It was ruin to the bone. All that was left of the original house was a brick envelope with a roof. Together with the building owners, we asked ourselves whether the house had a place to return to. Any attempt at a traditional repair would mean losing the original character of the ruin. Relatively soon, therefore, we rejected a speculative reconstruction of the original state, as well as any other imitations. We proposed to fix the current state of the romantic ruins and enter the house anew. House to house, house inside a ruin.
We proposed to tear down the inner parts of the building and return its original layout with two floors instead of three, as well as the original scale. Related to this is a return to the original division of the facade. Without sentiment and depending on the needs of the layout, we opened other large openings where needed. We have built a new, insulated house into the existing staged ruin, a one that can meet all current energy standards. We reused the structurally sound wooden beams as elements of ceilings and truss replacements. Most of the material remained in place, just rearranged.
The first residential units on Roatán Próspera are a case study in local sustainability and global integration. Combining the most advanced modular construction techniques with sustainably-sourced local materials, the design and planning for the first dwellings in Próspera is a tangible example of the dramatic shift in development methodologies taking place around the world.
The people of neighboring settlements will take part in construction and management and part of the purchase of each residence goes toward the construction of a sister residence in the neighboring community.
Roatán Próspera rethinks the whole design and conventional delivery approach to development, starting from understanding the local supply chain, logistics, energy and economical aspects as a basis to engage technologically-curious, ecologically-minded, entrepreneurial building contractors. Local labor and methods are engaged for construction methodologies and logistics of supply, procurement, and assembly in Roatán.
The brief: A bed amidst the trees; a shower amongst the rocks, the site sits in a nature conservation in rural South Africa; where trees and shrubs and rocks create the architectural backdrop for any home.
A bedroom that opens itself out into the treescape; that invites in the smells, and wind, and rustle; a bathroom that grounds itself against the landscape; that speaks of earth, and rock, and shrub.
The idea: The originating idea was to root the bathroom into the rockscape, whilst allowing the bedroom to float amongst the trees. The building is organised as a long thin building which allows it to fit snugly between the forest trees. The two chimneys are not only essential to the structure of the building, but also naturally ventilate the bedroom (the building was designed in such a manner as to not disturb any tree during construction).
Zaha Hadid was a revolutionary architect. For years, she was widely acclaimed and won numerous prizes despite building practically nothing. Some even said her work was simply impossible to build. Yet, during the latter years of her life, Hadid’s daring visions became a reality, bringing a new and unique architectural language to cities and structures such as the Port House in Antwerp, the Al Janoub Stadium near Doha, Qatar, and the spectacular new airport terminal in Beijing.
By her untimely death in 2016, Hadid was firmly established among architecture’s finest elite, working on projects in Europe, China, the Middle East, and the United States. She was the first female architect to win both the Pritzker Prize for architecture and the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal, with her long-time Partner Patrik Schumacher now the leader of Zaha Hadid Architects and in charge of many new projects.
Based on the massive TASCHEN monograph, this book is now available in an extensivelyupdated and accessible edition covering Hadid’s complete works, including ongoing projects. With abundant photographs, in-depth sketches, and Hadid’s own drawings, the volume traces the evolution of her career, spanning not only her most pioneering buildings but also the furniture and interior designs that were integrated into her unique, and distinctly 21st-century, universe.
Philip Jodidio studied art history and economics at Harvard, and edited Connaissance des Arts for over 20 years. His TASCHEN books include the Architecture Now! series and monographs on Tadao Ando, Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel, Shigeru Ban, Richard Meier, and Zaha Hadid.
Atelier Alice Trepp, located in Origlio, a small and stunning village, is an atelier designed for Alice Trepp, an Ecuadorian sculptress. The site is characterized by a gentle descending slope, the view of the pastures and of Monte Tamaro, and the coolness given by the lake.
The site resembles the Greek theatres that used to lie on hill slopes, often in locations that offered a fascinating view and a spectacular perspective. The concept of lying on a natural slope gave the idea for Atelier Alice Trepp.
The shape develops from the analysis of the contour lines and the folding of two of them upwards, under which the building is inserted by cutting out sinuous spaces and movements. The volumes take shape like leaves lifted from the ground, so that the architecture actually seems to be a part of Earth itself.
The symbiosis with the context is emphasised by the continuous and essential presence of the vegetation, that transforms the villa into a large expanse with an opening. It resembles a natural cave with its open-air cenote into which the light and the evanescent green dive, reflecting and refracting in a pool of water that creates light shows, vibrations and sounds.
The Cloud House takes its cue from the beautifully eccentric Grade I listed St Martin’s Church opposite, which looks like it could come straight from fairy tales – we have embraced that spirit too. Arches appear again and again on the church, so we modernized and simplified this shape, as the starting point for The Cloud House.
It’s not in a conservation area, and the architecture on the street is wildly eclectic, so a little flamboyance feels appropriate.
Coated in a buff render, with a pale pink tone and duck egg blue metalwork, it brings some gentle colour to the street. As one neighbour has kindly put it: ‘The Cloud House introduces a valuable ‘softer’ element to the street’s dressing, with its hoops and curves and decorations. It is just what Vicars Road needs and will lighten and humanise the street’.
‘Monocle On Design’ discusses the origins of tessellations in Islamic art and ask how architecture affects our work-life balance. Plus: author Shelley Klein recounts her childhood in a mid-century house in Scotland and we preview Monocle’s city-themed July/August issue.
PROJECT – VSTR – The Plus with Vestre, the Norwegian manufacturer of urban furniture, BIG unveils The Plus as the world’s most sustainable furniture factory tucked in the heart of the Norwegian forest. Envisioned as a village for a community dedicated to the cleanest, carbon neutral …
Located just outside Winthrop in eastern Washington, the site for this small cabin lies in the Methow Valley. Nestled in the foothills of the North Cascade mountains, the dramatic views from the site and opportunity for year round recreation drew our client to this region. A strong relationship to the site topography and varying climate was key to the design.
The program for the project was to design a two bedroom cabin which maximized the connection to the surrounding natural environment and outdoor living. This cabin would initially serve as a weekend retreat from the city, and later become a permanent home. Our client wanted to create an efficient floor plan for the house, with open interior/exterior living, bedrooms above, and garage below. It was important to use durable materials throughout the exterior of the cabin due to the extreme climate and fire hazard in the area. The upper levels of the cabin sit on a concrete plinth which forms the garage. Concrete is used to both ground the cabin and retain the natural slope of the site that the cabin sits in. Above, black corrugated metal sheets are used as an efficient and weather resistant siding material. A shed roof with large overhangs on all sides protects the cabin from the heavy winter snowload. A large cantilevered exterior deck opens out from the main level, vastly increasing the living space in the summer months. Views from the deck capture the surrounding mountain ranges and natural beauty of the site.