Surrounded by some of the most spectacular hill landscapes in Britain – the Brecon Beacons – this house fittingly was built as a testament to the surrounding landscape. Ty Hedfan (in Welsh, meaning hovering house) is unique, built on a site that slopes down to the meeting points of two rivers – Ysgir Fach and Ysgir Fawr. The dual design problems of a steeply sloping plot, and a no-build zone within seven metres of the river Ysgir, became an opportunity for the architectural firm Featherstone Young, which is known for having a focus on the context and area that surrounds a development. The house cantilevers over the river bank and into the canopy of the trees, almost hovering as it does.
Seeing these photos you might be forgiven for thinking that they are from a high-end luxury spa or hotel. Think again. This is the work of Claesson Koivisto Rune architects, built in the top floor of a historic (1800s) Stockholm building. You can see a video of the space here. I like how it’s decorated, quite simply, but in a contemporary style. This gives the architectural features some space to show off.
Built as a summer house by Paul Weidlinger, the concrete pillars below form a low elevation at the higher end of the slope, but coming closer to the pond the building stilts out at such a height that the building looks like it’s floating over the pond. Open glass in the communal areas, along with the height, make this a perfect place I can imagine just sitting back and viewing nature from. The place was built back in the early 1950s, and was almost demolished until the Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) stepped in a few years back. This is our first post back from an extended Summer break – enjoy!
This week has been busy, and all the people I’ve been talking to recently have the same impression. Has the good weather inspired a social zeal in my city? Or is this a universal effect of Summer coming? I’ve always been quite introverted though, so meeting a lot of people in quick succession has left me exhausted this Monday morning. A friend sent me this music video to help decompress, and it’s soothing. This week isn’t going to be any quieter, so maybe it’s best I ask for a day off work?
Anyway, this is the reason I chose this apartment from Nooks, because I feel like it’s a very social space. The space that connects the kitchen to the living room was actually opened up, and then shelves were put in between the supporting pillars. It does look stylish, but the reason the owner did this was to be more social and connect the rooms together more for when he had guests over. Max, the owner, also said:
“In the vast majority of home decorating, we focused on the TV, but here in the living room, I wanted instead to the social would be central. The same applies to the dinner table, I chose a round table in order to be able to keep up more with each other. ”
This is a treat of a home, designed in the mid-20th century by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon – the very same who designed the Sydney Opera House. The house has an almost brutalist quality to it, but softened for suburbia; the roof is made up of one strong line that juts out from the flat garden – underlined with thick concrete beams.
In the featured image furniture from Denmark is featured – the country Jørn Utzon is from. I wondered whether to include this image, as it is clearly from a different time to the rest of the house. Is it the same home tour if it shows a ‘before’ picture almost disconnected to what the interior is now? However, I think it is important. The picture shows what kind of interior the architect could have expected at the time that it was being built. Two famous pieces by Arne Jacobsen are shown – the armchair on the left is a Swan chair and the group of armchairs away from the foreground are Egg chairs; what makes this interesting is the muted tones chosen for these chairs – in keeping with the house style. The photos below are shared, with permission, from The Modern House.
From the entrance, this place looks like a typical Victorian house. There’s little you can see from the front, and the ubiquitous London Plane tree (the big one) outside doesn’t point to anything out of the ordinary – houses such as this being a relatively common but well-coveted staple in Britain.
However, once you go in through the hallway and past the living room you’re greeted by something quite unexpected. A burst of light and open planned space that meets the garden. Click on the images below for a larger size.
This is what makes this house special. Staying on the lower levels, and going back towards the front of the house you’re met by something more traditional.
You’re then thrust back into the new world, with a trendy study that’s part of the new conversion. This looks like such a perfect spot for concentration, or writing a book. The decoration is fairly minimal and the palette is limited, but there’s also a view of the trees which must be calming.
You’ll also notice that there’s some light coming from the back, which is a nice touch.
The bedrooms are also all lovely, with some nice accents to boot. They’ve all made good use of space, and the mirrors, white walls and bright colours, all liven up the rooms.
The real showstopper in this building though, is what’s at the top of the tower conversion. A magical bathroom (below) with a completely glass roof. I don’t use the word magical with any exaggeration. This bathroom was the cherry on top that made the house received a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award in 2008. An article in Grand Designs described the bathroom:
Upstairs the bathroom is more than just a room in which to groom. A small-scale bench in the shower room means you can sit while you shower, and on a clear night you can watch the moon traverse the sky through the glazed roof, from the comfort of a hammock.
New-builds always run the risk of being sterile, but this house is the opposite. It’s a place for late-night stargazing and leisurely late-afternoon lunches, with generous amounts of natural light and windows strategically placed to frame the natural surroundings
In the magazine Homebuilding & Renovating, more praise was given:
If there were a prize for best bathroom, [this] home in Hackney would easily win it. It’s rare that one finds a bathroom that multitasks, but Anne Katrine’s not only combines a magnificently stylish bathing area, but also has a space for exercising – complete with dumbbells – and hooks from which she can string a hammock to gaze up at the ever-changing sky through the room’s glazed roof
It’s been a busy week for me, and Spring having sprung, I’m sure it’s busy for everyone else too. Take a five minute break and look at this hip home from Nooks.