Dreaming about a weekend retreat surrounded by appealing and enticing natural elements? Then this gorgeous architectural project including remodeling and additions will revive your inspiration. Recently send to us by architect Amy Alper, the Creekside Cabin located in Santa Rosa, California was a challenging project that brought a modern atmosphere in the old construction and opened up the interiors to receiving natural light and exceptional views. As described by the architect, the Creekside Cabin is an example of building alongside nature: “Beautifully situated among shady firs and redwoods, the layout of this 1920?s shingle-style cabin nonetheless precluded views to the nearby boulder-strewn creek. Stringent regulations limited new construction to only ?previously disturbed? riparian areas around the existing cabin and no more than thirty-three percent additional conditioned space was allowed.
The new living room and hallway addition roughly follow the outline of an underutilized exterior deck. Structural steel beams and posts, set at deck support locations, carry a cantilevered floor, achieving maximum allowable new square footage with no increased site disturbance. The dismantled redwood deck members were reused on site as were two period windows removed to allow the connection between old and new. The original cabin exterior is preserved and featured as a backdrop to the new spaces. The living room is set under an extension of the existing roofline while the hallway is defined by a shallower roof pitch that gestures toward the creek. Smooth white walls contrast textured dark shingles, fireplace contrasts watercourse and reclaimed beams visually echo the surrounding woods. Large pane window walls maximize views to the ever changing natural setting beyond.”
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.