Two homes in a single house by Clavienrossier Architects hes/sia.

Photo credits: Roger Frei.

Creating apartments that look like grand palaces, dates back several hundred years at least. The idea, perhaps reached a peak in the nineteenth century when the first mansion blocks began to populate European cities. For the first time they contained tens or even hundreds of small apartments within a grand palace -like building to accommodate the burgeoning middle classes.

As an archetype, the mansion block remains popular, although the more recent trend has been to give some expression to individual dwellings creating a cluster or tower of apartments within a single block.

The archetype however, is far less common in the rural areas where land is more plentiful. With this in mind, and of course rendered at a far smaller scale, Clavienrossier Architects have designed this house, outside of Geneva, to explore the same idea with just two apartments that appear as a single house.

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Meeting of spirit and body: Offices Zamora Spain by Campo Baeza architecture studio.

Such is the purity of the architectural expression, that it seems almost transgressive that this building should ever be used. To critically enquire of it, however superficially, seems like an attack on virginal innocence itself.

Architectural purity however, is begotten not from mystic union, but rather from clarity of analysis and unstinting application. Campo Baeza working in collaboration with Pablo Fernández Lorenzo, Pablo Redondo Díez, Alfonso González Gaisán and Francisco Blanco Velasco shows us how. Read more

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A portrait of the Client: Library House, Tochigi, Japan by Shinichi Ogawa.

Photos: Shinichi Ogawa & Associates.

Any lover of traditional books will eventually come across the same conundrum: what to do with them all? Shinichi Ogawa, the architect for this house in Tochigi, Japan, designed a house around a library wall some 6.5m tall. In so doing, he made a clear statement about his client which he carried through other architectural details in the design. Read more

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Minimal mantra: Atrium house, Spain by Fran Silvestre Architects.

Spanish minimalist Fran Silvestre Architects takes advantage of the strong Spanish sunlight to define bold, sculptural cubic forms and a sloping topography that unexpectedly allows daylight to enter the basement of this striking house.

The plan has an “L” shaped configuration that part encloses a pool on two sides leaving open a view over the Sierra Calderona mountains. Read more

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Living in the flow of nature: Studio and home of Ikimono Architects.

Concept sketch

Images and photos: Ikimono Architects.

Glimpsing into a person’s soul is often thought of as a religious preoccupation. So when an artist or architect creates a piece of work, essentially for themselves, is it possible to see what makes the spirit and philosophy of the practice? Yes, I believe it is. So in that spirit, lets take a glimpse into the studios and home of Ikimono Architects.

The building is of great simplicity, four walls and a glass roof. A large volume of space with large windows that connects the space intimately with the exterior. But within that rule -set or architectural framework is a richness of possibility and presence of mind that allows the exploration and enjoyment of the seasons. It enables the discovery of a way of living and of working. The possibility of living closer to nature within an unpromising urban environment. Read more

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