Unique UK University Drawing Studio Celebrates Light

The new drawing studio at Arts University Bournemouth in Dorset, United Kingdom comes with a futuristic silhouette. Designed by renowned architect Sir Peter Cook and his office CRAB, the building celebrates “the fundamental nature of drawing and the way in which it stimulates thought”.

The 1830-square-foot creative studio is open to all artists in the university, from animators to costumes designers to architects and was built as a place especially for interaction and exchange. Central to the idea of drawing, “light” was chosen as the theme for the building’s design.

A rear clerestory window offers ample light with inspirational views of the tree canopies, while minimalist interiors in white and gray leave the room a blank slate. The oddly-shaped blue exterior is made from steel and was built in conjunction with two other facilities — an animation studio and a lecture theater.

“Through such simplicity, the act of drawing becomes a calm and considered activity within the lively world of a very busy and creative institution,” the project developers said. [Photography courtesy of CRAB Studio]

Nature-Inspired Home in Norway Accessible Only by Boat

Anchored to a rocky landscape in Larvik, Norway, this glass-walled home was especially designed as a weekend retreat for an interior architect, an artist and their two children. Designed by the architects at Lund Hagem, the site, accessible only by boat, is located within 16 feet of the water’s edge on a small island which boasts magnificent views.

The approximately 800-square-foot project named Cabin Lille Arøya is supported by stilts (solid galvanized steel columns built into the rock) and consists of two volumes. The lower volume accommodates the bedrooms and bathrooms, while the taller one shelters the kitchen, dining and living room. “The new volumes sit naturally with the existing landscape and allow for free circulation and use of the surrounding areas,” the architects said. “The building seeks to enhance the qualities of the site and make use of areas that originally had no value.”

The living room takes advantage of surrounding views thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. Concrete finishes were paired with wooden flooring and metal fittings, for a “raw” effect, in tune with the landscape. Wooden decks clad in pine span the length of the sleeping area with a stairway that can take inhabitants up to the roof. [Photography by Alexandre Westberg]

Cozy Apartment in Bucharest Optimizes Space and Light

Located in a newly built residential complex in Bucharest, Romania, this 538 square-foot home, named Apartment No. 3, optimizes space and light. Bogdan Ciocodeică & Diana Roşu teamed up to design a cozy apartment that offers both aesthetic harmony and functionality.

“Like with any other project, we tried to envision the owners’ daily paths, from the moment they step inside the apartment, until they go to bed at night,” the architects said. “We tried to make the space as comfortable as possible, to create a positive state of mind and that homey feeling everyone longs for.”

The layout is subtly divided in two, with the kitchen, dining and living spaces located on the left, and the bedrooms and bathrooms situated on the right. From the living room couch, one can see all the other areas of the house: the dining place, the bedroom and the kitchen.

Concrete, metal and glass are complemented by softer accents of wood and smooth white textiles to create a visual and textural balance. A metal-framed room divider separates the bedroom and living area, providing quality soundproofing, while the white curtains add a stylish, fluid touch to the overall design scheme. “We paid special attention to the interior lighting which adapted to every corner, creating a dynamic, stenographic atmosphere,” the designers added. [Photos by Radu Sandovici & Andrei Mărgulescu]

A Book Lover’s Dream Home in Madrid

Studio Egue Y Seta transformed this 1950s dwelling in Madrid, Spain into a modern book lover’s dream. The residence consists of three rectangular-shaped floors topped by a gable roof and a small garden surrounds the entire house.

Inside, books abound. The living room seems like a miniature library. The custom-made solid wood bookcases that line the walls were recovered from the family’s previous home. The designers kept a bit of the home’s 1950s heritage — they suggest reading “while lying in one of the vintage armchairs from the 50s that flank the large chesterfield cognac leather sofa or when sitting around the superb dining table rescued from a disappeared nineteenth century French farmhouse.”

Another white bookcase reigns over the hallway on the top floor, with its impressive height. Next to it, there are plenty of spots to curl up with a book: the sofa, the butterfly chair, or up the metal ladder where there’s a hammock-style net suspended over the space. [Photography by Vicugo Foto]

Two-Story Glass Wall Makes Narrow Mexican Home Feel Huge

This modern residence — recently completed by Taller Estilo Arquitectura — is cleverly adapted to its long and narrow site in Yucatán, Mexico. Even though the two-level Raw House is just 19 feet wide, the interiors feel airy and bright. How? It’s one part exposed raw materials. The concrete, wood and metal fixtures aren’t hidden under space-consuming layers of drywall.

It’s another part smart layout: the back of the house is a two-story glass wall (or is it a door?) that opens up the living spaces to a small courtyard with a swimming pool. Inside, the double-height lounge space just inside and the exposed stairway to the second floor both create the perspective of an “infinite” home.

The airy and bright feeling throughout isn’t by accident either: according to the architects, passive conditioning elements are an integral part of the design. The eastern wall of the home is also sliding glass that opes than an “air chimney,” that lets in natural light and makes it possible to control the flow and the volume of air even more precisely.  [Photography by David Cervera]

Family Home Extension in Edinburgh Features Glass Walls

This small semi-detached single-level house in Edinburgh, Scotland was recently renovated by David Blaikie Architects. The 731-square-foot home did not provide enough space, so the focus of the expansion was to increase the size of the living room and a build an additional small bedroom upstairs.

Thermally modified timber cladding for the roof and siding, steal frames and glass define the exterior of this family home. “The tall frameless glazed corner cantilevers out over the garden giving a lightness to the massing,” explained the architects at David Blaikie. “The extension is invisible from the street side of this semi-detached house, but explodes out of the rear elevation in a wholly unexpected way.”

Function was the main consideration when planning the shape of this addition. “The extension and development of the attic space more than doubles the floor area of the house – all on a very tight budget,” the architects added. Living areas are illuminated from dusk till dawn, thanks to expansive windows ensuring a good flow of natural light.

The interiors pay tribute to Scandinavian design with white walls, wood cladding and colorful textiles, while clean lines and minimalist arrangements focus on functionality. [Photography by Paul Zanre]

Rooftop Terrace Tops Minimalist Family Home in Tokyo

Swedish studio Elding Oscarson completed the design of Nerima House, a private residence located in Tokyo, Japan. Built as a weekend refuge for a couple and their grownup children, this minimalist family home features a surrounding small garden and rooftop terrace for ample opportunities to spend time outdoors.

The partially sunken ground floor accommodates a large bedroom with garden views, lavatory and storage room, while upstairs a spacious kitchen, dining and living rooms are organized in a single interior. Wrapped in glazing, the main living area offers a 360-degree panorama of the neighborhood. “The project was fairly unspecified, and rather than making a house with many small rooms, we opted for an open-plan concept,” the architects said.

A simple color palette in white, complemented by wood accents makes the interiors feel airy and welcoming. Probably the most sought after part of the residence, the rooftop terrace ensures plenty of space for both relaxation and entertaining. [Photography: Kenichi Suzuki]

Mountain Home in Massachusetts Inspired by Fibonacci Spiral

Tsao & McKown Architects recently completed Berkshire Mountain House, a modern residence located in Alford, Massachusetts. The exterior of the residence is inspired by traditional farm houses in the region with a blended array of textures and hues, while glass is used extensively for connection with the outdoors.

“Nestled into the tree line at the top of a gentle rise, the house folds and unfolds to take advantage of sweeping panoramic views, and wraps upon itself to form an intimate courtyard against the forest’s edge,” the architects said.

An original layout defines the project, which has a total of three levels: “The building is conceived as movement through a Fibonacci spiral,” the architects explained. “The resulting plan allows a graceful progression through the rooms, spiraling up to the highest point, a cozy aerie.”

The living areas on the first floor consist of a series of open spaces for dining, entertaining or working. An abundance of wood finishes adds to the welcoming vibe, while well-placed artwork adds a pop of personality. [Photography by Eric Laignel]

Isolated Chilean Home Offers Stunning Seaside Views

Getting stranded on a deserted island may seem much more appealing after exploring this seaside three-bedroom, two-bathroom, open-concept home designed by the architects at WHALE! Architecture in the Valparaíso region of Chile.

This 1,938-square-foot basic shoreline house named Casa Encallada was built in 2014 and offers an open space for a living room and kitchen, in addition to two porches, one indoor and one uncovered. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow for ample natural light to flow into the living spaces, and kitchen features such as the island and backsplash mirror the exterior wood siding. Natural and striped hardwood floors span the entire house.

The actual design of the structure highlights sharp angles and edges, with siding made from pine wood in varying shades to create depth and reflect the rustic surroundings of the Tunquén wetland. The nearly flat roof in contrast, flows to create a consistent image for the home and environment.

The house is situated 76 miles from Chile’s largest and capital city Santiago, tucked into a landscape enveloped by the Pacific Ocean and Tunquén wetland. Valleys encompassing rocky terrain border the home, contributing to the abandoned, yet tranquil aesthetic of the house. [Photography by Hugo Bertolotto]

Ukrainian Bachelor Pad Blends Both Light and Dark Interiors

Visualized by S&T architects, this apartment in Odessa, Ukraine blends somber and chic interiors. The project — named 9th Pearl — was imagined as a bachelor pad with plenty of rooms for guests and entertaining.

The living area has an intimate feel, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling window blinds and a well-chosen color palette: “In this home the deep, rich colors are the ultimate in masculine elegance,” the designers said. “A forest green sofa and lusciously dark wood paneling give an immediate sense of a private den, something much more sophisticated than a modern-day man cave.”

As you step into the kitchen, the visual rhythm changes completely, as lighter tones of wood take over. The kitchen exudes a lively, welcoming feel, that is perfect for social gatherings. An array of shelving units and cupboards offer a large amount of storage and the breakfast bar can double as a work space.

In the more intimate areas, a large platform bed is low to the ground and cozy, while the mostly monochromatic bathroom is more than a bit indulgent,” the designers added. [Photographs courtesy of S&T architects]