Located on a challenging sloped terrain with extensive views over the town of Weinfelden in Switzerland, this mountain family home “coated” in wood looks very inviting. The project (initially discovered by our site on ArchDaily) was developed by K_m Architektur as a welcoming retreat, partially closed towards the street. The opposite facade reveals a lovely mix of balconies and suspended terraces, ensuring each room its own outdoor exit.
Wood is also the dominant material employed inside the house, resulting in cozy, welcoming living zones. According to the architects, House Weinfelden is structured as follows: “The upper floor houses the private bedrooms of the parents with a great rooftop terrace. The ground floor contains a generous dining and living space with a stove acting as a room divider as well as two more bedrooms for the children. Positioned in front of the dining and living area, a roofed terrace encircles the building and links the interior and the exterior space through room-high glazing“. Sustainable features of the project include natural construction materials, a solar hot-water-system and geo–thermal heating.
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.
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