The one-acre parcel for the Hinge House was located within a planned subdivision with a requisite builder and had already been cleared for a McMansion-style house. Instead of following in the footsteps of all the other houses on the block, the client engaged LLB Architects to design a modern vision that they could grow into with their young family. The single-family residence was programmed around a central hinge point that separates wings for private and public functions, each with an outward crank from the main axis. The single story of the public wing affords the opportunity for a sloped interior ceiling and clerestory windows, expressive of the form and structure.
Materiality further distinguishes the two wings at the entry, clad in wood on the private wing and limestone on the public wing. The use of commercial materials such as storefront glazing systems, aluminum-clad windows, and Alpolic metal panels were utilized for their durability and low maintenance. The result of these decisions led to a house that is unlike any other in the neighborhood, that meets the family’s exact needs, and is cleverly nicknamed after its design moves – the Hinge House. [Photography by Warren Jagger Photography; information provided by LLB Architects]
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