Completed in 2011, House BM is part of Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu‘s residential portfolio. This 304 square meter concrete house in Ghent, Belgium was built as part of the tree-filled property. Starting from a map with the exact position and diameter of every tree on the property, the architects had to come up with a solution to building the house without interfering with the surroundings. The result is a multifaceted round structure, with an interior courtyard defined by mature trees.
A total of 18 windows spread across the facade and interior courtyard allows the interaction between the interiors and the exteriors, constructing an interesting connection. Built on a foundation that allows tree roots to expand in any direction, House BM respects its surroundings and displays a set of carefully designed spaces that care for the inhabitant’s need for comfort. Interiors dressed in concrete finishes contribute to the overall strength and design, but also define a contemporary collection of interior spaces.
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
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic