The Cliff House is a contemporary residence designed by Khosla Associates and located in Chowara, a fishing village in Kerala, India. Overlooking the Arabian Sea coast, the modern crib rests at the edge of a cliff. Its unusual geometry is defined by an asymmetrical sloping roof which was integrated within a coconut plantation. The interior design is highly modern and, according to the architects, it is structured as follows: “On entering the house, the open plan voluminous foyer not only separates the private and public spaces but also extends all the way from the front entrance to the rear deck, where you can wade straight into the 420 sqm. infinity pool. The double height foyer separates the two wings and separates public and private spaces. Guest bedrooms and shaded decks lie to either side of the outdoor pool whose prominent position and expanse compensate for the missing beach access. Additional guest rooms and master bedroom connect to each other on the upper level via a walkway and terrace”. The residence covers an area of 1397 square meters, and each part of the property takes full advantage of its privileged surrounding landscape.
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.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light