Best 10 houses of 2020

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.

The year 2020 will be remembered by all as a year irrevocably marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the long months spent indoors. The domestic walls have been transformed into new settings, places of work, but also rooms where new habits and rituals of relaxation have taken place. Here is a selection of our ten favorite homes published in recent months, to close a particular season where the very concept of domesticity has been radically redefined. Focusing on the typology of the single-family house, we have selected projects from all over the world, from India to Latin America, passing through the United States, Portugal and Morocco.

A lake house in India clad in stone

Rather than a device to contemplate the urban landscape, CollectiveProject’s Lakehouse is a sequence of two private landscapes in their own right. Designed in Hyderabad is a weekend house, overlooking a water basin in the outskirts of the Indian metropolis. Following a sensible and common configuration, the three volumes that the residence is comprised of are laid out on their sloping lot so at to minimize infills and excavations. They are all shaped as telescopes, their short sides entirely glazed in order to frame the lake and the city. Read full article here.

A house fusing with nature in Puerto Escondido

A suburban refuge between forest and ocean, the Cosmos House designed by S-AR develops from a hypergeometric plant that dilates its spaces and senses towards the surrounding natural elements. Close to the Pacific Ocean near the Mexican town of Puerto Escondido, the architecture studio S-AR designs a modular house designed to seamlessly permeate the natural landscape. Read full article here.

Sustainability and ornament: a house in Italy is clad in 3D pantographed cork

The countryside landscape has nothing short of disappeared from the high plains of Lombardy, eroded by decades of intense urbanization and unstoppable land consumption. Several architectures that were once functional to the ancient agricultural economy, though, still survive nowadays. This tradition is a source of inspiration for the Casa Quattro, realized by LCA architetti in Magnago, near Milan. In the words of its designers, this is “a primitive building devoid of any non-essential element”. Read full article here.

A faceted and pointed stone house among the Iranian rocks

In its sculptural dimension made up of additions and subtractions of volumes, the Gray House designed by White Cube Atelier conceals among the rocks and colours of north-western Iran. The house takes shape from the context in which it stands: at the entrance of the city of Maku on the Zangmar river in a narrow gorge between the irregular rocks and soaring mountains of north west Iran. The designers chose to create a sculptural building capable of giving new meaning to the place and becoming a landmark for those entering the city. Read full article here.

When architects are inspired by cinema: HS House by Botteri-Connell

In the province of Buenos Aires Estudio Botteri-Connell has built Casa HS, a single-family house made of concrete, translucent glass, and metal panels. The central void of the residence is dominated by a walk suspended over the water that leads to the entrance. The reflections of water and glass, together with the silhouettes of those who move inside the house, characterise a space inspired by the atmospheres of Stalker, a 1979 film by Andrei Tarkovsky. Read full article here.

Domestic slopes in rural Ecuador

RAMA estudio designs a family house with an outstanding energy efficiency scheme and with a very sensitive relation to its site. Located in a remote region in central Ecuador, this partially-buried country house aims to disturb as little as possible on the environment, wishing to preserve the beauty of the landscape. Depending from where you approach to the site, the mass of the house almost disappears, becoming a new topography. Read full article here.

Lisbon, a rooftop pool and sky views for the house of a retired couple

Trefoil House is set in a pine forest on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Aroeira, just south from Lisbon across the Tagus River. The two-storey home designed by Double O Studio for a retired couple relocating to Portugal takes the form of a concrete cylinder from which volumes have been subtracted and added. This fragmented form, full of nooks and projections, is part of the studio’s “anti-facade approach” for the home, which has no primary outward focus. Read full article here.

A Women’s House in Morocco built by architecture students

The Building Beyond Borders postgraduate course, organised by the University of Hasselt, consists of practice research to build a civic centre in a rural village. Focus of the first investigation-action of the university is the small village of Ouled Merzoug, located in the rural hinterland of Morocco. The aim of Building Beyond Borders is to help the local community to build a new Women’s House: a place for meeting, working and learning. Read full article here.

When architects are given carte blanche: the case of a house in Belgium