A pattern of the rural landscape, the house located in Wairau Valley mixes concrete with wood, unveiling a particularly beautiful home, rich in pavilions and open spaces. The Parsons Architects, the firm responsible with defining this residential project, envisioned a place that emerges with the landscape. The Eucalyptus Saligna wood is very present throughout the house, creating a particular warm feeling of coziness. It’s interesting how concrete and wood complete each other. Everything is carefully balanced and in touch with the nature: “The owners were keen for a house that had a connection to the land spatially and materially. They were interested in occupying the site with a sense of encampment, where different interlinked pavilions offered different areas of occupation and privacy or openness.”
Moreover, the view is breathtaking, enhancing the feeling of relaxation. The social area is supported by glass walls, offering to the inhabitant a full view over the courtyard and the rocky landscape. The house looks like a very summer retreat, with an “industrial-like” look. The swimming pool and the terrace complete the exterior décor. How do you find this house and is this something you would choose for yourself?
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.
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