Wolveridge Architects completed the design for Torquay House, a modern residential project located in a coastal environment in Victoria, Australia. The brief of the residence was based on the following prerequisite: “In coastal conditions, buildings must be robust, yet create protective spaces, both internally and externally, in order to allow the occupants to feel safe and comfortable. Whether the occupants are full time residents or weekenders, the beach house should be a place they always look forward visit“.
The residence consists of a series of interconnected and robustly finished containers. From afar, they seem separate, but the connection between the three volumes is achieved through relatively thin inner passageways. The rooms open up towards a back yard with swimming pool. Once inside, the perspective changes completely and a cozy atmosphere takes over the rigid feeling inspired by the exterior. Would you feel at home in a massive residential project like this one?
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