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The Architectural Trio: Edition #5
This week the standard of architecture from which I chose my favourite three projects was very high. I struggled immensely to narrow down my selection and as a result there are some fantastic buildings missing from this list. However, the show must go on, so here’s this week’s Architectural Trio…
S3 House, Germany, Steimle Architekten
This house was designed for a family of five on a sloping site that overlooks a nearby city. It is clear to see that every decision has been sensitively considered through the design and construction process. Sloped ceilings and aluminium cladding break up the solid geometric mass, glazing and doors integrate smoothly with the facade, and small bunches steps of steps emerge to address the slope. I have not seen a property like this before and am confused as to why the design style is not used more often. I assume it is expensive or difficult to achieve such a high quality finish, however on this occasion the concrete and aluminium create a checkered aesthetic that makes the building memorable and engaging.
Naman Spa, Vietnam, MIA Design Studio
MIA Design Studio have used plants and a surrounding pool to bed the Naman Spa into its landscape whilst creating an oasis of calm and tranquility. The building’s walls are made predominately of vertical slats which aid air flow and cooling during the hot humid days. These slats also create interesting patterns of light and shade on the interior walls and floors. Greenery is incorporated almost everywhere, with palm trees surrounding the exterior facade, reeds in the interior rooms and hanging vines shielding spaces such as the central swimming pool. Obviously this style is only appropriate in hot, humid climates, however I think MIA Design Studio’s creation is exemplary in its marrying of modern materials and techniques and softening foliage that perfectly suit one another in this context.
Flint House, England, Skene Catling De La Peña
This property located in the English countryside was designed for one of the world’s richest families. It is an exercise in luxury with subtle touches that elevate it to the prestige of its occupants. The house is clad in flint which was sorted by shade before being applied to the building in order to create a gradient from top to bottom. The material is rarely used in contemporary applications, so its inclusion makes the building memorable and unique, whilst also relating to the local context. The technique makes the building appear to “dissolve into the sky” according to the architect, and whilst I don’t agree with this statement the textured stones look impressive. The sloped shape allows for various roof gardens which give uninterrupted views for miles. Another indulgent touch is a black glass ceiling that reflects the water from a pool that runs through the building, supposedly creating the illusion of infinite space. Whilst this house is certainly showy, in my opinion the luxury additions are appropriate, and enhance the architectural appeal of the property as a whole.