It is not difficult to correlate the design of this home with an artist’s vision. Designed by Calico Studio, this retreat in the state of Washington, USA displays a strong personality throughout: “Our artist wanted a space that would call her to create. The studio is tucked in between existing trees in close proximity to the main house providing a visual connection to her family that can easily be broken and re-established“, explain the architects. The name of the project reveals its source of inspiration: the spirals of the Nautilus, reflected in the location and overall shape of the building.
Exposed beams are the defining elements for the design, reaching out from the studio into an interesting looking overhang, thus providing space for the family to get together and relax outdoors. Specific features were carefully planned: “The spaces are flexible and the custom wheeled furniture can be set up on the fly to adjust to the needs of the artist. A downed cedar tree milled on-site was utilized for the furniture. The overhang was designed using sun diagrams to prevent direct sunlight from bleaching the textiles inside“. With its unique placement and the artist’s colors seemingly taking over the entire design, it is hard not to develop a soft spot for this creative dwelling.
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
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.