There seems to be a design concept architects can't get enough of these days: creating buildings with volumes that extend out in multiple directions like head-sprouting architectural hydras. This sort of dramatic radial scheme has not only been observed in recently completed large-scale projects, like Herzog & de Meuron's VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein, Germany and 3XN's UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark, but also in equally sensational residential homes.
As seen in the following examples, the benefits of such a layout seem clear: it's a refreshing way to frame different views of picturesque surroundings and a chance to create semi-private spaces in one connected structure. Plus, multiple "façades" just mean new opportunities to access the outdoors. On the flip side, the sharply-angled gaps between the branched-out volumes tend to feel like dark and impractical "dead" spaces—but occasionally, they can become perfectly lovely terraces and hidden yards, too.
All photos by Lorenzo Vecchia via ArchDaily
Completed in 2014 by Santiago Parramón of RTA-Office, this 3,100-square-foot home in Barcelona, Spain comprises five pavilions that form separate spaces for a craft room, kitchen, living room, master suite, and children's bedroom. The goal of all these volumes with various orientations is to capture different perceptions of the house—different angles, views, colors, light.
All photos by João Morgado via Designboom
This dashing Portuguese vacation home by local studio PROD architecture & design is four for the price of one: a quartet of interconnected, patinated-pine-clad, gabled pavilions. The protruding structures, connected by a central core, are each positioned to match the angle of a building in the neighborhood.
All photos by Sandra Pereznieto via ArchDaily
All photos by åke e. son lineman
Made up of five gabled cabins, the "Village House" in Sjælland, Denmark was designed by Powerhouse Company and is yet another effort to maximize views. A few outdoor spaces sandwiched between the cabins have become open terraces.
All photos by Igor Crnkovic via Designboom
Plopped on top of the Croatian island of Krk, Gumno House" by local firm Turato Architecturefeatures a glazed level of main living area topped by four white, radiating volumes that both frame views of the surrounding land and sea and demarcate a quiet sleeping area for each member of the family.
All photos by Benedikt Markel via Dezeen
Located on the outskirts of Prague, the "Chameleon House" by Czech studio Petr Hajek Architekti uses its six radiating volumes to frame views of the variety of trees in the surroundings, including an apple tree, cherry tree, peach tree, walnut tree, and spruce tree.
All photos by Miguel de Guzmán via Dezeen
This timber house near Madrid, designed by local firm FRPO, aims to be like a "woods within the woods", with trees hovering above the sprawling structure and growing in the gaps between the different arms.