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Innovative Residences You Need to Know Right Now: Part One

Photos: Peter Bennetts and Shania Shegyden/Kavellaris Urban Design

When Kavellaris Urban Design was retained to produce a modern house for a historic Victorian neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia, the architects sought a unique solution to integrating the new home into its old-world environs. Instead of mimicking the surrounding buildings in form, the team decided on a perforated front panel etched with the image of a Victorian facade. Modernity might have won out here, however, as the wall opens on the second floor to reveal clean-lined interiors with glass railings and sleek wood ceilings. In a further distortion of the Victorian norm, the bedrooms lie on the lower floor, while the entertaining spaces occupy the second.

? Designed by Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam, NYC's 597 Greenwich Street already outdoes its Soho neighbors with a multi-faceted glass facade. Inside, the apartments were pretty standard in their luxury finishes, at least until Fox-Nehem Associates and Brooklyn's Associated Fabrication got ahold of one of a unit's interior columns. The result is an organic, bulbous design that's a few light years away from the corinthian standards we're used to and enough to transform this apartment into something out of a sci-fi flick.

Photos: Architizer

? Built from humble materials—"sandblasted Integra block, steel, birch and concrete"—the Garcia Residence seems like, to toy with a common cliche, an outgrowth of the surround desert. The neutral tones and low profile of the structure belie the airy, luxurious spaces that lie inside. The house's real coup is the long lap pool, which must be a welcome addition to any desert home. The Garcia Residence was designed by Teresa Rosano with interiors by Luis Ibarra, both of Tucson's Ibarra Rosano Design Architects.

? Not all innovative residences need be, er, good looking. When we first took a look at the Bioscleave House in East Hampton, N.Y., we really couldn't get past the lunar landscape of an interior or the technicolor paint palate. Guess what? We still can't. This place is absurd to the max, but architects Arakawa + Gins insist it will help to offset the human aging process. Too bad you'll get a coronary at the sight of the $4M price tag.

Photos: Theresa Cos/ArchDaily

? For our purposes, innovative residences need not be for the living. Surely the dead deserve their fair share of architecture. This slick modern family chapel, which we first covered last year, is a zen space that manages to make this final resting place a desirable place to pay respects. Designed by EXiT architetti associati, the 2009 construction pays homage to tradition with a modern twist.

· The Perforated House [Contemporist]
· 497 Greenwich Street [Architizer]
· Garcia Residence [Architizer]
· "Bioscleave House" Promises to Make You a Whole Lot Younger [Curbed National]
· Family Chapel [ArchDaily]
· Innovative Italian Architecture Breaks from Tired Tradition [Curbed National]