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The Architectural Trio: Edition #29
This week’s trio features a holiday retreat, wine tasting pavilions and Passivhaus inspired home. The selection is slightly underwhelming compared to other weeks, however I expect lots of architecture firms are now slowing down due to summer holidays etc. On the other hand, I will soon be starting work on a building site for 5 weeks or so. The experience should invaluable, hopefully helping me to grasp in more detail the process of construction and gain an understanding of the relationship between the architect and contractor. I may write about it on here if it’s interesting enough to warrant a post. So that’s a little update from me, enjoy the Architectural Trio!
Casa Paraíso, Mexico, DCPP
Another week, another Mexican property… This weekend residence is located beside a golf course near the Morelos state capital Cuernavaca. The focus of DCPP was to design a home that is discrete, with lush vegetation providing a visual shield along the public road facing facade. Whilst the greenery is still in its infancy, the desired effect is clear to see. Other techniques that have been used to achieve the discrete aesthetic is a low building height and restrained, sophisticated material palette. Smooth, refined concrete is used heavily, with a particularly interesting ceiling treatment created with knitted petate, a woven fabric used by local artisans. White painted walls complement the light shaded concrete, whilst black steel and guanacaste hardwood provide a pleasing contrast. I especially like the exposed pitched roof in this property, it opens out the rooms and relates strongly to the external form of the building, emphasising the bright tiles.
Quintessa Pavilions, America, Walker Warner Architects
A trio of wine tasting pavilions are scattered within the Quintessa Estate Winery, Napa Valley, providing an experience designed to connect the tasting experience with the surrounding vineyards. As can be seen in the photos, the views are incredible, and great care has been taken to detail the pavilions with the same splendour. Junctions between the black steel frame and concrete walls are perfectly aligned, and minimal window frames and runners discretely provide a raft of openable faces that allow the pavilions to be completely outdoors. As well as relating to the concept, this permits cooling cross ventilation and untainted views. Sinker Cypress, timber that has been recovered from riverbeds following massive growth of the logging industry in the 1800s, has been used for ceiling sheathing, whilst FSC certified African Teak has been used for furnishings.
Shawm House, England, Richard Pender and Dan Kerr
The name Shawn House, meaning “to warm oneself” in old Northumbrian English, was chosen due to the building’s location and concept. Designed and self built by property developer Richard Pender, the house is a labour of love for his parents on the site of their previous residence, a traditional farmhouse. The new home is designed with accessibility in mind to aid Pender’s parents as they grow older. It features a wet room, electronic intercom, and lift to the main living space on the first floor as well as conventional stairs. The building’s form mimics traditional farm buildings in Northumbria and only gained planning permission due to its exceptionally high quality. What makes the finished outcome even more impressive is that Pender built most of the house himself without employing a contractor, using a nearby concrete framed barn as his workshop for the timber frame. Having previously only constructed small timber buildings, he spent three years researching the relevant products and techniques to ensure a high quality building. With the help of local tradespeople and Dan Kerr of MawsonKerr Architects, the design is sustainably sophisticated as well as aesthetically pleasing. It makes use of a biomass pellet stove, photovoltaics and larch cladding alongside locally sourced materials to meet many of the Passivhaus requirements, however was restricted from certification due to the North facing aspect of the site. Projects such as this demonstrate the complexity of architecture with all its human, aesthetic and sustainability demands. The effort that has gone into this project from Richard Pender is obvious, and the outcome is suitably brilliant.