessible only by boat, this buoyant summer home lives the life aquatic. A boathouse on the first floor and a family home on the second, the Worple Residence floats on the surface of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. A footbridge connects the Floating House to the island.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Floating House, Lake Huron
10 / 11
Aging in Place howler and yoon virginia ramp single level

Architects Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon devised a home layout for Yoon’s parents, Hannah and Jason, in Arlington, Virginia. The pair incorporated a gently sloping ramp and an open kitchen for the single-level house. Though the couple currently utilize all three levels, they could live comfortably on one, with the walk-out basement and the room over the garage both serving as caregiver space.

Courtesy of 
Jeff Wolfram
Originally appeared in Architects Dream Up Truly Inviting Housing Options for Aging Population
11 / 11
Modern pool house with seeded concrete walkway

In Santa Monica, California, where pools are plenty but not always eye-pleasing, Padraic Cassidy lifted one home's pool 30 inches off the ground­—dramatically elevating its aesthetic appeal. An ipe ramp climbs 30 inches from the concrete path to the deck, which wraps around two sides of the pool.

Photo by David Allee.

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