Broom Way Residence is a 4.200 square foot residential project, completed in the historical city of Brentwood, California, by Nonzero Architecture. The clients requested a larger living space. The best solution to extend the 1950’s old house was…to demolish and start building it from scratch. In order to emphasise the value of the magnificent lush vegetation and the rich site, the architects provided a new and modern house, spacious and welcoming, with large windows and spectacular views. Focusing on sustainability, the architects tried to bring the nature inside the house. The wide terrace, the open space living plan and last, but not least, the floor to ceiling windows, that allow the light slipping inside the house, create a bright and cozy environment. To wrap it up, all these elements underline the importance of nature, as parts of our lives.
Everyone agreed to focus on sustainability: natural ventilation has been encouraged. There’s also another relevant action that proved the environmentally friendly approach: the materials used in defining the project were natural, sustainable and carefully chosen. The radical transformation implied also recreating a mid-century modernism, somehow adapted to the more recent design patterns. The staggering view over the seashore and the historical town make this house even more precious. Due to the fact that the house is surrounded by such a rich vegetation, the architects tried to incorporate the design and obtain a continuously fluid landscape.
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
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.