Cities all around the world act as vibrant social centers, offering its inhabitants all sorts of cultural, social and work related advantages. Though there are certain architectural challenges to take when trying to build a new home in town, on a site that’s usually narrow, dark, surrounded by towering houses and not very private.
Wether digging into a residential hillside, proudly commanding a corner lot, or nestling between pronounced neighboring structures, various architects represent new opportunities to find one’s place within the given context.
The publication Our House in the City – New Urban Homes and Architecture by Gestalten showcases some of the most unconventional architectural concepts and townhouses for today’s cosmopolitan families.
Image © Pedro Kok
The Maracanã House by Brazilian Terra e Tuma Arquitetos finds its place as a thoughtful indoor/outdoor home within the urban fabric of São Paulo. The architects managed to let this clean concrete home look cosy, warm and natural, with lush greenery blending with the raw surfaces. The big glass openings set against the solidity of the concrete materiality and canny lights enlighten the space in every direction.
Image © Kentaro Kurihara
This house by Studio Velocity is constructed as a continuous space which extends from the first to the third floor under a large inclined roof. The building’s gable shape includes five generous openings in the angled roof that bring sufficient natural light, air, and scenery into the building. A natural refuge in the heart of Okazaki, Japan, the project gently embraces its residents in a protective shell.
Image © Hiroyuki Oki
A 21 Studio designed ‘The Nest’ for a middle-aged newsman in Binh Duong, Vietnam. Generous front and back courtyards arrange a fluid indoor/outdoor lifestyle. These garden spaces flow into an open kitchen, living and dining area with the more private bedrooms of the house situated one level up. Faced with a myriad of contrasting architectural styles, the house still achieves its own unique aesthetic.
Image © Nam Goong Sun
True to its name, a pink and white swirl of a home, created by Moon Hoon accommodates a young couple and their daughter. The floor plan reveals a series of split-level floors connected by a spiraling staircase. By introducing multiple levels, the interior develops a dynamic energy and relationship from space to space.
Image © Koichi Torimura
Part monolithic storefront and part ethereal private residence, this single family, mixed-use home by Eastern Design Office engages dramatic geometries and proportions as its driving aesthetic. With workspace at the front and living areas in the back, the dwelling seamlessly integrates both activities. Two courtyards on the upper level bring daylight and fresh air down into the interior, forging a connection between architecture and nature.
Image © Kenichi Suzuki
Tato Architects created this home in a neighborhood surrounded by mountains and overcast skies in Hyogo, Japan. Three translucent and independent rooftop structures direct light into the residential plinth below. Forging numerous connections between levels, the bright open spaces remain connected to the outdoors via a central courtyard on the lower level and a meandering rooftop terrace above.
Image © Peter Bennetts
An iconic addition to a quaint bungalow offers an evocative tribute to the defined industrial typology found in a northern suburb of Melbourne. Black Line One x Architecture Studio created a long corner plot which enables an original craftsman to expand down the street. A new set of bright and modern living spaces opens up onto an outdoor terrace in the backyard to form a hybrid inside/outside space.
Image © Fernando Alda
On a mountain topped by a castle, this striking white residence by Fran Silvestre Architectos capitalizes on the unique beauty of the landscape. The space inside the three-level house winds around a bright atrium. Nesting into the rocks behind, the toplevel connects out onto a private rooftop terrace.
Image © Junji Kojima
A seemingly inconspicuous Tokyo townhouse in a quiet residential neighborhood of Shibuya reveals a playful and bespoke character just inside. This house by Level Architects makes way for a couple’s individual interests in skateboarding and piano playing. The hobby spaces take up the ground floor while the more private areas of the house move upwards through a series of stepped levels that culminate in a rooftop terrace.
Image © Brandt + Simon Architekten
This narrow residence embraces its relationship to the outdoor garden. Brandt + Simon Architekten built it in the city center of Berlin in 2009. With public spaces below and private areas above, carefully placed windows ensure all parts of the house receive adequate access to sunlight.