Island with a View: Dutch Kitchen Incorporates Elegant Aquarium

Courtesy of Rene van Dongen

Amsterdam-based design firm Kolenik Eco Chic Design have released designs of their unique Ocean Kitchen, a transformative new take on residential space. The contemporary minimalist kitchen offers a moment of serenity to the viewer through the inclusion of a vast aquarium beneath the island’s countertop. Positioned as the architectural centerpiece of the space, the island in Ocean Kitchen gracefully animates the surrounding kitchen.

Immerse yourself in photos of Ocean Kitchen after the break.

Will Alsop Designs Apartment Tower on Stilts for London’s South Bank

Courtesy of aLL Design

Led by Will Alsop, aLL Design’s funky apartment tower will soon add a whole lot of interest to London’s south bank. The tubular building, which tapers at the bottom and top, will rise above an existing four-storey building on purple stilts and be adorned with corten steel cladding, brightly colored balconies, and irregular rounded windows. Each apartment will include two balconies overlooking the River Thames and the neighboring heliport – bringing about the name “Heliport Heights.” To learn more about the lively design, keep reading after the break.

Inside SeARCH’s Utopian Hobbit Hole at the Architecture Biennale Rotterdam

Courtesy of Ronald Tilleman

Windowless, sparse, and connected to nature — this is how architecture and urban design firm SeARCH envisions the home of the future. In their new project “Yourtopia,” they challenge stereotypical ideas about what a home should be and demonstrate an awareness about our relationship with our environment. This article originally published on Metropolis Magazine investigates the home’s minimal design and construction process.

Our homes shield us from distractions so that we may cultivate our own interests and, in the process, sense of selves. Dutch architecture firm SeARCH has taken this idea to the extreme with “Yourtopia”, a temporary refuge that radically reconsiders what a home can be.

More on Yourtopia’s radical living environment after the break

Video: Artist Animates 5 Iconic Modern Homes

Five of history’s most iconic modern are re-created as illustrations in this two-minute video created by Matteo Muci. Set to the tune of cleverly timed, light-hearted music, the animation constructs the piece-by-piece on playful pastel backgrounds. The five homes featured in the short but sweet video are Le Courbusier’s Villa Savoye, Gerrit Rietveld’s Rietveld Schröder House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, Philip Johnson’s Glass House and ’s Fallingwater.

Four Design Firms’ Takes on Multigenerational Living

Namly House by CHANG Architects, A House for Multi-Generation Living. Image © Albert Lim K.S.

Multigenerational homes are nothing new. But with life expectancy increasing, young people staying longer in their childhood homes, and Baby Boomers aging, children, parents, and grandparents under the same roof might soon become the norm. To explore this possibility, Metropolis Magazine asked four design firms to consider what multigenerational living might look like in the future. Check out each unique take on sharing resources and space by reading the article here.

Tammo Prinz Architects Propose Platonian Tower in Lima

Courtesy of

Tammo Prinz’s competition entry for a new residential tower in Lima, , proposes the use of platonian bodies to generate dramatic interior and exterior spaces.

The concrete dodekaeder structure drives the form of the design whilst smaller cubic shapes are strategically placed within this to generate spaces for everyday living. The relationship between these two spatial qualities, of interior and exterior, reveals a series of unique spaces that can be used as an extension of the interior, or as a balcony-like outdoors area.

AD Interviews: Ben van Berkel, UNStudio on London’s Canaletto Tower

. Image © Inga Powilleit

ArchDaily recently spoke to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal architect at UNStudio, an international network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure based in the Netherlands. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK.

Patio House / Undurraga Devés Arquitectos

© Cristóbal Palma

Architects: Undurraga Devés Arquitectos
Location: , Santiago Metropolitan Region,
Architect In Charge: Cristian Undurraga
Design Team: Orlando Etcheberrigaray, Eduardo Castillo, Cristian Larrain
Landscape Architect: Juan Grimm
Area: 460.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Cristóbal Palma

House in Rubí / BETA OFFICE ARCHITECTS

© Miquel Coll Molas

Architects: BETA OFFICE ARCHITECTS
Location: Rubi, Barcelona,
Architects In Charge: Raúl Bañón Tomás, Brian Ramón Aguilar, Xavi Freire Cano
Area: 511.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Miquel Coll Molas

AD Classics: Villa dall’Ava / OMA

© Peter Aaron/OTTO

Much of the spatial composition of the Villa dall’Ava was influenced by its site, in a garden on a hill. It was completed in 1991 in the area of Saint-Cloud, overlooking . The clients selected OMA to design a house with two distinct apartments—one for themselves and another for their daughter—and requested a swimming pool on the roof with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Solar Decathlon 2013: Team Alberta Designs Modular Home for Remote Locations

Render. Image Courtesy of Solar Decathlon 2013

, Team Alberta’s entry to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, addresses the housing needs of professionals working in remote locations. This modular house was designed in consideration of severe housing shortages and high housing costs driven by booming industries in northern Canada. Named after the iconic Northern Lights and lush Boreal forest, Borealis is designed to be sustainable and ecologically sensitive.

In Residence: Piero Lissoni

In Residence: Piero Lissoni on Nowness.com

The latest in NOWNESS‘ In Residence series features a look into the home of Piero Lissoni, co-founder of Italian design firm Lissoni Associati. Externally inspired by the way that children draw , the interior of the home is filled with what Lissoni calls a ‘contamination’ of different ideas and objects. Nevertheless it is stylish and a beautiful accompaniment to the spectacular rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.

Improving Residential Market Leads to Larger Homes and an Increase in Property Enhancements

Paschke Danskin Double Loft, Rhode Island / 3six0 Architecture © John Homer Photography

According to the AIA, The American Institute of Architects, the American market is at its strongest growth level since 2005. As the once struggling residential market continues to improve, the size of homes is also growing in both high-end and custom homes as well as in additions to existing homes. Data from the Home Design Trends Survey reveals that preferences for accessible spaces in homes – such as open-space layouts and single-floor design – is also on the rise.

To see the survey’s findings and to learn more about today’s housing market, read on.

Foster + Partners Reveals Residential Community Project for London

High-Rise Community ©

Foster + Partners has been selected to developed a proposal for a low energy, high-density residential community in Islington, London.  The site is a 1980s business park that is to be regenerated into a residential zone of two towers and a landscaped park.  The project will incorporate the arera’s planned high-rise buildings and is ultimately set to provide a new landmark for the city.

2013 AIA Housing Awards Announced

House in the Mountains; Colorado / GLUCK+ © Steve Mundinger

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the six recipients of the 2013 . The AIA’s Program, now in its 13th year, was established to recognize the best in design and promote the importance of good as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource. All the winners, after the break.

Build Your Own Neutra Home!

Kaufmann House, 1947 Palm Springs, CA / , architect © Julius Schulman

The mid-century modern master, Richard Neutra was well known for his cutting edge modernism. Since Julius Shulman immortalized his in his iconic photographs, Neutra’s bright, airy homes have widely been seen as the pinnacle of modernism and desirability. One problem though, they’re in high demand and it’s not exactly like they’re making any more Neutra buildings; in fact, quite the opposite is true and as a result they have become a pretty expensive commodity.

Read more about how to get your very own Neutra home after the break…

The Debate Over Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward

The Float House / Morphosis, © Iwan Baan

Ever since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’s piece entitled “If you Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” - a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation – numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of in 2005. To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million.  Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘s article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling.  Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.

Read on for more on the Make It Right debate…

AD Classics: White U / Toyo Ito

© Koji Taki

was commissioned for this building by his older sister after her husband sadly lost his battle with cancer in the 1970s. Having lived for a number of years in a high-rise apartment, she and her two young daughters wished to move to a site which had more connection to the ground; as luck would have it, the site next to Ito’s own house was being sold at the time.