Designed to adapt to an alpine environment defined by scree slopes, imposing rocks and gravel tracks, this modern Mountain Retreat seems to mirror the awe-inspiring surrounding landscape in a collection of carefully constructed interiors. A brainchild of New Zealand-based Fearon Hay Architects, the small mountain home near Lake Wakatipu, Central Otago, provides a secluded escape translated into modern modern architectural language by adapting it to surroundings. Large sliding walls transform the living zone into a first-row invitation to lie in the comfort of a contemporary structure and feel blessed to be outside at the same time. Colors and textures create a praise-worthy composition, described by the architects as a studied balance between natural and man-made: “The internal environment is both muscular and refined, referencing the toughness of the environment while providing comfort required for a retreat in the mountains.”
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.
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.