Clear structures, restrained colors, and natural grace characterize the innovative residential building concepts that delighted members of the 2021 iF Design Awards jury. The awards were granted to impressive ideas that created a visual symbiosis with nature, among other concepts. These are residential buildings that fit casually into their natural surroundings—as if they themselves had emerged from their environment.
Architecture exerts a significant influence on whether we feel comfortable and at ease in buildings, living rooms, offices, gardens, or parks. The finest idea is of no use if people are unable to identify with them. In the residential building sector designers all over the world are developing innovative concepts that combine functionality and aesthetics. Ideally, purpose and beauty merge into a symbiosis that serves the user. A key factor is where the property is to be built: its location. What are the prevailing climate conditions, what are the cultural criteria? Whereas in southern climes windows tend to be small, for example, in order to reduce the light incidence and keep homes cool, that is not a crucial factor in the north, where large glass frontages are in demand to catch as much sunlight as possible.
This year the iF Design Award has been won by ideas for residential buildings that impress for their roominess, their coolness, and their ability to fit into their natural surroundings. Clear shapes, strong lines, and harmonious color concepts are all part of the program. Simplicity beats pomp and functionality and has preference over decoration. The jury was particularly impressed by the following ideas from Spain and the Asian region.
Client / Manufacturer:KIMURA KOUGYO Co.
A house like a made-to-measure suit: This is a design that intimately suits the site environment, climate, natural features, and the sensibilities of its residents. This plan by OGATAYOHEI and KIMURA KOUGYO focuses first on the minimum “living” that is necessary. From there the architect worked with the residents while experiencing the time and seasons, eventually creating a building that appealed to each of the residents’ five senses.
Client / Manufacturer: GOODY DESIGN Co., Ltd.
Design: GOODY DESIGN Co., Ltd.; Wen Chi Lee (Design Director), Hsien Chang Liu (Designer)
Land and sea in dialogue: This GOODY DESIGN building is aligned with the linear hinterland between coast and road, forming three parallel edges that accommodate the coastal topography and the greenery of the natural landscape. Surging surfaces of blue and white symbolize the sea and the undulating waves. Humans and architecture here merge into the natural environment and become a part of the coast.
Client / Manufacturer: Casas inHAUS SL
Design: Fran Silvestre Arquitectos
A compact all-in-one high-end solution: Nowadays, the technological advances of stronger and lighter materials make full creative freedom possible and finally enable industrialized high-end architecture to become a reality. Casas inHAUS has launched its ‘inHAUS By’ Collection designed by Fran Silvestre Architects among other well-known designers and architects. The Spanish company offers turnkey solutions, is respectful of the environment and boasts an integral management that guarantees deadlines and fixed prices.
Client / Manufacturer: Casas inHAUS SL
Design: Casas inHAUS SL
Another success story for Casas inHAUS and its Spanish architects: This house in Masnou is another example of a turnkey solution that is respectful of the environment. Homeowners and architects can now demand a bespoke home based on the convenience of modular building practices.
Client / Manufacturer: e-depot
A cozy retreat for SnowAide and an e-depot for peace, quiet, and encounters: The owners, an older couple, wanted to build a small weekend house where the whole family can gather. As it is a vacation house, ease of maintenance and reasonable construction costs are crucial. So the design evolved, using relatively simple forms and durable materials. It transformed a traditional gable roof into a floating box-shaped form.
Client / Manufacturer: APOLLO Architects & Associates Ltd.
Design: APOLLO Architects & Associates Ltd.
APOLLO Architects & Associates has designed a very special place for family time at its best: The clients wanted courtyards to play a major role in their home life, and to fulfill that request, the design makes use of the distinctive property shape and topography. On the main level, a small courtyard and a large garden terrace on the south side serve as intermediary zones where residents can enjoy the distinctive outdoor environment of a ranch-style home while maintaining privacy.
Client / Manufacturer: Wole Powder Foam
Design: Fanben Space Design Office
A house in harmony with nature, full of poetry and expanse: White House can liberate the owner from prosperous urban life, and allow him or her to return to the mountains, forests and villages, to embrace nature and enjoy life. Built on the mountain, it is “a house growing in nature.” It is a low-cost building with a low carbon footprint and high level of environmental protection. The White House at the Foot of Wan’an Mountain was developed by Fanben Space Design Office and Wole Powder Foam.
Client / Manufacturer: Zhucun Design
Design: Zhucun Design
Challenging climatic conditions require special concepts: Because of the heavy local rainfall and low terrain, Zhucun Design sought to retain the land for planting as much as possible. The building was raised by a half-story through the construction of an English semi-basement that can be used for parking and storage. The first floor is on the raised half. This allows the damp and hot air on the ground to be carried away by the wind, keeping rooms cool and dry. In order to filter sunlight, a metal grille was mounted on the outer wall.
Many exciting projects also won awards in the Interior Design sector. They include the gold medal-winning vacation home Morelli. Holzrausch Planung comprehensively restored a house built in a traditional Tuscan style, creating a magnificent color play of cotto tiles, colored render, and bog oak fittings. Flowing into the Boundless Realm: Poem of Rain, a Shang Yih Interior Design project, is no less exciting and equally ambitious. In an old Taiwanese house a unique bridge of light and air and a scenery of rain were created using a wide range of glass elements. Sanctuary of the Soul, designed by UNI-X ASSOCIATES, aims for simplicity and the effect of light, shade and shapes. Free from complex decoration, it relies on modern architectural techniques and materials and would ideally be a home for life and mind. JIA Studios has taken a look at the future with White Purity. Inspired by the sci-fi film Passengers, the house boasts impressive flowing curves and monochrome white walls, transporting some confidence and optimism into the post-Covid world.