Set in the picturesque rural landscape of Langenargen, Germany, this modern farmhouse shelters family life surrounded by a blooming orchard. Designed by k_m architektur, the contemporary construction was built along with the surrounding farmstead. Generous overhangs shelter the expansive glazing of this elongated floor plan, covering the east, west and south facade. Interior living spaces are permanently exposed to natural sunlight coming from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Shaded by light curtains, the living room, dining and kitchen share the same space, interacting to create a social area exposed to outdoor panoramas. A photovoltaic system mounted on the flat roof helps reduce the energy costs, while the heating pipeline in the farm building takes on the rest of the energy demands. Slightly raised from the ground, the house appears to be floating, while the extensive use of wood defines both the interiors and the exterior, composing a warm and inviting display. There was no need for a second story, as the main spaces were cleverly compacted to shape the necessary living conditions adorned with modern details.
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.