A historic railway cottage in Santpoort-Noord, The Netherlands was recently restored and expanded by the creative team at Zecc Architects. Bordered by the railway line between Amsterdam and IJmuiden on one side and by the National Park South Kennemerland on the other, the residence takes in its landscape with its newly developed architecture: “The picturesque railway house is almost brutally shot through with a large Cortensteel volume. On two sides an extension is achieved with hard lines and large glass surfaces, which focuses on the surrounding greenery. The small railway house literally breaks through its ancient walls outside and provides new insight into the landscape. The old railway cottage is on the inside almost unchanged. The remains of numerous alterations have been removed, leaving a pure and characteristic brick cottage. This old section provides security and simultaneously connects all contiguous open spaces of the house”. According to the architects, the design metamorphosis was inspired by the contrast between the existing straight metal rails and the softness of the surrounding dunes.
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts
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