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.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light