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Imposing Modern Residence in California: OZ House

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The OZ Residence was designed by Swatt Miers Architects and is located in Silicon Valley, California. According to the brief given by the owners, a young couple with two children, the home had to have a casual, barefoot feel, like a holiday destination, with strong indoor-outdoor connections. Here is more from the architects: “The design that evolved is based on a simple ?L? shaped plan with two wings. The east wing includes the kitchen and family room on the ground floor, with children?s bedrooms located on the upper level. The south wing consists of an office, media room, and guest suite at the lower level, with the master suite located on the second floor. Connecting the two wings is a living / dining ?great room?, fully glazed on the north and south sides. Under a low, cantilevered overhang, a solid mahogany pivoting entrance door opens to the dramatic ?great room?, a beautiful two-story volume pierced by a floating glass bridge that runs east-west, connecting the two wings at the upper level“. We invite you to have a look at the photos taken of this home and tell us if you consider its design fits the clients’ brief. [Photography by Tim Griffith]

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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.

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

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