Overlooking a fairway of the San Lorenzo golf course in Quinta do Lago, this Portuguese residence was designed by de Blacam and Meagher Architects with a contemporary twist. According to the designers, the house was approached as a series of cubic volumes, gradually stepping up the slope of the site, from the entrance road up to the double height living room. A double height portico on the garden side individualizes the project, while offering a modern and original outdoor lounge space for the inhabitants.
Golf enthusiasts will probably appreciate the design of the San Lorenzo North House, especially developed as a sophisticated refuge for those moments of match “interludes”. The opulent feel is taken indoors, where bright and spacious rooms seem to pay tribute to the freedom inspired by the surrounding landscapes. Tall ceilings in the open plan living room are counter-weighted by wooden panels with a softening visual effect. Find the place inviting?
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
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.