Two floors were sufficient to encompass the necessary living spaces for Casa Del Pico in Spain. Created by Madrid-based studio ÁBATON, the 3,143 square foot home rests on a sloped granite terrain, which became the inspiration for the two-floor residential project cladded with colored mortar render. Materials used to build the house include honed limestone floors, white plastered walls, white-lacquered MDF woodwork and doors on the inside and lacquered aluminum exterior joinery. Architects share a few words about the challenging site, adapted architecture and focused interior arrangement: “The sharp slope from street level to the back of the site made it vital to conceive of two floors.
The presence of granite throughout prompted the design conceit of dual structures floating above the stone itself. In order to emulate the geometry of the stone, the base of the swimming pool is uneven and mirrors the shapes etched out by the granite over which it is built. The ground floor was designed to interact closely with the outside so that the garden is perceived as an extension of the interior. The upper floor, where the living room and the children’s area are located, was linked to the swimming pool. The rooftop terrace over the living room boasts views of the mountains and city and comes with a giant built-in bench which additionally acts as a barrier. Changes in usage within open-plan areas are punctuated by differing ceiling or floor heights.”
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
A good building should make you want to look at it. Even if not always liked by passers-by, it should always make them feel something. Manchester Metropolitan’s University’s business school is a building that effortlessly fits this criteria. Indeed for many, the building by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is their first taste of the architecture of Manchester as they travel along the arterial road, Mancunian Way. With its distinct ski-slope roof, and glittering mirrored appearance, it provides a flash of silver, and a dazzling break from the dull greys of the motorway, greeting motorists in a slightly space-age way as they enter the city