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Hired by a young couple returning to Taiwan to raise their baby, IIMOSTUDIO renovated a dated, 25-year-old house that was traditional in style and not the owners’ taste. The original layout was too broken up into smaller spaces and there weren’t enough windows making the interior dark and drab. To top it off, there were walls outside that were blocking what little views they could enjoy from the few windows. All the issues led to the freshly designed Fun House, which was completed on a budget and within the constraints of older construction.
The interior was opened up and given a modern transformation with the use of bold colors, a mix of materials, and contemporary furnishings.
The kitchen was given a wooden island for additional storage and counter space. Large windows now frame the lush green views surrounding the home.
The dark bathroom transitions into a white alcove where the freestanding bathtub rests.
Living “off-the-grid” connotes a level of living rustic and rough fashion, one distant from the comforts and conveniences the typical well-heeled urbanist might expect. The SPACE by Sweden-based iOhouse is designed to deliver the antithesis of this notion – a luxe and tech-equipped residential concept transportable anywhere and engineered to be operate sans external sewage, electrical, or water systems with a plethora of next generation smart home options.
The Space is a fully self-contained housing proposal transported by truck, and delivered with all furnishings, appliances and technologies already included (brands listed include Antonio Lupi, Vola, Andrew World, Penta Juliette, and Lago). Utility systems for water, electricity, heating and even wireless internet connections are all engineered for storage, use, and monitoring without a connection to the grid:
- Electricity: integrated solar panels with generator, producing 220v
- Heating/Cooling: air/heat pump
- Water system: 2000 l capacity
- Sewer system: 3000 l capacity
- Ventilation system with air filtration
Everything within the SPACE by IO House is also connected and monitored by mobile phone or tablet, with weather monitoring, home entertainment A/V systems, wi-fi, home security and smoke/water detection, and smart home controls for lighting comfort.
Though the structure itself is disconnected from the grid, occupants will need water delivered and waste removed about every two weeks for a household of two.
So how much will living luxe disconnected from the grid set a potential buyer? A rather reasonable 549.000 EUR for the all-inclusive smart home prefabricated experience, ready for day one with everything from bed sheets to tableware.
There’s something poetic happening when you see a chef making fresh pasta, rolling out sheets of dough to be cut into strips for your favorite dish. British designer Damian Williamson shares a similar sentiment. He decided to translate this nonchalant expression, when fresh egg pasta is draped over an extra-large wooden rolling pin, into an easy chair and designed the leather Ovo for Erik Jørgensen (the name is derived from the Italian word uovo which means egg).
The Ovo’s fluid design is due to the upholstery of the backrest and armrest that have been folded in the same way pasta is. The squared steel frame that holds up the chair shows off the chair’s soft curvature, similar to the fluid perimeter of pasta. The same steel frame is used to connect the back and front of the chair, continuing the playful integration between leather and steel.
Lauren Rottet is the Founding Principal and President of Rottet Studio, a Houston, Texas based architecture and design firm with professionals in Los Angeles, New York, and Shanghai. The celebrated firm is behind projects that span from architecture, interior design, product design, furniture design, graphic design, branding, and art selection, with companies like Disney, Goldman Sachs, Viacom, New York Stock Exchange, United Talent Agency, Target, Comcast, Four Seasons, Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and more. Along with her many corporate and hospitality projects, Rottet’s repertoire extends to residential and furniture design, where her furniture and product designs have won four gold medals for the Best of NeoCon. Her latest venture, Rottet Collection, is a furniture company launched in 2017 that has garnered much attention along with the Best of Year award from Interior Design. In this Friday Five, the award-winning, multifaceted architect and designer shares her favorite parts of the world and what art inspires her.
1. Experiencing places like Hotel Palácio Belmonte in Lisbon, Portugal
Palacio Belmonte is more than the epitome of the perfect boutique hotel; it is an unforgettable experience in every way. Maria Coustols, who adoringly manages the hotel and becomes your best friend, confidante and trusted advisor on all to experience in and around Lisbon, taught me unforgettable lessons about engaging with others, cherishing the past and bringing it into your life in a meaningful, almost spiritual way. When I bought my home in Montauk the day I saw it (after looking for 10 years for a second home near Los Angeles) I remembered Maria telling me the story of her passion for Palácio Belmonte and how she and her husband Frédéric bought it without even seeing inside. I was reassured.
Quote from Frédéric Coustols:
“It’s about knowing yourself…When you travel widely, and mix with people and other cultures and traditions, you take a different view of everything – including your own personal opinions. It’s an exchange; people who come here don’t just take, they always bring something.”
Quote from Maria Coustols:
“Palácio Belmonte is the oldest palácio in Lisbon. The house had been in the same family for more than 500 years. It is a stunning sculpture, a 2198-year synthesis of Portuguese history and culture, located on top of the historical center of the city. When I saw it for the first time from its courtyard, I just felt an overwhelming attraction. My heart started to beat faster. I felt as if I were arriving home. It happened to be for sale and we bought it the next day without even visiting it.”
2. The Bay at Cap Juluca Anguilla
I must be near or on a beach at least six times a year and maybe more. The ability to look out and see nothing more than water and sky, the lack of human intervention, the feeling that all has been lifted off my shoulders and I have nothing to do but enjoy… I take it in so hard the first day that by day two or three I am so inspired to design, I work the rest of the time, but it is not work. The people of Anguilla are lovely and caring and truly enjoy having you join them on their island.
3. At home in Houston (yes, I am a Texan) with family and dogs
Houston is known for the hot, humid weather, but the best-kept secret is the other eight months of 70-degree weather, bright blue skies, shockingly green grass and 10 minutes from anywhere inside the loop. Lilly, my rescue poodle, loves it.
4. Art, and in particular, the artist Theaster Gates for his brilliance and contribution to society
As a child I was taken by my father to every art museum in the U.S. so there is a reason for my passion for art. I cannot go too long without exploring new artists and seeing some art show somewhere in the world. I like to keep it fresh and see different installations in as many different venues a possible. Wherever I am when I see a work of Theaster Gates I am moved both from the enjoyment of the art and the enjoyment of what he gives back to the community and the world in his passion for life.
5. Getting to know the East Coast
I grew up in Houston, went to school in Austin then spent my professional life first in San Francisco then Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. I had always wanted to work a year or two in Manhattan to round out my U.S. city experience, but that opportunity did not come until 2008 when we started Rottet Studio and opened an office there. I looked for a small pied-à-terre, but after months of searching found I loved to hotel hop and experience all the different brands, styles, food and methods of service. I had never been to the Hamptons and went in the summer of 2011. I love looking at houses, so I pretended to be looking to buy, found a house designed by George Nelson and Gordon Chadwick and bought it the day I saw it – this after looking for 10 years on the West Coast for a second home. I never tire of the two-to-three-hour Jitney ride as when I arrive I am filled with the smells, sounds, color of light, deep rich history and the sea.
Alexandra Buchanan Architecture designed the Coorparoo House for a family with growing children looking for a balance of separation and togetherness. Located in Brisbane, the home is situated on a sloped site surrounded by Eucalyptus trees with an elevated deck on the front enclosed with vertical wooden slats.
The home comprises stepped floor levels that surround a courtyard with sliding glass walls that connect the indoors with the outdoors.
There are three separate bedroom zones giving each family member the right amount of privacy.
Horizontal windows frame views of the green surroundings while allowing daylight to fill the interior.
Photography by Jessie Prince, courtesy of BowerBird.