This imposing contemporary home located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, on the southern slope of Mount Carmel in Israel, was designed by Heidi Arad Architects and pays tribute to sustainable architecture. With a total living area of 250 square meters, the residence showcases an elegant exterior, dominated by a white color, partially disrupted by wooden cladding. The project is opened towards the sea, with the help of glass sliding doors. Once inside, a potential visitor is likely to be impressed by the stylish interiors and modern decorations. The principles of sustainable architecture were cleverly adapted to the overall design: ventilation is ensured in a natural way through panoramic windows, rainwater is collected in a special tank and used for household purposes, and natural materials are used throughout. How would you personally comment on this project, in relationship to its natural landscape and cultural environment?
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
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