Winning the Show Unit during the 2011 Malaysian Interior Design Awards for the Residential category, the interior open air concept of the 6 Western Avenue in Penang, Malaysia, combines a comfortable home ambiance with luxurious resort-style living. Designed by Blu Water Studio, this sculptural collection of spaces depict an out-of-the-ordinary elegance. Described by its creators, the stunning interiors sound like this: “A modern take on traditional style furniture completes an elegant, but soothing overall design character. The living room features casual, modern furniture, with sleek and clean lines, and allows its users to feel completely at home and seamless with the nature that surrounds them.
A contrast between the bright warm hues and textures with the dark modern straight lines of the wooden furniture truly inspires a deep sense of serenity. Local indigenous hardwood is displayed throughout the interior in various ways. Implemented on wall panels to create a coziness, as well as to help separate living areas when used as vertical screens. The master bedroom, with its high-sloped double volume ceiling maintains a resort style feel. Traditional pieces of artifacts are placed above the headboard to crown the four-poster bed. Textural detailing determines the laid-back character of the private sitting area with landscaped garden views, emphasizing the overall sense of connection between interior spaces and outdoor nature.” What’s your favorite detail?
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.