Argentina-based architect César Boratyn sent us photos of a redesign and home-enlargement he envisioned for a private residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some words on the approach from the architect himself: “I focused in respecting and maintaining the original style of the house, and on the other hand I created a double axis formed by two galleries crowned by wide balconies which are perfect viewing spots to appreciate the surrounding garden which maximizes the presence and magnitude of the house.
The galleries also function as warm and broad transition spaces between the interior and the exterior of the home- all this is held and contained between four columns. A cedar boiserie was recuperated from the original main livingroom, which formed a magnificent fireplace and bookshelves. An inportant wooden cornise was built to connect the whole ambiance which also spreads a surrounding Led illumination all around the room. High quality materials and finishes where selected for the bathrooms which have a sober aesthetic, are highly functional and are dominated by natural light. The furniture and decoration reinforce the classical spirit and elegance of the house selecting suitable materials and finishes”. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by César Boratyn]
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
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.