Tuesday, 4 December 2018

House of the Year







This in my view is a well deserved winner of RIBA's House of the Year 2018. The property has been designed specifically around its site and setting in the Scottish Highlands. It is fantastic example of well considered architecture which hunkers down to protect itself against the harsh environment with sliding shutters and charred larch cladding. 

The dwelling has been broken down into 3 separate building forms to reduce its impact allowing it to sit lightly in the landscape with the natural materials enabling it to blend into its environment. This is a clever design which creates an expansive light filled home without the formation of vast cavern like spaces.  

The self sufficient building is human in scale both outside and in with masterfully linked internal spaces. This is how habitats should be designed and serves as an antidote to the 'little boxes' which appear in their thousands by the mass housing developers which have no sense of place. 




Friday, 28 April 2017

Light filled library


For such a substantial building this library on the outskirts of Toronto has a light touch on the landscape. The extensive glazing brings much needed light into the building whilst reflecting the landscape around it. Designed by Canadian architects RDHA it hunkers down into the hillside, a significant building but humble within its setting. 




Sunday, 3 April 2016

Soon to be aired on TV's 'Homes under the Hammer'.....


This is A for Architect's most recently completed project. The property was bought by the client at auction as a single storey dwelling with incomplete loft space and separate Garage/Workshop building, with the main selling feature being the adjacent paddock.



It has been transformed into a substantial two storey family home with large open plan Kitchen/Dining/Family space and stunning Master Bedroom suite with spectacular views out across open countryside. 

Light filters through strategically placed rooflights and the bifold doors open the living area out to the garden. 

Cement fibre cladding was used as an alternative to timber boarding giving a maintenance free exterior finish which is picked up again in the new detached garage which sits alongside the two dwellings. 

The Garage/Workshop was converted into a one-bedroom annex complete with Kitchen/Dining/Living Room, with the only addition being a walk-in bay window with bifold doors.  

This property will be featured on 'Homes under the Hammer' soon.  

Friday, 8 January 2016

Make Space

Some clever ideas in this loft, the sleeping area floats above the office with a glass floor letting light flood through and every spare inch used for storage space - a great example of clever design making space




Wednesday, 2 December 2015

RIBA House of the Year.....

....is the fantastic Flint House by Architects Skene Catling De La Pena for the Rothschild family. The judges rightly described it as a 'marvel of geological evolution and construction'. 


 


 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

STIRLING PRIZE 2015

The shortlist this year for the prestigious Stirling Prize has been cleverly selected to tick all the right boxes. There is the understated functional social housing nestled in the heart of London up against the flashy apartment blocks designed by Richard Rogers with the customary exposed brightly coloured structure. 





Then there is the refurbishment and extension of the Whitworth Gallery Manchester which whilst clever in so many ways and successfully embracing the leafy park setting, the architecture feels slightly forced in some respects.


In the obligatory education category there is the last of the 'building schools for the future' project, Burntwood school, a strong contender and great example of how well designed buildings can influence and inspire the occupants. In addition there is a new building for the University of Greenwich which houses the school of architecture which does little to grab my attention but has created some interesting architectural forms and facades. 



The final contender is the Maggie Cancer Care Centre in Lanarkshire by Reiach and Hall Architects which is my favourite of the 6 shortlisted. It is a beautifully simple single storey building designed around small intimate courtyards creating internal and external spaces which are both calm and serene. The clever punctuation of walls and finishes give it a lightness of touch in the landscape and in turn bring natural light into the 'comfortable' domestic scale interior spaces.  














Wednesday, 1 July 2015

'Canopy Stair'

I absolutely love this invention by two art students, an imaginative but practical solution to climbing trees. The steps are made from curved birch plywood which are strapped to the tree trunk in a way so as not to damage the tree yet adaptable enough to work on any tree trunk. 




More information can be found at www.canopystair.com