SL House is a modern-minimalist suburb residence built on a plot of 475 square meters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Its shape resembles that of a rectangular box, transparent on its front and back and opaque on the sides. Gray plaster was chosen for the exterior finish, subtly contrasting the surface of the swimming pool it neighbors, as well as the vivid green backyard. The creative team at Domb Architects divided the house in two functional areas, separated by a large void.
The first level of the residence accommodates the social areas: a generously-sized living room, with plenty of space for having guests over and a dining table for six. Wide glass doors allow natural light inside, together with the fresh garden atmosphere. The bedrooms are located on the second level. There is also a basement, providing enough space for various games and a fitness center.
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
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