London’s Riding House Street hosts a range of architectural styles although, all of the buildings do share a common trait — a brick facade. Not to disrupt the aesthetic, The Interlock does adopt the traditional exterior while presenting it a contemporary way. The five-story building swaps the classic brickwork dimensions for a collection of 44 misshapen, clay blocks. Each one was set into 14 hand-crafted steel molds and fired in oxidation to create the matt blue finish. Totaling 5,000 pieces, their unconventional pattern creates a 3D effect that morphs as people pass by. Internally, the mixed-use development houses three residential units, a café, and a gallery. Taking a more light, airy approach, the interior features white-washed walls, oak flooring, and bathrooms finished in terrazzo.
Built in the mountains of Norway, the One-Third House is designed to expand. The main living space is a traditional two-story cabin with a footprint that measures just over 500 square feet. While the modest dwelling offers cozy accommodations for a young couple, the pair wanted room to grow. The solution was an open-air veranda. Double the size of the main house, the uninsulated area extends from the home with a shared roof. Tilted glulam columns give the space supports and a more modern, industrial design while also framing in views of the dramatic landscape. Although it currently functions as anything from a storage room and garage to a workshop and banquet hall, it can easily be transformed into additional living space in the future.
Organic architecture was first coined by Frank Lloyd Wright nearly a century ago. Although the practice isn’t new, Niko Architecture offers a fresh take on the philosophy with the House in the Landscape. The dwelling lives in harmony with its environment, appearing to emerge from the artificial landscape like a sculpted boulder. To further integrate the exterior into the surroundings, a green roof is planted with woody and herbaceous species. Floor-to-ceiling glazing keeps a constant connection between the interior and the outdoors by offering expansive views. The windows also expand the living spaces to a terrace where a free-flowing infinity pool mimics a natural body of water.
The city of Merida has a rich colonial heritage that has evolved into the cultural heart of the Yucatán Peninsula. Fusing together its past and present, Workshop architects have created the Filux Art Laboratory for the International Festival of Lights Mexico. The event space occupies a former colonial house. Many of the structure’s historic features have been left untouched, serving as an antique backdrop for contemporary exhibition and art pieces. On the central terrace, intricate lattice around the exterior casts light and shadows on the building creating a light exhibit of its own.
Sited on a wooded bluff overlooking the canal, the Hood Cliff Retreat replaces a 1962 cedar cabin in the Pacific Northwest. The new structure consists of a flat-roofed dwelling built on the existing footprint, an addition, and a bunkhouse. Opposed to the original cabin, the current home breaks up its rough-sawn cedar facade with panels of glazing for a deeper connection to the outdoors. Reclaimed beams and siding have been repurposed in the interior as countertops and cladding. The salvaged materials combine with pine plywood walls and ceilings and cast-concrete to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. While celestial windows and floor-to-ceiling glass flood the living spaces with natural light, they also bring in views of the surrounding flora and fauna for a nature-minded family. The inside seamlessly flows to the exterior terraces where oversized eaves offer shelter for viewing the native killdeer bird.
Situated on a hilltop in Norway, the Sirdal Twin Cabins offer a winter refuge for the nearby slopes. The two structures are made from asymmetrical forms. A steeply sloped roofline blocks the harsh winter winds on one side while creating a sheltered south-facing terrace on the other. Opposite of the exterior’s darkly stained timber facade, the interior is lined with warm pine paneling. Solid pine flooring complete the simplified palette throughout the opening living space. To take advantage of the alpine setting, strategically placed windows frame in views of the surrounding landscape.
Just North of the Arctic circle rests the Norwegian island of Andøya lies Andenes. Known for its high population of migrating whales, the location is a prime spot for viewing the marine mammals and to celebrate the creatures, Dorte Mandrup designed The Whale. The upcoming arctic attraction is located on the island’s rocky coastline. Its rolling roofline integrates itself into the shore while also resembling one of the breaching giants. Its interior will be occupied by exhibition spaces, offices, a cafe, and a store aimed at bringing awareness and protecting aquatic wildlife through art, science, and architecture. While roaming around inside, visitors will also experience dramatic views of the landscape along with glimpses of the passing whales. The pavilion is expected to open in 2022.
The Knowlton House started off as a classic farmhouse in rural Canada. After an expansion and renovation, the modest country home has been transformed into a stunning minimalist dwelling. The original gabled structure has been updated with a painted white facade and a corrugated metal roof. A simple form extends upward to take advantage of the views while minimizing disruption to the hilltop site. Clad in cedar, its charred finish gives its clean lines a rustic, weathered appearance and nods to the agricultural vernacular.
Built as a collection of small volumes, the House in a Park takes inspiration from its natural site. The structures follow the contour of the park-like plot and are connected by a continuous roof. Clad in natural stone, the organic facade helps to further blend the buildings into the landscape. Each one is freely arranged around a central courtyard, sharing access to the outdoor space as well as views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Zurich. A muted palette creates a dreamy minimalist interior, a contrast to the rural scenery. Oil-rubbed wood and metal windows wash living spaces with natural light while framing in the dramatic vistas.
Suspended off a rocky bluff, the Nova Scotia Cliff House is a rustic seaside retreat. The simple cedar-clad box extends out over the bedrock and is perched off the ground by a galvanized steel pedestal. Comprised of just 960-square-feet, its interior maximizes living space with an open floor plan and double-height ceilings while exposed timber framing and steel beams create modern cabin vibes. This minimalist approach allows the focus to remain on the coastal landscape. Wrapped in south-facing windows, the glazing gives the sensation of floating above the seashore.