Architecture

2018's best homes include luxury pads and a 3D-printed mud hut

2018's best homes include luxu...
Capital Hill Residence, by Zaha Hadid Architects, is one of the amazing projects to have made the cut in our look at 2018's best houses
Capital Hill Residence, by Zaha Hadid Architects, is one of the amazing projects to have made the cut in our look at 2018's best houses
View 85 Images
Capital Hill Residence was conceived back in 2006 but wasn't completed until 2018
1/85
Capital Hill Residence was conceived back in 2006 but wasn't completed until 2018
Capital Hill Residence is located in Barvikha Forest, a wealthy area near Moscow
2/85
Capital Hill Residence is located in Barvikha Forest, a wealthy area near Moscow
Capital Hill Residence's master bedrooms are raised above the forest canopy to offer great views
3/85
Capital Hill Residence's master bedrooms are raised above the forest canopy to offer great views
Much of Capital Hill Residence is built into the hillside
4/85
Much of Capital Hill Residence is built into the hillside
Capital Hill Residence, by Zaha Hadid Architects, is one of the amazing projects to have made the cut in our look at 2018's best houses
5/85
Capital Hill Residence, by Zaha Hadid Architects, is one of the amazing projects to have made the cut in our look at 2018's best houses
Gaia's €900 (roughly US$1,000) budget only covers the materials and not any labor costs
6/85
Gaia's €900 (roughly US$1,000) budget only covers the materials and not any labor costs
Structurally, Gaia's "mud" is a compound made up of 25 percent soil taken from the build site in Italy (consisting of clay, sand, and silt), 40 percent straw, 25 percent rice husk and 10 percent lime, all mixed together with a muller
7/85
Structurally, Gaia's "mud" is a compound made up of 25 percent soil taken from the build site in Italy (consisting of clay, sand, and silt), 40 percent straw, 25 percent rice husk and 10 percent lime, all mixed together with a muller
Gaia is accessed by glass doors 
8/85
Gaia is accessed by glass doors 
Gaia's construction involved extruding the mud mixture out of a WASP 3D printer's nozzle in layers, slowly building up the structure
9/85
Gaia's construction involved extruding the mud mixture out of a WASP 3D printer's nozzle in layers, slowly building up the structure
Top-down view of the construction site in Italy 
10/85
Top-down view of the construction site in Italy 
Constructing Gaia took a total of 10 days
11/85
Constructing Gaia took a total of 10 days
Gaia's walls are made solely of the mud mixture, though the structure is also supported by concrete foundations
12/85
Gaia's walls are made solely of the mud mixture, though the structure is also supported by concrete foundations
WASP reports that Gaia is well insulated and will perform well in heat and cold
13/85
WASP reports that Gaia is well insulated and will perform well in heat and cold
Hobbit Hollow is located in Pawling, New York
14/85
Hobbit Hollow is located in Pawling, New York
We've seen a lot of self-built hobbit homes over the years, but this one, named the Hobbit Hollow, is definitely one of the better examples
15/85
We've seen a lot of self-built hobbit homes over the years, but this one, named the Hobbit Hollow, is definitely one of the better examples
Hobbit Hollow's interior wasn't complete at the time this photo was taken but includes some nice touches like a replica sword hanging over the fireplace
16/85
Hobbit Hollow's interior wasn't complete at the time this photo was taken but includes some nice touches like a replica sword hanging over the fireplace
Skylights increase Hobbit Hollow's natural light inside
17/85
Skylights increase Hobbit Hollow's natural light inside
With its low profile and green roof, Hobbit Hollow blends into the landscape very well 
18/85
With its low profile and green roof, Hobbit Hollow blends into the landscape very well 
Though it's not an officially-certified Passive House, Costigan built Hobbit Hollow to conform to that famously stringent green building standard
19/85
Though it's not an officially-certified Passive House, Costigan built Hobbit Hollow to conform to that famously stringent green building standard
It took building engineer Jim Costigan six years of hard work to get Hobbit Hollow looking like this
20/85
It took building engineer Jim Costigan six years of hard work to get Hobbit Hollow looking like this
Hobbit Hollow is situated on 1.7 acres (0.68 hectare) of land, near a stream and a waterfall
21/85
Hobbit Hollow is situated on 1.7 acres (0.68 hectare) of land, near a stream and a waterfall
Hobbit Hollow's roof features a terraced area
22/85
Hobbit Hollow's roof features a terraced area
Hobbit Hollow's insulation is rated as R-60 in the roof and R-50 on the sidewalls
23/85
Hobbit Hollow's insulation is rated as R-60 in the roof and R-50 on the sidewalls
Architects McCall Design & Planning continued tweaking the Cliff House's design up to just a few months before its completion
24/85
Architects McCall Design & Planning continued tweaking the Cliff House's design up to just a few months before its completion
Inside the Cliff House
25/85
Inside the Cliff House
The Cliff House is perched on a cliff overlooking Payette Lake in Idaho’s southwest
26/85
The Cliff House is perched on a cliff overlooking Payette Lake in Idaho’s southwest
The Cliff House, by McCall Design & Planning, is finished with a teak facade
27/85
The Cliff House, by McCall Design & Planning, is finished with a teak facade
The Cliff House's kitchen
28/85
The Cliff House's kitchen
inside the Cliff House
29/85
inside the Cliff House
The Cliff House is surrounded by dense forest and abundant granite rock
30/85
The Cliff House is surrounded by dense forest and abundant granite rock
Inside the Cliff House, by McCall Design & Planning
31/85
Inside the Cliff House, by McCall Design & Planning
The Cliff House sits on property that features discrete rocky walkways that wind down to the lakeshore
32/85
The Cliff House sits on property that features discrete rocky walkways that wind down to the lakeshore
Planar House is located in Porto Feliz, São Paulo, Brazil
33/85
Planar House is located in Porto Feliz, São Paulo, Brazil
Planar House has an expansive green roof
34/85
Planar House has an expansive green roof
Planar House has a total floorspace of 1,000 sq m (10,760 sq ft)
35/85
Planar House has a total floorspace of 1,000 sq m (10,760 sq ft)
Planar House's green roof features solar panels 
36/85
Planar House's green roof features solar panels 
Planar House is defined by its massive concrete roof, which is covered in greenery
37/85
Planar House is defined by its massive concrete roof, which is covered in greenery
Planar House is situated at the highest point of the plot and overlooks the surrounding landscape
38/85
Planar House is situated at the highest point of the plot and overlooks the surrounding landscape
Planar House is partially enclosed by a large curving brick wall
39/85
Planar House is partially enclosed by a large curving brick wall
Planar House features a large swimming pool
40/85
Planar House features a large swimming pool
Planar House has a large terrace area
41/85
Planar House has a large terrace area
The interior decor of Planar House consists of a tasteful palette of wood, glass and concrete
42/85
The interior decor of Planar House consists of a tasteful palette of wood, glass and concrete
Kitchen area inside the Treehaus
43/85
Kitchen area inside the Treehaus
Another shot of the open kitchen inside the Treehaus
44/85
Another shot of the open kitchen inside the Treehaus
The Treehaus by Park City Design+Build was designed to Passivhaus standards
45/85
The Treehaus by Park City Design+Build was designed to Passivhaus standards
The 2,500 sq ft (232 sq m) Treehaus spreads its floorspace over four floors
46/85
The 2,500 sq ft (232 sq m) Treehaus spreads its floorspace over four floors
Living area inside the Treehaus
47/85
Living area inside the Treehaus
A look at the bathroom area inside the Treehaus
48/85
A look at the bathroom area inside the Treehaus
A look at the bathroom area inside the Treehaus
49/85
A look at the bathroom area inside the Treehaus
The Treehaus is built to Passivhaus standards, meaning it makes careful use of insulation, high-performance glazing and an extremely tight building envelope to keep its internal temperatures stable without artificial cooling or heating
50/85
The Treehaus is built to Passivhaus standards, meaning it makes careful use of insulation, high-performance glazing and an extremely tight building envelope to keep its internal temperatures stable without artificial cooling or heating
The Treehaus is built into a wooded hillside in Utah
51/85
The Treehaus is built into a wooded hillside in Utah
The Treehaus was completed in 2018 
52/85
The Treehaus was completed in 2018 
Tucked away in the wooded hillside near Mexico’s Valle de Bravo, a unique new tripod-shaped home has taken shape called Casa de la Roca
53/85
Tucked away in the wooded hillside near Mexico’s Valle de Bravo, a unique new tripod-shaped home has taken shape called Casa de la Roca
The Y-shaped Casa de la Roca was designed by Barcelona and Mexico-based architecture firm Cadaval & Solà-Morales
54/85
The Y-shaped Casa de la Roca was designed by Barcelona and Mexico-based architecture firm Cadaval & Solà-Morales
The Casa de la Roca makes use of reclaimed timber
55/85
The Casa de la Roca makes use of reclaimed timber
The Casa de la Roca goes to some lengths to blend in its natural environment
56/85
The Casa de la Roca goes to some lengths to blend in its natural environment
The Casa de la Roca was built using concrete
57/85
The Casa de la Roca was built using concrete
The Casa de la Roca was designed in a Y shape in an effort to make the most of its picturesque surroundings
58/85
The Casa de la Roca was designed in a Y shape in an effort to make the most of its picturesque surroundings
The arms of the Casa de la Roca meet in the middle at a central node that is outdoors, yet protected from the elements by a roof and walls on either side
59/85
The arms of the Casa de la Roca meet in the middle at a central node that is outdoors, yet protected from the elements by a roof and walls on either side
The interior of the Casa de la Roca 
60/85
The interior of the Casa de la Roca 
Each end of the Y-shaped Casa de la Roca has a room with a floor-to-ceiling window
61/85
Each end of the Y-shaped Casa de la Roca has a room with a floor-to-ceiling window
Tucked away in the wooded hillside near Mexico’s Valle de Bravo, a unique new tripod-shaped home has taken shape called Casa de la Roca
62/85
Tucked away in the wooded hillside near Mexico’s Valle de Bravo, a unique new tripod-shaped home has taken shape called Casa de la Roca
Old Shed New House involved turning an agricultural shed into a remarkable property containing a residence, private library, and art gallery
63/85
Old Shed New House involved turning an agricultural shed into a remarkable property containing a residence, private library, and art gallery
Old Shed New House is located in Yorkshire
64/85
Old Shed New House is located in Yorkshire
Old Shed New House has large amounts of insulation installed, as well as high levels of air tightness, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems – making the project impressively energy-efficient
65/85
Old Shed New House has large amounts of insulation installed, as well as high levels of air tightness, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems – making the project impressively energy-efficient
Old Shed New House's agricultural looks belie the luxury and comfort inside the home
66/85
Old Shed New House's agricultural looks belie the luxury and comfort inside the home
New York City and Naples based firm Lot-ek focuses on shipping container-based architecture
67/85
New York City and Naples based firm Lot-ek focuses on shipping container-based architecture
Lot-ek's most recent project, Drivelines Studios, is located in South Africa
68/85
Lot-ek's most recent project, Drivelines Studios, is located in South Africa
Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
69/85
Drivelines Studios is a residential building made from 140 recycled containers
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site
70/85
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site
Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
71/85
Drivelines Studios is located in Johannesburg, which also hosts shipping container-based student accommodation
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
72/85
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
Drivelines Studios is arranged in a roughly V-shape
73/85
Drivelines Studios is arranged in a roughly V-shape
Drivelines Studios comprises seven floors
74/85
Drivelines Studios comprises seven floors
Drivelines Studios' apartments are arranged in an open plan
75/85
Drivelines Studios' apartments are arranged in an open plan
Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
76/85
Drivelines Studios' apartments vary in size between 300 sq ft (27.8 sq m) and 600 sq ft (55.7 sq m)
Mecanoo, the Dutch Architecture firm behind the world’s largest performing arts center and the award-winning Library of Birmingham, recently completed the Glass Villa on the lake
77/85
Mecanoo, the Dutch Architecture firm behind the world’s largest performing arts center and the award-winning Library of Birmingham, recently completed the Glass Villa on the lake
Staircase inside the Glass Villa on the lake, by Mecanoo
78/85
Staircase inside the Glass Villa on the lake, by Mecanoo
The Glass Villa on the lake is connected to a main road with a wooden footbridge
79/85
The Glass Villa on the lake is connected to a main road with a wooden footbridge
Another shot of the wooden footbridge connecting the Glass Villa on the lake to the street
80/85
Another shot of the wooden footbridge connecting the Glass Villa on the lake to the street
Sustainable elements of the Glass Villa on the lake include an air thermal heat pump, solar panels, heat recovery systems and triple-glazed glass
81/85
Sustainable elements of the Glass Villa on the lake include an air thermal heat pump, solar panels, heat recovery systems and triple-glazed glass
Every room in the Glass Villa on the lake is designed to connect the interior with nature through high ceilings and two glass walls
82/85
Every room in the Glass Villa on the lake is designed to connect the interior with nature through high ceilings and two glass walls
The Glass Villa on the lake is designed to leave residents with the impression of floating on the water
83/85
The Glass Villa on the lake is designed to leave residents with the impression of floating on the water
As its name suggests, the Glass Villa on the lake is big on transparency
84/85
As its name suggests, the Glass Villa on the lake is big on transparency
The Glass Villa on the lake is arranged around a central atrium and staircase
85/85
The Glass Villa on the lake is arranged around a central atrium and staircase

2018 has been an interesting year for residential architecture, with advances in technology and the popularity of sustainable building practices resulting in many outstanding homes. After much deliberation, we've narrowed them down to our 10 favorites, including a starchitect-designed luxury house, a 3D-printed mud hut, and a sustainable hobbit hole.

In no particular order, here are our pick of the best homes of the year. More information and photos on each one can also be found in the gallery.

Planar House

Planar House's green roof features solar panels 
Planar House's green roof features solar panels 

Brazil's Planar House is designed by Studio MK27's Marcio Kogan, with Lair Reis. The luxury home is topped by a massive concrete roof that's covered in greenery to help it blend in with its landscaped garden. The roof also sports integrated skylights and solar panels.

The interior of the home is split into two main parts: staff quarters and an expansive family area. The decor is a stylish mixture of wood, concrete, and glass, and almost the entire thing opens up to the outside with very large sliding glass doors when the weather allows.

Gaia

Gaia's €900 (roughly US$1,000) budget only covers the materials and not any labor costs
Gaia's €900 (roughly US$1,000) budget only covers the materials and not any labor costs

Italian firm WASP (World's Advanced Saving Project) has been developing its 3D printing construction technology for some time now and one of its most recent creations is a 3D-printed hut called Gaia that was built in Italy using a mud mixture.

Gaia is topped by a timber roof and rests on 3D-printed concrete foundations. The construction process involved extruding the mud mixture out of a 3D printer nozzle in layers, much like any other 3D-printed project. The hut is basic and its 20 sq m (215 sq ft) interior is taken up by one large room, though it's well insulated and performs well in the heat and cold. We're not there yet but with this project, inexpensive 3D-printed homes seem a step closer to market.

Treehaus

The Treehaus is built into a wooded hillside in Utah
The Treehaus is built into a wooded hillside in Utah

Utah's Treehaus, by Park City Design+Build, consists of a series of stacked cubes that rotate as they rise toward the forest canopy.

The home is built to the exacting Passivhaus green building standard, meaning it makes careful use of insulation, high-performance glazing, and an extremely tight building envelope to keep its internal temperature stable. The 3,600 sq ft (334 sq m) of floorspace is spread over four floors, with patios and living areas placed in the middle, and private areas, such as the bathrooms and bedrooms, situated on the lower and upper levels.

Cliff House

The Cliff House sits on property that features discrete rocky walkways that wind down to the lakeshore
The Cliff House sits on property that features discrete rocky walkways that wind down to the lakeshore

McCall Design & Planning's Cliff House is a spectacular luxury home that is sunk into Idaho's rocky terrain. Its structural concrete columns, teak cladding, and glazing blend tastefully with the abundant granite.

Cliff House includes discrete rocky walkways that wind down to the lakeshore and it has bedrock poking up through the floor in prominent parts of the interior, which is a really nice touch. Another highlight is the kid's bathroom, which is windowless but decorated with a mosaic made to mimic a nature scene.

Hobbit Hollow

Hobbit Hollow is located in Pawling, New York
Hobbit Hollow is located in Pawling, New York

Building engineer Jim Costigan has spent decades constructing high-rises in Manhattan and put this expertise to use realizing his passion project: a green-roofed energy-efficient hobbit home in New York State called Hobbit Hollow.

Hobbit Hollow was primarily built by Costigan himself during weekends. Its interior has a total floorspace of 1,500 sq ft (139 sq m), spread over two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room dining room, and more. Like the Treehaus, the home has been built to the exacting Passive House green building standard and is very efficient to run.

Glass Villa on the lake

As its name suggests, the Glass Villa on the lake is big on transparency
As its name suggests, the Glass Villa on the lake is big on transparency

Mecanoo's Glass Villa on the lake in Gloucestershire, UK, is largely glazed in an attempt to give residents the impression they're floating on the lake below.

The two-story house is also finished in Shou Sugi Ban-treated wood, which is a Japanese technique of charring wood to preserve it, and is topped by a rooftop terrace. Inside, the layout is arranged around a central atrium and staircase and is designed to ensure that each room offers a strong visual connection with the surrounding landscape. Energy use is minimized with a heat pump, solar panels, heat recovery systems, and triple glazed glass.

Drivelines Studios

Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg
Drivelines Studios is located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg

Drivelines Studios, by Lot-ek, is a shipping container-based housing project located on an awkward triangular site in Johannesburg, South Africa. It consists of two distinct parts arranged in a roughly V-shape, and comprises 140 shipping containers.

The containers were selected by color and left unpainted, then stacked securely and modified, with insulation installed to mitigate their poor thermal performance. The apartments look comfortable and are arranged in an open plan, with a kitchen and dining area, living area, bedroom, and a bathroom inside each.

Old Shed New House

Old Shed New House's agricultural looks belie the luxury and comfort inside the home
Old Shed New House's agricultural looks belie the luxury and comfort inside the home

Tonkin Liu has received lots of well-deserved praise for its Old Shed New House, including RIBA's Stephen Lawrence Prize. It involved turning an old agricultural shed in Yorkshire, northern England, into a plush home for the architect's own parents to spend their retirement in.

Old Shed New House retains its agricultural styling, though is enlivened with glazing and a wooden slatted facade. Inside, the home boasts a private library and art gallery, and is very well insulated, making it cheap to heat and cool, year-round.

Casa de la Roca

The Casa de la Roca was designed in a Y shape in an effort to make the most of its picturesque surroundings
The Casa de la Roca was designed in a Y shape in an effort to make the most of its picturesque surroundings

Casa de la Roca is nestled into a wooded hillside near Mexico's Valle de Bravo. Designed by Cadaval & Solà-Morales, it blends into its environment with timber that's reclaimed from the forest floor that surrounds it.

Casa de la Roca's Y-shaped design comes from an effort to make the most of its picturesque setting. Each section leads to a room at its end with large floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the scenery. The sections meet in the middle at a central node outdoors that's protected from the elements by a roof and walls. As well as the recycled timber beams, Casa de la Roca also features the use of concrete and ceramic.

Capital Hill Residence

Capital Hill Residence is located in Barvikha Forest, a wealthy area near Moscow
Capital Hill Residence is located in Barvikha Forest, a wealthy area near Moscow

Capital Hill Residence is the only private home ever designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Conceived in 2006, the complex concrete and glass structure took a whole 12 years to realize.

It's located in a ultra-wealthy forested area near Moscow and defined by its master bedroom suites, which are raised on a skinny pillar and peek out over the 20 m (65 ft)-high trees that surround it. Much of the rest of the home is carved into the hillside and it boasts a living room, dining area, kitchen, entertainment spaces, and an indoor swimming pool. Elsewhere is a library, guest room, and children's rooms.

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!