We've been collecting architecture and interior design related articles in a flipboard magazine since 2014. Back then we were just dreaming and admiring what other people are doing. Now, only two years later, we're actually planning our own house and the collection has become a valuable resource for inspiration.
To help ourselves understand what are the qualities we would like our house to embody, we went trough the collection and tried to distinguish the more frequent ones. I will share our results in two posts, separating exteriors from interiors. (Although some of the qualities might apply in both cases)
I won't include things like self sufficiency, eco-friendliness or size of the house because they represent the ideology of living more than the actual architecture. Lets start with the purely visual qualities and then move to the more conceptual ones.
This one is obvious. By looking at all the photos below you will immediately notice that timber and glass are by far our favourite materials. We just love the way they look together. It's a great combination of traditional and modern. The shiny, reflective surface of glass brings out the qualities of the timber and vice versa. I think these materials can contribute largely to immersion - a quality i will talk about a bit later. The different shades of timber are acting like camouflage and the reflective glass can help the building disappear into its surroundings completely.
By the way - the movie Ex Machina was partly shot in the Juvet Landscape Hotel (below).
Although i can (and do) appreciate the beauty of irregularity, i really like the use of basic geometric shapes and symmetry in architecture. I guess its because of the contrast it can create. Similarly how the contrast between glass and timber highlights their visual properties, if we're talking about rural landscape or complete wilderness, the difference between a perfect (unnatural) shape and its natural surroundings can produce interesting results.
I could have just called this section "Large Windows", but "Panoramic Views" sounded so much cooler. There are multiple reasons large windows are a good idea. Firstly they bring a lot of natural light into the building. Secondly, in houses built by passive standards large windows are used to collect solar energy to heat up the house. These houses, if built properly, can often get by almost without any other heat source. Lastly, large windows help to bring down the gap between the building and its surroundings. They invite the outside in and that makes the room feel much larger. This is of course especially important in case of tiny houses. The thing is, we - introvert by nature - might not always want to be so exposed, but would rather like to have a cosy place to hide from the outside world. Thats why for our house we are working on a design that could adapt in all kinds of sitations.
I will just leave you with this.
When i was a kid i used to imagine that my house will have many secret passages and hidden rooms and i still like clever surprises and unexpected transformations in design. I love the idea that something that looks like an old empty shed can actually hide a large modern living space. Or that a rock on a side of a hill is actually a cosy cabin. These examples might be a little extreme and we probably wont disguise our tiny house as a rock, but it will still have some tricks up its sleeve. These might be things like transformable furniture that serves more than one purpose, a bed that folds in a wall when not in use or a sliding, modular timber facade.
A building shouldn't dominate the landscape its in. It should be a part of it. It should look like it belongs. This is hard enough to achieve with traditional (not movable) buildings and it will be a great challenge for us and our tiny house. We will hopefully end up in many beautiful places and we would not want to disrupt them in any way with our presence.
Thats it for this post. I will try to put together the next one about interior design soon. Meanwhile you can check out a lot more examples in our flipboard magazine.