Meet this versatile space, a house that is so flexible that can be used as a calm retreat when you are getting enough of that too-fast-moving-forward world called city, as the coolest party spot or as your less regular home, surrounded by an airy and carefree site. Located nearby the river, in the picturesque region of Brittany, France, the D House is a space that connects the human to its natural ambient through open space living rooms, natural materials and last, but not least, through the relaxing ambience that Lode Architecture managed to create.
The location is really impressive, especially during autumn, when the leaves start falling in a playful manner, creating eventually a colourful thick carpet around the house. If you’re into sports, you can explore your limits and try a ride with the kayak on the river. The interior is neat and spacious, without being too edgy nor sophisticated. Its striking simplicity is exactly what you need when you arrive in a place such as this. “Life is organised here around the hearth, the stairs and a central cooking island. All around you, panoramic views of the undergrowth and beyond the river are offered by the upstairs floor.Wells of light passing through the upstairs floor invite the sky into this blended landscape. On the ground, the stone disappears, the windowed angles fade. We live inside the wood.”
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.