Whether you’re lucky enough to be shopping for a beachside retreat or are just looking to incorporate some luxurious resort design elements in your home, Shoot has just what you need. This collection of resort residences is the stuff of dreams –from seaside villas to mountaintop chalets, all these homes sport the latest in design. Scroll through and dream about spending time in these magnificent spaces and be sure to enjoy the views!
Casa Fantini Boutique Hotel created by Lissoni Architettura as a triple stacked, modern escape inspired by rectangular shapes
By Courtney • Aug 8, 2019
By the stunning waters of Pella in Italy, a beautiful triple stacked boutique hotel was recently completed by innovative modern designers at Lissoni Architettura. The stunningly unique and linear looking Casa Fantini Boutique Hotel combines contemporary indoor spaces with sunny outdoor spaces for the ultimate Italian holiday experience.
The three storey hotel is situated in a beautifully green spot that sits right on the shores of Pella’s Orta Lake, not far down the little European street from the ferry landing stage where boats dock or set off into the beautifully rippling waters. In the middle of the lake, right across from the hotel itself is the island San Giulio, which provides a great view from the lovely balconies on the upper floors.
Rather than simply being a hospitality site, this little boutique hotel is actually also an architectural project designed to bring an artistic element to the lakeshore without interrupting it so far as to distract from the already beautiful natural views. The designers’ goals were to create a building that harmonizes with the local topography and that creates a dialogue with the local history and traditional buildings surrounding it despite its more modernized style.
Designers achieved this primarily through materiality. The use of traditional stone provided by local artisans and things like typical metal and reclaimed wood seen in other houses in the area balance out more modern surfaces and shapes on the outside and ground the design so it feels cohesive even in its impressively unique style.
The hotel is the kind of building that, despite being close to all possible local amenities, has certain parts of it that feel pleasantly secluded. Rather than cutting guests off from the beauty of the village, the hotel provides beautiful views from elevated heights or from behind beautiful green hedges and gates that feel like a part of the experience but provide a calming screen against the hustle and bustle of daily routines.
The physical materiality of the building and how it was build isn’t the only thing that links the hotel to the village and its various traditional elements. Water actually plays a huge role as well! The tranquil, sunny waters of the lake beyond the hotel’s wall reflects light the same way and along the same plane that the hotel’s pool does, as if the two are paired or mirroring one another; a complete pair.
Upon closet inspection, the hotel is actually comprised of two different buildings; one older and from an original old hotel that once sat in its place and the other newly built in its entirety. Although one has been standing far longer, it was refurbished and updated when the newer building was erected, so they visually appear to complete the landscape in the same way.
The relationship between the hotel and the local landscape actually continues as visitors approach the front entrance. This is because the main entrance is accessed through a stunning private garden that was specifically designer be landscaping professionals to blend with, look typical of, and look as though it has a visual relationship with the natural greenery of the area and gardens elsewhere in the village.
In this garden, a grey beola stone typical to the area has been used to create a geometric path. The slightly modern shape of the stones is softened into a slightly more classic Mediterranean look by the way it’s surrounded by local herbs, flowers, and other vegetation. This continues around the back to the swimming pool, the edging of which is clad in the same stone.
Varying slightly but following the same sober aesthetic of materiality, despite its slightly more contemporary shape, the exterior of the hotel features a surprisingly natural facade. Particularly prominently on the new building, the facade is comprised of thin slats made from Accoya wood, evenly spaced to create a geometric effect.
These slats are paused only for large windows featured on the lakeside of each room, where the balconies sit. From the inside, these stunningly picturesque windows keep the rooms extremely light and also quite spacious looking, in addition to providing a breathtaking view of the lake and the mountains beyond it.
Besides the simply contemporary and very comfortable rooms within the hotel, a lot of visitor time and attention is given to the lounge. This is a shared public space that sits at the heart of the hotel’s newer building like a central hub. Although it is another contemporary space, it has a calming atmosphere and colour scheme that make it feel like a place of peace or meditation.
In the older building that comprises the hotel, a more lively space connects the aspects of the structure; The Blu Lago bar! This particular place has been functioning and well known in the community for longer and then revamped hotel, so it was already a part of the local identity and social fabric of Pella when the new iteration of Casa Fantini opened.
Overall, the hotel bears a thorough sense that it is a unique place where history and style blend with success. It is generally regarded by locals and visitors alike as an “intimate oasis” both inside and out.
Photos by Giovanni Gastel
Beautifully named and decorated House of the Winds created by Leo Romano to combine natural materiality with open spaces
By Courtney • May 24, 2019
On a stunning green plot on the edges of a city in Brazil, Leo Romano has recently created a stunning L-shaped house called House of the Winds with the explicit intention of creating a relaxing atmosphere through natural materiality and blending indoor and outdoor spaces into one lovely living area.
The house was built on a lusciously green plot of land that provides a lot in terms of views and garden spaces already. Designers chose to create a building that clearly uses contemporary architectural principles despite its very natural looking setting in order to create some beautiful contrast right off the bat, before visitors have even entered through the front door.
The shape of the house creates a fantastic recessed area in the inner yard where the walls provide some shade for a lovely balcony. The way the house dips inward also gives a feeling of increased green space, contributing even more to the already nature-filled views that same balcony is afforded.
The L of the house is formed by two separate volumes with varying floor plans. The two box-shaped volumes overlap at one end, which is where the differentiation between public and private spaces inside the home takes place. Social and shared living spaces lie in the front volume where the main entrance is, while intimate spaces like the bedrooms and a master bathroom sit in the volume that sits further away from the public entrance.
The base of the volumes on both sides is formed from reinforced concrete which, all around the top half of the house, is surrounded by a screen. This screen is made from steel rebar, which creates a visually interesting effect and makes the structure look rather grand and noble indeed.
In stunning contrast, a smooth wooden partial facade wraps around the side of the house with more windows facing towards the best natural sunlight. Large wooden shades here can be pulled closed for inner shade, temperature regulation, and privacy, as you see in most photos here, or the screens can be pulled back and fully opened to welcome the sky into the room.
A similar fully opened feeling can be achieved downstairs in the primary living rooms and social spaces. Here, the full floor to ceiling patio windows that protect the inside of the house from weather without sacrificing any light can be retracted fully into the solid walls surrounding them, almost as if the barrier between the living and dining areas and the sunny patio has dissolved.
To give the inside of the house as much character as the outside provides viewers from the street, designers on this project chose to furnish and decorate the space using pieces created primarily by artists from the local area. Brazilian made furnishings made the spaces comfortable and stylishly useful while stunningly colourful paintings and impressive sculptures created by local artists make the home feel every more inviting and uniquely contemporary.
Photos provided by the architects.
Villa Helios by SWA Architects is a stunning vacation rental destination in Turks and Caicos with a view that’s practically out of this world
By Courtney • Apr 9, 2019
Along the stunning tropical beaches of Turks and Caicos, as part of the Long Bay Beach Club, the breathtaking retreat Villa Helios was recently completed by SWA Architects. Its beautiful blend of indoor and outdoor spaces and turquoise hues highlight the view so well that onlookers can hardly believe it’s real.
Whether you’re taking a relaxing bath, eating dinner with your family, or lounging on the beach recliners that sit right outside the villa’s doors, the stunning view of shockingly bright, clear waters is never far away. In fact, that was the whole point of the house when designers began conceptualizing it! With a view so perfect so close by, there should be just about no point where you can’t soak it up, even if you’ve gone inside for the night.
Besides just giving you access to the lovely oceanside, this villa also gives you the option of swimming in a private pool. This pool makes it easier to keep little ones close by where you can keep an eye on them while they swim, enjoy some private family time, or take a quick, relaxing dip before you call it day (without getting sand between your toes again).
In order to accentuate the stunning turquoise and blue shades of the water and sky sitting right outside the window, interior decorators finishing off the villa decided to bring those colours inside as well. In every room of the house, small and large details and features can be found bearing the same bright hues as the view just beyond the windows.
The effect of this ongoing colour scheme is profound, creating a cohesiveness throughout the whole building and its surrounding area that feels complete, whole, and uplifting, since it’s such a cheerful colour. The continuity between the view and the decor really makes it feel like the lovely outside area has joined you inside too.
Because the villa is designed for vacation time, relaxation, and bonding, there are plenty of social space to choose from, depending on the time of day. A quiet night in might be spent in the media room, while dinner or snacks might be served at the large dining table or barstool style kitchen seating. If the weather is fine late into the night (which is almost always is), a big patio seating area lets you and all your guests appreciate the view of the water from sun up to sun down.
Besides the pops of turquoise and blue, the villa’s colour scheme is quite natural and neutral, making the bright shades in the details stand out even more. Most surfaces are a pristine, gleaming white that creates a lovely contrast with the teal hues, while other transitionally coloured pieces are made from a lovely reclaimed wood with a natural finish.
The emphasis on indoor-outdoor spaces is so thorough in this heavenly villa that even the bedrooms feature large doors that can be fully thrown open to the seaside breezes, as though the wall has disappeared. In each room, the bed is oriented towards the windows and balconies so that you wake up to that stunning view that attracted you to Turks and Caicos in the first place the moment you open your eyes each morning.
Photos by Provo Pictures
By Courtney • Apr 8, 2019
If you’re the kind of person for whom colour takes an unconventionally large priority for in your life, then we have a feeling you’re going to positively adore this breathtaking Bahamian getaway designed by New York based creative Trish Becker. Chatterbox House is a stunning pastel palace that gives its street a bit of mod but also vintage inspired colonial personality.
Nestled onto the coast of Harbour Island, in the Bahamas, Chatterbox House looks like a small but grand, stately cottage was designed by someone who loves unicorns. Some of the finer details might be white or wood finish, but most of the interior decor is mint and pastel pink. In fact, this lovely colour scheme is so pervasive in the house’s identity that it’s even reflected in the exterior of the house itself!
Located in the heart of Dunmore Town, the original cottage was first built in the 1800s, which is where it gets its classic, slightly more traditional Bahamian charm. In fact, similar cottages can be seen elsewhere on the street that Chatterbox House calls home. Because most of the changes that took place were subtle updates and changes in decor, a lot of the classic architectural style that’s so authentic to the island remains, which is part of the building’s glory.
When Becker decided to restore the old house, she had no doubt that the best way to give it a facelift was to add a little more contemporary personality to its already existing charm. Her and her team chose to do so through colours, patterns, and textures! This exciting blend of visual makes the house a Caribbean getaway that’s more than a little notorious, especially in the local area.
While the inside of the house has a classic wooden element that’s full of traditional Bahamian charm the outside is a bit more like a dreamland. The entire base exterior of the house is a soft, cheerful pink that’s even lighter than bubblegum, while the shutters and some trim details are a lovely mint that stands out against the pink very well and picks up tones in the blue sky and water on the horizon.
The house is abundant in social spaces (because how could you not host guests when you’re living in a place that’s so dreamy?), but perhaps the best one is the stunning white wood deck that’s a detailed recreation of the original. Porch portion of the outer deck features a bamboo mini bar and a fully equipped seating area with low tables and patterned cushion clad chairs.
From there, you can take visitors up to the first rooftop deck, where several sunny day beds lie in wait for those hours you might spend soaking up rays. Near the half-door, a ladder extends upwards one more floor to a crow’s nest style rooftop spot that’s like a prime relaxation destination with the best view around.
Photos by Annie Schlechter
Argentinain GZ House created by by Además arquitectura to provide two families with a stunningly modern weekend house
By Courtney • Mar 23, 2019
Amidst the rolling grasses of a luxurious country club in Guernica, Argentina, the freshly completed GZ House was created by Además arquitectura in order to give two young families a beautiful, relaxing weekend space in which to escape the busy demands of daily life.
Because the families are close friends, common areas and shared social spaces were listed as a priority from conception. The public parts of the house were created with the intention of fostering a simple, continuous, and easily flowing atmosphere where people might drift in and out, join conversation, or simply sit in each other’s company.
Several social spaces exist outside the house as well, just to make sure that warm days and sunshine are fully taken advantage of. A lovely swimming pool with a poolside porch and patio provide lots of seating space, for example. Big doors can be swung wide open from the ground level so that the concept of free flowing movement between all of the different social spaces continues uninterrupted.
The porch isn’t the only place where sunlight is prioritized. Large windows in just about every room also let natural light bathe the corners of the lower and upper floors alike. This works in partnership with the natural materiality of the house to create a rather calming atmosphere that’s almost introspective.
Perhaps the most unique part of the house is the “inner patio”, which is an expansive outdoor space to the side of the pool that passes under an overhang of the home’s top floor. This gives the families a space in which to enjoy meals, read a book, and so on in the pleasant breeze of the outdoors, but shades them from the often harsh and hot Argentinian sun.
Because several doors and windows of the house open onto this patio, the shady overhang actually also has a cooling effect on the main social areas of the house. The dining room, for example, is placed such that when the windows are opened, it gets a cool breeze and even some cooler air in from the shaded patio, which helps create indoor air circulation on hot days.
This particular spot for air circulation helps keep the bedrooms cool as well! The patio is located alongside a long promenade on the back side of the ground floor above which all of the bedrooms are arranged. This placement means that the private spaces are intimate but still easily accessible to the social spaces and outdoor spaces for true open concept and free flowing format. The shade from below keeps the entire space around the bedrooms cool, which keeps them cooler in turn.
Of course, to benefit from all that cool air, the bedrooms need a slightly open concept too. That’s why their stunning balconies and sliding glass doors running all along that long promenade we mentioned are so important. The bedrooms sit high in the unique looking upper floor structure of the house, drawing the public eye from all around thanks to the modern, cubic shape.
Despite the fact that the house is very modern looking indeed, its materiality is actually quite simple. The structure was created primarily using concrete, dark grey plaster, and corrugated metal sheets, keep things shady and cool just like that indoor-outdoor patio we’ve raved so much about.
Photos by Gonzalo Viramonte
By Courtney • Mar 20, 2019
Amidst the calming trees and sunny breezes of Karuizawa, Japan, creative designers at Shigeru Ban Architects have overhauled an already existing retreat to create a brand new, totally transformed boutique resort called Shishi-Iwa House!
This resort is a social enterprise inspired by the need for restorative escapes from busy urban life for working professionals. It is a 10-room building that provides privacy, community, and access to nature and reinforces relationships with the self, human connection, architecture, and the world around us.
Shishi-Iwa House is also intended to embrace the idea of social hospitality, which makes it quite a different experience from staying in the average hotel or resort. By enabling easier, quieter, and simpler bonding in accessible, calm spaces, the retreat aims to allow for reflection and bonding, restore energy, and spark new ways of thinking during one’s stay.
The space and structure itself is also inspiring to look at, and quite visually stimulating. The architecture embraces curves and smooth lines, with an undulating roof that seems to flow visually with the forest around it. The building itself was erected with the careful goal of disturbing as few trees around it as possible which actually resulted in architects developing a brand new technique.
The building is quite open concept, blending indoor and outdoor spaces purposely and explicitly. Between this and the fact that most building materials are natural looking, reclaimed, and locally sourced, there’s a feeling that the retreat hardly interrupts the nature it sits in at all. Windows, patios and balconies, and openings are prioritized and strategically placed in each room to make sure that guests have a stunning view no matter where they’re unwinding, but the social spaces give the absolute best view of the garden.
Rather than separating spaces by function too heavily, designers chose to create each guest room as an actual meditation room in and of itself. Those on the ground floor open onto their own private gardens while those on the upper floors have private balconies or terraces. Social spaces are calming too, but they’re easily accessible to everyone and designed for interaction.
While relaxation is undoubtedly a priority, a particular atmosphere and aesthetic were carefully built by designers as well. Materials and furnishings were curated with intention, created a retreat that also feels sophisticated and intellectual. This is partially due to the innovation of some of the furnishings, where stunning high quality pieces are created from simple materials like cardboard, making them affordable and eco-friendly.
Last, but certainly not least, the retreat puts a huge emphasis on art. Several stunning original pieces are displayed from master painters and sculptors from different areas, from both local artists and renowned names in the wider Japanese scene.
Photos by Hiroyuki Hirai
Entirely wooden Kiyakabin by Atelier Riri is a perfect getaway that feels like a cross between an island and a treehouse
By Courtney • Mar 12, 2019
In West Nusa Tenggara, a part of Indonesia, the Kiyakabin was recently created by Atelier Riri in partnership with the government in order to give tourists an ideal experience of the deeply rooted local culture and mesmerizing tropical scenery in the area. Standing tall on Lombok, a small island near Bali, this house furthers the goal of enticing visitors and giving them the perfect experience, which has been the Indonesian government’s primary goal for that area since the 1980s. These islands offer both beaches and mountains, making them breathtaking to witness and extremely unique indeed to try and build on.
Besides being unique in terrain, the Bali and Lombok area in which Kiyakabin was built is also extremely unique in terms of local culture and ethnicity. While Bali is predominantly Hindu, Lombok’s local culture is rooted in the Muslim practices of the Sasak community. These two island groups have long lived harmoniously and side by side, forging a strong connection and allowing things like architecture and music to be influenced by one another in certain ways.
The Kiyakabin itself was designed and built in 2017. One of the primary goals in planning the project was to make it overtly represent the Sasak culture in terms of materiality, layout, function, visual decor, and overall lifestyle. Building materials, like the various types of wood you see all throughout the structure, were sourced locally, making the building very sustainable indeed for its environment.
Perhaps the most obvious thing this stunning island has to offer is a view that is practically unparalleled. This view can be soaked in from any of the Kiyakabin’s four separate building units, which for a randomly arranged compound that’s fun and interesting to navigate. Designers purposely structure the compound in this way to reflect the character of a typical Sasak village, which is developed at whim rather than along strict plan, but still in purposeful cohesiveness with the rest of itself.
Each cabin in this compound has a different view; for example, one cabin faces directly towards the beach while another is oriented so you wake up to the view of the fantastic swimming pool in the centre of the space. One of the cabins even has a slightly more distance heavy view because it is lifted from the ground on a platform, meaning it can see above the others.
The interior spaces in each of the four cabin buildings is different and unique to itself as well, giving guests a sort of experience shift as they travel from one to the other. Three of the cabins are private with sleeping areas and the fourth is a public space that features a kitchen, a storeroom, and even a restaurant. This cabin, which is the largest of the four, is often used as a communal space, kind of like an activity centre.
The fourth largest cabin is the spot in the compound that acts as a sort of connector between public and private areas. This and the other cabins were all completed using a construction technique that is typical of the local Sasak houses in the area. Adapted to withstand weather and the wear of guests, the Kiyakabin buildings were still created using a connected wood construction technique that can be seen all over the island in traditional Lombok homes.
Speaking of local material sourcing and sustainability, the wood that you see in the slightly darker facade cover on the outside of the cabins was actually taken from a lush garden that was created for and serves the cabin compound itself! This is golden teak wood, which is extremely strong and has been finished using a specific wood burning system that helps it withstand harsh tropical seashore weather and protect the structural wood underneath. In other places, you’ll see a lighter white teak wood, which designers used mostly as an interior coating inside the cabins. This makes things look quite modern and cheerful rather than dark or very rustic.
One of the most unique features of the Kiyakabin building compound is the swimming pool, which lies in the centre of all the buildings. This pool has lovely views of its own and is often used as a place for interaction with other guests, since its so easily accessible from all of the cabins. It has a unique layout, however, that stretches to different parts of the compound, so there are also pool sections that have some privacy to each cabin in the even that someone would rather drift in their own space for a little while. All around the outside of the pool is a wooden path that connects the cabins and the outer area despite the water.
The cabins themselves are kept quite simple in terms of shape and architectural style. They are modern and square, making them look very contemporary but in a way that will age well and last. This shape also pays ongoing homage to the culture, as that’s the layout of most of the local and more cultural homes as well. Additionally, the simple square buildings do very little to interrupt the stunning nature around them, which helps keep the view from surrounding areas beautiful and consistent.
Photos by William Suntanto
In the lush, stunning countryside of Kennebunk, Maine, specialized design studio Caleb Johnson Studio has taken an old traditional farmhouse and its barn and beautifully transformed them into a smartly salvaged and ultra comfortable modernized farmhouse called- you read that right- the Salvaged Farmhouse!
As you might have guessed, this lovely, down-home dwelling is made entirely of… salvaged materials, of course! The original century-old building has been turned into a beautiful home that was affectionately nicknamed Ben’s Barn by the new owners after it was name. Thisis a spacious family home that combines the original cottage and the farm’s barn to create a new house that pays tribute to traditional New England style rural architecture.
As mentioned, Ben’s Barn was constructed from a unique mic of reclaimed materials. These were sourced from the local area, the immediately land, and even the original farmhouse getting updated itself. Additionally, some pieces were salvaged from a midcentury modern house that was torn down some miles away in Weston, Massachusetts and transported for repurposing. These well-worn but sturdy materials have been combined in innovative ways with sustainable, modern materials in order to create a home that’s fully functional, stylish, but still comfortably traditional.
Ben’s Barn was specifically created with the intention of last its new family a lifetime. The sun-filled dwelling span 4,425 square feet and includes four bedrooms, four baths, and even a loft of its own. Designers ensured that ample space was available because the clients have several young children. This resulted in an open, fluid-movement layout inside that at once offers lots of indoor play space but also makes the first floor bedroom very accessible for visitors or members of the family who intend to grow old in the house.
Organizationally, this beautiful barn-inspired house is organized into two structures; it has a bedroom wing and a kitchen and master space wing. Each wing has two stories and they are connected with a double-story hallway link made of glazed glass, which keeps things feeling open and bright.
The timber used in the roof, wall siding, interior wooden cladding, and interior doors was all salvaged from the original barn and farmhouse. Contrasting with this wood, visitors will find granite blocks that were also reclaimed from the first house, this time from the foundation. Today, they serve as porch steps and lovely stone seating in the garden and yard. The reclaimed timber from the mid-century teardown, on the other hand, can be found in the cabinetry and other detailed fixtures.
Although modern steel and lovely, contemporary amenities were added to the house for stability and comfort, the overall aesthetic of the space is that of rustic comfort and purposely unfinished countryside identity. The goal was to turn the old structures into something new without making things look too new, keeping the original farm’s charm alive longer.
Photos by Trent Bell
On the edge of Lake Constance in Öhningen, Germany, the ultra modern looking and appropriately named Black House was finished by Benjamin Heller + Freier Architekt in early 2017. This impressive structure might look a tad imposing on the outside, but inside it’s anything but uncomfortable.
Standing out amongst the average architecture in its small village, the Black House differs from anything you’ll see in nearby neighbourhoods and anything you might encounter if you journey towards the close-by national border into Switzerland. The conspicuous building has become a sort of marker of where the village starts thanks to its easily recognizable look in the distance.
In fact, the shape of the building was actually specifically intended to mimic the look of a traditional, hand cut boundary stone. It features differing angles, geometric shapes, and a dark facade that is constant over the entire structure from foundation to roof. Despite its all black appearance, the various angles of different surfaces reflect the sun differently throughout the day, making the colour appear quite multi-dimensional.
Inside, the home’s rooms are organized in a way that is sensical and establishes a comforting sense of flow. First, you’ll encounter public or common spaces intended for socializing before moving onto semi-public spaces that might be used more by family rather than visitors, and then finally onto private spaces like bedrooms and bathroom suites. This gives the dwelling a lovely sense of camaraderie but also provides family members with calm, safe spaces to retreat to.
Within the rooms described above, materials, layouts, and heights vary from room to room. Some spaces are starkly white, others are a little darker and warmer because they heavily feature black finishes, and more still featured a lovely amount of dark and light wood, making parts of the house seem a little more traditional to a German village. Room heights vary too, making the journey through the house exciting and visually interesting.
Although some of its outer angles might seem random, the orientation of the Black House itself was actually chosen very carefully. It faces particular directions from particular rooms to ensure that a beautiful view of the landscape and nearby water is visible at all times. The emphasis on stunning windows makes these view almost panoramic.
Photos by Benjamin Heller
By Courtney • Feb 20, 2019
In the peaceful forests of Karuizawa, Japan, innovative company KIAS recently completed the stunning Four Leaves villa to give owners and their friend and family a natural escape that provides maximum relaxation amongst the natural fragrant greenery.
The villa might only sit 150km away from the bustling streets of Tokyo, but to visit its tranquil setting is to feel like you’re entering a whole new world. Designers specifically faced different areas of the house at slightly variously angled orientations in order to harness the best light and scenery all the way around the building, no matter which room you’re sitting in.
On the brighter side of the house, designers built the living and dining spaces so that social areas might stay light and cheerful as long as possible for family bonding and friend hosting. This doesn’t mean, however, that the private spaces on the other side of the house are dark or dull. Instead, the master bedroom and bathroom to the west get a lovely glow through the leaves with the increased privacy of the forest cover.
Instead of making space for the house in the forest, design teams opted to work with what was already there and fit the home into the landscape. For this reason, the structure of the house is made up of three semi-distinct volumes that are connected by sunny hallways filled with windows.
To give the house character and style and blend it in with the stunning landscape around the building, designers built the roofs of each volume with a breathtaking curved quality that appears to swoop towards the ground and then up to the sky. Rather than building straight across for the inner ceilings, designers allowed the stunning curved beams of the roof to show through, making the rooms inside vary in height beautifully at different points, following the fluid motion of the roofs outside.
The decor scheme on the inside matches the atmosphere of the whole house quite seamlessly. Neutral colours, clean glass lines and natural concrete or stone finished, and a beautifully reflective water feature further blend the home into the landscape in a way that brings the peaceful sun and breeze right through the doors and into the living spaces. This is bolstered by the fact that floor to ceiling patio doors open wide, like a retracting wall, inviting a pleasant blending of inner and outer spaces that makes the whole house feel fresh.
Photos by Norihito Yamauchi
Modern, eye catching Ox’s House created by Leo Romano Arquitetura to push the boundaries of shape and colour
By Courtney • Feb 5, 2019
Located in Goiania, Brazil is a fantastic new project called “Casa do Boi”, or Ox’s House. Recently completed by Leo Romano Arquitetura, the house sits in a stunning valley where the custom tiled panel all along the greeting side catches the eye of anyone who passes it.
The goal in building this unique looking house was two-fold. Firstly, the owners wanted a house that would have as little impact on the land as possible, so designers decided to take that an extra step and make a space that not only revered the land but also incorporated it and blended with it as much as possible.
On the ground floor of the house, social rooms greet visitors with interestingly shaped furniture pieces, fun use of colour, and lots of space for people to sit together and bond in conversation or eat. Perhaps the best part of these spaces, however, is that each one opens alone one wall thanks to huge glass windows and doors, letting the breeze flow in and making the lush green plants outside feel like part of the inner decor as well.
In fact, the greenery (both local and introduced) actually does spill into the house itself; many plants are featured between the dining room and the kitchen. They also dot the balcony and make the swimming pool, which reflects the sun right outside one of the glass doors off the main social space, feel more like a relaxing lake than a man-made water feature.
The house brings local customs and tradition into its decor scheme in two ways besides just native flora and fauna. Many of the stylish and unique looking furniture pieces you see in just about any room were made by local Brazilian artists in styles typical of the region. There’s also a huge presence of wood in the furnishings and finishes and all of this wood was actually sources locally and repurposed by designers throughout the home on both levels.
Throughout the house, you’ll find works by local artists featuring bright colours and angles that play with the angles of the unique furniture to make the whole place feel lively and eclectic. Even the outside of the house features art! The tiled outer facade we mentioned previously, for example, was inspired by the work of Athos Bulcao. Designers began creating the pattern using a sketch of a stylized ox for inspiration (hence the home’s name) but deconstructed the shape of that original image as they conceptualized it, leaving things a little more interesting and abstract.
Because designers incorporated so much colour into the space, the atmosphere is an interesting combination of simultaneously being able to blend cohesively with the surrounding natural area but also visually stand out from it in a really bold way. This is thanks to the use of almost exclusively primary colours against natural finishes and furnishings, making the pieces still catch eyes and make sense when the doors and walls of the house are thrown open so that people can see the brightest standout pieces even from the yard, patio, or poolside.
Photos by Edgar Cesar
By Courtney • Jan 20, 2019
In the countryside areas of Durango, Colorado, a stunning woodland escape called Bear Hollow Cabin has been given a facelift in order to make a fantastic new escape near the infamous Purgatory Ski Resort.
Although the cabin might comfortably be used all year round, it’s more popular as a cozy getaway in the coldest months of the year, when the area surrounding it becomes a sort of winter wonderland. Bear Hollow Cabin is built like a traditional log cabin, offering guests a quiet escape to sit by a roaring fireplace or take a warm soak in the outdoor hot tub on a private deck.
Although the cabin is quite close to the resort and its town, it is also afforded the perfect amount of seclusion for total relaxation. Nestled deep in the rockies, the cabin is also surrounded by somewhat dense forest, meaning it can’t be seen from the street leading into the area. In reality, the busy ski resort is only three miles down the road!
In terms of its actual structure, the cabin is two spacious storeys made from thick logs on all walls. It might have been recently updated, but the overall atmosphere still has a preserved sense of its original mountain getaway vibe from previous to its reconstruction.
The cabin is built right into the slope, making it blends quite well into the surrounding landscape, similarly to the way the wood logs appears as a complementary feature. From its raised vantage point, Bear Hollow Cabin offers amazing views of the forest, which includes everygreen and aspen trees. Previous guests maintain that the very best view to appreciate is the one you’ll see from the hot tub, out on the expansive raised deck!
Inside the cabin, the space is comfortable and just about as homey as a cabin can get. It is spacious, featuring two separate comfort and living areas, three large bedrooms, and two-and-a-half bathrooms. The cabin also features a fully functional kitchen and a family dining area, both of which are situated behind the main living room in a sort of open concept format.
Another central aspect of the way the house was built was an open focus on cozy common spaces that can be used either socially, for things like having friends over for game night, or for relaxing solo activities, like curling up with a good book. On warmer days, the wrap around deck that also features the hot tub is a fantastic place for outdoor dining with the kids.
Outside the lovely woodsy cabin itself, the surrounding area of Durango has a lot to offer as well. Hiking trails wind throughout the woods and mountains the cabin is settled in and Electra Lake, which lies just a few minutes away, is a fantastic place for all types of fishing.
Photographs courtesy of Vacasa
Chalet One Oak, a retreat near Megeve Ski Resort in France, gives a unique blend of rustic and swanky
By Courtney • Jan 18, 2019
In the picturesque town of Combloux in France, nestled amongst the mountains and lush greenery, is the Chalet One Oak. This gorgeous retreat is situated near the Megeve Ski Resort, a better known and rather swanky resort just a few miles down the road.
Chalet One Oak is a perfect winter escape that can only be described as luxurious. Its 3 floors of decor and relaxation take the idea of a “holiday home” to a new level while also providing unparalleled views of the majestic Mont Blanc in the distance.
Stylistically, the chalet is rather artistic, both inside and out. Rustic looking local and reclaimed wood is a heavy feature in every single room, while slightly more contemporary furniture shapes and lines keep things looking a little “swanky” rather than just old fashioned. Hand carved pieces, animal busts and pelts, and art made from nature bolster the woodsy, rustic feel.
Chalet One Oak includes four bedroom suites, one being an absolutely superb master suite that actually comes with its very own private floor. Nearby, a bunkbed room and a beautiful lounge are located, each featuring furniture that borders on ultra-modern to create stunning contrast with the rustic features elsewhere in the home.
One of the primary features of the house is undoubtedly the main social space that includes a rather high end dining area complemented by high-tech concierge service. The overall goal is to create a genuinely luxurious experience that still feels thanks to things like the grand fireplace and its cozy seating area, like a slightly more traditional winter retreat at heart,
Stunning Hotel Hyatt Regency Andares created by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos gives you angles and art all throughout
By Courtney • Jan 17, 2019
In Zapopan, in the lusha and gorgeous area of Jalisco in Mexico, the luxurious Hotel Hyatt Regency Andares was designed and built by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos to provide guests with an experience that plays on the themes of high art and interesting angles all throughout the building’s structure and decor.
This “mixed-use” building is part of a visionary endeavour to reposition an area called the Peurta de Hierro zone as a new social hub and kind of urban centre in the city of Zapopan. The overall proposal, formally known as The Andares Master Plan, commenced officially in 2009 when an exciting shopping mall and an upscale residential high rise was built. Now, businesses and buildings like the beautifully structured Hotel Hyatt Regency Andares are being added as part of the plan’s initiative for expansion.
This hotel is a significant structure in the area, spanning 70,000 square metres and actually containing both a hotel and luxury apartments. The artistic looking building forms part of the new visual backdrop of the city at the same time as it forms a sort of backbone for Paseo Andares, a new road created in the city’s developing urban layout to serve several business and leisure purposes.
This building extends an impressive 41 stories upwards over the city streets. On the ground floor, a tree-lined plaza that is open to the public connects the new interior street to the world outside. Rising up from the ground like a graceful column, the hotel displays impressive facades to the north and south, enticing the gaze with expansive windows and frequent sunny terraces. Pure white concrete contrasts in a clean, beautiful way with shining black glass and aluminum from bottom to top.
Inside, the hotel occupies only 12 floors of the tower. The top 28 floors are occupied by stunning residential apartments and their respective luxury amenities. Floor 13, however, is reserved for transfer space, storage, and services used by both halves of the building. On the bottom, ground floor level, the building even features some retail space, several meeting rooms, and even a small ballroom! The hotel space additionally boasts a lounge, bar, restaurant, larger ballroom, pool, gym, and an exclusive members-only club.
In addition to the impressive art pieces scattered throughout the lobbies, retail, and social spaces, the pool is a primary visual feature on top of the way it provides entertainment. This sits on a double-height floor that is open concept, leading right into a stunning south facing terrace. Most of the art you’ll see throughout the building was created by Cesar Lopez-Negrete.
To add an extra element of special interest, the building that the Hyatt Regency Andares calls home is the second tallest hotel in the whole of Mexico, standing at 173 metres tall!
Photographs by Rafael Gamo
Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa, created by Elastic Architects, provides a sunset laden beach haven unlike any other
By Courtney • Jan 15, 2019
On the stunning rolling beaches of Creta, Greece, the Mitsis Rinela Beach Resort & Spa was designed and created by Elastic Architects to give guests a relaxing beachside experience that’s practically unparalleled in its beauty.
This project was actually a refurbishment endeavour. The goal of the new design was to was to bring a breath of fresh air to the front of house areas of the hotel, like the lobby, restaurant, and social spaces, as well as the beach, outdoor lounge and spa areas, and cafe. Continuous views of the gorgeous Aegean sea are paramount in every single space.
Rather than simply giving these areas a new look, designers aimed to actually elevate the hotel’s entire aesthetic and hospitality atmosphere to a whole new level. This was done in pretty, simple ways that keep elements of Greek culture, history, and style at the forefront while also concentrating on good functionality of space.
Outside, in the spaces where the view is prime and the breezes plays through the seating areas, designers played a bit of a game with light and shadow. They created lovely, relaxing lounge areas with unobstructed views of the landscape, letting natural sunlight wave and change throughout the day and also the time of year.
Natural, neutral, and local materials were purposely chosen as key elements all throughout the social spaces of the hotel. Because so much wicker is involved, in the pergola for example, beautifully textured shadows are created in a way that almost becomes part of the decorative appeal of the area. This is particularly lovely because it means the aesthetic of the space is ever-changing.
The hotel has a beach that designers atmospherically split into five areas. These include comfortable day beds, luxurious loungers, group seating areas, and cozy, shady pergolas. The natural materials that all of these features are made from creates a cohesive visual story with the seaside environment surrounding the hotel.
In the cafe, this natural, shadow play aesthetic is continued. At the edge, a bar creates a sort of spatial division between active public spaces meant for dining and socializing and the more relaxation based spaces designed for seeking peace on the beach. The open air concept and continuation of concrete, wood, and wicker let the two spaces communicate visually despite their differing intentions, creating a sort of harmony.
Even the water spaces are harmonious between and around the natural material-clad seating areas. Just feet from the seaside, a stunning fountain was placed between the lobby and the main swimming pool, both of which are surrounded by gorgeous, clean looking marble.
Photographs by Pygmalion Karatzas
Slovakian Mountain Hut by Matika Architecture Provides Thoroughly Wooden Experience Both Inside And Out
By Courtney • Jan 2, 2019
Nestles at the foot of the Mala Fatra Mountains, deep if Slovakia, the Mountain Hut by Matika Architecture is a conetmporary cabin that was specifically design to embrace, blend into, and pay homage to its natural habitat.
Although the cabin is quite modern in its shape and structure, it suits its spot nestled amongst the pine trees, next to a small creek, rather well. This is because the home was conceptualized with nature in mind right from the beginning. It’s a cabin that spans 1130 square feet and it’s made almost entirely from organic materials like pure wood, stone, and glass. This helps it blend into its environment more than just visually.
On the ground floor, guests encounter an open-concept area that features a cozy living room, a sizeable kitchen, and a master suite. To one side, a large storage area makes the perfect home for outdoor recreational equipment, like sports supplies or snow shoes for the winter.
Throughout the cabin, floor to ceiling windows are strategically placed to harness as much natural light as possible. Perhaps the most impressive view is through those found in the living room’s south facing wall. Here, a nearly panoramic view of the property and surrounding forest can be taken in. This window also vastly reduces the need for artificial lighting on the ground floor.
One of the most notable features of the first floor social area is the fireplace. This is made from a stunning stone facade and features its own bench just adjacent. Besides heating the home well from the middle when the winter days get cold, the chimney of this fireplace also warms well water along with the regular heat pump, ensuring ample shower time for all guests.
The lovely blonde wood exterior that you see before you enter the house continues in a stunningly consistent way that’s so pervasive it’s nearly artistic. the floors, walls, and ceiling all feature the same lovely polished wooden finish, giving the whole cabin a peaceful colour scheme that’s neutral and earthy, just like the woods outside its walls.
On the second floor, you’ll find two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. In each cozy bedroom, the window sills double as lovely little nooks where guests can read a book or simply soak in the stunning woodland view. If they prefer to sleep in, the windows can be sealed off by folding wooden shutters that, from the outside, made the already smooth wooden facade look absolutely seamless thanks to the way this sit once they’ve been shut.
Also on the second floor is a large deck with another fantastic property wide view. Here, the cabin features a green roof that has been angled to mirror the natural slope of the plot’s terrain.
Photographs by Matika Architecture
By Courtney • Dec 18, 2018
Usually when one thinks of how a mountain cabin might look, they will picture something small, wooden, and designed for temporary stays throughout the winter. The designers at Skylab, however, had very different ideas when they took on the task of building Owl Creek House in Snowmass, United States!
Rather than using natural woods and materials that reflect the scenery around the home, Skylab chose to create interesting, geometric, and captivating contrast by sticking to metals, straight lines, and corners. Instead of looking intimidating or out of place, however, the ultra modern looking structure appears grand, impressive, and intriguing.
Besides its shaped and materiality, Owl Creek House catches the attention of anyone passing it thanks to the way it perches so perfectly atop a hillside. The angles the windows are placed at provides guests with a panoramic view of Snowmass Mountain. This means you can absorb the stunning scenery around you whether you’re sitting inside or outside, and no matter which room you’ve posted up in for a cozy evening.
The angles and metal posts that you see in the structure might look like awesome aesthetic choices, but they actually serve a functional purpose as well. Because the site chosen for the home is so mountainous and rocky, builders wanted to ensure they overcame rocky surfaces and slope constraints safely and effectively. By anchoring the structure directly into the rocky landforms it sits on at different points around the house, builders overcame all obstacles provided by the chosen site.
At the inception of the project, designers and owners decided that the primary goal of the space would be to prioritize the way a physical place can actually deepen connections between friends, families, and the natural world around all of us. Owl Creek was designed to give people differing spaces to relax together, converse, eat, or be active with one another while also interacting with nature in ways that they might not get to regularly at home.
The social goals involves in building this fantastic house make even more sense when you learn that the dwelling was actually build as a singular but shared home for two families together, rather than just one. The structure is built as a collaborative home with one primary building for everyone, but there are also several small lodge areas clustered together outside the main building. These are intended as communal spaces meant for shared social time. Being able to travel from space to space with friends and family makes the entire home feel somehow both intimate and open all at once!
The walls of Owl Creek House might be made of thick materials and angles, but that doesn’t stop sunlight from sleeping in at all points! In fact, the involvement of natural light was a top priority along with shared social space during the entire building process. Designers purposely aimed to minimize visual separation between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing natural sunlight to reach all parts of the house and land alike. Each of these things in combination makes the house a fantastic place for recharging your relationships, reinvigorating your soul, and reconnecting to the earth around you.
Photographs by Robert Reck, Jeremy Bittermann, and Stephen Miller.