Julian Achterop. exterior. July 28th , 2017.
You’d think that a concrete house wouldn’t have much in common with nature but you’d be wrong. Just look at this gorgeous retreat in South Korea. The U Retreat was designed by IDMM architects on a steep site overlooking a sharp vertical cliff and nature and the surroundings had a lot to do with its unique design. The forms of the cliff and the trees that surround the building were inspiration for the forms and layouts that define the concrete structure.
The pools are created out of modified shipping containers measuring 8 x 20 ft (2.4 x 6 m). The design presents multiple advantages such as the fact that the structure can be relocated and transported to pretty much any location worldwide. In addition, a shipping container pool can be set up in minutes and it can also be enjoyed throughout the year thanks to the built-in heater. The heater can increate the temperature of the water to 30 degrees Celsius even in a -10 degrees Celsius temperature. A divider can be added if desired to transform a section of the pool into a hot tub. The installation of the pool is simple and can be done by local professionals or by the clients themselves. The ground needs to be prepped and Mudpools suggests two common and effective methods that can be used: a concrete slab or 8” of compacted gravel. Of course, lots of alternatives also exist.
For a house that tries to close itself off as much as possible in respect to the street and the neighbors, this family home has surprisingly open spaces and facades. This unusual combination was achieved by moarqs + OTTOLENGHI architects by combining two contrasting materials: concrete and glass. The design strategy was to have a more open ground floor while the first floor is closed and private. Both floors have full-height glass walls but the difference is that there’s a concrete shell which wraps around the upper floor, framing the spaces and blocking the views but at the same time allowing them to be fully open to the courtyard.
Dualchas Architects definitely made the most of the views when they designed this house in the UK. It stands on a site that overlooks Loch Dunvegan and it has floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, including the bathroom. Every window captures a different part of the view and together they frame the whole panorama beautifully. The view is definitely important but so is having a comfortable place from where to enjoy it. Architect Olga Freiman designed this beautiful retreat in Moscow, Russia and made sure to have a cozy lounge area facing the panorama framed by the full-height glass wall.
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