Home fronts in the urban landscape

Whether building from scratch or simply refurbishing, a new architectural design book focuses on urban living with lots of cool ideas and a couple of madcap ones

Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 15:55

Our House In The City: New Urban Homes and Architecture is a worthwhile read for anyone renovating or building their own home from scratch. Author Sofia Borges, an architect and lecturer who has compiled several books on design and architecture for the publisher Gestalten, sifted through many nominations to make her selection.

These included a project by Dublin-based Odos Architects. While it didn’t make it into this book she is keen to hear from other Irish practices for consideration for future publications. The ideas in Our House will appeal to every taste, from the classically contemporary to the edgy modernist.

Our House In The City , published by Gestalten, €39.90. Practices interested in submitting work to Gestalen should do so through the general email at gestalten.com

lolCandy brights: Lillipop house
The Lollipop House in Yongin, Seoul, designed by Republic of Korea-based architect firm Moonhoon is a property that has been given a Gangnam-style facelift with a colourful facade of pink and white candy stripe metal panelling.

This skin building design features a technique employed by Greystones-based Tom de Paor (01-2557022, depaor.com) on his striking copper-clad pumping station on Clontarf Road in Dublin.

While the Korean house may be more arresting it belongs to the same design family. Getting what de Paor describes as “a caravan without wheels” through planning in Dublin may present some challenges, he cautions.

Damien Conway, senior quantity surveyor with Andrew P Nugent and Associates, estimates that the cost of using a combination of a VM Zinc quartz grey and Pigmento Range rouge standing seam external facade (which would create a similar effect) would be about €110 to €120 per sq m supplied and fixed but exclusive of VAT. This price does not include plywood and timber frame build up or other structure below the facade finish shown.
Photograph: Nam Goong Sun

blancAll white: The Montblanc House
The Montblanc House by Japan-based Studio Velocity is situated in a quiet neighbourhood in Okazaki, Japan, and boasts views of the mountains.

Named after the highest mountain in Western Europe “the home’s iconic and slanted quality inspires its symbolic name”, says author Sofia Borges, who lists it as one of her favourites.

The property and its terraces are housed underneath a roof that slopes to the ground creating in the gable of the house five so-called “window” openings that are in fact private outdoor spaces cleverly positioned so that they visually “block out” the neighbours.

A terrace at the top in what would traditionally be called the attic space gives a sense of a doll house.

To recreate this Toblerone -style home, the smooth finish of this timber-frame house could be achieved by cladding it in “extruded white fibreC panels or covering it in pigmented fibreglass or using white steel panels”, says Dermot Boyd of Boyd Cody Architects (01-6330042, boydcodyarch.com). These materials are, however, “quite expensive in a domestic context”;
Photograph: Kentaro Kurihara

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