I have a list of blog posts that I’ve been meaning to share, but sometimes you spot something randomly, and it seems to fit the mood of whatever you’ve been thinking about, right? The Mountain Refuge caught my eye when scrolling on Dezeen last week (you can see Dezeen’s feature here) for a few reasons. Like most people, we haven’t had a chance to escape this year, and ‘escape’ for us usually means going some place quiet, away from people, and spending a week or so just connected with nature. And this year, my desire for a more remote lifestyle has really kicked in. (I’m guessing that I’m not alone in this.) As we’ve grown more accustomed to being away from people, I’ve realised that this is how I’d like to live. Find me some place remote, by the sea, with a great broadband connection (the tricky bit), and I’ll be there. You can dream, right?
How do you build a house on an unspoilt natural site without destroying the very nature that makes that site so special? This was the question faced by the owners of Villa Åkerman when they came to this plot in Värmdö, which sits in the middle of the Stockholm Archipelago, back in 2013. Albert and Amanda Åkerman wanted to create a family home that would embrace the nature surrounding it while also respecting the site. As Albert says in an interview published in Swedish Elle Decoration in June 2016, even if the house isn’t here in 100 years, the couple wanted the rock that it sits upon to be intact.
If, like me, you’re already an admirer of the Copenhagen-based Norm Architects – the home of Norm’s co-founder Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen has been a favourite of mine since I first laid eyes on its restrained and elegant interior – then any new project from the practice is going to demand attention. And, as these photos show, the Gjøvik House in Norway is another beautiful example of Norm Architects’ understated approach.
Whenever I’m interviewing people about their build or renovation projects, they often mention how they’ve found inspiration by attending homebuilding shows where they’ve come across interesting companies or new products that they might not have encountered otherwise. For all that we’re used to doing research online, there’s nothing quite having like a face-to-face conversation, or seeing a product in the flesh.
Next weekend, The Homebuilding & Renovating Show returns to the SECC in Glasgow on 21 and 22 May. The show is billed as a “one-stop shop for all your needs” whether you’re undertaking a conversion or renovation project, or thinking about extending a house or indeed building from scratch. This year’s show will feature over 140 exhibitors presenting their latest products and services.
For those who know me (and therefore know of my love of St Andrews in Scotland), you may be looking at the headline and the photo above and wondering about the whereabouts of this striking house. But no, this isn’t that St Andrews. This St Andrews Beach is located on the Mornington Peninsula to the south of Melbourne in Australia, and this house was designed to make the most of the spectacular views of the rugged coastline here. Just look at this location… incredible, right?
Described in The Telegraph as “an anomalous beacon of modernity”, Old Church Street in London’s Chelsea area is a study in contrasts as grand period properties are juxtaposed with buildings by the likes of Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry. And there is a new ‘kid on the block’ at number 47 Old Church Street, within strolling distance of King’s Road.