Housing is a ubiquitous typology ripe for experimentation. Exploring form, view, materials and hierarchies, residential projects center on daily life and retreat. Designed to bring people together and provide space for isolation, homes can be open and inviting, secluded and private, or both at the same time. For unbuilt housing projects, these concepts are designed to rethink traditional forms and spatial layouts in the context of local climates and landscape conditions.
This week’s curated selection of the Best Unbuilt Architecture focuses on homes and residential projects located around the world. Drawn from an array of firms and local contexts, they represent proposals submitted by our readers. They showcase both single family and multi-unit homes, from a series of villas for three friends overlooking the Caspian Sea, to a Cambodian countryside retreat and a pine cabin in the Jezzine village of south Lebanon.
Read on to discover 10 curated projects highlighting iconic houses and homes, along with their project descriptions from the architects.
The minimalistic approach emphasizes on the beauty of the surrounding nature. The form is shaped by openings gravitated towards the quality views of Downtown Vancouver to the south and the sunset to the west. It is only natural to build out of wood in such an environment. Therefore, this design utilizes a hybrid timber/concrete structure. The form provides shading on the south façade glazed areas. Energy efficiency is also balanced by limiting openings to two sides of the building.
The design response for a luxury 2-story family home on the outskirts of Phnom Penh took inspiration from the vernacular architecture of Cambodia – high ceilings with natural ventilation, and open outdoor corridors (often seen in schools). The solution was a collection of spaces connected with covered walkways. Each room is separated entirely so the occupants must walk outside - into the landscaped outdoor space - to enter in to another room.
The Ambassador Villas
The Ambassador is a passion project born out of a pursuit for what is excellent and authentic. No restraint was exercised to achieve what is truly a unique development. The Ambassador is situated in the heart of Brooklyn, nestled in between its famous jacaranda trees. The site which served as canvas for the project houses well established trees, including a magnificent two hundred year old oak tree with its branches stretching out over more than a third of the property. No trees were removed during the construction process. Instead of maximizing units per hectare, the villas are designed with conservation in mind and these beautiful natural features.
3 Friends Villa
Three friends wanted to have their villas on adjacent plots, and they wanted their villas to have common party spaces as well as separate private terraces for each villa. The plots in Chai-Bagh villa town by Ab-Pari hillside, enjoy a beautiful landscape and a far view of Caspian Sea. The combination of villas somehow adheres to central Iranian architecture patterns, where buildings gather around to create interior courtyards, while free-standing patterns are the dominant types in the area.
The Pine House is a concept developed by the Line Design team. Kaliningrad region is a place with incredibly beautiful nature! Unfortunately, there are practically no recreation places in the region for contemplation and contact with nature. With the concept of a pine house, we wanted to show a possible way of developing the architecture of recreation places, and to attract investors to possible projects.
On a stone mountain slope, above the sea in Southern Greece, a three house complex was designed for a family. The steep slope of the plot, the view towards the sea, the orientation, and the century-old history of the place, along with the ascetic spirit were some of the most fundamental factors that shaped the architecture of this project. The design seeks to achieve, with the minimal intervention to the natural landscape, a structure that is born from the ground and creates the qualities of the Mediterranean living; the inside - the outside - the in-between.
Positioned within the Cambodian countryside setting, this proposal has been designed as a series of retreats connected through tropical gardens and walkways to create a community-focused. “KH retreat” aims to combine elements of the traditional Cambodian dwelling with others elements that make it the idea of attractive, healthy and sustainable design that physically connects the ground and raised living areas. With a total built area of 60 sqm, the building form is made up from the overlapping of the letters KH which means Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, those letters give an organized pattern of form and space.
Rock Pine House
The project is about a solid mass shaded by the perennial pine trees that surround it, where a remarkable harmony exists between the house and nature. It is located on a natural slope of perennial pine trees in the Jezzine village in south Lebanon. It belongs to a family of four members, the parents and two children; they all share the passion for nature, and the pursuit for peace, simplicity, and meditation. A romantic path surrounds the house, consisting of beautiful pine trees and rocks that resemble natural sculptures. The mass passes through the natural slope, creating a house indulged within it and composed of two levels.
Eastern and Western notions of space making unite with a home layered in personal meaning. The influence of our clients' Japanese culture and an appreciation for architecture, weaves its way into Utsroi House with balance, solitude and geometric symmetry. Constructed from prefabricated timber for efficiency and low environmental impact. The new home located high on a hill on the outskirts of the city of Bath looks out over the rolling fields of England.
This proposal seeks to generate a new dynamic between site and experience with the introduction of tree house modules. The shift in perspective offered by the tree houses will allow for a renewed understanding of Château de La Mothe Chandeniers. Located along the circumference of the castle site, the modules seek to mirror the relationship between the earth and sun. A slanted roof screen creates a temporal veil to incite curiosity for visitors. Arch openings in the slated roof, generated by sightline analysis, allow each visitor to encounter a full range of scenery.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN UNBUILT PROJECT
We highly appreciate the input from our readers and are always happy to see more projects designed by them. If you have an Unbuilt project to submit, click here and follow the guidelines. Our curators will review your submission and get back to you in case it is selected for a feature.