While the bouts of warm weather followed by bitingly cold days continue to fool us, we at Architizer can't help but be overly optimistic about the balmy spring months ahead (and after this winter, we have good reason!). There may no better way to appreciate the onset of spring than by relaxing on a porch; a space that blurs the boundaries between outside and in, porches have long provided families with a place to take in the "great outdoors" while still remaining in the comfort of one's home.
For decades, the classic front porch was a distinguishing feature of suburban home designs, a place to greet visitors or get fresh air. However, front porches started to lose their popularity as car culture increased, and privacy away from streets became preferred. Back porches that open up to backyards and gardens offer families a more enclosed, private area to enjoy warmer temperatures. Both front and back porches remain popular features for today's home owners, and we see contemporary architects reinterpreting both the styles and the functions of these exterior spaces. As you get ready for the warmer months ahead, take in the splendor of the porch—updated for modern life.
Located close to a pristine lake, this country home's design takes inspiration from the image of a bird sitting on a cliff overlooking the landscape. The backside of this slanted house takes advantage of the site's views, while the entrance to the house features a small porch that greets visitors as they ascend a staircase from the driveway.
After a dilapidated townhouse in Brooklyn was torn down to its original frame, Barker Freeman rebuilt the structure with a front porch that echoes the famous terraces gracing the entrances of neighboring historic brownstones. A simple rectangular area was carved out of the redesigned townhouse, providing the perfect place to relax and take in coveted views of nearby Prospect Park.
Inspired by the traditional Moldovan porch, Alexandrin Buraga organized this concrete house's plan around a built-in outdoor terrace at the entrance. The simple, economic design, with clean lines and pure geometric forms, results in a comfortable exterior that reinterprets classic design elements through a contemporary lens.
While many new homes place exterior porches towards the back of the home to maintain privacy, this striking modernist-inspired home makes the front porch a signature feature of its design. A smooth, flat roof cantilevers over the entrance to form an outdoor space to welcome visitors, while a dramatic void is cut out overhead to create a direct connection with and views of the sky.
Urcode Architecture seems to understand the value of outdoor spaces. Not only does this concrete-clad cubic home feature a front porch that connects the home to the street, but the backside boasts an elevated terrace overlooking an intimate garden. The design allows for spaces to entertain as well as areas for introspection.
Lopez Island, the third largest of Washington's San Juan Islands, features a picturesque landscape of rolling hills, steep bluffs, and views of the sea. At the same time, the island setting also faces frequent high gusts of wind. Miller Hull's design for a single-family home stretches laterally across a bluff to break wind patterns; the outdoor porch lets the family take in views while remaining sheltered on blustery days.
Located on a wooded waterfront property overlooking the Puget Sound, this contemporary residence seamlessly merges indoor and outdoor spaces. A simple, glazed living room features 12-foot-high walls that slide open to create an exterior porch during warmer months, complete with views of the Hood Canal.
Situated on the softly rolling hills of California's Santa Lucia Preserve, the Caterpillar House was designed to be environmentally sensitive and accentuate its connection to the land. Large south-facing glass doors open the main living area to a large, covered porch and an outdoor patio with sunshades that expand and contract. This creates a flexible entertaining area that responds to the family's needs.