As we seek to refresh and reset, these homes offer uplifting inspiration for slow living.
Momentarily stepping back from the bustle of modern living, our home becomes even more important sanctuaries as we seek calm and serenity. Warmth and tactility. context and locality become key as we seek refuge and the energy to recharge.
These architects masterfully demonstrate the design codes for stylish yet unpretentious and soothing home living.
To extend a small stone house in rural Navarra, Spain, the designers took cue from the structure’s immediate landscape, designing a concrete extension that was dug into the hillside. Connected to the old structure with a glass-lined corridor that disappears into its lush surroundings, the subterranean annex is a modern cave rendered in concrete with a glazed front that presents panoramic views of Navarra mountains. Sympathetic to its location and respecting the history of the original structure, a green roof extends to shelter an external terrace.
Cape Town-based Chilean architect Antonio Zaninovic collaborated with local designer Tara Bean to transform a run-down mid-century in Cape Town’s Bantry Bay neighbourhood. The overhaul included major architectural interventions – starting with reorienting the entrance and culminating in two new cliff-side terraces. Hand-made and custom African design dots the property. From a grass rug from Swaziland and Berber rugs from Morocco, to wood chairs by mid-century South African designer E E Meyer, the project celebrates slow design and the communities that dedicate themselves to it.
Known for their deft compositions of volumes, the Indian studio has designed a residence that whilst appearing stoic from the outside – thanks to a mass of multiple cuboids – hides a delightful double-height courtyard on the inside. With rooms opening into the courtyard, the tranquility of the home is never compromised, in fact, heightened with the use of natural materials and plantation. Outside, batten screens and slit widows offer relief.
With dark grey walls and black aluminum shutters covering its windows, the Spanish designers respond to a call for privacy at this Mexico home. The monolith expression of the exterior informs the design language of the inside. A sense of order achieved through a restrained palette and clean lines is offset with a play of natural light that can change the ambiance of the house from moody and dimly let or bright and airy. Furniture from the client’s beloved designers, coupled with their impressive art collection layers the minimal scheme with vitality.
Renovating an abandoned existing three-story cement factory in Xiamenm, China, the designers declutter the concept of a traditional home to deliver a meditative space punctuated by a concise and simplistic architectural language. A building’s cylindric volumes are accentuated by the play of natural materials – shell, stone, plaster – and artfully composed windows that allow sunlight to move slowly on the floor and furniture.