Nested 164 feet above sea level, on a solitary cliff (100 miles away from the city of Santiago, Chile), Tunquen House is a single-storey family home envisioned as a contemplative modern refuge. Designed by Nicolás Lipthay Allen / L2C, the residence frames astounding views, encouraging inhabitants to connect on a visual and spiritual level with the ocean. In order to disconnect from a consumptive lifestyle, needless to say, one doesn’t need much: waves colliding and crashing on the rocks, the salty scent of the shoreline and soothing sounds from the depths.
Defined as a single volume of white concrete, Tunquen House outlines the wonderful outdoor environment. Living room, kitchen and dining occupy the core of it, with wide-stretching views on two sides. “Attached to the living area is a courtyard that has multiple functions, the most important is to be outside sheltered from the wind, in connection with the view and the interior of the house. This same courtyard provides the access, an outdoor dining area and garden.” Besides the great views provided by the living area, the house accommodates several rooms for guests, a bedroom for children and a master bedroom with services.
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.