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Marcos Guiponi
Designed to welcome the outdoors in, two modular and minimalist houses provide a blissful escape in the Uruguayan countryside.

A few years after VivoTripodi completed a prefabricated weekend home for a family in rural Uruguay, the clients called on the Montevideo-based architects once more to create two new residences for visiting friends and family. Like the main house, the minimalist dwellings keep the focus on the landscape.

The architects drew design inspiration from the main home’s boxy form and all-timber palette to create two modular additions strategically placed to maintain sight lines and minimize landscape impact. As with the main house, prefabricated construction provided numerous advantages given the remote location and the desire to minimize waste.

"The main design goal was to create complete immersion in nature," explain architects Bernardo Vivo and Guzmán Trípodi of VivoTripodi. "The interior feels as if you were outside. To wake up in the freezing winter and see the sun come out of the horizon, the fog dissipating in the cold grass, but to do it all in great comfort inside the shelter while drinking a hot coffee…it’s definitely a unique experience."

Each guest house spans 518 square feet and comprises three main spaces with an open-plan layout: a combined living/dining/kitchen area, a bathroom to the side, and two bedrooms on either end of the building.

"The ground had some variation, and we wanted that to remain," note the architects of their site-sensitive approach. "We didn’t touch the ground’s natural curve, to emphasize the fact that we like to respect the natural state of things."

The interiors are lined with pine planks, each of which is 13 centimeters wide—a measurement that determined the interior dimensions. "We had to give specific details so that when the carpenters started working on the interiors, the wood would barely have any modifications to its sizing," explain the architects. "Our precision determined the exact amount of wood needed to minimize waste and unused cuts."

"To create a project with nature as its main factor is amazing," say Vivo and TrĂ­podi. The architects developed their site-specific designs over multiple visits to the site to study how the landscape changed throughout the seasons and time of day. "We hope to get more chances to show our outdoor fanaticism."

Interior Design Media
We’ve rounded up the hottest products from top flooring designers in 2019.

Designer: Julia Tonconogy of JT. Pfeiffer

Product: Amelia

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.

Designer: Ilse Crawford for Nanimarquina

Product: Wellbeing

Standout: Free of any bleaches or dyes, the plush rug by the Studioilse founder is hand-knotted of Afghan wool.

Designer: Kelly Wearstler for The Rug Company

Product: Bravado Graphite

Standout: Inspired by the custom runner in the designer’s own home, the rug’s high-energy bands in dark and light shades are Tibetan wool.

Designer: Raphael Navot for Roche Bobois

Product: Merge Dawn

Standout: Part of the multidisciplinary designer’s Nativ collection, the wool-blend rug interprets sunrise with the gestural approach of an abstract painter.

Designer: Rodger Stevens for Lindström Rugs

Product: Embrace

Standout: The Parsons School of Design–trained sculptor switches medi­ums from wire to hand-knotted Tibetan wool, but retains his artwork’s signa­ture loops and twists.

Designer: Martino Gamper for CC-Tapis

Product: Xequer

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.

Designer: Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen for Warp & Weft

Product: Tidal A

Standout: Don’t be fooled by the jagged configuration on the company creative director’s rug, as it’s ren­dered in luxe Tibetan wool and Indian silk.
Matthew Millman
Given a truly spectacular oceanfront site on Hawaii’s Big Island—set along an ancient footpath, atop a hardened lava flow, with views of sky, sun, and water for days—you would think that the design team could just lay back and chill. How could you screw it up? A hut would nearly suffice.

Turns out it took nearly three years to perfect a Kona Coast vacation home on just such a plot for a couple based in Portland, Oregon. The clients’ wait was rewarded with spectacular results. Architecture and interior are ultramodern and yet rely heavily on traditional materials and touchstones. Old and new ebb and flow as easily as the tides right outside the home's copious sliding-glass doors.

Principal Greg Warner of Walker Warner Architects and Philpotts Interiors partner Marion Philpotts-Miller approached the project in a thoughtful and methodical manner. “We call it the 'Village,'” Warner says of the unusual arrangement, a grouping of four separate structures linked by a lush courtyard and a series of walkways and patios. Indeed, traditional Hawaiian villages, typically organized in loose clusters, inspired both the site plan and the daring architectural style, an angular composition of canted steel columns, steep-pitched roofs, and rhomboidal window and door openings. “The structures represent a contemporary interpretation of early hale shelters,” Warner says. “They’re like modernist lean-tos.”

The clients wanted to use the compound to entertain friends and family. But they also desired privacy. So, Warner located the volumes housing the master suite and the main living areas on the site’s ocean side. Set back deeper in the property are pods containing the two guest suites and communal relaxation areas. Bedrooms open onto concrete-walled private courts for additional seclusion. The parcel of land isn’t huge—around 1 ½ acres—and the buildable area is much smaller; in total, interiors encompass approximately 4,800 square feet. But the arrangement (not to mention the sweeping views) makes the three-bedroom residence feel expansive.

The rugged rock walls of historic Mokuaikaua Church, located in nearby Kailua, inspired the primary building materials: lava rock and other stones mortared with lime putty. Warner and his former colleague, senior project manager David Shutt, also chose durable Western red cedar as the dominant wood—both for cladding and the roof shingles—since it resists heat, moisture, and insects. Inside, stained and lightly polished concrete flooring keeps things cool during the day.

As for the decor, Philpotts-Miller and her team were inspired by what she describes as the “adventurous nature” of the clients. Accordingly, “the use of color is very playful and dynamic,” she says. In the rec room, for instance, custom surfboards are mounted on the wall like artworks.

Otherwise, the scheme is no-frills, simple, and airy, with a midcentury vibe that Philpotts-Miller explains was inspired by the work of Hawaiian modernist Vladimir Ossipoff. And the rooms aren’t stuffed to the gills with furnishings. “Because the architecture is so thoughtfully put together and there’s so much natural texture, we didn’t need to load up the interiors,” Philpotts-Miller continues. She is particularly proud of how the living room riffs on an abstract oil on canvas by Lee Kelly. “We really let that piece define the palette,” she says. Note the neutral-toned Christian Liaigre oak sofa and wenge lounge chairs, plus a custom wool-cotton rug in a funky orange hue. “All the furniture is in harmony and set up to celebrate the view,” she summarizes.

The master bedroom is likewise grounded with earthy, timber-toned accents—whitewashed wood wall paneling, a walnut bench—and also lifted via a sky-blue rug and throw pillows. Philpotts-Miller and her team designed the project’s biggest pieces, including the master suite’s clean-lined bed with raffia and white-oak headboard, as well as the living room’s cocktail table in butterfly-jointed Australian mahogany.

By design, there’s very little barrier between indoors and out. Sapele-framed sliders glide open to the elements, and operable windows swivel to coax in the breeze and encourage cross ventilation. “The living room unfurls to become porchlike,” Warner adds, noting the continuity of floor and ceiling materials between interiors and adjacent alfresco sp
Hayward Score
Healthier homes are in demand and it takes a comprehensive strategy to deliver.

Bill Hayward, CEO and chief sustainability officer at Hayward Lumber, set out on a personal mission to uncover home health issues, and has grown it into a new business. He thus founded the Hayward Score. More than 30,000 home owners have contributed to data that Hayward uses to inform builders about how to make home designs healthier.

His data aligns home owner health outcomes with home construction and design, along with the impact of improving both.

Below is a chart that shows the incremental costs to achieve healthier homes along with the reduced risk for the builder and the buyer.

This is one trend that isn’t escaping KB Home. The company just launched its 2018 Sustainability Report: Building for Tomorrow, where it lists one guiding principle for sustainability: to contribute to the well-being of the communities in which it operates.

Dan Bridleman, KB’s senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing, has been living that at KB Home for more than 16 years. Bridleman leads the organization’s sustainability initiatives, maintains partnerships with suppliers, and manages information technology. Previously, Bridleman served as general manager of supply chain management at Boeing Satellite Systems in Los Angeles, California, the world's largest manufacturer of commercial communications satellites.

In this podcast episode of HIVE RE:Think, host Philip Beere speaks to Bridleman about the increasing importance of health in new home design, now embedded in KB Home’s business strategy with technology and innovation that offer personal benefits to the occupants.