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Versatile Structure Housing Living and Working Spaces

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Local architectural studio Fitzsimmons Architects designed the versatile structure that is not only a home, but also an architectural office and design workshop. A budget of $290K went into constructing this dream modern home located in downtown Oklahoma City. Rising two stories in the air, the OKasian House occupies what used to be 3 buildings demolished in the 80’s. This amazing versatile structure might remind you of the Oklahoma Case Study House featured on our site. According to the architects, “The form is mathematically influenced by numerals important to the owners, and aesthetically expressive of their unique taste. It is enveloped in metal with large expanses of brick, glass and skylights, providing approximately 2400 sf of living space filled with art and furniture by the Owner/Architect as well as other local artists. One objective was to maximize the view of Oklahoma City’s growing skyline.

Placing the building at the South end of the lot accomplished that and accommodates discreet alley garage and shop access on the South lower level. This placement also allows a future building to the north. Guest entry to the property utilizes a set of original concrete steps and takes the visitor through the site of a bamboo lined courtyard on the North side of the house. The North wall of all sliding glass panels mesh the interior with the courtyard, and invite one into spaces which flow and change to accommodate the owners? needs. A sixteen foot high corner of glass, framing the downtown view, serves as a focus for nearly every point within. Whether one is in the galley kitchen, the balcony office or the two story volume living room, the outdoors is an inviting presence. Three outdoor spaces have been included, all of which allow interaction with the reviving neighborhood while maintaining a level of privacy. Foremost of these spaces is a sheltered roof top deck, perfect for catching one of Oklahoma?s panoramic sunsets or an evening?s view of the downtown skyline?s twinkling lights.”

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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

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.

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