The modern Cedarvale Ravine House was especially designed by Drew Mandel Architects for a family of four in Toronto, Canada. The infill project has a privileged location in its mid-town residential neighborhood, as it opens up to protected woodlands. According to the architects, the design solution “solves programmatic requirements, maximizes views, provides natural light, and enhances the promenade and transition from sub-urban street scape to contact with very primal forms of nature“.
The structure of the residence was adapted to the characteristics of the site: “Circulation modulates through a series of intimate and expansive spaces and courtyards to a glass-enclosed single-story volume at the rear of the property. It is the kitchen and family room and the heart of the house. Large expanses of glass dematerialize the stone building in order to engage and connect to its protected woodland setting. A cantilevered second story volume frames views, gestures to the landscape and allows the re-naturalized ravine planting to be drawn farther into the site“. Enjoy the virtual tour!
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