Resting on a 5,000 square meter property, the imposing Uro House was built between a few existing trees and its slightly shifted floor plan allows the interiors to benefit from beautiful views of the Sierra Madre mountains. Gathered under the same roof and spread over two floors, the 9,800 square feet interior spaces were separated into public and private rooms, with an accentuated care for the landscape. 7XA Taller De Arquitectura were the talented architects behind this residential project – a cross-shaped modern construction located in Monterrey, Mexico. The two story high contemporary house has terraces and partially covered zones acting as the links between spaces thus creating a carefully planned dream home.
Architects describe their work on the Uro House: “One enters the plot through a very discreet hallway which, as it opens, reveals the house set among the trees. A rotunda surrounds two walnut trees, and it functions as an external entrance hall that connects to a cube of concrete that serves as an access. It takes the visitor to an L-shaped slab, which is the great entrance to the garden and the terraces in the back. The house is organized by a central space with a wood cylinder as a motif. It conceals a commode in the ground floor, and a study room in the first floor. This space divides the zones of the house: on one side, the ground floor contains the social part, opened and merged with the exterior; on the other side, the semiprivate area -more closed and intimate. The first floor holds the secondary bedrooms in the front and the master bedroom in the back of the house, with a view to the enormous garden.”
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.