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Contemporary Residential Architecture

Current House Design around the world – article by Matthias Neumann

Oct 16, 2012

Current Residential Architecture

House on the Hill (and then some more)

Article for e-architect by Matthias Neumann

The primordial form of architecture is arguably the house in the landscape. Understandably as it is that this pastoral set-up has been superseded now for quite some time with a turn to more urban concerns, it still holds value to look at buildings from time to time as a “built environment” and as an extension to their surrounding and local.

Winged House, Singapore
Architect: K2LD Architects
Winged House Singapore Contemporary residential architecture
Patrick Bingham Hall

K2LD Architects’ Winged House is a single family home situated on a hill atop the botanical gardens in Singapore. The two-story structure is split into two volumes embracing the site with a sculptural roof tying the building together and back into the ground.

It is easy to forget over the dramatic photo-op how well considered the building is in response to the local climate and the need for natural ventilation, shading and controlled natural light, and how well it responds to the hilly topography of the site.

Salon Central, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Design: Batlle Roig Architects
Salon Central
photograph : Jordi Surroca

Batlle Roig Architects have in turn created their own topography with a landscape intervention that marks and upgrades the public space at an important junction in the city of Sant Boi de Llobregat just outside of Barcelona. The polygonal landscape pattern detaches from the ground in response to the defining axis of the site creating polyvalent public spaces that recreate a sense of place in an otherwise rather bleak environment.

La Muna, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Design: Oppenheim Architecture + Design
Aspen House
photo : Laziz Hamani

Much further West in the Rocky Mountains a ski chalet was recently renovated by Chad Oppenheim. The project consists of a small addition to an existing building, some spatial reorganizing, and cladding and refinishing of the building with refurbished wood and stone. The highly successful result of the renovation is both an elegant understatement for the highly exclusive ski resort, as well as an extension and addition to the natural landscape.

Boustred House, Sydney, Australia
Design: ian moore architects
Mosman Building
photo : Daniel Mayne

And lastly, Ian Moore’s Boustred House, sitting on a cliff overlooking Sydney harbor, uses the topography to organize the single family home and to respond to the qualities of the site. Entering from the street the building appears to be a one-story structure which unfolds as one descends 3 stories to the garden and pool.

It is easy to forget the light, the smell, the vegetation, and all the specifics to the site when looking at buildings in architecture publications or on the internet. But it is a worthy reminder that creating architecture is in fact creating site-specificity which can enhance or deteriorate its surrounding.

Matthias Neumann

Matthias Neumann, New York City

Matthias Neumann New York
photo of the architect

Matthias Neumann is principal of normaldesign, an award-winning design firm in Brooklyn, New York, NY, USA. He has recently curated the exhibition “Made in USA – German Architects in New York” for the General Consulate of Germany in New York, and has taught architecture in various institutions. He has been involved with Global Studio ( since 2007 as faculty and mentor.

Article for e-architect by Matthias Neumann

Location: Brooklyn, New York City, NY, United States of America

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