Conflicting desires are a hallmark of many architectural projects, and it’s often what makes them interesting. PROD Architecture + Design’s clients wanted a farmhouse in Penafiel, Portugal, that blended in with the region’s more traditional homes but also had modern, floor-to-ceiling windows that responded to the environment.
The house's "traditional" feel, architect Barend Koolhaas says, is "only as thick as the layer of wood on the outside." When entering, the eyes travel straight back through the massive windows to the green yard beyond. "It appears as though there is no house behind the facade, like the houses on a movie set," he says.
A cantilevered cabin designed by R D Gentzler blends into the forest, even as it hovers above a 20-foot drop-off. Its south face is almost entirely glass, but a roof canopy limits solar gain. “We sit on the deck all afternoon watching the trees, and the time just flies by,” says resident Maricela Salas.
A family's summer home in Sweden wanted ample spaces to enjoy the sun while being protected from the wind. The solution came in the shaping of the building and also in the way that glass was used. The home’s veranda can be screened off as the weather dictates, and a glass roof fills the space between it and the main building. This works without imposing on the design, inside or out.
In Halifax, Canada, this modern multi-use residence by Susan Fitzgerald Architecture fosters a sense of community through living, working, and growing. The home’s front façade features an anodized aluminum and glass curtain wall by Kawneer that's framed by Vic West black corrugated metal panels. The board-formed concrete on the exterior enables passive solar absorption, allowing optimal heat retention on cold winter days. The metal and concrete exterior cladding offers cohesive dialogue with the neighboring industrial sheds and commercial buildings.