Having been almost burnt to the ground several years ago, this 300-year-old farmhouse (situated close to the town of Treia in the Le Marche region of Italy) has been completely reformed and rebuilt. The extensive, four-year renovation project entitled Casa Olivi was undertaken by the Swiss architects Markus Wespi and Jérôme de Meuron and, as the building is protected by the Italian Cultural and History Administration, the outside has been meticulously preserved while the inside has been remodeled and proffers a minimalist and airy interior.
Located on a sloping hill, this sophisticated Italian holiday residence enjoys a panoramic position and has 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside. The house has been finished to an exceptionally high standard and there are many cutting-edge finishing touches: such as the Phillipe Starck bathrooms, the super modern kitchen and the impressive rectangular infinity pool (reminiscent of the water troughs that can be found in the nearby countryside) that sits raised above ground level.
Spacious, luminous and serene, Casa Olivi spreads over three floors. The living room is on the ground floor and four of the five bedrooms (all with ensuite bathrooms) are situated on the two upper floors. Having been fully reformed, the former stable is now an independent one-bedroom guest house. In the south section of the property, there’s a large terrace with a pergola and dining table for 12, as well as an outside kitchen with grill and teppanyaki. [Information provided via e-mail by Maija Krasna; Photos by Nicolas Mathéus]
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light