Architecture Shows a Portal Frame of Mind
Providing shade or making a dramatic architectural statement, framed exterior portals and coves are becoming a modern trend
Houzz Contributor. I am an architect and writer living in New York City. I have Bachelor of Architecture and Master in Urban Planning degrees, and over ten years experience in architectural practice, split between Chicago and NYC. Currently I'm focused on writing and online pursuits. My daily blog can be found at http://archidose.blogspot.com
Houzz Contributor. I am an architect and writer living in New York City.... More »
As I browse through the thousands of photos on Houzz, I tend to notice certain formal trends. One in the modernist vein is what I'm calling portals. These are exterior elements — walls, floors, roofs — that extend past the exterior wall to create deep frames. The reasons for this expression are varied, but they come down to a few goals: framing a particular view, providing shade and cover or making a statement.
This portal for this villa in Portugal serves as a terrace in front of a louvered glass wall. The superminimal expression of the whole design means the portal reads as a dark rectangle among the white walls.
This beach house in Mexico utilizes a portal on the top floor; the cantilevered volume creates a covered terrace below it.
The notch that is cut into the side wall here creates a panoramic view from the interior, rather than a more directional view that would arise from wholly solid walls.
Here is a portal that is inserted into an existing house as part of its remodel. The central location and its materials make it stand out.
Up close we can see that it serves the dining room. A sliding glass wall nicely extends this space to the exterior.
From inside, looking perpendicular to the portal, the wood walls appear to cut most of the way through the house, notched for passage and views. The material stands out inside as well as outside, marking an important space in the house.
This example features two portals perpendicular to each other: one large, one small, each facing the pool.
The small portal serves as the bedroom and is perfectly aligned with the water. The sides are solid, and the opening is fully transparent — a sliding glass wall bisected in the middle.
The large portal (the span is large enough to require an additional column) serves the living area. A sliding glass wall unites the indoors and the terrace overlooking the pool. The side walls are cut, one side incorporating a fireplace.
Ideabook published on April 26, 2012.
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