Orcas Island Retreat is a bohemian looking residence envisioned by Heliotrope Architects and located in Washington, USA. The project was driven by the clients’ need to inhabit a timeless retreat perfectly embedded in the landscape of an island they have been visiting regularly for over 40 years. With these prerequisites, the design solution ‘”integrates a contemporary open-plan residential program within a building form reminiscent of a typical island farm structure – a barn with a lean-to“, explained the architects.
A lovely wooden terrace guides the way towards the open plan kitchen and living space. Floor to ceiling windows ensure an optimum connectivity with the outdoors. The gable-roof structure accommodates the bedrooms, bathrooms and utility spaces. While the rooms of the shed-like volume are defined by extensive use of wood, white plaster sets the tone when it comes to the interiors in the neighboring building.
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
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