Best 10 houses of 2019

As the end of the year draws to a close, we propose our selection of the ten top houses that we have published on Domusweb this year.

CollectiveProject, Brick House, Whitefield, India, 2018. Foto Benjamin Hosking

We selected ten of the houses we loved the most from the dozens that have come across our desks this year. Apartments are not included in this list as we dreamt on the archetypical typology of the single-family-house. Projects are set all over the world, from India to the US, crossing China, Australia, Europe and Central America. Their design features elements of surprise and specific responses to the diverse climate conditions. Using unexpected architectural solutions – from extruded volumes to blobby walls and parametric cuts – the architects had a special eye both on the materials and on the aspirations of their inhabitants.  

Concrete arcs frame courtyard views at Melbourne house by Edition Office

Curving concrete shrouds direct views to verdant gardens at Hawthorn House, while the upper floor is entirely hermetic to the outside world, instead favouring views of the sky. “Our objective for the home was to provide a strong sense of sanctuary, a feeling of being ‘elsewhere’ in this suburban context,” says architect Aaron Roberts, who designed the residence with Edition Office co-founder Kim Bridgland. Read full article here.

An Oasis of Bricks in the urban fabric of Bangalore

CollectiveProject designed a single-family house in Whitefield, Bangalore, characterized by fluid and interconnected spaces generated by the imperfection of handmade bricks and the way they are laid. Whitefield maintained its characteristic of a charming settlement surrounded by farmland on the eastern outskirts of the city of Bangalore until the late 1990s, when the local computer boom turned it into an important technological suburb of the city. Read full article here.

Cocoon house in Long Island

Nina Edwards Anker – Nea Studio designs a residential building half clad in cedar shingles and half glazed to open onto its garden. The project takes its name from the enveloping shape and its unusual section, which mixes a vault and a pitch. Read full article here.

A concrete house conceived as an inhabitable garden

In Alicante, Grupo Aranea's introverted and entangled house, sees interiors intertwined with verdant outdoor spaces. The residence, curvilinear and intertwined, is born in opposition to the banality of the architecture and suburban landscape of Alicante. Surrounded by concrete walls, the house designed by the Spanish studio Grupo Aranea is almost completely introverted. Read full article.

Extruded latticework and limestone in a house in Portugal

António Costa Lima Arquitectos has renovated an old warehouse on the Tagus river port, extending the original volume with a latticework of bricks on a perimeter limestone wall. Casa Altinho is located in the homonymous area in Lisbon, on the old Junqueira street, a ten minutes walk from the MAAT museum and a stone’s throw from the Tagus River, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. The architects have introduced so many formal elements that it is difficult to isolate just one. Read full article.

Haus Gables reinvents the spatial paradigms of the suburban house

Jennifer Bonner continues her investigation of the roof as architecture’s organising principle, hinting both at the vernacular of the American South and pop culture. Domestic Hats is the title of an exhibition curated by Jennifer Bonner at Atlanta’s Goat Farm Arts Center in 2014. A sequence of snow-white massing models investigated the roof typologies of Atlanta’s detached houses, showing their recurrences (such as the double-pitch shape) and exaggerating their possible combinations and variations. Read full article.

Contemporary residence by UPA takes in view of the Great Wall

The renovation-reconstruction of an existing building provides it with a sequence of glazed rooms opening towards the landscape. In the Chinese village of Shihuyu, an old building, a mere and typical rectangular block, has no specific architectural value, but it perfectly fits into its context. It is seamlessly nested in the little urban agglomeration thanks to its small scale and to its locally-sourced materials, and it orientates towards the Great Wall of China, the main monument standing out from the mountains that surround it. Read full article here.

In Mexico a house seeks different degrees of intimacy with nature

The house designed by Rozana Motiel in Tepoztlán unfolds in an articulated system of paths and spaces. From the most hermetic and intimate to the most open without interruption with the garden, it uses typical elements of the Mexican vernacular tradition, combined with local materials. Read full article.

Life in the woods: concrete and wood house in New York state

Maria Milens Studio reinterprets local construction techniques with the design of a house integrated into uncontaminated nature. Oak, birch and maple trees grow tall and lush in the Catskill Mountains natural reserve, southeast of New York State. Read full article.

Crossing sights: Leopold Banchini and Daniel Zamarbide remodel a Lisbon home