By Kristina Shevory
This article comes to us courtesy of California Home + Design.
Progressive, innovative and stunning, these are the homes which will define the design of tomorrow.
When the owner of this unique home first came to <a href="http://www.studioea.com/" target="_hplink">architect David Hertz </a>with ideas of a house topped with a curvy roof, he immediately thought of an airplane wing. Crazy--until he realized it could be done. They bought an old 747 for less than $50,000 and brought it to the 55-acre site in Malibu piece by piece. The wings were used for the roof and the rest will be used in other buildings.
Challenged with building a home on a 15-acre site of wooded grassland--split by a large ravine--San Francisco-based <a href="http://www.saitowitz.com/" target="_hplink">architect Stanley Saitowitz</a> worked with what he had. The architect bridged the ravine with a 220-foot-wide house made of alternating levels of Cor-Ten steel plates and glass. Located in the scenic town of San Anselmo, in the south-east corner of Marin county, the home celebrates the incredible landscape. On the top floor, the living areas look north out of glass walls. The bedrooms on the bottom level look south.
When a young couple found a house and detached studio-garage on a nice, ample lot in Venice that fit both their lifestyle and had room for their in-laws, they knew they had something special. The home had potential, but was in serious need of some TLC. The stucco buildings were a far cry from the home the couple had envisioned. The homeowners turned to <a href="http://www.dalygenik.com/" target="_hplink">Daly Genik Architects</a>, who dove into the project. The architects renovated the two buildings, wrapping them in an aluminum exoskeleton to give them filtered light, balconies and added privacy.
The Nakahouse, designed by the famed <a href="http://xtenarchitecture.com/" target="_hplink">XTEN Architecture</a>, is a lesson in transformative architecture. XTEN worked to reconfigure the 1960s Hollywood Hills ranch house to better showcase the incredible surroundings. The firm gutted the interior, added four new terraces, and carved out windows to drink in the expansive views. The outside of the house was coated in plaster and painted black to make it pop and look like one complete unit. The result? A home that captures the attention of architecture junkies worldwide and wins a slew of design awards including a coveted 2012 National AIA Award.
Building a house in an area prone to wildfires can be dicey. A site located in Toro Canyon, just south of Santa Barbara, presented <a href="http://www.olsonkundigarchitects.com/Projects/160/Montecito-Residence" target="_hplink">Olson Kundig Architects</a> with formidable challenges. Sometimes, as the home now known as the Montecito Residence proves, practicality breeds genius and innovation. The firm opted to use fire-resistant and eco-friendly materials like steel, glass and concrete. There's more than beauty at work: the angled, umbrella-like roof blocks sunlight and a central hallway shuttles breezes through the house. Let the steel oxidize and the concrete age and overtime the home will blend organically into Toro Canyon.
This <a href="http://www.edmondslee.com/" target="_hplink">Edmonds + Lee Architects</a>-designed home is a study in contrasts. Nestled into the rolling hills of Wine Country's Kenwood, the home is built as three separate structures--a main house, guest house and garage. The structures' strong geometric lines and simple-yet-bold material palette of cedar planks and glass are dramatic additions to the sprawling, green landscape.
Cubist form takes a warm turn in this striking Santa Barbara home designed by <a href="http://shubinanddonaldson.com/toro-canyon-residence-2/" target="_hplink">Shubin + Donaldson</a>. The concrete walls are massive in form, but the mahogany-framed windows soften the home. The shape is sleekly modern and unbroken by protruding balconies or skylights, but inside the living spaces are filled with color (<a href="http://www.californiahomedesign.com/house-tours/clear-intention/3446" target="_hplink">take the full tour here</a>).
When it was first completed, this San Francisco single-family residence was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 National AIA Housing Award and the 2009 SFAIA Excellence in Architecture Award, and it's easy to see why. Designed by <a href="http://www.zackdevito.com/" target="_hplink">Zack | de Vito</a>, the sustainably-designed, urban retreat is a contemporary masterpiece. The home's framing system was built off-site to cut down on waste, while eco-friendly materials like Forest Stewardship Council certified woods and solar hot water panels add to its green reputation.
Inspired by the designs of Cliff May, the Caterpillar House, named for the way the home curves along the site, is the model of a modern ranch house. Designed by Jonathan Feldman of San Francisco's <a href="http://www.feldmanarchitecture.com/work.php" target="_hplink">Feldman Architecture</a>, the home seems to rise out of the grassy landscape as a naturally occurring formation. The home is LEED Platinum Custom Home and was the recipient of the 2012 CH+D Award for Residential Architecture (Less than 3,000 Sq. Ft.). <a href="http://www.californiahomedesign.com/house-tours/2012-chd-award-winner-residential-architecture-less-3000-sq-ft/4162" target="_hplink">Take the full tour</a>.