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The Architectural Trio: Edition #15
Having finished my second year at university on Friday, you would’ve thought I’d have had enough of architecture for a while. However it’s been less than 48 hours and I’m already back on Dezeen and Archdaily looking at great buildings. This week was somewhat underwhelming compared to other projects I’ve seen recently, and I may tie those exemplary projects into longer, individual posts. I hope you enjoy your first serving of architecture from me this summer!
Nook Residence, Canada, MU Architecture
This holiday home is nestled amongst the snowy landscape of a town in Quebec. The exterior consists of white painted pine cladding with cedar roof soffits. I always like buildings that use a white material and timber, and the aesthetic seemingly works in both sunny and snowy countries. A creative touch is the continuity of cedar on the interior ceilings, relating the interior and exterior. The house actually turns away from the street, allowing extensive glazing which faces a lake. The way the internal light penetrates the glazing looks stunning against the all white backdrop, I expect at night the property looks like a beacon. To me, there is one potential downside. The interior is sleek and modern and perhaps a little cold and heartless. When arriving from the freezing outside, I would prefer to enter a more cosy house. Mind you, this viewpoint may come from the lack of human activity in the photos. However you interpret this house, it can’t be denied that it sits beautifully within its context.
Paul Sivadon Institut Extension, France, Atelier 2+1
This extension to a psychiatric hospital is attached to a Haussmann era street facade and 1960s extension. The architects have clearly used the extension’s facade as inspiration; the new section actually uses a portion of it for the glazing pattern. Whilst they look similar, it is clear which is the newer part, which is important in providing a historical timeline of the building. Interestingly, the courtyard used to be a disused car park, which proves the vision and skill of Atelier 2+1. The often unappreciated value of an architect is their ability to imagine and rationalise creative and wonderful solutions, which is why architect designed buildings tend to have a charm and unity that isn’t seen when they are not involved in a project. Internally, the circulation spaces are wide and light, reducing the anxiety of patients. In my opinion this project represents a complete and considered scheme, all aspects have been covered internally and externally, with creative touches adding something special to the design.
Main Stay House, America, Matt Fajkus Architecture
This house in Austin, Texas, responds sensitively to the demands of the local climate, whilst still allowing light into the property and blending of interior and exterior living. It is oriented away from the harsh west sun and the double glazed, low-e coated windows are operable to allow cross ventilation. Astoundingly, the house does not require air conditioning, despite average temperatures reaching 36c in August. The principal materials of stucco and ironspot bricks (a firing technique varies the colour of these bricks) complement each other and the strength of the brick helps to define the private and public spaces. In parts I think the aesthetic of the house seems a little messy, with maybe one or two too many materials, however this is only a personal preference. Overall, Matt Fajkus Architecture have created a brilliant home that opens up the possibility of outside living to the residents, a luxury many other home owners in Texas won’t have.