This distinguished residence displays an unusual architecture. Created as a family home, the Feldbalz House was especially designed for a lifestyle divided between the needs of the children and those of their parents. Three floors compose a suite of spaces split in three different zones – the ground level shelters spaces for the children, opening towards the garden and a patio cantilevering over the swimming pool, the first floor is occupied by family living space, while the last floor showcases necessary rooms for the parents. Designed by Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann to occupy 276 square meters on a beautiful plot overlooking Lake Zurich, the contemporary family house exposes a translucent front entrance only to fully open up towards the beautiful views. Extensive use of glass on the private side of the house allows it to take advantage of surrounding panoramas, as well as its own surprising architecture.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
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