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ARCHITECTURE LIVING SPACES

homes in the great outdoors For the discerning home-builder, a home embellished with luxuries is not enough. Many dream of living close to nature, but it doesn’t end there. It has to be a treehouse or a glasshouse–something that brings the outdoors in, to the maximum. And, the greatest architects have helped translate such dreams into poetic reality. Lifestyle Living features homes around the world which are not only unique in their appearance, but also located in the strangest of places RADHIKA RAVI RAJAN

X House Architects: Arquitectura X Location: La Tola, Valle de Tumbaco, Quito, Ecuador Not having an actual site when they began work on the design of the house, the architect team charted an elementary plan that could work well in any kind of terrain. They used their experience to create an abstract form that would yet be workable and applicable on any site. They, thus, conceived an open-ended box, revealing their fascination for the glasshouse example, whose spatial limits would be the eastern and western

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ranges of the Andes. In order for the design to work, yet giving a feel of infinite space, the patio has to be enclosed. This is where the glasshouse model enters, perfect for its inherent sense of unlimited space. The addition of a patio to the glasshouse gives architects a chance to adapt to different site possibilities.

INSPIRATIONAL DESIGN IS THE ULTIMATE LUXURY


Separation Creek House Architects: Jackson Clements Burrows Location: Separation Creek, Victoria, Australia This treehouse-home has a unique location, between the bush edge of Separation Creek and the steep forested hillside above the Great Ocean Road and Bass Strait. The location enjoys a unique combination of the bush environment that Australia is known for, besides offering intimate views of Separation Creek, the beach and Wye River Peninsula. The steep location of the site, the surrounding landscape and the potential for landslips, resricted the framework within which the architects could work. The constraints (the architects recall that they also considered them opportunities in a matter of speaking) led the team to explore a sensitive response that minimised the house’s footprint by giving it the look and feel of a tree with branches (it is the the rooms that branch out), in several directions from a central trunk, offering full advantage of the surrounding views. In response to the client’s simple brief asking for a threebedroom residence with living spaces, the architects decided to create projections from the top, like branches, which include the study, a sunroom based in the west, a living area with a sloping deck six metres from the core, all overlooking the ocean and beach down below. At half a level lower are the master bedroom and the stairs, while a dining room and kitchen make up the upper portion. Two bedrooms, bathroom and laundry complete the lower level. The treehouse draws on the local vernacular of the 1950s and is painted in two tones of green that help the building merge beautifully with the green of the surrounding hillside.

July 2009 | www.lifestyleliving.in

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ARCHITECTURE LIVING SPACES

Letterbox House Architects: McBride Charles Ryan Location: Blairgowrie, Australia The Australian Peninsula is, perhaps, one place where you can defy convention, architecturally speaking. This is precisely what the architects of Letterbox House have striven to achieve, and achieved it splendidly. It does not matter if the structure defies definition, at first. The facade seems like the proverbial Australian varendah, half open, half closed. And then again, it resembles an upturned boat or a letterbox. It is no ordinary beachfront building either. The creators think it’s not important to have a frontdoor entrance; whart’s important is the incredible play of sunlight on the outer walls, which are bathed with a golden hue. The inner spaces are a vivid red, a shelf-lined wall holds souvenirs and photos of the beach. Indeed, the whole effect is one of sunshine and happiness. The sheer effrontery of design makes one smile. And that’s exactly what the creators of this special building wished to accomplish. They have the last words: The penionsula is the place where you suspend formality and convention for a while. We wanted the building to do this.”

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INSPIRATIONAL DESIGN IS THE ULTIMATE LUXURY


Drift Bay House Architects: Kerr Ritchie Location: Queenstown, New Zealand If you want an insight into the superb use of space and form, then check out this family home, which is located on the edge of New Zealand’s famous Lake Wakatipu. The house is designed as a single, continuous entity which shifts and expands to suit the sun. The entrance is actually through a hole in the centre, which forms the courtyard. From here, you enter the family home to the north or the studio/guest wing to the south. The main house pulls away from the eastern bank to provide courtyards to shield inmates from the elements; the structure rises again to reach the studio at the tail-end, before winding back towards the north. The materials used in the roofing and walking of the house are guaranteed to provide resilience, strength and perfection. Thus, the outside roof and walls of the house are fashioned in black steel, and where the occupancy is at its maxiumum level, that is, in the north, south and entrance, soft timber boards are used. The interiors have concrete floors and the walls have strandboard, softened with a shiny, plastic screen wall and plastic light fittings.

July 2009 | www.lifestyleliving.in

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ARCHITECTURE LIVING SPACES

Deck House Architects: Felipe Assadi and Francisco Pulido Location: Alto Rungue, Chile Rungue, which appears like a plane perched on the edge of a valley, has the famed coastal mountain range of Chile forming a backdrop. The first idea that came to the architects was to create a platform that would offer magnificent views of the stunning scenery that surrounds the place. The interior has been conceived as a capsule of glass incorporated into the fold of a wooden board. It has been longitudinally divided into two through a wide wall of services, into which is incorporated the kitchen and bathrooms, besides a set of beds in three levels towards the back side of the house. These two spaces then turn into a large family room, dining room and kitchen on the one hand, and a hall with beds on the other. The board of wood runs around the house, with even a swimming pool being added to the main deck. A second deck is the roof of the house inclining to the opposite side and serving as a solarium, west of the site.

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INSPIRATIONAL DESIGN IS THE ULTIMATE LUXURY

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X House 18 For the discerning home-builder, a home embellished with luxuries is not enough. Many dream of living close to nature, but it doe...

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