The exquisite black zinc-covered House Little Venice in London shelters a fascinating space arrangement perforated by natural light right down to the underground library and screening room. Imagined by Wells Mackeret, this residence features a wide array of carefully selected details, from the rusted steelwork that offers mechanical control of the windows to the black engineering brickwork defining connections between certain areas of the house. The main living space, flooded by light from a louvered skylight above and a hydraulic pivoting glass wall, guides light down to the low level library through a slab of structural glass in the floor.
This underground chestnut leather comfort space is surrounded by subtly illuminated shelves. Upstairs, on the bedroom floor, double height wall paneling create a dramatically high ceiling. At the owner’s feet lay reclaimed parquet floors lit sometimes by dancing flames in the oversized fireplace. A mezzanine level is occupied by the bathtub and the whole space is lit by natural light and a cast yellow and white glass 1960s chandelier. Extraordinary in its essence, this residential space is proof that personal needs and splendid modern design can join forces to create a dream home.
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
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.