Eccentricity is this structure’s main characteristic – a Corbusian – inspired study on the relationship between interior and exterior spaces – named Wall House 2 and located in Groningen, the Netherlands. After 28 years since the original design was completed and one year after the death of its architect –John Hejduk – the Wall House 2 displays the struggle with lack of funding and the result of a hard work underwent by a Netherlands-based studio after the architect’s unexpected death. Many details changed during this time – location, budget, details – but the 2,500 square feet residential structure took on the task of presenting John Hejduk’s vision. Surrealist sculpture merged with cubist paintings and architecture shape a series of public, semi-public and private quarters – as compartmentalized by the owners.
The three-dimensional structure was organized around a central axis of horizontal and vertical planes. Light colors visually separate the volumes while a neutral gray wall captures a stand-still moment in time. A spiral staircase hidden by this wall offers access to the superior volumes and a set of glass partitions connect the front side to the back side. Different vantage points offer different perspectives of the house’s architecture, colors and symbolism – each architectural detail seems to disguise a deeper meaning. The large gray wall and column-supported spaces help fabricate a stunning residence. Inside, the ground floor is occupied by the study, kitchen and dining room, the first floor shelters a bedroom and the living spaces were raised to the top floor. This way, every space has a function embraced by an unusual shape that everyone can enjoy and learn from.
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