The modern Cedarvale Ravine House was especially designed by Drew Mandel Architects for a family of four in Toronto, Canada. The infill project has a privileged location in its mid-town residential neighborhood, as it opens up to protected woodlands. According to the architects, the design solution “solves programmatic requirements, maximizes views, provides natural light, and enhances the promenade and transition from sub-urban street scape to contact with very primal forms of nature“.
The structure of the residence was adapted to the characteristics of the site: “Circulation modulates through a series of intimate and expansive spaces and courtyards to a glass-enclosed single-story volume at the rear of the property. It is the kitchen and family room and the heart of the house. Large expanses of glass dematerialize the stone building in order to engage and connect to its protected woodland setting. A cantilevered second story volume frames views, gestures to the landscape and allows the re-naturalized ravine planting to be drawn farther into the site“. Enjoy the virtual tour!
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
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