House Review: Contemporary Homes

By Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, House Review Lead Designer | November 30, 2017
JEWEL AT PLAYA VISTA, RESIDENCE I ARCHITECT Robert Hidey Architects Photo by Brookfield Residential
The Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I, by Robert Hidey Architects

Of all the labels used to describe a given style of architecture, “contemporary” may be the most confusing and misunderstood. For some, a sloping roof and expansive windows come to mind. Others might use the term for any home that deviates from a traditional style—whatever that may be. “Contemporary” means of the present, best described as one with materials and spaces that expand existing design ideas while addressing the ways we live now. Although many contemporary efforts strive for innovation and uniqueness, others borrow successful details from earlier styles. The following examples from our design team range from distinctive homes with minimal detail to residences that pay homage to the historic Prairie Style with low-profile roofs and horizontal lines. No matter how we chose to define contemporary, the sensitive use of scale, proportion, and materials is ultimately what makes for enduring design.   

 

 

Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I

ARCHITECT: Robert Hidey Architects, ahidey@roberthidey.com, 949.655.1550
PLAN SIZE: Width: 31 feet; Depth: 75 feet; Living area: 4,288 sf

On a compact site in a walkable, mixed-use community, this home takes a forward look at high-density, single-family living. Designed for Brookfield Residential and targeted at creative and tech buyers, the home has a distinctly modern character. Unlike conventional three-story residences on dense sites, this home’s light-filled living spaces make the most of outdoor living. The wide-open floor plan, with its 12-foot-high plates, allows the home to read as a sophisticated urban loft. Exterior space and side yards are maximized by reciprocal-use easements, while thoughtful window placement prioritizes privacy. On the second floor, primary bedroom suites adjacent to a multimedia lounge provide personal sanctuaries. The pièce de resistance is the elevator-serviced entertainment space on the third-floor. It opens to a roomy covered deck equipped with a kitchen and bar, adding 330 square feet of space to the home.

Robert Hidey Archutects-Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I-outdoor living-photo courtesy Brookfield Residential

 

Robert Hidey Architects-Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I-plans 1 2 3

Robert Hidey Architects-Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I-plan key

 

Robert Hidey Architects-Jewel at Playa Vista, Residence I-front elevation-photo courtesy Brookfield Residential

 

Millennial Contemporary

ARCHITECT: Donald F. Evans, AIA, The Evans Group, devans@theevansgroup.com, 407.650.8770
PLAN SIZE: Width: 40 feet; Depth: 49 feet, 4 inches; Living area: 1,264 sf

In this modern home, sustainable features include a solar-film roof and a gutter system for water collection that leads to a buried cistern in the front yard. Windows and clerestory glass in the volume gallery space offer plenty of daylighting. The grand room includes a large living room and dining room, a spacious kitchen with bar seating, pantry, and stackable washer/dryer, and efficiently designed bedrooms and baths. A living garage provides usable multipurpose space that’s air conditioned, with a designated place for trash and recycling. A clean, contemporary exterior is executed with precast concrete panel technology. Designed for Millennials, the three-bedroom, two bath home will draw buyers across age groups and life stages. 

The Evans Group-Millennial Contemporary-exterior 1

 

 

The Evans Group-Millennial Contemporary-exterior 2

 

The Evans Group-Millennial Contemporary-plan key     

 

The Evans Group-Millennial Contemporary-plans

 

 

The Altos House

ARCHITECT: Richard Handlen, AIA, LEED AP, EDI International, richard.handlen@edi-international.com, 415.362.2880
PLAN SIZE: Width: 46 feet; Depth: 100 feet; Living area: 2,100 sf

Custom homes always come with interesting requests. This client wanted to save a giant blue spruce tree, avoid having to back the car out onto a busy street, maximize access to the yards, and minimize the use of wood. We created an entry court with the tree at its center. The front entry is a gated pavilion that accesses the courtyard. The side-load garage allows room to turn the car around before exiting onto the busy street. Thanks to radiant slab on-grade construction, all rooms have easy access to outdoor patios, blurring the distinction between the inside and outside. The original house on the site was termite infested, which led to the request to avoid wood. The only wood in the house is cabinetry and door panels. The structure is steel studs with steel roof decking, and the door frames are steel.

 

 

Altos House Richard Handlen, AIA, LEED AP

Richard Handlen-The Altos House-plan 

Richard Handlen-The Altos House-plan key 1Richard Handlen-The Altos House-plan key 2

 

Richard Handlen-The Altos House-outdoor living and kitchen-dining room

 

Peak I Series at 5390

DESIGNER: KGA Studio Architects, PC John Guilliams, jguilliams@kgarch.com, 303.442.5882
PLAN SIZE: Width: 21 feet; Depth: 48 feet; Living area: 2,354 sf

Custom homes always come with interesting requests. This client wanted to save a giant blue spruce tree, avoid having to back the car out onto a busy street, maximize access to the yards, and minimize the use of wood. We created an entry court with the tree at its center. The front entry is a gated pavilion that accesses the courtyard. The side-load garage allows room to turn the car around before exiting onto the busy street. Thanks to radiant slab on-grade construction, all rooms have easy access to outdoor patios, blurring the distinction between the inside and outside. The original house on the site was termite infested, which led to the request to avoid wood. The only wood in the house is cabinetry and door panels. The structure is steel studs with steel roof decking, and the door frames are steel.

 

 

Peak I Series at 5390 Photo by David Patterson

 

KGA Studio Architects-Peak I Series at 5390-plan 1KGA Studio Architects-Peak I Series at 5390-plan key

 

 

 

KGA Studio Architects-Peak I Series at 5390-plans 2 and 3

 

Camilla

ARCHITECT: Todd Hallett AIA, TK Design & Associates, thallett@tkhomedesign.com, 248.446.1960
PLAN SIZE: Width: 50 feet, 4 inches; Depth: 48 feet, 2 inches; Living area: 3,644 sf

Designer Mike Latimer worked closely with Aspen Crest Homes, in Utah, to design this cutting-edge modern home. Located adjacent to a large ski resort, the home is designed for entertaining and activity. Large expanses of glass take advantage of gorgeous mountain views.

 

Camilla | Designer Mike Latimer, Aspen Crest Homes

           

Todd Hallett-Camilla-plan 1

Todd Hallett-Camilla-plan 2

Todd Hallett-Camilla-plan lower level

 

Todd Hallett-Camilla-plan key

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