Before designing this project in Portugal, the architects at Paulo Merlini visited and analyzed other similar spaces trying to find some errors that could be corrected: “We found out that a basic error being committed was that most of these services only had one type of space. This design attitude ignored the variation of mood one fells during the day, or even if he walks there alone or with friends, needs a place to read a book or just wants to socialize. So, to bridge this flaw, we created three different environments. This way he costumer can select the space that fits better to his or her mood, rather than have to adapt itself to an imposing environment.
The presence of color and forms that are food alike actually makes people hungrier. So to get that input on the users, we picked the twenty most wanted products of the bakery and based on a pattern of global identification we found a middle tone and applied it on the walls. On the formal approach, we made the ceiling melt in some points to make it look like a cake topping”. [Information provided via e-mail by Paulo Merlini, Photo credits: João Morgado – Architecture Photography]
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
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.