A relaxing ambience, lush vegetation and a bright and breezy house – meet House 780, a project designed by Stephenson ISA Studio, in Manchester, England. The client’s former house had minimal views over the surroundings. With a different orientation, the house could had captured the essence of the landscape. So, the challenge was to modify the house’s orientation, in order to take advantage of the site’s topography and expose stunning views across the surroundings of Halebarns, Manchester. “The form of the building is formed by two blocks, set at different levels, one of which incorporates a double height living space that takes advantage of the sites topography and provides views across the surrounding landscape via full height 5m glazing to the South elevation.”
The house can be accessed via two bridges: a vehicle bridge and a pedestrian one. The pedestrian bridge carries your steps directly onto the mezzanine floor. Once inside, you notice the bright and warm living environment. The living room is flooded by light, due to the glass panels (floor-to-ceiling windows) that replace the regular walls. Whenever you feel like enjoying moments of tranquility, you can simply go for a walk around or sit in the garden, exploring from there, the wonders of the surrounding landscape.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.
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