Atelier Heiss Architects were the ones who were busy with reconstructing the house by adding a modern extension to an existing house in Vienna, Austria. Named House S, the contemporary villa was reconstructed, but keeps a low profile. Only those allowed in the back and inside can fully understand why this house is considered by its owners as a dream home. According to the architects, “a drastic reconstruction preserving only the facade facing the street created a symbiosis of restraint and generosity. While the conventional design of the house on the outside seems almost anonymous, the open structure towards the garden speaks a modern architectural language.” A mature tree rises from the house’s deck, displaying the carefully studied architecture that allows the surroundings to coexist with the structure’s modern design. Atelier Heiss Architects created a glazed backside, encouraging the inhabitants to stay visually connected to the environment.
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.
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