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Apologies for the minimal posts these past few weeks. I've been extremely busy lately while I have added one more interesting task to my to-do list. Looking to keep abreast with current design trends. I started going to Parsons School of Design again (taking random design courses this time) and I am loving every minute of it. I'll be posting very interesting stuff soon so please hang with me.

Picture above dresser/desk in my bedroom.

Bathroom Accessories

Continuing with Bathroom decor I decided to post some really cool bath accessories.
bathroom accessoriesbath accessories, jonathan adlermichael aram
Jonathan Adler soap/lotion pump and wastebasket and Michael Aram bamboo harware collection
accessories for the bathroomhand painted mirrorbath, accessories
Mirror hand painted tray and tissue box here and Chiasso hand holder.
dransfield and rossaccessories, bath, jonathan adler
michael aran hardwarechiasso, restoration hardware
Hermes EAU'D ORANGE VERTE SOAP SET and Tree soap holder.
crate and barrel
Chinoiserie ring dish, Provence perfume bottle and Scrolled Mirror here.

Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning - F House

Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning

F House

High up on Mount Lebanon, away from the hustle and bustle of Beirut, is the F House in Dahr el Sawan. A Mediterranean masterpiece by Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning.


[Article by Ayssar Arida]

The brief
A high profile young couple with 2 children, the clients organized a competition for a new family residence to live and entertain in as their home in Lebanon. The general program consisted of 5 en-suite bedrooms for family and guests, generous indoors and outdoors living, dining, and recreation areas to complement the couple's social lifestyle, plus the usual amenities. The brief was much less straightforward: while the aim was to have a modern Mediterranean house (“not organic, not monolithic”), the couple brought two very different stylistic expectations into it. He grew up in a family that had been living in modern architecture (including houses by Mallet-Stevens and Niemeyer) since the 1960s, in Lebanon, Europe and the USA, and had a preference for its clean lines and austerity. She came from a background in the hotel and tourism industry, and had a more romantic vision of ornate and plush luxury she recognized in vernacular oriental architectures. In addition to these two seemingly contrary visions that risked making the client-architect relationship a tougher challenge, the clients requested that their house, despite the size of the program, should exude a sense of discretion, and not act as a superfluous social statement of wealth.

The site and context
The site of 11 000m2 sits on a sumptuous pine-covered hilltop, 1200m above sea-level on Mount Lebanon, commanding extraordinary vistas in all directions. The location has excellent year round Mediterranean climate: relatively warm and dry and easily accessible in winter even in occasional snow, breezy and cool in the summer. The strong slope of the land provided many challenges - to set the residence in harmony with the hill, harness the rising sea breezes, the views and the open skies, while keeping a flexible layout, all in an architectural style that is at one with the surrounding nature.

Photos: Richard Saad





The philosophy
The commission came at a very particular point in the history of the firm. After seven years of operation in Lebanon, we were gradually and consciously adopting a more assertive architecture that nevertheless strived for an “egoless” expression. The multiple challenges of this project (the site, the program, the brief and the clients' clashing expectations) provided the perfect opportunity to show the validity of our philosophy. Rooted in a strong desire to satisfy the end user without making concessions to the integrity of our architecture, we developed a position that can best be interpreted as essentialism, or the reduction of each aspect of the brief and context to its most poetic and essential quality, before giving it architectural form. In that sense, we strived to reinterpret the “Modern Mediterranean” house as a dwelling with the following essential qualities:
  • An ecological outlook respecting the site and a use of local materials throughout.
  • A simple, legible massing language that belies a rich collection of spatial experiences and framed views.
  • A powerful and seamless integration between the inner (architectural) and outer (landscape) realms, with a subtle delineation of public (social) and private (family) realms.

The concept and design
A sweeping arched retainer wall holds back the hilltop, allowing a series of orthogonal local sandstone walls to spring out from the land. Cascading down the site, they direct the gaze and frame views of the blue sky, the lush pine forest, the snow-capped mountains, and the eternal horizon of the Mediterranean Sea. From the highest point of the hill, they read as archaeological traces of a timeless structure sunk in a field of indigenous flora.

Photos: Richard Saad





Horizontal planes of cross-cut travertine slabs, cool reflecting water ponds, and cantilevered canopies intersect the walls in dialogue with the slope, generating the living spaces of the house. Careful orientation and sun shading, fifth-façade planted roofs, crawling greenery and obsessive attention to proportion help the house to sink considerately into the hill and respect its ecology (trees were carefully protected and only indigenous species were added). Yet the choices and expressions of material reveal that these walls are very much man-made: a rational layering of horizontal joints overlaps the ashlar construction of the main sandstone walls, which act like horizontal incisions in the landscape.

Effectively, the house has two faces it offers to the world. The first it presents to the visitor is a mute succession of stone walls with occasional vertical slits and trees peeking from behind, hinting furtively at the private world beyond. It is a facade that plays hide and seek, creating a sense of subtle mystery that enhances the clients' desire for discretion while expressing a calm opulence and a safe haven for the family. Passing through these first layers of filters, one goes through a succession of quiet spaces, mirrored by shallow reflecting pools and open to the sky, but already shielded from the hills around.

Photos: Geraldine Bruneel




The second face is more private, yet fully glazed to allow a complete communion between house and nature: the bedrooms open to the views on the upper floor; the gym, pool house, service and playrooms are arranged around the courtyards of the semi-enclosed basement. All are cross ventilated capturing the sea breeze rising from the valley. From within, the views framing the pine woods and the valleys beyond are gradually unveiled and broadened, eventually opening fully to great vistas to the sea.

Light and air cross freely through the living spaces. The passage through the house at ground level is an almost ceremonial procession from a public to a private realm.

The resultant architecture was made possible through a sustained enthusiasm and a very personal involvement in the process on our end, building the clients' confidence as the project took shape. The solid friendship and appreciation that developed between the clients and the architect by the time the house was completed was also helped by the strict respect of the original budget, and the reunion of the couple around what turned out to be a fully consensual design vision.

Plans





Architecture: NGAP - Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning
Area: 1 200 m² + 1 basement
Date: August 2000 - June 2004
Structural engineer: Bureau d’études Rodolphe Mattar
Electro-Mechanical consultant: Barbanel Liban
3D images: NGAP
Landscaping:Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
Photos: Richard Saad and Geraldine Bruneel
Google: Satellite Image
Article: Ayssar Arida

via: NGAP Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning


KLM Arquitectos - Casa BR

KLM Arquitectos

Casa BR

Breaking up a large house into smaller volumes to fit with the location was the challenge KLM Arquitectos took up in a new waterside development in the north of Buenos Aires province.






The house is located in a neighbourhood in the north of Buenos Aires.
Build on the shore of a Lake and the only double lot in the neighbourhood meant the house already had more presence than the rest. The strategy behind the design was to create a unified collection of separate volumes to give the appearance of multiple units rather than a massed whole from the curb side. Minimising the six hundred square metres of the house and fitting with the scale of the surrounding houses was the mammoth task.

Yet in doing so they also looked to achieve a degree of intimacy and isolation from the surrounding architecture, their intention was to create a micro-climate within the C shaped design of the house. The project has as much emphasis on controlling both the views from the rear of the house, as it does on controlling views in from the other three sides. From the roadside the white mass of the house is broken up through the used of redwood doors and entrance panelling, subtly set aglow by uplights in the evening.



The dissolution of the boundaries between inside and outside is a defining result of the design. There’s a wide variety of visual connections through the open plan house, across both the horizontal planes of the two levels and as double height space between the two, resulting in a certain spatial complexity. These connections form a series of interior courtyards, a few single level, others double height and with different proportions, acting as gateways from inside to out and at the same time acting as recipients of both direct and filtered natural light.



Organized simply, the ground floor focuses on leisure and services and the top floor is of a more private nature and firmly geared towards sunshine and the views. The kitchen, set in the eastern wing of the C shaped layout, protrudes out into the garden. Fantastic use of the solid white kitchen top means the gas hobs, sink and preparing area, extend down to form the breakfast table for 6 and an eat in kitchen. Conveniently located just outside the kitchen door, is a built in BBQ with basin, under a loggia created by the upstairs bedrooms.
Rounding out the ground floor are a series of living areas, separated for formal and informal entertaining by a tree filled courtyard to the front, and an internal bamboo courtyard to the rear, which provides the occupants with glimpses back through to arriving guests and forms a small reception area, rather than letting the front door straight into the living room.



Heading upstairs, all four upstairs bedrooms face north-northeast and capture the most of the afternoon sun and views, each with an en-suite bathroom. The tree filled courtyard below extends up allowing for a corridor behind that separates the master suite to the west, from the rest of the bedrooms. Adding to the master bedroom are: a walk in wardrobe (almost the size of the other bedrooms), a large sunken tub, and deck with spiral stairs down to the pool.

Plans




Architects: KLM arquitectos
Federico Kelly, Paula Lestard & Hernan Maldonado
Collaborators: Maria Guglielmini, Graciana Grau & Alejandro Campagnola
Project Completed: Dec 2007
Location: Talar del Lago 2. Partido de Tigre. Provincia de Buenos Aires.
House Size: 600m²
Plot Area: 1800m²

via: KLM Arquitectos


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