We received photos and information about SKS Residence, a project developed in Tel Aviv, Israel, by arstudio – Arnon Nir architecture. The client, an artist, had a great interest in textiles and textures. Thus, the design scheme was kept simple – the house is largest possible cube to fit into confines of the irregular trapezoid lot – texture is instead the focus. The stone cladding, a product of a local quarry, is striated to resemble corduroy. An interior wall clad in the same stone faces the main entrance corridor and is bounded by the main staircase.
In response to the powerful stone, an ephemeral stair banister made of metal cords runs 12 meters from the first floor ceiling to the basement. Another texturing device is wood, used as the material for the shading canopy, the outdoor decks and the front door of the house. Acting as reference to the horizontal striated pattern of the stone, the wooden elements create intricate grids of teak and shadows. The line between interior and exterior is blurred through the materials which transition between the spaces and large window spans overlooking a pine grove and swimming pool. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by arstudio – Arnon Nir architecture]
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