Beautifully integrated into the neighborhood while still managing to turn heads, this contemporary asymmetric house seems guarded by two trees at the entrance. Cladded in cedar, the home showcasing a sloped roof shelters the daily live of a single professional. Tailored by Canadian studio Splyce Design to the needs and desires of its owner, the home rises three stories in the air under a sloped roof design guided by the staircase placement. Known as the East Van House, the playful geometry of the house refreshes the appeal of the street it occupies.
Do you remember the Russet Residenceon a steep slope of land in West Vancouver? It’s part of the same architectural studio’s portfolio and extends the same invitation to enjoy contemporary design, this time as an asymmetric addition to a suburban neighborhood. The main entrance leads to an open-plan kitchen and dining area at the back of the house, plus the living room and terrace beyond, all facing south and attracting natural light.
Down in the basement, the garage, utility room and wine room are accompanied by a guest bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs, the master suite unfolds to surprise you with a west-facing roof light that frames views of the sky and trees from the bed. There’s also a study here and it might seem simple, but it’s the perfect place to relax after a hard day’s work. The dressing area and small terrace beyond completes the picture-perfect home. Don’t you just love it?
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.
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