Luxurious Treehouse Offers Guests a Touch of Glamour in the Great Outdoors

Nestled in the Dorset woodland, a few hours west of London, green woodworker Guy Mallinson has built a luxurious retreat foisted above the ground amidst spectacular oak trees. The Woodsman’s Treehouse cost £150,000 (almost $184,000) and five months to complete, with the design evolving during the building process. Mallinson and his crew have embraced the aesthetic properties of wood from the outset, with the facade clad in cleft sweet chestnut log stacks, oak laths, and hand cleft oak shingles.

Built with local materials, it was paramount to the team that the natural ecosystem remained untouched. “We don’t touch the trees at all, allowing rain water to run down the stems and wildlife to travel up and down in the normal way, hence maintaining the delicate ecosystem of the oak tree,” Mallinson explains on his website. “We don’t stress the trees by imposing a heavy loads on them or by fixing bolts into them. We believe that the tree has grown in response to its environment and as such should be left well alone.”

The treehouse, which sleeps two people, is fitted with all the comforts of a luxury hotel. The circular interior contains a king-sized bed, kitchen, a double-ended copper bath, and a rotating fireplace. When you are surrounded by spectacular scenery, views are important. With this in mind, the space is fitted with a window in the floor to view the stream below, the bedroom contains a window in the ceiling for spectacular views of the canopy, and picture windows ensure you will be one with nature even while indoors.

Outside, a series of decks reveal further luxuries, such as a wood fired pizza oven, a rooftop hot tub and sauna, an outdoor tree shower, and a large slide to bring you quickly to ground level. The treehouse, featured on the UK’s Amazing Spaces, has already been a hit with visitors and is available from £620 (roughly $760) for a minimum two night stay. Mallinson also teaches a variety of courses on the grounds, so you can fully embrace your woodland vacation.

Woodsman’s Treehouse: Website | Facebook | Instagram
via [Business Insider UK]

My Modern Met

Victorian-Era Home Is Completely Transformed with a Contemporary Triangular Window

Canadian design studio +tongtong recently transformed a three-story Victorian house in Toronto by incorporating contemporary schemes while retaining its traditional elements. According to the firm, “This challenge was met with an emphasis on natural materials and light.” The reconstruction added a large triangular window to the top floor, dark zinc cladding along the exterior, and an interior light well that provides abundant natural illumination throughout the house.

The brilliant redesign was inspired by rural living and the original date of the home, as well as the use of industrial materials throughout both the interior and exterior. Inside, a vertical shaft brings light from large skylights down 3 stories, illuminating the ground floor while animating a zinc wall and ceiling above the kitchen.

The front yard includes a walkway and a retaining wall, along with a landscaped berm to serve as a layer of privacy between the street and the residence. Creatively constructed, the outdoor space is used for play and includes theater-style seating. The rear facade was entirely modernized with a massive awning that covers a wooden terrace and a large elm tree to help shade the house.

Throughout the interior, palettes of grey, silver, white, and black are intermixed with occasional pops of vibrant color. A large triangular window on the top floor—whose shape is amplified by clean white lines—provides expansive views of the neighborhood and the city skyline in the distance.

The open and bright modern home was awarded Interior Design’s 2015 Best of Year (BOY) Awards in the Small House category. +tongtong was started in 2012 by John Tong and the firm has designed many homes in the Toronto area, bringing their “sense of possibility and a passion for developing spaces that nurture and inspire creativity.”

+tongtong: Website | Facebook 
via [Contemporist, Dezeen]

All images via +tongtong and Lisa Petrole.

My Modern Met

Tiny Mobile House Made From Upcycled Materials Lets You Live Off-Grid and Mortgage-Free

Greemoxie, a Canadian lifestyle magazine exploring green living, has built their first tiny house, sparing nothing to create an inviting space out of small quarters. The cozy, 340-square-foot cabin-like structure was built with upcycled materials and renewable energy systems that allow it to be 100% off-grid. Wanting to build more than a fancy trailer, Greenmoxie enlisted designer David Shephard and builder Ian Fotheringham to unleash their creativity for an innovative, sustainable living space.

The exterior is clad in cedar siding treated with the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique that entails charring wood to preserve it. An electric drawbridge allows the house to be easily moved and unfolds into a deck, giving enough space for grilling or an evening drink outdoors. Inside, hardwood oak floors flow through the space, which also includes reclaimed barn wood ceilings and a pine interior. Integrated storage units under the staircase leads to the lofted bedroom and multifunctional furniture helps maximize storage. The tiny house is also wired with a 4-speaker integrated sound system. The bathroom contains a full-size standup shower, sink, and composting toilet. No messy hookups.

Large windows allow natural light to flow into the living area, creating a cheery interior that contains a moveable table, built-in shelving, and a kitchen with a 24-inch range and propane refrigerator/freezer. All this is powered by solar panels on the roof with 11kW of stored energy capacity, while water is collected using a 200-liter rain barrel. The water is conserved and used via a combination of tools including a water recovery system, home drinking purifier, and grey-water holding tank. The space has been spray-foam insulated and in the winter can be heated using a propane heater and wood burning stove.

Greenmoxie is custom building the two-person tiny house for clients in the Ontario, Canada area with prices starting around $65,000 USD. Here’s hoping they bring this mortgage-free, off-grid lodge to a wider audience shortly.

Greenmoxie: Website | Facebook | Instagram
via [Inhabitat]

All images via Greenmoxie

My Modern Met

Grass Roof Home Is Built Into the Ground for Energy-Conserving Camouflage

There is almost no setting more perfect for a living space than the stunning Colorado Rocky Mountains. When architecture, construction, and development firm GLUCK+ was hired to construct a house in the area, the architects made sure their work integrated harmoniously with the beautiful landscape. Their solution was the House in the Mountains, a green-roofed guesthouse that’s partially buried underground and perfectly blends in with its surroundings. This design decision is also an eco-friendly one—the building conserves energy through ample solar panels and by using the Earth’s thermal inertia to retain heat.

The 2,850 square foot House in the Mountains features outdoor spaces like a swimming pool and a sunken courtyard with a fireplace built into the wall. Solar panels on the south elevation of the bedroom wing efficiently harvests solar energy that heats both the home and the pool.

From the interior, continuous clerestory glass around the building allows for panoramic views and copious natural light to flood to the space. There are two roofs that contain the structure: a primary sloped roof rises from ground level at a 20 degree angle and houses the open-plan living, dining, and kitchen spaces; the second green roof covers the east-west wing that contains three bedrooms and the garage.

The exterior coverings are made from Corten steel, a corrosion-resistant material that helps to eliminate the need for painting. The color of the rusting steel also provides a contrasting red against the vegetated roof. Despite this striking juxtaposition, the guesthouse is almost invisible to viewers from the road as its grassy coverings blend in with its environment.

Besides modern houses, GLUCK+ has worked on a wide range of projects including religious buildings, community centers, hotels, universities, and historic restorations. New York-based GLUCK+ takes the approach of Architect Led Design Build, which means using a single-source responsibility for the design, construction and commissioning of buildings. This allows for the same people to see through an entire building project from concept to result. As they explain, “Our architects are also construction managers, meaning feedback between method of construction and design is fluid and responsive. Priorities between design, cost and schedule are clear. Creativity is responsible.”

View the full range of GLUCK+ works on their website.

GLUCK+: Website | Facebook | Twitter 
via [Inhabitat]

All images via GLUCK+.

My Modern Met

Beach House Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Is Available on Airbnb for $150 A Night

For just $150 a night, you can make yourself at home in the beautiful Cooke House, a lakeside abode in Virginia Beach that happens to be an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright creation. Nestled in nature, the 3,000-square-foot house perfectly demonstrates Wright’s signature style and modern approach to architecture.

Wright was a prolific architect of the 20th Century, known for his “prairie style”—an architectural aesthetic defined by linear forms, open interiors, and a focus on incorporating nature in his designs—and praised as the pioneer of organic architecture. With its hemicycle shape, striking angles, and secluded surroundings, The Cooke House embodies these unique architectural interests.

The renowned residence is named for Andrew and Maude Cooke, a couple who commissioned Wright to build “the beautiful house [they] have dreamed of for so long” (but that was also fit for parties, of course) in 1951. Construction commenced in 1959—a mere two weeks before the architect’s death—and it was completed the following year. In 1983, the home was restored, and today, under its current owners (and potentially your next Airbnb host and hostess) Daniel and Jane Duhl, it appears remarkably similar to when Wright designed it. 

The dwelling features site-specific furniture designed by the architect, as well as beautiful skylights and vaulted ceilings. The main house includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, exercise room, spa, sauna, and pretty patio that overlooks Crystal Lake. Lucky lodgers stay in the attached staff suite—a private cottage made up of a bedroom and bathroom—but are given a complimentary tour of the house by Mr. and Mrs. Duhl upon arrival. However, the home is currently on the market for a cool $2,750,000, so any architecturally-minded Airbnb hopefuls better act fast!

Frank Lloyd Wright Beach House: Website | Facebook | Airbnb
via [Inhabitat, Coastal Living Virginia Mag]

All images via Frank Lloyd Wright Beach House and Airbnb.

My Modern Met

Mark Twain Has a Historic Haunted Mansion That Offers Spooky Ghost Tours

Iconic American author Mark Twain, best known for his stories about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, has more than just books as a claim to fame. A lesser-known aspect of Twain—whose real name is Samuel Clemens—is that his former residence is haunted.

Between the years 1874 and 1891, Twain lived in a 25-room Gothic-style mansion in Hartford, Connecticut. (It’s here that he penned classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.) The author commissioned New York architect Edward Tuckerman Potter to design the house but did the actual building himself. Louis C. Tiffany & Co. decorated the walls and ceilings of the building’s public spaces.

Twain and family initially left the house to go on a speaking tour in Europe. While away, his daughter, Susy, died of meningitis, and he never returned to his mansion—it was too emotionally painful. The home was subsequently sold in 1903 and was converted into a boarding school and library before becoming a museum about the author. It’s then that the paranormal activity started. As far back as the 1960s, staff members reported “presences” looming, as well as things that couldn’t be explained—like the smell of cigar smoke in the billiards room/office and visions of a woman in a white Victorian nightgown—said to be Susy.

For those interested in finding apparitions, the mansion offers the opportunity to do so. Visitors can tour the house during the Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours all during October, the spookiest month of the year.

Mark Twain House: Website
via [Home Crux]

My Modern Met

Exquisitely Detailed Dollhouses Document 300 Years of British Domestic Life

Renowned for its world-class collection and dedication to preservation, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood offers a nostalgic look at Great Britain’s cultural heritage. Recently, the institution loaned a dozen of its prized dollhouses to the National Building Museum in Washington DC for a special show titled Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse.

The exquisite exhibition features twelve dollhouses, offering a range of “country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates, and high-rise apartments.” The miniature homes are curated chronologically to represent a period of 300 years and highlight the changing tastes and defining styles of each period. Complete with mini figurines, tiny furniture, and even original wallpaper—as in the case of the beautiful Tate Baby House (a delightful dwelling from 1760). Expertly crafted, beautifully designed, and demonstrating a high attention to detail, each residence proves that dollhouses are so much more than mere toys.

Small Stories has made itself at home at the National Building Museum—a site dedicated to “telling the stories of architecture, engineering, and design”—where it will reside until January 22, 2017.

National Building Museum: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram 
via [Arch Daily]

All images via Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

My Modern Met

Exquisite Interior Photos Highlight the Beauty of Italy’s Opulent Architecture

We first encountered David Burdeny‘s work last year with his series of compelling images of Moscow’s subway station. The architect-turned-photographer has now moved his attention toward the opulent architecture of Italy, capturing the hidden decadence of the Italian peninsula. From north to south, Burdeny’s sharp eye takes the viewer into unique spaces, some still private residences, others transformed into museums, others shuttered permanently and falling into decay. His compositional symmetry and attention to light and color betray his background as a practicing architect, as he gives value to the structure as a living, breathing figure. It’s easy to imagine the phantoms of history past floating through the scenery.

The series itself could be a study of Italy’s hidden heritage—from the unexpectedly colorful Castle of Sammezzano, an example Moorish Revival architecture that began construction in 1605 and has remained closed to the public for 25 years, to the luxurious hunting lodge at the Stupingi Palace, former residence of the Royal house of Savoy turned UNESCO World Heritage Site. The images display the intricate interiors full of craftsmanship, whether it be Murano glass chandeliers or elaborately frescoed ceilings, capturing an age when Italy was a world leader.

“I seek to capture the mood and promise, silence and solitude in that extended moment of awareness,” Burdeny says. “In my earlier architectural practice and now my photography career, I’m fascinated by the opportunity to invest symbols and narrative into built form or see the metaphor in a material space.” Beyond the technical prowess that digital photography affords us, Burdeny likes to think that “there is a mystery at the heart of all my photographs, an appeal for the viewer to keep looking and see more.”

From November 10-December 23, 2016, Burdeny’s exhibition Selected Works from Russia, Cuba, and Salt will be on view at Herringer Kiss Gallery in Calgary, Alberta. He will also be showing work at Art Toronto with Bau-Xi Gallery from October 28-31, 2016.

Above image: Hunting Lodge (Rotunda), Stupingi Palace, Piedmont, Italy

Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy 2016

Castle of Sammezzano, Tuscany, Italy, 2016

Map Room, Villa Farnese, Caprarola, 2016

Mirror Room, Ducal Palace, Mantua, Italy, 2016

Library, Naples, Italy, 2016

Gran Galleria, Reggia di Venaria Reale, Piedmont, 2016

Court Theater, Royal Palace of Caserta, Caserta, Italy, 2016

Apartments of Princess Isabella, Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy, 2016

Palazzo Madama, Turin, Italy, 2016

Ca’ Rezzonico II, Venice, Italy, 2012

Reggia di Caserta, Caserta, Italy, 2016

Tenuta Berroni, Racconigi, Italy, 2016

Castello, Racconigi, Italy, 2016

David Burdeny: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by David Burdeny.

My Modern Met

Modern Parisian Apartment’s Hardwood Floor Seamlessly Doubles as a Kitchen Table

Creative duo Mathurin Hardel and Cyril Le Bihan comprise Hardel + Lebihan Architects—a Paris-based architectural team that dabbles in the design of offices, hotels, educational facilities, and unique and modern homes, like Maison DDD

The 250-square-meter private flat is located in Paris’ 20th arrondissement. Though its aesthetic is classically minimalist, it features a unique and imaginative twist: a cantilever table that seamlessly emerges from the boards of hardwood floors. At first, this design may sound impossible, but the apartment’s layout is perfectly suited for such an inventive accent.

While the open-plan kitchen and living room are adjacent to one another, the former is slightly lower than the latter. Situated in a cozy nook, the kitchen is accessible via a tiny flight of stairs. Once inside the alcove, the floor of the living room is at perfect tabletop height—so Hardel + Lebihan simply extended it! The result is a one-of-a-kind, site-specific dinner table that is as avant-garde as it is practical.

Hardel+LiBihan Architects: Website 
via [Contemporist]

All images via Camille Gharbi.

My Modern Met

Eco-Friendly Beachside Home with a Living Green Roof Built in Just Six Weeks

Australian architecture firm ArchiBlox has created an eco-friendly home that was constructed in just six weeks’ time. Known as the Avalon House, it’s a modular green-roofed home that was prefabricated off-site and then installed on a gorgeous beach side property in New South Wales.

While the 106-square-meter Avalon House may be cozy in size, the designers set large sights on sustainability. The house faces the ocean—whose east-west orientation promotes cross-ventilation—and is also topped with a living roof that minimizes rainwater runoff and solar penetration. This vibrant green roof also acts as thermal mass.

ArchiBlox has a “strong focus on quality, service, and transparency” to ensure that their clients are provided a solution that best reflects the environment and their lifestyle. Based on the surroundings and future inhabitants, this project features main facades facing north with windows minimized on the south side. The resulting bright and airy interior allows for an open-plan living area, dining space, and kitchen on one half of the home, while a master bedroom, a two-bed bedroom, and a bathroom occupy the other half.

The concept behind Avalon House is described by ArchiBlox as, “Embedded within the earth, the beautifully crafted dwelling creates an enriched experience within the environment. Immersed in the serenity of its surroundings, the house creates an endless and continuously changing source of visual and aural beauty.” The water-front views provide “visual connection to water [and] further creates an undulating calming visual and aural effect. The dwelling promises to offer a serene environment enduring the effects of time.”

Learn more about the Avalon House and other prefabricated modular buildings on ArchiBlox’s website.

ArchiBlox: TwitterFacebookYoutubePinterest | Instagram
via [Inhabitat, ArchDaily]

All images via ArchiBlox.

My Modern Met