Defined by simple geometric rules, the modern AA House was designed by OAB and is located in Barcelona, Spain. According to the description provided by the architects, “the footprint of the building uses a superimposed 7×7 meter skewed grid to support the program in a composition similar to a musical score. The diagonals serve as a roof system that ungulates like an artificial topography, creating skylights in some cases, while in others situations, rising up double the height of other rooftop peaks. At the base floor, the program develops a direct relationship between the interior and exterior through the abundant use of glass-work, trellises, and sliding panels“. Most of the interiors are visually connected to the surrounding green spaces and are flooded in natural light from the generous windows. The bottom level accommodates the library, dining room, an inside swimming pool and an extension of the main bedroom, while the second level hosts the large piano room, with plenty of area for socializing.
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