Imagine living in a modern family villa like the Villa Spee Haelen in the Netherlands. Famous for living openly and inviting bright natural light inside with every chance, Dutch people inspire us to live fully in an environment that suits our needs and desires. Designed by architect Loek Stijnen of Lab32 Architecten for a married couple and their child, the now very sleek and modern home replaces an outdated bungalow from the 1960s. Now dressed in warm materials that attract compliments, the interiors are carefully hidden behind white plastering showcased by the facade.
Preferring the simplicity of country living, the family living here wanted a modern villa that opens to the outside both in the front and the back. Panoramic windows assemble green views as the volume floats above the undulating landscape. A seamless connection is thus formed between the outdoors and the carefully designed indoors, defining what elegance in design means.
The back side of the house welcomes family with a terrace complete with a pond and a swimming pool, perfect for rare sunny days. Carefully exploring this powerful connection between inside and outside, architects imagined a covered terrace that makes this transition easier. Interior decorator Rob Zeelen constructed a collection of minimalist interiors that keep the family’s lifestyle simple and functional, as they wished.
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
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