Catching the attention of passers-by with its imposing white architecture, the Lotus House rises two stories in the air, just enough to create a stunning first impression. Its two stories were designed to wrap around a pond with a natural spring and combine modern architecture and a comfortable lifestyle. Located in Country Heights, Kajang, Malaysia, this residence is made of the main living volume spreading over two floors and an additional guest pavilion connected to the main building via an elongated covered walkway. Operating with as much natural light as possible, the architects of 29 Design imagined this residence embracing its ascension to the sky by displaying a set of very organized, carefully placed vertical lines. Seen on the front facade, sides and defining the connection between interiors and exterior on the garden side, these vertical windows filter natural light for the living spaces and acts as beacons during nighttime. No wonder the interiors are so bright!
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
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.