When arriving at House Tat, the visitor can immediately understand the size of this project by Nico Van Der Meulen Architects, for the five storey house was redesigned into a contemporary home. The building is located on a very steep and narrow site with 180° views to the east, which allowed the architectural design to take advantage of the spectacular views, but acted as a challenge when the architects wanted to add habitable space. The architect, Rudolph van der Meulen explains that the teams had to work on an existing structure and creativity allowed them to redesign the existing space making the most of natural light and the stunning views.
The contemporary makeover was given to the entire building: from the street to the east façade one can enjoy the modern feel thanks to the use of concrete, steel and glass. Public and private space have been vertically divided, with the entry level being the most public with an entertainment area that opens up to a covered balcony, a study, a bar-lounge as well as a meeting room for business visitors. With limited garden space, the various balconies and the large covered terrace floating above the raised pool deck encourage outdoor life while taking full advantage of the magnificent views. [Photos and information received via e-mail by Laura Doriguzzi Bozzo]
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.
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.