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10 Modern Houses Gone to the Dark Side

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10 Modern Houses Gone to the Dark Side

November 1, 2013

For a while now we’ve been admiring modern black houses from Sweden to Japan to the Netherlands. Here are our ten favorites:

Brittany Black

For more, see Before and After: A Charred Wood Cottage, on a \$45K Budget. Photograph courtesy of NeM Architectes. To create a mirror-image effect on the coast of Brittany, the architects complemented an existing white cottage with a dark addition.
Above: For more, see Before and After: A Charred Wood Cottage, on a $45K Budget. Photograph courtesy of NeM Architectes. To create a mirror-image effect on the coast of Brittany, the architects complemented an existing white cottage with a dark addition.

Hudson Valley Shou-Sugi-Ban

Carefully sited to minimize the need to remove existing trees, the main house relates to the contours of the land. Using traditional Japanese shou-sugi-ban techniques, the facade’s cedar siding was burned, brushed, washed, and oiled to achieve its charred look. Photograph by Reto Guntli except where noted, courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.
Above: Carefully sited to minimize the need to remove existing trees, the main house relates to the contours of the land. Using traditional Japanese shou-sugi-ban techniques, the facade’s cedar siding was burned, brushed, washed, and oiled to achieve its charred look. Photograph by Reto Guntli except where noted, courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.

For more, see Architect Visit: A Natural Swimming Pool and Passive House in the Hudson Valley.

Library by the Sea

For a bookworm client, Paris-based architect Antonin Ziegler built a freestanding library annex to a country house in Senneville-sur-Fécamp on the northern coast of France. Photograph courtesy of Antonin Ziegler.
Above: For a bookworm client, Paris-based architect Antonin Ziegler built a freestanding library annex to a country house in Senneville-sur-Fécamp on the northern coast of France. Photograph courtesy of Antonin Ziegler.

For more, see The Book of Life: A Library and Garden by the Sea.

Disappearing Doors

Photograph courtesy of Christopher Polly Architect.
Above: Photograph courtesy of Christopher Polly Architect.

At Sydney-based architect Christopher Polly’s Haines House, sliding pocket doors disappear to create an instant outdoor room. A unified palette—a black polished concrete floor, fence, raised bed, and facade—reinforce the connection between indoors and out. for more, see Color Stories: 11 Black-and-White Outdoor Rooms.

Black Houseboat

Multi-disciplinary Dutch architect and designer Piet Boon began his career as a craftsman, and his understanding and appreciation of materials is evident throughout his work. His latest book, Piet Boon 3, is a look at his recent projects from around the globe, from South Africa to the Caribbean to Korea. Photograph by Richard Powers.
Above: Multi-disciplinary Dutch architect and designer Piet Boon began his career as a craftsman, and his understanding and appreciation of materials is evident throughout his work. His latest book, Piet Boon 3, is a look at his recent projects from around the globe, from South Africa to the Caribbean to Korea. Photograph by Richard Powers.

For more, see Required Reading: Piet Boon 3 on Remodelista.

Mirror House

Architect Ian McChesney faced many challenges south London, including stringent zoning requirements and 68 objections from residents in a neighborhood of Victorian stucco and brick. In the end, the neighbors probably like what they see; it’s mainly a reflection of their own homes. Mirror House has an opaque glass facade that projects images of the surroundings. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.
Above: Architect Ian McChesney faced many challenges south London, including stringent zoning requirements and 68 objections from residents in a neighborhood of Victorian stucco and brick. In the end, the neighbors probably like what they see; it’s mainly a reflection of their own homes. Mirror House has an opaque glass facade that projects images of the surroundings. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.

For more, see Architect Visit: South London Mirror House.

Water Tower

Above: A black water tower-turned-home by Messana O’Rorke in New York City.

Black Snowstorm

At the Coachman Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, California, the exterior of the buildings were painted a unifying coat of Benjamin Moore Black Panther. Photograph by Luke Beard and Matthew Bolt, courtesy of the Coachman Hotel.
Above: At the Coachman Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, California, the exterior of the buildings were painted a unifying coat of Benjamin Moore Black Panther. Photograph by Luke Beard and Matthew Bolt, courtesy of the Coachman Hotel.

For more, see The Coachman: The First Stylish Hotel in Lake Tahoe on Remodelista.

Black Barn

The exterior of a \19th-century barn is clad in black corrugated aluminum. The standing seam aluminum roof is typical of the vernacular architecture in this part of New York. There are no windows on the front facade to keep insulation factors at their highest. Photograph by Torkil Stavdal.
Above: The exterior of a 19th-century barn is clad in black corrugated aluminum. The standing seam aluminum roof is typical of the vernacular architecture in this part of New York. There are no windows on the front facade to keep insulation factors at their highest. Photograph by Torkil Stavdal.

For more, see The Architect Is In: A Rural Barn Transformed for Modern Living on Remodelista.

Before & After Black

For more of this garden, see Before & After: A \$5,000 Garden Makeover in St. Augustine. Photography by Kelsey Heinze courtesy of Yield Design.
Above: For more of this garden, see Before & After: A $5,000 Garden Makeover in St. Augustine. Photography by Kelsey Heinze courtesy of Yield Design.

After years of living in San Francisco, industrial designers Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming wanted a change of pace. They found it on the coast of Florida, where the small city of St. Augustine (pop. 13,679) lured them with its “historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and beautiful beaches,” says Deming. The facade color is Sherwin-Williams’ Black Magic, in an outdoor formula called SuperPaint.

For more high-contrast exteriors, see Color Stories: 11 Black-and-White Outdoor Rooms.

This is an update of a post originally published Nov. 1, 2012.

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