Located in Targovishte, Bulgaria, Slight Slope Long House is a modern residence envisioned by I/O Architects as a massive horizontal volume. According to the project developers, the topography of the site resembles a cavea of an antic theater: “The long structure is facing the favorable sun orientation and the view in slight opposition of the slope. This way entering diagonally into the house the height of the spaces changes in relation to their grade of privacy. In the opposite direction and apart from the main progression are the guest rooms over the compressed space of the entrance and the garage.” The unconventional geometry of the project leads the eye along diagonal lines, creating a fun and surprising effect.
Slight Slope Long House accommodates generously-sized living and dining areas, three bedrooms, a home office and three-car garage: “The internal structure corresponds to the complementary space of the stairs-like veranda facing the park as well as to the terraced yards behind the house. The monolith appearance of the stone cladded façades and the oversized architectural elements, from one side and the perspective corrections of the front elevation from the other, modulate in an ambiguous way the scale of the large structure”, explained the architects. Sustainable features of the project include passive sun shading, heat pump with ground-coupled heat exchanger and use of local stone. [Photos courtesy of I/O Architects]
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
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