A spectacular open plan residence named the AE House was constructed in Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico City. Placed on a 8,611 square feet property, the modern house rises up three levels in order to offer its inhabitants all the necessary room to live a modern, comfortable life. The architects who worked on this project – twentyfourseven – describe the site’s challenges and solutions they came up with: “The proposal of the project changes this interaction by displacing a thick volume to the back of the site while a thin volume is pulled forward, creating by such an action a cross diagram that allows for patios to emerge with views, illumination and natural ventilation of the spaces. The intersection of both volumes creates a central void where the connection between the different volumes opens up to the sky.”
Defined by glass walls on the ground floor, the living spaces are opened to the outside space. The living spaces sit between the frontal garden and the back gravel patio – a 131 feet long space dedicated to family life. Having placed the kitchen and services in such a way as to relate to both the formal and the everyday dining spaces, the architects designed the upper levels as a collection of private spaces overlooking the garden with Jacarandas and Palm trees. Luxurious in its simplicity, the AE House was constructed as a private, urban space for the enjoyment of the family living here.
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
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.