D'apostrophe design's Remsenburg House is the gut renovation of a barn into a 5,300-square-foot residence. A key part of the design is a central spine that includes stairs connecting the floors. Here we see stairs leading to the top floor. The solid guardrails, and the way the stairway moves from an open space through one not much wider than the stairs, gives a canyon-like quality to the circulation.
Even on the exterior the central spine is evident, especially in the way the narrow windows in the middle culminate in the tallest opening, which is actually visible in the distance in the previous photo.
Back inside, we're seeing the other side of the stairs in the first photo. The solid guardrails merge with the minimalist interior.
Highpointe, designed by Begrand Fast Design, is a large project on a rocky terrain. A driveway cuts through the property, dividing it into upper and lower areas. A bridge connects the two.
This bridge, seen looking toward where the previous photo was taken, also acts as an archway, marking passage from the world to the realm of the house.
Stone and wood are the primary materials, the former covering structural columns and the latter forming beams and arches. From beneath, the wood structure is especially nice.
Given the dramatic change in elevation, the bridge connects the upper floor of the lower side and the bottom level of the upper side, seen here.
This modern box in Berkeley, Calif., designed by Charles Debbas Architecture, may not appear ripe for any meaningful passageways, but the land's steep topography offers an opportunity. Here we are seeing the rear of the house; the interesting passageway is at the front.
The house's front illustrates just how steep the land is: one floor on the front and three floors on the rear. This split-level condition means that people must descend at least one level from the garage to the house proper. This happens via a walkway along a wall on one side of the garage. What I like a lot is how the house's low roof opens up ocean views that are not apparent from the garage.
This view from the front door shows the semi-enclosed outdoor space that is created in the entry sequence. The terraced plantings are also a very nice touch.
Stairs and walls mix to create a complex space that serves the various levels of the house. The circuitous network makes moving through the stairs akin to traversing the streets of an Italian hill town.
This final example shows how color and light can combine to create a unique passageway. This straight-run stairway is lined with lime-green walls below and windows above that bring outside light to the bedroom. The treatment of the passageway makes a strong space in the middle of the house.