Archive for the ‘House’ Category

Openhouse – XTEN Architecture


A beautifully executed house with a commanding view of Hollywood. Designed by L.A. based firm XTEN Architecture. The husband and wife team Austin Kelly and Monika Haefelfinger once said Monika is rational while Austin is the opposite. It sounds like that the Yin and Yang balance makes the practice work.

open-house-2The horizontal folding form capture ones eyes and expresses itself as the main structure while the vertical elements are obviously secondary or even non-existent at times. The sliding glass panels making up the majority of the walls disappear into carefully designed pockets.

The indoor and outdoor forms a continous space with the smooth flow of flooring material out to the balcony, taking in the city skyline in its entirity.

open-house-3 The interior is clean and minimalist with very few colours. You would not need any more colours when you have the blue sky, city lights and a well manicured green garden brought into your home every minute. I can see both the rational minimalist and the expressionist working in this design.

I would absolutely love to own it (and rent it out to make a profit) or visit this place to appreciate the aesthetics but I cannot imagine myself living in it.

Although I love minimalist designs, my domestic self is messy, I prefer things lying everywhere around me with easy access. I collect and showcase my books, my CDs, my decades of architecture magazines. I have bookcases on every imaginable vertical surfaces in my room. My dockets have to be on my table or I will lose them forever, etc etc.

This house is designed for those who love orders and neatness. I might need some external force to balance me out before I can live in minimalist houses like this.

designmilk @ Flickr (Licenced by Creative Common)

Architectural Record

Further Reading:
Home Design Find
XTEN Architecture

Posted: 2009/05/12 at 17:48 (20572)

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Categories: House

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House N – Sou Fujimoto


House with a “box-in-a-box-in-a-box” concept for a retired couple.  They asked the architect Sou Fujimoto to reinterpret their home in a simple way when they decided to rebuild their house in Oita City (Kyushu, Japan).

Photo: japanese_craft_construction @ Flickr (Licenced by Creative Common)The outer box has no glass, so the space inside are still classified as external and not counted towards floor space. The middle box is the house.  The interplay between the outer and middle boxes creates a playful overlay of openings and solid on the walls and the roof. The inner box is the living / dinning hub in the same proportion as the middle box.

Photo: japanese_craft_construction @ Flickr (Licenced by Creative Common)I can’t help but to link this to the nesting dolls made by traditional Japanese craftsmen. Removing an outer doll to reveal an inner one is a metaphor of coming closer to your true self. The house with three shells also gives visitor a strong sense of coming closer to the real heart of the occupant’s domestic life. The shells roughly correspond to layers of privacy, public, semi-private and private in the concept of home we learnt from architectural school.

It was reported in the Architecture Review article (April 2009, p.50) that the neighbours are not alienated by the scale of the house.  All I can say is that, I wish the older generation in Australia and their neighbours are more open to ideas alternative to the usual suburban house.

japanese_craft_construction @ Flickr (Licenced by Creative Common)

Architectural Review – April 2009, p.48-53

Further Reading:
Sou Fujimoto Architects

Posted: 2009/05/06 at 11:56 (46384)

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Categories: House

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