This modern weekend home was designed by architects David Jay Weiner, Architects, P.C. and is located in Rensselaer County, New York, USA. The project was especially built for a Japanese owner and spreads over a surface of 1,200 square feet, overlooking the Berkshire Hills. According to the architects, the residence consists of a study, living dining area, master bedroom suite and a large soaking bathtub and pays tribute to Japanese architecture: “In the spirit of a Japanese kimono, the house is conceived as a single sweeping volumetric “sheet” enclosure that wraps and folds into itself to form and define two major interior spaces, and tie the house with the landscape. The primary interior space is used for living, dining and cooking. An extended closed-in porch like aperture, analogous to an engawa or “in-between space” found in traditional Japanese architecture, extends off the main space to frame the primary view and create a transition between inside and outside. The secondary space serves as a master bedroom suite.” Would you escape here for the weekend? [Photography: Tony Morgan / Step Graphics]
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.
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