A couple and their two little girls, together with two dogs and three cats, are the happy inhabitants of this fantastic contemporary residence inspired by Japanese architecture. Expecting for neighboring buildings to be built to the east and west of the property, Mizuishi Architects Atelier decided to construct this residence on a north-south axis, allowing the inhabitants to enjoy unobstructed views and natural air to circulate and ventilate the interiors and protecting their privacy at the same time. Covering over 108 square meters, the residence in Tokyo, Japan, got its name – House with Futokoro – from a versatile space used as storage, or extension of the adjacent room, called Futokoro (meaning recess space in Japanese). A centrally located light well right next to the stairs gathers sunlight on the roof and brings it deep into the house, straight down to the kitchen. The wooden structure’s facade is adorned with a lattice screen, allowing the owners to move freely around the spaces without being exposed to indiscreet eyes. As you can see, this was the perfect solution for the given property.
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic
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