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These Bold, Brooding Houses are Very Much in the Black

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Pitch-black houses, the tall, dark, and handsome cousins of the plain white boxes that masquerade as real residences, have become something of a trend. The Japanese minimalists are making them. Australian home extensions are getting the look. Completely independent of one another, at least two artists have used buckets upon buckets of black paint to dress soon-to-be-demolished homes for their own funerals. But whether it's a dare-to-be-darker contemporary or a stygian revision of something formerly bright, these overcast abodes need not be considered the architectural bad-boys of the neighborhood, though they're nearly always the best dressed. Corralled below are 40 reasons why there will never, ever be a "new black."


Psycho, a 2007 art installation by Benoît-Marie Moriceau that involved painting a house black prior to its destruction. [link]


↑ "Metamorphosed into a black monolith, the building acquires imposing and spectacular aspects during the day before disappearing at night, thus producing the effect of a black hole that absorbs viewing." [link]


SGGB Arquitectos' Casa CBI in Puerto Varas, Chile, built to "visually maximize the strata" of the surroundings. [link]


Casa CBI [link]


Casa CBI [link]


↑ A rear extension to a "double fronted Edwardian Redbrick" in Melbourne by Whiting Architects [link]


↑ "We wanted to avoided the cliched, heroic-modernist box, or worse still the one-liner gimmick piece." [link]


↑ "We liked the idea of capturing the informality of a holiday place. Nothing precious, all simple and practical." [link]


Landed, a site-specific sculpture Ian Strange created in front of the Art Gallery of South Australia for the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. [link]


Landed [link]


↑ The FFAT House in Vila Nova Gaia, Portugal, by Arquitectos Anónimos. "The project came about after consideration given to the concept of a small house, and we have tried since the beginning to involve 'reality' as one of the decisive factors in this work." [link]


Casa Nord, a home on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido by Jun Igarashi Architects. [link]


Casa Nord's surprisingly warm interior. [link]


↑ The Fitch Bay, Quebec cabin of photographer Jean Longpré. [link]


↑ "Inspired by the architectural styles Longpré admires, the cabin is designed to resemble a traditional New England saltbox." [link]


Prospect Cottage, the Kent, England home of late film director, stage designer, and author Derek Jarman. [link]


↑ A Vienna home by designer Kai Stania. [link]


↑ "We wanted to make a bold statement about design but, in spite of its openness, the house also had to be private and comfortable to live in." [link]


↑ A renovation of a San Francisco Victorian by Envelope A+D. [link]


↑ The Catskills country home of Calvin Klein VP of Creative Services Amanda Bupp. [link]


↑ The interior of Bupp's weekend retreat. [link]


↑ In 2008, artists Simon Jung and Erik Sturm gave an abandoned house in Möhringen, Germany a pre-demolition transformation with 132 gallons of paint. [link]


Black Cube House by KameleonLab, a makeover of a "typical polish family house from the 70s" in Wroclaw. [link]


Black Cube House [link]


↑ A black-larch-clad backyard extension to a London townhouse by Gundry & Ducker Architecture. [link]


Marc Koehler's IJburg House in Amsterdam. [link]


↑ According to Koehler, the home was "designed as a monolythical sculptural mass, expressed by contrasting introverted private spaces (that form the mass) with open collective spaces that have been 'carved out' from the solid volume as a continuous transparent void." [link]


↑ The Black Pearl of Rotterdam, a renovation by Studio Rolf.fr + Zecc Architecten which saw the home's original windows painted over, with new ones carved into the facade. [link]


Klein Dytham Architecture created this graphic-covered combined home and salon for a pair of young hairdressers in Tokyo. [link]


Simon Conder Associates' Black Rubber Beach House was designed to "respond to the drama and harshness" of Kent, England's Dungeness Beach landscape by covering a 1930s fisherman's hut in water-resistant, insulating rubber cladding. [link]

· A Pair of All-Black Houses Duke it Out in the Death Cage [Curbed National]
· 31 Shots of Plain White Boxes Masquerading as Residences [Curbed National]