The Modern Tube House is modeled after a traditional Hanoi tube house. These houses are so long and so deep that they typically have internal courtyards to provide natural light and natural ventilation at mid-block locations. Passage through the house is a movement between inside and outside, external space and internal space.
The drive behind this commission was a lady investor who sought Martin Martin Rajniš with the request to try and design a studio to fit among some stone houses. There was already an old stone wall on the site, defining a small area below the street level and overlooking a river valley.
Against a backdrop of rugged dunes typical of the Buenos Aires coastline, with a beautiful landscape, we were commissioned to design a house, with the request for a program of regular needs for a weekend house and a limited budget. The proposal seeks to preserve the most of the wonderful qualities of the place.
The classic barn form of the Sebastopol Barn House is the result of an historic timber frame structure dismantled in upstate New York, cleaned, cataloged and refurbished in Texas, and planned for relocation in the wine country of Northern California. The interior enclosed living spaces within the barn form are carefully designed to preserve the massive open space of the frame, weaving in and out of the existing timbers as a simple background of folding white planes, highlighting the special wood and joinery, and gathering the mysterious light, shadow, and spatial tracery of the floating beams and columns. All new elements of the architecture are constructed of simple materials, painted white, so that only the barn frame itself is highlighted. The pure form of the barn exterior is counterpoised with a low concrete wing cut into the hillside, locking the barn into its meadow landscape with simply formed outdoor courtyard living spaces formed by the two wings.
Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this new residence is designed to additionally afford views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond. The entry side of the house appears very solid with its thick super-insulated wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.
In an irregular lot, the house is located in order to win the major lake view. In relation to this, the social sector appears on the ground floor, composed of living and dining room, kitchen and an opened gallery, free of columns that frames the view and proposes a fluid connection inside – outside. On the same floor, a set of solid volumes, containing services, work as visual barriers and give privacy to the house. Over them, on the first floor, there is a single volume of concrete that contains the private sector, from where you also have a privileged view of the landscape.