Basing the design on the needs of a modern family, Toronto-based Altius Architecture created an elegant cluster of living spaces named the 360 Winnett House. This residential project was built in Toronto, Canada, on a challenging urban plot. Nestled between two other residences, this 2,370 square foot single family home displays a bright, welcoming interior arrangement. The use of white and grey throughout was soften by wooden cabinetry and flooded with natural light that creates a bright and cheery atmosphere. The three bedrooms were designed to offer relaxing moments while displaying the same color palette as the other spaces. Located in the heart of the home, a 24 foot double height volume draws light inside during the day, while at night it seems to transform into a lighthouse-resembling design element, anchoring the overall architecture. On the ground floor, in the most used part of the house, where the kitchen meets the dining space in an open floor plan, the family gathers around the table for those unforgettable times that eventually become the most loved memories.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests