This 2,518 square feet is a project defined by NatureHumaine in Montreal, Canada. The Stacked House‘s exterior, for this is the house’s name, exhibits an interesting blend of materials, each floor boasting different colours and textures and a different type of cladding. The house looks quite compact, despite its total surface. It features four floors, an elegant and uncluttered living environment and a small interior courtyard between the floors. “The site is located in a back alley of Montréal’s Plateau neighborhood and the design reflects the patchwork of extensions and renovations typically found in Plateau alleyways.”
“The constraints of the site called for a house that was built upwards versus outwards. Four boxes clad in different materials are stacked one on top of the other. A void carved out of the center of the house, provides daylight, ventilation, and private outdoor space.” The house’s structure favours vertical circulation. The furniture is modern and minimalist and the nicest thing of them all is that you can enjoy some moments of relaxation without getting out on the streets of Montreal. The outdoor spaces have metallic floor grids instead of normal floors and that’s quite interesting, due to the fact that it offers an additional sense of transparence.
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