Exbury Egg by PAD+SPUD+Turner. Beaulieu River, UK
Park Corner Barn by Mclaren Excell. Oxfordshire, UK
et amongst beech-wooded farmland high in the Chiltern Hills, Park Corner Barn was originally part of the neighbouring farm estate and was used as an agricultural threshing and cattle barn until the mid-1990s. Built in traditional brick and flint in the late eighteenth century, the barn was enlarged to twice its original size thanks to a Victorian addition in 1864- resulting in the building which stands today.
The first conversion of the barn in 1997 appeared to have been an exercise in squeezing as many rooms as possible within the building envelope over two floors, with a lower priority given to the rich material and spatial qualities of the building. The external treatment of the barn also made for a building with a lot of untapped potential.
The success of the project relied on undoing much of this previous work. A limited budget meant careful allocation of expenditure – some parts of the existing layout being left unchanged – but much of the building was taken back to the bare elements of the barn’s agricultural origins.
Irekua Anatani House by Broissin. Valle de Bravo, Mexico
The name “Avandaro” comes from a Purépecha (a native language) word that means “place of the orchard” or “place in the clouds”. It was a territory originally inhabited by the tarasco indigenous people; who gave it this name, from whose language this house takes its alias, “Irekua”: Family house, and “Anatani”: to be under a tree: Irekua Anatani = Family house under the trees. Inspired by the land, which lies covered by showy trees, principally by oyamel trees, pine trees and encino trees, from the very first visit to the property we thought that the house had to enjoy the splendor of living under this density and be intrinsically a part of it by safeguarding most of the trees and the existing forest. This gave meaning to the architectural concept that took as a foundation platform a tranquil and partly open space in the middle of the mountain. The program was adapted to that topography, adjusting each space according to its use and function within the community of the whole house.
Val-des-Monts Cottage by C. Simmonds Architect. Quebec Canada
A family cottage in the Gatineau hills infused with Canadiana shifts its way over the edge of a cliff to command views of the adjacent lake. The retreat is gently embedded in the Canadian Shield; the sleeping quarters firmly set in the rock while the cantilevered family rooms slowly emerge from this stone base. The modest entry visible from the road leads to a calculated, yet tranquil path entering from the forest-side of the house and moving through the space as it opens up onto the lakeside.
The house illustrates a warm approach to modernism; white oak boards wrap from wall to floor enhancing the elongated shape of the house and slabs of silver maple create the bathroom vanity. On the exterior, the cladding is composed of an open-joint eastern white cedar, while the stairwell is encased in steel; both are left unfinished to age with the elements.
Natural cooling is provided by cool air rising from the lake, passing in through the lakeside openings and out through the clerestory windows on the forest elevation. The expanse of windows engages the ephemeral foliage from the treetops to the forest floor. The softness and shadows of the filtered forest light fosters an intimate relationship between the exterior and the interior.