Close to downtown Bethesda, Maryland, rises a modern residence silhouette that enchants passers-by and inhabitants with a strong feeling of comfort and style captured in its contemporary architecture. Attention to details led to David Jameson Architect designing the Burning Tree Residence as a” two simple gable roof volumes of stucco which sit on a foundation of stone“. The 3,800 square foot house also displays a central mahogany volume that unifies the overall look.
Challenged by limitations of the plot and stock material sizes, architects managed to erect a residential structure that would develop a strong relationship with its owners: “Having to work with the constraints of pre-engineered wood roof trusses and other stock material sizes, the approach to this spec-house was two-fold. First, to build a house within the limits of a material budget and the stock sizes available. Second, to be able to generate spaces within the house that generously embrace the site, and spaces which allow light and visual continuity to flow from one room to another.” Protecting the inhabitant’s privacy by allowing only partial views to the street, the house was designed to open towards the back, in order to offer a powerful connection to the surroundings. I love the large dark-framed windows, don’t you?
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
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