Metarquitectura designed this fabulous house in Puebla, Mexico, called House Lev, that relies on basic geometry that break the constructive logic of the materials used in defining it. The volumetric structure has high ceilings, enhancing the feeling of breeziness. Despite the abundance of concrete used, the house looks rather light and playful. Steel and concrete are the main materials used in defining it, but the structure also features wooden notes that are not to be neglected. Somehow, the industrial notes unveil themselves (the use of concrete, the “unfinished” kind of look adorned with horizontal lines, the architecture’s simplicity). Functionality is one of the main characteristics. Ornamental elements that had no practical function did not represent an interest for the architects.
The interior is spacious and bright. The living space exhales transparence and allows a good light penetration. Transparent glass panels replace the walls, creating a seamless transition between the environments. An enchanting garden spreads ahead, inviting you to enjoy nature and recharge your batteries in the “mystic embrace” of a tranquil environment.
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
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