Another summertime, simple house

A bit more luxurious than the previous ones I've longed for posted, but still with that air of simplicity. I think part of it is due to the open construction and visible studs: looks like the house isn't quite finished, but good enough to spend some warm summer nights in, and live as much outside as in, if not more. This house is in Aculeo, Chile, with an outstanding view of a massive lake. It was designed by Mathias Klotz with Magdalena Bernstein. – GF

via Plataforma Arquitectura

It's a Minihus!

Continuing my daydreams and fantasies of simple summer dwellings, (and by extension, how to incorporate that sensibility into life and living the rest of the year), here is a modular design by Lars Frank Nielsen of One N Design in Denmark for Add A Room.

One 15 sq. meter shed-roofed box with the option to add on a sort of 'connector' room, which in one delightful photo shows its use as a summer kitchen. . . (sigh). They call it "Compact Smart Living simply" and they are as cute as can be. See more here: Add-A-Room.  Website is only in Danish or Swedish. Good luck. – GF

More on saunas

I love to take a sauna in the cold months. My north-facing studio is exposed on 3 sides, and is at the end of the forced hot air heat system so it doesn't get more than a whisper of tepid air. And, since I work from home alone, I keep the heat off all day in the rest of the house to save a few bucks, closing myself in the one room with a space heater and a warm cat on my lap. Therefore, I SO look forward to our 1 week ski vacation where there are 3 different saunas for me to defrost in. And that always starts me dreaming about having one right here on our own property. . . Here are some examples I'd consider, from Nordic Design, and the link to more. – GF

A perfect Summer house

Blending in with the smooth grey rocks of the Finnish shoreline, Villa Mecklin by Huttunen-Lipasti-Pakkanen Architects has its priorities straight: a huge, open deck to lie on and watch the stars by night and which draws in an expansive sea view by day, and a sauna building with guest cottage attached – what on Earth more does one need? I guess the lovely-looking and (I imagine) sweet-smelling wood interiors and the disappearing fire pit rate pretty high.

When I saw the rather contrived, exaggerated profile, I almost clicked right by, but then I saw that the odd, huge, angular shape had a very real purpose I was totally won over – while letting in the view, the tapering walls provide bit of shelter from the wind and holds one in just enough to feel 'safe' in such an exposed environment. The design simply and beautifully addresses things that are, at least to me, exactly what one's physical and spiritual comfort might require on vacation – no more no less. Just right. – GF

via Modern Residential Design

If you're escaping to The Cape . . .

Speaking of Summer, many people equate summer with at least a some time spent at the shore, and if they are lucky, or family tradition dictates it, that shore might belong to Cape Cod in Massachusetts. There are quite a few Moderns on the Cape, and they seem to take preservation seriously there. Here are a couple of websites that are well worth the time poking around on to learn about what's there, what what's being done to prevent demolition or descent into decrepitude – earlier this Spring, there was an auction to benefit restoration projects where you could bid on and win a week in one of three restored houses (the Lechay House, which is pictured here at the top, is still available for  October 3 – 10 for a current bid of only $800).

Cape Cod Modern House Trust is Here and Modern Cape Cod is Here. Don't forget your bathing suit! – GF

Summer simplicity

Growing up, I always assumed I'd have a Summer house – weekend house, second house, whatever you want call it. It would be small, simple, clear and clean, airy and welcoming, easy to maintain and to come to and go from. All the miscellaneous accouterments of daily living would be pared down and simplified, clutter-free. Situated high with its back to the woods, it would face deep views from a wide deck where I could watch every part of the day and night roll by. . .

Sadly, it doesn't look like my little refuge is ever going to happen, but, luckily, a few of those qualities are present in my one and only home.

I believe that in Scandinavia, or Sweden at least, a "Summer house" is not necessarily one's weekend hideaway on a tiny isle in an archipelago, but it can also be a small structure right on one's primary property – like a gazebo – a place to be at home outside, for meals or a teatime chat. I'd settle for something like that if building one wouldn't make our property taxes double!

Here are some small houses that have caught my eye and rekindled my Summer house fantasy. There are so many more, but this is enough to set me daydreaming.

Top is the View House in Argentina, via Blue Ant Studio

Second is the Stribrna Skalice House in the Czech Republic by Prodesi | Domesi, via ArchDaily

Third is looking through a house on Corsica by Philippe Steubi

Fourth is a renovation by Franklin Azzi via Designboom

Bottom 2 are from an article in Home + Entertainment magazine from '06; Architect is Richard Mora, the house is near Aukland, NZ

Jens, yet again

So nice to read that our friend and neighbor, the estimable furniture designer Jens Risom, is being celebrated yet again. Rachel Day over at The Mid-Century Modernist wrote about Risom and the story behind the collaboration that resulted in nine pieces of Risom's furniture from the '50s and '60s being reissued, faithfully adhering to the designers strict manufacturing requirements. This nice little website was created just for the reissued pieces; it has lots of photos of the furniture, and tells you more about the collaborators.

I love reading about how the great mid-century designers [architects, graphic designers, etc.], in their bright, I-can-do-anything youth, somehow met others who were similarly idealistic and talented, and through seemingly magical connections, then met the right people to support and facilitate their ideas and yet others who were willing to manufacture these crazy new things. . . All that fell into place for Jens 7 decades ago, and it's just great that it still seems to be happening for him today. – GF