Here’a a fine example of sustainable design! The Lotheringen House project illustrates how a barn can be reinterpreted in our contemporary times, keeping a simplistic, yet dynamic structure. Built on a farm estate, the house designed by Emilio Eftychis, reminds us of where the raw materials were kept once. Despite its barn-like shape, the house has also typical South African details, reflecting the vernacular architecture. Verandas embellish the ground floor, showcasing a series of interesting openings. “The design of this space heightens the senses: it breathes, and is animated by light and air. the threshold between the interior and exterior is constantly blurred.”
Despite the massive asymmetrical look, the Lotheringen House has plenty of “cut outs”, inviting you to enjoy the benefits of the gorgeous site, while reading a book on the terrace. The wooden deck extends inside the house, creating a smooth transition between the two environments. The interior has also elements of raw design, mixing concrete with metal and wood. The house is surrounded by a green courtyard, enhancing the feeling of countryside freedom. Is there something in particular you like about this project?
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.
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