The challenge: to reconnect the inhabitant with the nature, in the heart of a typical neighborhood in San Francisco. Fougeron Architecture, the design studio in charge of completing the residential project called The Flip House, took advantage of the benefits of modern architectural aesthetics and came up with an interesting idea: a prism-like house with vertical circulation, capable of “exploiting” the advantages brought by the lush vegetation and the urban skyline. Due to the fact that the Flip House has three levels, the stairs play an important role in creating a connection between the spaces. The circulation is rationalized: basically, the idea of a disconnected staircase was replaced “with one rear stair that smoothly links all three levels and the garden below.”
A custom-built glass wall replaces the regular wall, creating a transparent environment. Each of the three vertical panels are clearly bounded. “The street-level entry now leads to a generous foyer that is open to this staircase and to a guest room/den. The open plan of the second floor allows the kitchen and living room space to look down into this den and outward to the striking city”. Despite the neutral palette of colors used in completing the décor, the interior is dynamic, hip and modern. How do you find this project? Smart or not?
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.
A good building should make you want to look at it. Even if not always liked by passers-by, it should always make them feel something. Manchester Metropolitan’s University’s business school is a building that effortlessly fits this criteria. Indeed for many, the building by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is their first taste of the architecture of Manchester as they travel along the arterial road, Mancunian Way. With its distinct ski-slope roof, and glittering mirrored appearance, it provides a flash of silver, and a dazzling break from the dull greys of the motorway, greeting motorists in a slightly space-age way as they enter the city