This quartet of residences in Belgium, Sicily, and Seattle pops with personality.
Firm: TC Plus
Location: Bruges, Belgium
Standout: A dollhouse-like family residence, dating to the 1970s, reflects the architect-owner’s doctoral research into creating private spaces that can also be shared with the community at large: Ergo, a roofless outdoor room, with tinted-concrete walls and billowing sailcloth curtains, that’s wide open for the public to use.
Location: Wachtebeke, Belgium
Standout: Bucking the local trend to replicate traditional brick architecture, a weekend house manifests its modernism with a grid facade of standardized plywood panels, a floating spiral staircase in black-painted steel, and glass walls that survey the adjacent nature reserve.
Firms: Best Practice Architecture, Hybrid Architecture, and Steven Lazen
Standout: Multi-family living gets a vibrant, hospitality-style makeover with a complex of three townhouses enlivened by artist Sam Wood Wilson’s geometric stairwell and rooftop murals along with jaunty chromatic kitchen cabinets in low-fi painted MDF.
Firm: Maria Giuseppina Grasso-Cannizzo
Location: Noto, Sicily
Standout: In summer, pivoting cement-board louvers open this art-book editor’s 1,000-square-foot holiday home to rolling hills planted with olive and almond groves—and to the sea beyond—while in winter, they close like the pages of a portfolio to shutter the unoccupied structure against the elements.
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