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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.