The first striking feature of M2 House in Bozen, Italy is that it accommodates two apartments on separate floors. Envisioned by monovolume architecture + design, the residence has an imposing exterior look, with one facade hiding it away from the access road, while the other opening each of its rooms to the swimming pool and landscape beyond. Thick overhanging roofs protect the two “cribs” against extreme weather conditions and the roof of the upper level has an integrated photo-voltaic system.
Each of the two apartments has direct access to the underground garage and swimming pool area. The connection is provided by both interior and exterior staircases, with a design perfectly integrated in the overall scheme of the house. The interiors are minimalist, with predominant white color finishes giving away the feeling of spacious rooms. Natural lighting and extensive views are some of the strongest assets of the building. [Photographs: M&H Photostudio]
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.
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