Framed with vegetation, the imposing Valacco Cordova House represents a lovely summer escape, a getaway home, filled with light, brightness and warmth. Quite inspirational and smartly designed, this exciting residence located in Costa Cachagua in Zapallar, Valparaíso Region, Chile, is a fine example of “how to fight” against the sun’s strong radiations using nothing but the unbeatable force of greenery. The house is placed in an idyllic spot, close to the seashore, overlooking the blue horizon. It takes advantage of the beautiful surroundings and it offers some of the most amazing panoramic views. The exciting project was designed and completed in 2012 by Juan Carlos Sabbagh.
“Deciduous creepers and plants wrap the house and views, adding bioclimatic passive protection against strong sun radiation. In the summer, the creepers will hang from the planters and climb the parasol walls covering them with green leaves, bringing its shade, while in winter the leaves will change to red and then disappear to allow the house to absorb the sun’s heat.” A lovely lounge area, where one can sit, relax while enjoying coffee and the sun completes the décor. The interior exudes a raw industrial style, being warmed only by the views.
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
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.