Rotated Rectangular Volumes Make up Montalba Architects’ LR2 House

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Designed by Santa Monica-based firm, Montalba Architects, the LR2 House overlooks Pasadena and its adjacent mountains from its hillside perch. This new 4,200-square-foot house is made up of several distinct living volumes and programs.

The 4,200-square-foot home is made up of several distinct living volumes that are stacked atop each other, creating a rotated series of rectangular masses.

In response to the client’s desire to retain a significant portion of the existing flat pad between adjacent slopes, the house follows the matchbox concept with stacked volumes creating a rotated series of rectangular masses abutting the hillside, each with its own take on indoor/outdoor space.

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Outdoor breezeways, porches, courtyards, covered walkways and an immense rooftop deck extend the reaches of the limited floor area to the natural chaparral and views beyond. The house includes guest suites, a home office, gym, and theatre screening room, as well as abundant outdoor spaces, all taking in views of the surrounding hills and valley.

Outdoor spaces like breezeways, porches, rooftop decks and courtyards present stunning views of the surrounding mountain vistas.

The structure’s programmatic elements peel away from the primary group of building blocks and shift to follow the rough slope of the hillside terrain. The intended entry sequence flows with the landscape, guiding visitors along a reaching sidewalk that extends under the mass of the building. The compression of the resulting space offers a unique arrival experience incorporating the natural creek just beyond front door, which is nestled on the second floor.

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Following the natural grade, the front stairs create an arching path to a bridged entry portal, all the while showcasing panoramic views of the house. As the front door opens, the dark, angular façade of paneled concrete gives way to a light-filled interior of soft wood and bright white finishes.

Upon entering the home, visitors are greeted with an indoor/outdoor living space that offers framed views of the landscape and bathes the interior with natural light.

Upon entering, visitors find themselves within an indoor/outdoor living space – framed views of the exterior landscape bathe visitors in natural light and immerse them in the natural world outside. Once inside the residence, stairs descend to a private screening room or ascend to the third floor living spaces. A series of open terraces mirror the interior living quarters, encompassing almost as much outdoor space as the enclosed third-floor footprint.

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The LR2 House was completed in 2018 and won multiple awards, like the AIA California Residential Award and American MasterPrize, in 2019. Take a closer look at the home at the pictures above and head to Montalba Architects’ website to view more of the firm’s projects. Come into the beautiful world of Montalba Architects.

 

 

 

Bert modular treehouse designed to look like cartoon characters

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The Austrian architectural firm Precht recently presented ‘Bert’, a conceptual modular ‘tree house’ in the form of an abstract tree trunk, the floors are equipped with large round windows.

The striking designs are inspired by children’s programs such as Sesame Street and Minions. The architects also see the houses as a way to combat ‘lazy and boring’ architecture.

Precht was founded by the Chris and Fei Tang Precht couple. They have developed Bert for the Baumbau startup specialized in small houses. In the development of Bert, they were inspired by cartoon characters, such as those from Minions or from Sesame Street. The name Bert is therefore a reference to the eponymous character from Sesame Street.

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‘Tiny homes’ are currently very fashionable, but the modular tree house ‘Bert’ is very different from all other ‘tiny houses’. In general, ‘tiny houses’ have a sleek and minimalist appearance, but these tree houses are very special and playful in form and invite people to experience architecture and nature through the eyes of children.

We know that houses like Bert are not going to be built on a very large scale, but our sector must dare to do more, try more and experiment more for a more diverse future for our cities.

Chris Precht

The design process for Bert began by depicting a drawing of a tree house by a child. “Regardless of whether we are young or old, we architects also have an inner child who looks at the world in a playful and curious way,” says Fei Tang Precht. “That curiosity has led to Bert”.

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Bert’s modules contain kitchens, living spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms that can be placed on top of each other or next to each other. The concept is intended to be made from wood. Thanks to a covering of wooden leaves, Bert fits perfect in a woody environment.

The design makes the living space cozy and ensures that Bert’s interior is really in contact with the environment, in this case a forest. The interior is designed to be dark and cozy, with large round windows and balconies like the eyes of a cartoon character to frame views of the landscape.

Here the interior is covered with a dark fabric. Through the dark interior, the residents are drawn to the large round windows, which let in a lot of light and give a cave feeling.

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Bert stands on a circular base with tubular modular cells that contain kitchens, living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms  that can be stacked over and around it like the limbs of a tree branching out from the trunk.

The tree house is made of wood, with leaf-like shingles with natural colors to blend the tiny-houses into their wooded surroundings. But the wooden structure can be replaced by steel if desired, say the architects.

Bert is largely self-sufficient with solar panels on the roof, a compost toilet and a water treatment plant on the ground floor.

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Bert is designed to be pre-fabricated off-site in a factory then assembled on site. More modules could be added and stacked on top of each other to expand each treehouse.

We think that the future of tourism does not lie in large hotels and mass tourism, but in special buildings that offer a unique experience. With Bert we want to attract people who are looking for adventure, nature and inspiration.

Rudolf Obauer, CEO Baumbau

The Tiny-houses can stand on their own but can also be placed together as a community. Bert can serve as a real home, but according to Precht and Baumbau, the Bert system could be used for hotels.

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The first ‘Bert’ houses will go on sale in the spring of 2020 with a starting price of around € 120,000 with the option to add more modules.

Come into the beautiful world of Baumbau.

 

 

 

 

A new home for Calvin Klein in Hollywood Hills

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It looks like fashion designer Calvin Klein is apt to spend a little more time in LA. He just bought a spectacular, 9,300-square-foot home in the Hollywood Hills area for $25 million, developed by Dean McKillen, son of high-profile property investor Paddy McKillen.

The five-bedroom mansion fits squarely in the contemporary architectural style and features sliding glass walls, 13-foot-high ceilings, an infinity pool, and a bridged entryway over a waterfall and reflecting pool.

The contemporary home has automated retractable floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which open to a grassy lawn and an infinity pool with views of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. The entryway features a bridge over a waterfall and reflecting pool.

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You must traverse a bridge over a waterfall and reflecting pool to enter the home. The bridge is intended to ‘slow the participant down and create a feeling of separation from the street behind’.

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Most rooms are completely open to allow sunlight to flow throughout the home.

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Inside, glass walls provide a startling sense of depth. The ceilings throughout the home measure 13 feet high. Abstract light fixtures hang from the ceiling at the end of the entryway.

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The basement isn’t just some place for a couch and a Foosball table, it’s the main entertainment center.

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…..there’s even space for a full bar.

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Many of the glass walls are fully retractable.

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There’s a peaceful sitting area underneath the bridge next to the reflecting area.

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The L.A. views are absolutely stunning.

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The incredibly spacious master suite has the best view of all. In total, the home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

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The private covered terrace, with a fireplace, attached to the master suite make use of the moving glass walls.

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A 65-foot infinity pool sits out back.

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Other amenities include an eight-car garage and a 12-seat home theater, and a temperature-controlled wine room off the dining room.

Mr. Klein put his longtime Miami Beach home on the market in May for $16 million. He also has homes in Manhattan and in Southampton, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Williams’s Villa of Smiles Just Made Its New Owner Very Happy

Robin Williams's at Napa EstateRobin Williams by Bonnie Schiffman, Napa Valley 1982

When Robin Williams died in 2014, he left behind family, hundreds of friends, millions of fans, a long legacy of stand-up comedy, several classic movies and a home in the Napa Valley that has just sold after almost four years on the market. The Napa Valley estate that beloved funnyman Robin Williams built in 2003 and tried to sell before his untimely death has finally sold for $18.1 million to French winemakers Alfred Tesseron and his niece Melanie Tesseron.

Williams initially asked $35 million for the 639 acre Vineyard, whose 20,000-square-foot main home he dubbed Villa Sorriso, or Villa of Smiles. The home has been on and off the market since 2012, with multiple price cuts.

Inspired by the Palladian architectural style of the 1700s, the villa boasts five bedrooms, eight baths, a library, pool room, elevator, and luxurious screening room worthy of an Oscar and Golden Globe winner.

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The villa and its 24 acres of vineyards in the Mount Veeder appellation are located about 80 miles north of San Francisco and abut Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

massive-villa-tiny-compared-640-acres-land-aroundSure, it looks like Tuscany, Italy, but Robin’s California estate is nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains between Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

Villa Sorriso is located in the Mayacama Mountains, straddling the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, set majestically among 23 acres of vineyards and olive groves on 653 acres. Views over the valley are classic Napa and the land is blessed with a natural spring-fed fishing pond, groomed and landscaped grounds with tennis court, large infinity-edge pool, nine-stall horse barn and riding trails. There are over 100 olive trees which can produce 30-50 gallons of oil per year, approximately 18.4 acres of vineyards producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines.
The home’s elite craftsmanship begins with an imported Portuguese limestone exterior and continues inside with gold leaf and verdigris ceilings in the library and master suite, oak panels with mother-of-pearl inlays, and mosaic glass tile rotundas.
The three-level Mediterranean-style villa measures about 20,000 square feet with five bedrooms and eleven baths. It has a picturesque bell tower, a 12-seat theater, billiards room and climate-controlled cellars. The separate guest house includes four additional bedrooms.
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Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso front door

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Robin Williams Napa Estate Villa Sorriso Living Room

Who-needs-art-when-you-have-giant-windows-framing-picturesqueWho needs art when you have giant windows framing the picturesque landscape…

We-can-only-imagine-caliber-wine-being-sipped-dinnerAnother room with a view. A beautiful cosy dinning room.

Being-cooped-up-kitchen-must-feel-like-treat-when-you-haveBeing cooped up in the kitchen must feel like a treat when you have an adjoining terrace.

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With summer lasting six months in wine country, you’ll be grateful for the sixty-five foot infinity-edge swimming pool. Surrounded by antique European stone decking, a lawn and multi-tiered sculpture garden, this is an area that promises legendary outdoor events

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Antique European stone terraces overlook the grounds, including a 65-foot infinity edge swimming pool with a wading pool and spa, looks like something out of the movies. There’s also a 3,200-square-foot guest house.

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climate-controlled-wine-cellar-must-any-luxury-estateVilla Sorriso offers climate-controlled wine cellars….

Forget-IMAX-experience-wed-content--home-rentalForget the IMAX experience, we’d be content with an at-home rental if it took place here!

Robin Williams Nappa Estate Pond.jpgThe spring-fed pond, do we need to say more?…

The buyers are French winemakers from Chateau Pontet-Canet. The Tesserons own and operate Château Pontet-Canet, a vineyard and winery in the Bordeaux region of France. With today’s trend of natural wine growing, the family turned their French vineyard into an organic operation using biodynamics from the 1920’s agricultural lectures of Rudolf Steiner. This more traditional method of wine making includes working the vines with horses instead of tractors and controlling pests without chemicals. With such huge success in France, it is likely they will go the same route with Villa Sorriso.
We have no doubt the home’s next owner will cherish this spectacular property as Robin did.

The listing agents were Joyce Rey and Cyd Greer of Coldwell Banker Previews International.

 

 

Britain’s most expensive estate: Hackwood House

A 24 bedroom mansion is set to become the most expensive country estate ever sold publicly after is was put on the market with a guide price for more then 65 million pounds.

The Hackwood Park estate, near Basingstoke in Hampshire, is so exclusive, potential buyers will have to prove their financial status and sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing.

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Built in 1680, the main house has 24 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms and is more than 50 times the size of the average family home

Hackwood House was previously owned by publishing ycon Vicount Camrore, William Berry, who loaned it to the Royal Canadian Army to usee it as a hospital during World War II. More than 16.500 troops were treated on the estate and, when the war was over, it was returned to Viscount Camrose, who died in 1954.

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Steeped in history, Hackwood Park is a grand aristocratic residence that can also easily cater to family life.

The second Viscount Camrose, John Seymour Berry, owned the home until his death in 1995 when it was passed into the hands of his wife, Lady Camrose, Princess Tajuddawlah Aly Khan, formerly the Hon. Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller, the eldest daughter of the 3rd Baron Churston, mother of the present Aga Khan.

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Lady Camrose, also known as Princess Joan and Princess Tajudaullah, and the mother of Prince Karim Aga Khan,

According to the electoral role, Lady Camrose was the last tenant at the mansion until her death in 1997.

Land Registry documents state that the house was last sld between 1999 and 2003 for around 14.5 million pounds. It’s current owner, rumoured to be a foreign billionaire, bought the house through a British Virgin Island-registered company. Over the past decade the estate has been impeccably maintained by its owner, who has carried out a substantial restoration of the main home.

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Complete with original detailing and craftsmanship, Hackwood Park has been painstakingly restored to a state of 19th-century grandeur.

The botanical gardens and grounds hold as much historic interest as the house and have a rich botanical and architectural story to tell. The layout of the gardens dates back to the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and their design is attributed to Charles Bridgeman and James Gibbs.

Hackwood Park, with medieval origins forms part of an impressive and natural landscape fit for a house of this stature. Today the grounds are a perfect balance of manicured lawns, avenues, walks and terraces, interspersed with specimen trees. Beyond the formal design are large expanses of pasture which join woodland and farmland in the far distance, as well as Hackwood’s own deer park and an ornamental eighteenth century woodland garden.

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The main entrance is flanked by two substantial gatehouses and the 260 acres of grounds that includes a beautiful botanical garden, a stable yard and coach house, two detached guesthouses and two entrance lodges.

Spring Wood, thought to be the sole surviving example of a garden wood that is laid out in the French style has eight sectors divided by walkways, many of which hide historic wonders including a temple, a fountain and an amphitheatre. In the spring, the woodland is a picture of colour filled with bulbs and wild flowers. Hackwood Park enjoys stunning, uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside.

 

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It is now on the market with a strict ‘price on appliaion’ (if you have to ask for the price, you can’t afford it), with both Sotheby’s and Savills refusing to reveal what it can be bought for.

If you are interested in purchasing this property or to request more information, UK Sotheby’s International Realty, or please contact John Fisher at Sotheby’s International Realty on +44 (0)1932 860537 or email john.fisher@sothebysrealty.co.uk.

Please note that due to the sensitive nature of this property, prospective purchasers may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to further information being released and provide references and evidence of their financial standing prior to a viewing being arranged.

 

Mö Ventus House Shifts With Weather

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Mö Ventus House (Click photo to enlarge).

Most home owners enhance curb appeal by transforming the surrounding environment, lush landscaping, shade screens, solar panels, perhaps even a fresh coat of paint. A new Mö Ventus concept turns that theory inside out with a flexible house that conforms to its outside environment. Designed by architect Todd Fix of Fixd Architecture Design, the high-concept home is so imaginative, it could pass for a James Bond or Star Wars movie soundstage.

The technologically-advanced residence features four incomparable characteristics: real-time transformation, zero-energy design, environment immersion, and a dramatic home office with a spectacular view.

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Mö Ventus House. Opening and closing the retractable insulated shells, keep the living area cool or warm as needed (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House. A complex system of retractable composite screens and insulated shells slide over cantilevered living areas. (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House. It boasts a high-concept and zero-energy design (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House (Click photo to enlarge)

Motus (meaning ‘movement’ or ‘motion’) is where the transformation between the home’s main, industrial-style living area and lofty home office-studio occurs. The complex system works via large retractable composite screens and insulated shells that slide over the cantilevered living areas like a sideways elevator (and back into the foundation as necessary).

The screens and shells allow for micro-management of day-lighting, heat gain, openness, and privacy. The movable compartments automatically open and close, powered by rooftop solar panels. The Motus the futuristic structure’s living area, which spans from 5,000- to 12,000-square feet, also features a micro-climate evaporation pool to cool the home during the summer.

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Mö Ventus House. The home offers industrially-designed interiors (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House. Glass-walled interiors offer unobstructed views in all directions (Click photo to enlarge)

The Ventus or ‘wind cup’, (just beneath the cantilevered home office) which captures wind energy for fuel cell storage, is among the home’s most distinctive features. Topographically integrated into the structure, the curved wind basin with four bi-directional wind turbines collects prevailing winds to increase wind speed and resultant energy five-fold. Photovoltaic skins and arrays, hydrogen fuel cells, organic roof gardens, and three microclimatic cooling pools provide enough power to meet the home’s entire operational needs.

The Motus section’s design is akin to modern shipping containers covered by tarps to protect them from the elements, albeit a much more refined version. The home’s movable compartments are transparent, lightweight, and adaptable, owing to the lack of conventional walls, floors, and ceilings. The protective screens and shells can also be operated manually to allow more or less light and heat into the futuristic living space, simply by opening or closing. The home’s all-glass skin provides 180-degree views (top, bottom, and sides) for full immersion and connectedness to the surrounding environment.

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Mö Ventus House The curved Ventus ‘wind cup’ captures prevailing winds via bi-directional turbines, which increase the home’s energy five-fold. (Click photo to enlarge).

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Mö Ventus House. The lofty home-office studio area rises high above all but the solar-powered rooftop, which also houses organic gardens (Click photo to enlarge).

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Mö Ventus House. The home’s all-glass design immerses the structure into the environment, offering 180-degree views from top to bottom to sides (Click photo to enlarge)

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Mö Ventus House.

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Mö Ventus House comes with an optional outdoor movie screen within a beach-terraced amphitheater (Click photo to enlarge).

Screen-Shot-2015-08-12-at-2_00_52-AMMö Ventus House is adaptable enough to be built anywhere in the world, regardless of climate or geography.(Click photo to enlarge).

With an estimated cost of $3.5 million to $10 million, Mö Ventus House can accommodate up to six bedrooms, three-plus bathrooms, a guest house, up to a 10-car garage, gym, climbing walls, rooftop deck, and an outdoor movie screen within beach-terraced amphitheater, all based on client needs.

More info at http://www.mo-ventus.com/

Photos courtesy of Mö Ventus

by Jean Amr