Inspiring Architectural Designs from 2013 RADA winners!

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Inspiring Architectural Designs from 2013 RADA winners!

Great homes and residential spaces are built every day.  Their designs come from the talented residential architects working around the world.   And every year, Residential Architect, a national award winning magazine, sets out to find the “best of the best” with their Residential Architect Design Award (RADA). 

2013 is no exception!  And today we are going to highlight a few of the RADA winners for the custom home division!

Architecture, as a can be “slow” says writer and New York City Architect John Hill, especially since homes take months to design and many more to build.  But that doesn't undermine the importance of great architecture; it just delays the inevitable importance that good architectural design will have on future trends.  And it gives you something to look forward to at the end of a project!  Some of the most popular architectural trends for 2013 according the article “12 Predictions for Architecture in 2013” by include living with the natural world, contemporary “cores” in historical buildings, a reduction in lawn space for the infusion of exterior architectural details and a breaking apart of the normal architectural footprint of a home.

These award winning residential architects show us just how true these predictions are!

Flynn Mews House, Dublin, Ireland

Despite the contemporary facade of this home, it actually connects to an 1847 Georgian manor residence and runs parallel to a Dublin alley.  The Architect, Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects of Los Angeles, tastefully connects the old with the new using a simple, yet lovely glass bridge – glass being one of the key design features throughout this home.










It features a flat roof – a popular trend in architecture today as we will see with some of the other winners.  It features an abundance of natural glass, with detailed framing to create the border around the windows.  This gives the home a very open concept especially when combined with the large open-concept interior spaces.  It also gives us a glimpse of that new trend to “get rid of the traditional lawn”.  You can see how gravel, large stone tiles, and simple but contained green foliage decorate the back lawn.  This gives the outdoor area a sparse, but clean look that goes perfect with the home's interior.  Tile and dark wood floors grace the home, adding to the unique look of each room.

View a Full Slide Show of this home or just click on the photo.

Sliding house, Upper Kingsbury, Nova Scotia

With the panoramic water-front views inside, to the quiet hilltop setting outside, what is not to love about this home nestled on the coast of Nova Scotia. It was described by the architect, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, as the home that “approaches the idea of zero” when it comes to the linear and minimalistic design.

Natural wood flooring and maple hardwood flooring in a sliding house









The home features natural wood features on the ceiling in the maple hardwood flooring installed throughout.  This adds to the light, natural feel of the space.  And Maple hardwood flooring, unlike other flooring species do not darken over time, so it will retain this light coloring over its lifetime.

Naturally the home features expansive windows that show the breathtaking water-front views of the Atlantic Ocean, something Nova Scotia is famous for.

The exterior is quite unique using a slightly slanted roof, and very minimal design.  Almost a perfect fit for the simple and quiet countryside in which this home resides.

View a complete slide show of this project, or just click on the photo.


Barrio Historico House, Tucson, Arizona

The minimal exterior, intentionally design as such, offers a great introduction to the minimalistic interior fashioned by the team at HK Architects in Tucson, Arizona for this historic home in Tucson's Barrio Historica neighborhood. 









But despite the simplicity, the architects went to great effort to create an evocative interior that could quite literally change throughout the day, offering a prime example of a “living with nature” trends that is emerging in architecture today.  From the white backdrop of the interior and exterior, windows that run the entire length of the kitchen and living area, the shimmering pool in the enclosed patio area, and the periscope window above the kitchen cabinets – it all allows the space to play off the natural changes in light and distinct views that occur throughout the day. 

In addition to the great design behind the interior and exterior decor this home also boasts smart eco-friendly design that incorporates solar orientation, strategic shading, rooftop panels, insulating concrete and keeps energy bills low. 

Watch the slideshow of this home, or just click on the photo.

Skyline Residence, Bend, Oregon

Hard to believe, but this is just a guest house!   Who could leave after stepping foot inside this quintessential mountain retreat, nestled among tall trees and quiet surroundings.  The architects firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Seattle, Washington created an interior for this Bend, Oregon home that combines natural materials and bold infusions of colors.  You will notice “Off-the shelf components” like exposed wood and metal rafters, plywood and unfinished beams give it a primitive, incomplete feel – one that you can't help but fall in love with. 








The home, like many we've seen already feature the simple flat roof, and an architectural design that almost makes it indistinguishable from the outside.  But a lively green landscape wall and bright red front door are sure signals to visitors that you have arrived!  Large window modules across the entire back of the home allow you to fully enjoy the quiet landscape and makes the naturally narrow space, appear much larger and more comfortable.

View a complete slide show of this home, or just click on the photo.

Hall House, Duluth, Minnesota

Last, but certainly not least we come to the Hall House of Duluth, Minnesota designed by Salmela Architects.  This home boasts architectural details the moment you hit the curb!  Similar to the Dublin Hall home, Hall House boasts a strong heritage to previous architecture.  The site was originally an urban development project for Italian immigrants from 1888.  The architect maintained the homes original foundation and installed masonry piers to support the new home and addition. 









Designed with the simple flat roof, a signature design theme of many of this year's winners, it is a perfect contrast to the rambling architectural layout found inside and outside the home.

The exterior has contrasting colors palettes including the dark black perimeter, barnwood like walls, whitewash walls, stairs, and pillars, and natural rolling hills, rocky ledges and waterfront views.  Those colors also take shape on the inside with furniture selections, wall colors, tile flooring and wood choices. 

The large windows, another signature trend of this year's winners, are a perfect fit for the dynamic layout of this modern home allowing you to enjoy every inch of the landscape.  You can also enjoy the expansive harbor-side views from the inside or the large outdoor decking areas. 

View a full slide show of this home, or just click on the photo.

Congratulations to all the winners of the RADA awards and thanks for sharing these amazing homes with us!  Read more about the Resident Architect, and view the complete list of winners for the 2013 RADA awards at their website.

What is your favorite home?  What is your favorite architectural design element? 

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