This dark-cladded mountain house, designed by Miurashin Architect + Associates, is camouflaged between trees on a sloping terrain in Karuizawa, Japan. A pavilion reached via a metal bridge welcomes family and guests to the warm and contemporary interiors, dressed in wood via a top floor pavilion. Living and entertaining spaces are sheltered by the middle floor, while the lower ground is occupied by the private spaces. Imposing with its mysterious presence and mirroring the surrounding forest in its windows, the mountain residence is anchored to the slope in three places. Its architecture appeals to the owner’s need for connecting to the surroundings in a very personal way – this led to creating a sloping staircase-resembling rooftop used for contemplating the forest views. Vertical windows and cladding strive to imitate the tall trees around, better integrating the architecture with nature. Is this type of dark, modern architecture your cup of tea?
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts
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