What does this dream home have special? Well, apart from its exceptional location and splendid modern architecture, Casa Diaz displays an interesting array of wonderful features. Casa Diaz occupies a sloping lot in an upper class neighborhood in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. With an astonishing location on a corner lot with trees protecting the privacy and guiding the views towards the lake, Casa Diaz was built as a series of three elongated rectangular volumes stacked in a zigzag pattern that help better capture panoramic views from the terraces and framed views from behind the glazed walls.
Mexico City?based office Productora worked on the challenging residential project by developing ideas through intuitive explorations – as the architects beautifully explain their style. The street facade hides the fantastic architecture behind a wall of natural stone. The small portion of the house seen from the front of the building was built according to urban planning requirements – a white plastered facade crowned with elegant wood and subtle roof tiles. But from the lakeside, its true nature shows – a contemporary residence shaped by a dynamic architecture that welcomes natural light inside each space.
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
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