Capturing the rural landscape of Wanaka Valley, the Hawkesbury Residence in Mt Barker, New Zealand, uses the landscape as an artistic, ever-changing art work as part of its architecture. Standing at the foot of the hill behind the property, the elongated shape of the residence allows all spaces to be flooded with the perfect amount of natural light. Los Angeles-based Marmol Radziner studio have completed this stunning 2,150 square foot residential project in 2011 and since then, the inhabitants have been enjoying the modern interiors and landscape beyond, framed by the roof line and cedar deck.
The interior program encompasses two volumes – social and private – connected by stairs. The volume containing the master bedroom and two additional bedrooms, the master and secondary bathrooms and two side decks sits slightly lower then the social volume. Here, a beautiful set of side-by-side fireplaces – one in the great room and the other one on the adjacent outside deck – provide relaxation and peaceful moments. All spaces are spread over one single story so that the interiors and the front side pool have unobstructed access to the landscape. Stone walls and timber details integrate the house in its surroundings, constructing the perfect home for its owners.
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.
A good building should make you want to look at it. Even if not always liked by passers-by, it should always make them feel something. Manchester Metropolitan’s University’s business school is a building that effortlessly fits this criteria. Indeed for many, the building by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is their first taste of the architecture of Manchester as they travel along the arterial road, Mancunian Way. With its distinct ski-slope roof, and glittering mirrored appearance, it provides a flash of silver, and a dazzling break from the dull greys of the motorway, greeting motorists in a slightly space-age way as they enter the city