Made up of a series of pavilions with rolling zing roofs, Meadow Farm House by William McDonough + Partners is located in a rich landscape, which transitions from orchards to meadows and coastal oaks. Taking advantage of the climate in Northern California, the architects covered the wavy roof in solar panels. The project is LEED Platinum certified and is a pilot project in the Sustainable Sites Initiative: “Striated color patterns in rammed earth walls extrapolate the gentle curve of existing site topography. The farm is a net energy exporter and includes comprehensive rainwater and graywater harvesting”.
An inspiring merger of wood and glass defines the interiors, which are extremely spacious and welcoming. Minimalist furniture additions create enough room for lounging and socializing. The kitchen has a classic-rustic vibe, as a reminder of the character of the building . But modern elements also protrude in the design; the lighting units in the living room for example bring a bit of “present” in the daily lives of the owners. What are the design features you personally find interesting about this North California home? [Photography courtesy of William McDonough + Partners]
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
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts