Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture is an original looking residence in McLean, Virginia, United States. The multi-generational house is located between a forest area and a suburban neighborhood, offering the inhabitants a feel of both lifestyles. The structure of the project consists of three volumes, each interacting with the landscape: “Views from the suburban street through to the sloped landscape are informed by the programmatic volumes of the main floor and the bridge-like volume above, which frame the scene from interior and exterior vantage points. Each tubular volume contains a carefully organized relationship of private and public areas that correspond to the family’s generational structure”, explained the architects.
A creative layout answers the living needs of all generations living in the residence: “The smaller volume of the ground floor is the private master suite for the grandparents (the clients) who are first-generation Korean-American immigrants to the United States. The larger volume of the ground floor is the collective public area of the multi-generational home, which includes all shared programs, such as the kitchen, family room, dining room and garage. Physically bridging between these two spaces is a long volume that houses the family’s second and third generations.” The interior design scheme includes furniture units made from recycled materials, as well as a fireplace and staircase fabricated from hot-rolled steel and wood. [Photos courtesy of Höweler + Yoon Architecture]
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.
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.