Marcus O’Reilly Architects recently sent us photos and information about a modern home the practice completed in Australia. Here is the official project description, as provided by the architects: “This 5 unit medium-density housing development has been designed to contribute and improve the existing street-scape of a quiet tree lined street in Elwood, Victoria. Through careful selection of timber, standing seam metal and stone finishes the building relates to and complements the mature tree in front of the site as well as referencing the materials on the surrounding properties.
The main volume of the building is faced with a dramatic open jointed spotted gum rain screen that glows like a lantern in the evening. This façade is further animated through sliding timber and galvanized steel screens which help regulate the impact of the harsh afternoon sun to west facing windows. Skillion roofed, standing seam metal clad volumes then hang off this main volume over the driveway and touch the ground lightly through the clever employ of a series of steel moment frames. These tapered steel elements along the driveway not only allowed for the large existing to willows along the southern boundary to happily remain intact but also set up a clear markers down the driveway which help delineate each vertical dwelling. The project is the recent winner of both“Best New Development 1-5 storeys” and “Best Sustainable Development” in the Annual City of Port Phillip Design and Development Awards”.
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.
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