Slightly unusual, this triangular brick house, located in a villa park village in North Holland, has been completed a couple of months ago, by the Dutch architectural firm, Baksvan Wengerden. Their “mission” was to restore the SH House, a 1932 building, by enlarging the living space and making it more comfortable. Due to the houses’s authentic robust look, the architects decided to use concrete, in order to blend into the same rugged and bold architectural style. They added a front asymmetric extension, which connects the open plan ground floor with the lively courtyard. The hallucinant green colour pierces the wide, ample ethereal windows creating an effect of proximity and a special connection between the human and his natural habitat.
The ground floor consists of two large sections, a living room and an open space kitchen. An unusual fireplace has been chosen in completing the house’s simplistic, yet elegant design. Edgy and interesting, the suspended fireplace marks the boundaries between the eating and cooking area and the leisure place. The hardwood staircase connects the ground floor with the first and second floor, the house being more spacious than it actually looks. Ambiguous and contrasting, the SH House is an interesting mix of new and old, emphasizing its unique features and embracing the lawless lines of asymmetry.
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.
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