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A Challenging Project For The Architects: House Zochental in Aalen, Germany

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House Zochental is a home designed by Liebel Architekten BDA on a steep slope of land, in Aalen, Germany. Due to the rough site, the project was definitely challenging for the architects. “The slope seals off the south side of the house completely from the outside world, so that the building can open to the garden with a large amount of glazing. From every room you can enjoy a beautiful view of the countryside.” Sometimes, a serene view and a stressless environment is all you need to live in harmony. The excellent zen ambience, the modern touch, the balance of light and last, but not least, the site (as a bonus), transform  a regular house in Germany into a welcoming and warm home.

Floor-to-ceiling windows favour beautiful views over the lush vegetation, surrounding the house. The kitchen opens to the courtyard, allowing the light to flood the interior. Imagine yourself in the morning dawn, with a steaming cup of coffee enjoying the surroundings, from the intimacy of this kitchen. The main floor accommodates the social interaction areas, such as the living room and the kitchen, while the first floor houses the bedrooms.

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Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.

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

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