Bonaire House was designed by Silberstein Architecture and is located in Bonaire, a Caribbean island east of Central America and north of Venezuela. The residence stands out due to its imposing contemporary architecture and its white exterior pleasantly contrasts the Caribbean blue. Access towards the main entrance is provided by a staircase, which inhabitants can step on, while “chaperoned” by the lovely pool to the right. A large open plan living room naturally extended with the terrace is up next. The fact that one can get from a boat on the deck and straight inside the home is a bit unusual. Perhaps a passage way between the living room and entrance would have been a better approach, don’t you agree? The interiors are impressive in size, and feature minimalist, tasteful furniture arrangements. Large windows provide extensive water views, making some of the rooms truly welcoming. And did you happen to notice the small yacht?
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
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