A little hide-away in the mountains perhaps? Unfortunately the pictures that best do justice to the spectacular siting and design of this home cannot be linked, but the full photo album, drawings and text are here.

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Traditional is nice, but…

…my “contemporist” inclinations are showing.  This retreat designed by Bjarko|Serra Architects of Seattle shows considerable simplicity and restraint without being cold or minimal.  There are more photographs here.

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One of the projects I was toiling away on earlier this year was a residential master plan in the US Southwest where our smallest single family home plan was to run 4,000 square feet.  The inclination of most of the people involved was that bigger is always better, so there were a preponderance of plans in the 5,000 to 11,000 square foot range.  We toured entire subdivisions of homes averaging 7,500 square feet, where six car garages with granite countertops and wet bars, family rooms with three big screen TV’s, four or five piece en suites bathrooms with every bedroom, and kitchens to rival all but the largest restaurant kitchens in size were the ‘norm’.

There are subdivisions just like this all over Southern California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

This article in last week’s Wall Street Journal suggests there’s been a bit of a reality check, but time will tell. The article is here.

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Although radical in its fabrication, the result is a contemporary, aesthetically appealing home.  In addition to cladding, aluminium components provide the structural system, radiant heating & cooling and even the reflective surfaces for the LED ambient lighting.

More information can be viewed here.

This is the Yarra House designed by Leeton Pointon Architects and Susan Pointon Architects in Melbourne, Australia. It uses a very restrained collection of finish materials (concrete, stone, hardwood and drywall) to maximum effect. For more images, click on the photographs.

This beach house was designed by architect Marcio Kogan for a waterfront site near Paraty, just outside Rio de Janeiro. It immediately evokes the work of fellow Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer and modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the strong horizontality a form recently put to good use for the Warapuru Resort and residences at Itacaré, in Brazil’s Bahia region.

Lastly, this little gem is a wooden extension to an existing brick home just outside Gent in Belgium. The work of Wim Goes Architectuur, it brings to mind the traditional covered bridge.

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