Small and Modern Back Country House in New Zealand

LTD Architectural Design Studio have designed a small and modern house in Puhoi, about 50 km north of Auckland, New Zealand. Surrounded by bush, the design of the house was inspired by the back country huts and the simplicity of their design. Locally sourced band sawn macrocarpa and galvanized corrugated iron have been used for the exterior materials. At the front of the house, there’s a deck with a board-formed concrete fireplace and sunken bathtubs, that overlooks the valley. When not in use, the sunken bathtubs have a cover that hides them from sight. This cover can also be propped up and used as an outdoor dining table, with people sitting directly on the deck with cushions and their feet in the empty tubs. Just off the deck is the living room that opens on two sides. This allows the family to have an indoor / outdoor living experience. Behind the living room is the kitchen and dining room. Minimalist white kitchen cabinets and dining chairs compliment the white walls. Next to the dining room is a sliding wall that opens to reveal the children’s open plan shared bedroom and play area, as well as access to another outdoor space. The main bathroom for the house is located between the dining room and children’s bedroom. A simple color palette of wood and white has been used with a skylight adding natural light during the daytime. Beside the dining table is an outline of the stairs that feature hidden lighting that highlights the design of the stairs. Wood bookshelves run alongside the stairs that lead up to the mezzanine. At the top of the stairs is a built-in closet and a small vanity area. The mezzanine is home to a bedroom. Four skylights are positioned above the bed, which is partially suspended from the sloped ceiling. From behind the bed you can see the living room below. Opposite the bed is a simple two-person desk positioned beneath large black-framed windows to take advantage of the view. And don’t forget to check our post about the most beautiful wooden houses.

Country House in Brazil by Studio Arthur Casas

Studio Arthur Casas has designed a home for a young family, located near Sao Paulo, Brazil. “A young couple with children hired our Studio to conceive this country house in a very steep plot. Located near São Paulo, the project has close to a thousand square meters, but remains almost imperceptible from the street. We chose to have total integration between architecture and the terrain, creating an innovative solution where the house is terraced and gradually changes from private areas in the upper floors to common spaces in the lower levels. The section demonstrates this relation through a large staircase within a wooden box. It develops in a straight line that structures the entire program. To the right are the spa and home theater, the latter is within a cantilevered box that works as a trampoline suspended above the swimming pool. Bricks from previously demolished houses were used to give a rich texture to the house, in contrast with the wood employed in the main stairs box and panels that protect the bedrooms. On the ground floor are the common areas. To the left a living room is dominated by a suspended fireplace chimney covered in limestone. It is next to the kitchen open to a courtyard with a vertical garden. On both sides large glass doors can be pivoted as garage gates, allowing total integration with the golf course landscape. On the first floor were placed the private areas of the house, divided in two sections, one for the family and the other for guests. Doors in the corridor allow creating two distinct apartments. All the five suites can be open to generous balconies protected by cantilevered pergolas that enhance the integration with the landscape. On the second floor, aligned with the street, the house appears as a puzzling volume covered in Brazilian teak, with a large corten steel door. The interior design contains iconic pieces by Jorge Zalsupin and Brazilian craft, such as the chair made with branches from Ilha do Ferro, in the Northeastern state of Alagoas.”