Industrial Apartment in Zurich Gets a Fresh, Contemporary Update

Architect Daniele Claudio Taddei took on the challenge of “bringing into this century” a 1980’s industrial apartment located in Zurich. With various changes implemented throughout, the industrial-style residence now unveils a fresh, contemporary look.

The layout of the apartment is relatively simple, with the open-plan living spaces on the main level and the bedroom and bathroom upstairs. Exposed wooden beams, metal framing and massive concrete pillars retain the industrial character of the apartment. The black frames around the glazing inspired the project’s name, A Touch of Chanel, because of its nod to classic Chanel suits.

Glass was used extensively (take note of the transparent flooring on the second level) to let in natural light. “The stairs were replaced and the existing wood floor was treated with colored pigments,” the architects explained. “The kitchen was extended with a stainless steel counter top and to keep the open feel of the large space, the bathroom was imagined in the shape of a glass box”.

A minimalist color palette in black, white, brown and beige gives the place a stylish and open feel. [Photography credits: Bruno Hidsdh]

Unique Home Looks Like a Dragon Emerging From Cliffside

GilBartolome Architects created this contemporary residence on an extremely challenging plot in Granada, Spain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The aptly named, House on the Cliff, is literally built into the hillside with a 42-degree incline.

Its striking metallic roof produces “an aesthetic ambiguity between the natural and the artificial, between the skin of a dragon set in the ground when seen from below, and the waves of the sea when seen from above,” the architects said. The undulating facade is pierced by glass “eyes” to add to the visual effect of this unique cliffside home.

Built on a tight budget, this dwelling is the result of many hours of manual labor rather than machine-made construction. Workers gradually developed the concrete roof, metal tiles and gypsum plaster ceilings, and all of the furniture was made completely by hand from digital models.

The interior features a large open space — enough to accommodate up to 70 guests — with wavy ceilings and organic shapes throughout; it’s tiered construction resembles that of an auditorium. This social room connects with the large outdoor terrace by opening glass sliding panels.

Traditional Victorian Terrace Apartment in London Gets a Modern Makeover

The modern redesign of this private Victorian Terrace residence in London by Daniele Petteno Architecture Workshop marries elements of the historic building — windows, ceiling cornices, doors and architraves — with the clean lines and simple shapes of contemporary design.

The apartment occupies the upper stories in the building and faces a public road on one side and a beautiful private communal garden on the other. Inspired by this duality, the designer envisioned an open layout that gradually opens from the entrance level towards the mezzanine and second levels.

The entrance level accommodates three bedrooms, a study and two bathrooms. Six openings in the double-pitch roof provides views of the surrounding London rooftops and allows for tons of natural light into the living room, dining room and kitchen.

The almost all-white color scheme of for the walls, furniture and Corian tops is balanced by the natural oak flooring, stairs and refurbished double-pitch roof. Artificial drop lighting was also incorporated, adding to the contemporary vibe. [Photography by Lara D’Appollonio]

Modern Rotterdam Penthouse Transformed Into At-Home Spa With Rooftop Deck

Personal Architecture transformed a traditional, early twentieth-century Rotterdam penthouse into a contemporary apartment —complete with a wellness spa and rooftop deck for entertaining.

The main living space and two of the bedrooms are located on the second level of the building. Living and dining areas are divided by walls with integrated storage units. “Voids in the load-bearing interior walls create circulation in the floor plans and connect the living spaces,” the architects said.

A white and gray color palette is accompanied by modern furnishings and unique touches. A stairway leads up to the fourth floor bedroom which features a large bed with a headboard made of American oak. This level also accommodates a generously-sized bathtub, a steam room and sauna with a panoramic view.

The highlight of this conversion is the rooftop deck, where the residents can enjoy the Rotterdam skyline from a whirlpool bath. This entertaining space is surrounded by low-built containers filled with green moss and various plants. [Photography by Ossip van Duivenbode]

Office Space in Amsterdam Converted Into Industrial-Style Family Home

Design studio TANK transformed a conventional office space in Amsterdam, Netherlands, into a complete family home. Salvaging most of the materials found on site, the designers creatively incorporated them in the livings spaces throughout the apartment.

To create this industrial-style family home, the first step was to uncover the building’s original walls — exposing the raw brick and wood-framed doorways. The emerging design scheme focuses on the variety of textures as showcased in the main living area with a wood-feature wall (made from 150-year-old German pine boards discovered on site) juxtaposed with white plaster and exposed brick.

The living room, kitchen and dining area are organized in an open floor plan and connect to the long narrow hallway lined with bookcases. At the end of the corridor, you’ll find the master bedroom complete with a minimalist-style bathroom. The children’s rooms incorporate bright colors and continue the play with textures featured in the unique wooden storage cabinet. [Photography by Teo Krijgsman]

Contemporary Penthouse in Kiev Exhibits Original Arch Roofing

Ukraine-based Alex Obraztsov completed the design of a contemporary penthouse in Kiev’s city center. The concept behind the High Lounge project— “Life is wisely thrifty: all new things are made of old ones”— is inspired by a poem belonging to Russian writer Konstantin Forfanov.

Discovered on site, the original arch roofing system was exposed and adds function to the space — aside from extending the living areas, it works as a space divider as well. The steel beam structures complement the plywood panels for a bold, modern look. The newly added terrace has ample space for outdoor relaxation with breathtaking views of the city.

The living room’s dark color palette of gray and black is accented by bold colorful artworks from modern Ukrainian and Japanese painters Oksana Masj and Valerij Startsevand Kenzo Takada. The striking white lacquered kitchen and bathroom further add to the contemporary style of this penthouse. Large windows let in ample natural light during the day, while at night the soft, built-in lighting creates a warm, intimate ambiance. [Photography courtesy of Alex Obraztsov]

How to Take Stripes Off the Fashion Runways and Into Your Home

The latest fashion runway collections from designers in Europe and the U.S. were awash with stripes — from large, bold stripes to dainty pinstripes to everything in between. Home design collections are never far behind the runway trends, so if you have a love for stripes and contemporary style, now is the time to add some stripes to your home decor.

Decorating with stripes isn’t as difficult as you may think and you don’t have to make a big commitment to stripes to still have an impact on a room. Here are some of our favorite ways to take the latest off-the-runway stripes and incorporate them to your contemporary decor.

1. Paint Stripes on Walls

If you’re looking for a bold way to incorporate this trend, then painting stripes on your walls is the choice for you. But don’t go overboard — chose one main focal wall to incorporate stripes, not the entire room. Wallpaper works too.

2. Add Striped Pillows

Throw pillows are an inexpensive and simple way to dip your toes into the stripe trend. Try different combinations of stripes and colors or use a line of the same striped pillow on a sofa for a clean, minimalist look.

3. Cover Floor With Stripes

If you have an open floor plan, a bold, striped rug is a great way to incorporate this trend. Opt for rugs with high contrast tones and colors that pop.

4. Hang Striped Curtains

When painting or wallpapering isn’t an option, adding striped curtains may be all the stripe you need. Aim for rich colors and a floor-to-ceiling length that creates the illusion of taller ceilings.

5. Don’t Forget the Furnishings

For a high fashion design choice, add a striped furniture piece to your space. Whether it’s a sofa, ottoman, side table or cabinet, striped designs and upholstery are more available than ever at your local home design stores.

Pivoting Doors Welcome Nature Inside This Family Retreat in Mexico

Envisioned as a family retreat for a couple’s retirement, Casa Meztitla makes the most of the rocky landscape at the foot of Tepozteco mountain in Mexico. Studio EDAA used volcanic rock and cement blocks to partially camouflage the building walls. The only element that reveals itself to the outside world — a massive monolithic white box that emerges through the foliage.

“The house, built out of rough stone, crawls low under the trees and aligns with the vegetation-covered stone slopes,” the architects stated. “It is the creation of pure space within the natural space.”

The owners wanted the space to be connected with its surroundings without compromising privacy. The bottom level of the house opens up to the swimming pool and natural landscape with large pivoting glass doors. “Now, everyone is able to adjust their degree of exposure while keeping a constant visual relation with the outdoors,” the architects said.

One key feature of the property is an ingenious storm water management system which captures every drop of water that touches the property — this allows for an abundance of water even through the long dry season. [Photography by Yoshihiro Koitani]

Japanese Dwelling is Part Home, Part Art Gallery

Tokyo-based firm APOLLO Architects completed the design for a mixed-use living and art gallery building in Obu, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Named Gaze, the 893-square-foot project consists of three stacked floors. The first floor is created with reinforced concrete and glass, while the second and third floors are made from wood with galvanized steel siding, making the entire building from afar look like it’s suspended in air.

The owner’s art gallery is located on ground level with part of the exhibit featured underground. The surrounding glass reflects on the window for a pleasing effect for passersby.

The living areas on the second level are accessed through a separate stairway in the back of the building. A minimalist design scheme in neutral tones is a natural extension for the art gallery below. Natural light flows through the space, thanks to a series of lateral windows and skylights. All bedrooms are located upstairs, in the cantilevered third volume. [Photography: Masao Nishikawa]

Weekend Retreat in Australia Welcomes Climbers and Artists

Imagined as a weekend retreat in the Sydney Blue Mountains, Australia, Little Hartley House by Urban Possible addresses the living needs of two avid climbers — a professor and an art gallery owner. The single level, three-bedroom house features an artists’ studio, plenty of entertaining space and a sauna for after a day of climbing.

The public and private areas of the project were divided in two and connected by a butterfly roof. Potential bushfires dictated the use of tough materials, such as Corten steel, recycled blackbutt cladding and double glazing. “On the north eastern façade, a rhythm is set with repetitive Corten panels, interspersed with high pivoting doors,” the architects explained. “On the north, two tripartite sliding doors recess themselves behind the chimney leading occupants through to the entertaining deck.”

Every weekend, the residence (now transformed into a revolving art gallery) is filled with artists and climbers. All living spaces are minimalist with a focus on functionality and social interaction is encouraged by clusters of seating units spread throughout the residence, both inside and out. [Photos by: Tom Ferguson]