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9 Architects Reflect on the Homes That Most Inspired Them

The homes that inspire architects.
The homes that inspire architects.

Where do you receive inspiration? Nalina Moses asked the question to nine contemporary residential architects, asking each to choose one residence that had left an impression on them. The following answers were first published on the AIA’s website in the article “Homing Instinct."

When nine accomplished residential architects were asked to pick a house—any house—that has left the greatest impression on them as designers, most of their choices ran succinctly along the canon of American or European Modern architecture. Two—Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea and Pierre Chareau’s La Maison de Verre—were even tapped twice. 

If the houses these designers chose weren’t surprising, the reasons they chose them were. Rather than groundbreaking style or technologies, what they cited were the moments of comfort, excitement, and refinement they offered: the restful proportions of a bedroom, the feel of a crafted wood handrail, an ocean view unfolding beyond an outdoor stair.

AIA's 2013 Small Projects Awards Recipients

Selections of the AIA's 2013 small project awards have been announced, revealing a broad range of projects, varying in scale, program and function that bring attention to the value of architectural practice no matter the size or scope of the project.  The ten projects were selected on the basis of four categories: small project construction up to $150,000; small project construction up to $1,500,000; up to 5,000 SF project in which the architect played a significant role in construction and or fabrication; and an inbuilt workhorse up to 5,000 SF.  Among the recipients are MIN | DAYKariouk AssociatesJohnsen Schmaling ArchitectsLawrence ArchitectsCooper Joseph StudioRobert M. Gurney, FAIAWRNS Studio, and Edward Ogosta Architecture.

Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall / Min | Day

© Min | Day
© Min | Day

  The Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall is a proposal by architecture office Min | Day to alter the face of an existing retaining wall in Lincoln, Nebraska and enliven the adjoining land. Min | Day describes the Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall as a new horizon in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although an 18 foot by 1000 foot retaining wall, the structural base of the project, already exists, the area is unimpressive and underused. Min | Day’s additions to the structure and to the space would transform the floodwall and its surroundings into a fresh new urban space for the city and the neighborhood.

Wide Open House / Min | Day

Courtesy Min|Day
Courtesy Min|Day

The architecture firm Min | Day has designed a energy conscious home designed for fluid indoor-outdoor living for purchase through Hometta, a online blueprint database of progressive and sustainable modern houses available for purchase by the masses. Additional images of Min | Day’s design and a description of the home after the jump.

Wedge House / Min | Day

Courtesy of MinDay
Courtesy of MinDay

The Wedge House is a seemingly simple, yet efficient three-bedroom house that uses structural insulated panels and stack-effect cooling to reduce energy consumption by the house year-round. It is originally designed for a site in Phippsburg, Maine by Min | Day. More on this house after the break.

Spirits Pavilion / Min | Day

© Cesar Rubio
© Cesar Rubio

The cocktail is a distinctly American tradition. Once the centerpiece of a thriving “cocktail culture,” it has faded since the 1950s but is now being embraced by a new generation of makers and mixologists who value quality and craft. The Spirits Pavilion, by Min | Day, presents this rejuvenation as part of Slow Food Nation 2008, an event in Fort Mason, San Francisco dedicated to creating a framework for deeper environmental connection to our food aiming to inspire and empower Americans to build a food system that is sustainable, healthy and delicious. More images and architects’ description after the break.