When it comes to this highly contemporary home in Israel envisioned by the architects at Pitsou Kedem, nothing seems common or modest. A frontal courtyard excavated to a depth of three meters and a second courtyard at the level of the building’s ground level originally flank the house “This provides a feeling that the space is constantly enveloped by natural light and the greenery of the trees“, explained the architects. A narrow infinity pool adds up to the outdoor features of the property and contribute to the overall geometry.
The most striking element of the project is probably the six-meter-high living area. According to the official description, there are no pillars in the space and the entire front is transparent with glass windows that slide apart with the aid of an electric motor: “Thus, the entire interior of the home opens into the courtyard and the border between inside and outside is cancelled.” All the rooms are glazed from floor to ceiling, offering unobstructed views of the courtyards and swimming pool.
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