Tusculum Residence is the result of a contemporary renovation and addition to an early 20th-century terrace house in Sydney, Australia. The project was envisioned by Smart Design Studio and combines a classic style with a modern approach. According to the architects, an important element of the renovation project is a “grand and gracefully spiralling stair that forms the pivotal junction of the old and new parts of the house. The staircase, spanning the width of the building, features delicate fan-like steel treads cantilevered from the central steel post and winding their way past six split levels, offset between the old and new sides of the house. The stair was conceived as the element that grafts the contemporary and new minimal structure to the refined, trimmed and formal older portion of the dwelling“. How do you find this association between two building sections that are completely different in style?
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.
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