Here’s something you don’t see everyday! In the exquisite and contradictory city of Berlin, where contemporary, avant-garde and high tech blend wonderfully, Brandt + Simon Architekten studio has recently completed this eco-friendly single family house. The pixel-like facade is the result of using peculiar green tiles, giving you the feeling that you are admiring an 8-bit design, that happens to be…someone’s home! The house features solar energy panels. Plenty of eco materials have been used in defining it (the most impressive being the recycled paper) in order to reflect a green (both literally and metaphorically) living space.
The tiles create a certain shading (thanks to the gradient aspect), showcasing a subtle home that blends with the trees and the vegetation, without creating too much buzz. Anyway, we are not saying that this is an invisible home, but if you look at it from a considerable distance it won’t just stand out. Behind the pixel-like facade, there lies a timber frame construction. The interior is all wrapped in white emphasizing a hypnotic swirly staircase.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
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