Architects Marcio Kogan and Mariana Simas of Studio Mk27 designed a 250 square meter retail store in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Awarded the world’s best shopping building at the World Architecture Festival, the Decameron encompasses a low budget building solution for a rented space. The Decameron consists of a double height hangar and several colorful shipping containers arranged to open up to the street and to a pebble garden with palm trees adorning it. Two rows of shipping containers stacked on top of each other and painted in flamboyant colors make up the shell of the store. Placed perpendicular to the main street, the containers were designed to fit the space without interfering with the natural arrangement of trees. Translucent polycarbonate sliding doors open up to the interiors during open hours only to reveal a bold and distinguished interior design. Studio MK27 created the interior spaces as a sequence of hallways displaying the company’s products, with a large showroom and office spaces. Unique and bold, this project is sure to draw many clients.
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.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light